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[sigchairs] Where the East Meets the West (Zhu) [Tom Mandel 2004/04/01}
Posted by: daviding (
Date: April 29, 2004 03:41PM

Reference paper
multiperspectives, East and West
by Zinchang Zhu
Primer Group



'dealing with differentiated whole'

Part One

Zhichang ZHU (PhD)

'System' as a conceptualisation device has been used by human beings to investigate and describe the complexity in the surrounding relational dynamics, and to organise and take actions to change situations in the hope of improvement. In this paper, 'systems approach' as a not-rigorously-defined word is basically used to denote intellectual outcomes resulted from the latter kind of effort: viewpoints, perspectives, guide-lines, methodologies, etc., which are generally formulated for taking better organised human inquiries and actions, although this author holds that a 'model of the world' and an 'approach to change the world' appear to be always reinforcing each other therefore cannot be separated.

The author of this paper is a designer of one of these approaches. After formulating his own approach, he realised while paricipating in the Primer activity, that in the Western systems community there exist systems approaches which hold similar concerns, beliefs and desires with his. A journey of comparative study of these approaches suggests, to him, that despite of differences among cultural traditions of the populations, among practical experiences of the designers, and among social-political contexts in which these approaches emerged, developed and applied, a convergent movement among Eastern and Western systems approaches has recently emerged and is becoming significant. So far the journey has brought the author to such a stage which convinces him that by conscious and insistent mutual-informing and -learning among systems scientists world-wide, systems approaches developed in the East and the West may be able to improve their competence more wisely, and therefore able to have more to offer for dealing with the increasing complexity that confronts humankind.

continiued at []

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