From the systemic viewpoint, choice is a very complex topic.
According to R.L. ACKOFF and F. EMERY, in a situation of choice a subject has to decide between various (or at least two) possible courses of action, affected with different probabilities (1972, p.146).
As a rational election among options, it thus supposes a good understanding of the nature, the needs and the situation of the system which is to make a choice.
However, what is understood as rationality refers solely to the logical aspect of choice, while a systemist must also take in account psychological, social and cultural aspects in their most ample sense. In G. VICKERS words: "… choice involves valuing, and valuing is by implication excluded from the rational process. No calculus can compare the relative values of atom bombs and medicare" (1957, p.64).
He could have added that, even if such a calculus could be made in economic or financial terms, for instance, such a problem is never put in that kind of mental frame.
In particular, collective choice is a matter of cultural consensus, in most cases neither logical or economic.
For the systemist, the problem of choice is thus multi-dimensional.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
We thank the following partners for making the open access of this volume possible: