Any system is part of the environment in which it is inserted and this environment is, from this viewpoint, a supra- or metasystem.
Conversely, any part of a system may generally be considered, in turn and at its own level, as a whole, within which parts can be identified.
FEIBLEMAN and FRIEND wrote: "Subparts, parts and wholes are the three levels necessary to constitute an organization" (1969, p.49).
Of course, there may be quite more than three levels, as shown in living systems by J.G. MILLER.
We should try to avoid a false dichotomy between parts and wholes. While, according to M. MARUYAMA, "There is no "whole" prior to parts" (1976, p.204), this author presents the "mutualistic view": "… there are only parts, and parts create a system of interaction" (Ibid).
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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]
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