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[Xmca-l] Re: Systems views [leontievactivity]

Hi Christine,

Thanks for this.  I am a little confused and curious.  In what way are
functional approaches not a part of these systems?

Luria (1963, p.35) provides a good working definition in line with how tend
to think about them in this work:

“The view has often been expressed in the literature that the term
“function” implies two totally different concepts. On the one hand it may
denote the direct and manifest activity of a tissue (the secretory
functions of the glands, the contractile function of muscle, and so on); in
this sense the “function” naturally is characteristic of and inseparable
from the particular tissue; the tissue cannot change its function nor take
on a new one.

On the other hand the term “function” may have a completely different
meaning when we speak of “functions” as the basic form of adaption of the
living organism to its environment and the principal manifestations of its
vital activity. Expressions such as the “respiratory functions”, the
“digestive function” or the complex “locomotor functions” and, finally, the
still more complex “psychological functions” (speech, writing, and so on)
have a quite different meaning. We are concerned here with complex adaptive
activity (biological at some stages of development and socio-historical at
others), satisfying a particular demand and playing a particular role in
the vital activity of the animal. A complex adaptive “function” such as
this will usually be executed by a group of structural units and, as
Anokhin (1947) showed, these will be integrated into a “functional system.”
The parts of this system may be scattered over a wide area of the body and
united only in the execution of their common task (for example, respiration
or locomotion). Between these parts there is a pliable yet strong temporary
connexion, uniting them into one system and synchronizing their activity.
This “functional system” works as a complete entity, organizing the flow of
excitation and co-ordinating the activity of individual organs.”

On 21 August 2013 06:51, <schweighartc@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Huw ,Lubomir,
> Work in the systems community since the seventies has made contributions
> which are not eclectic, moving beyond functional to phenomenological
> approaches.
> I am working in an area relating these at present.
> Other researchers begin with the work of Bogdanov to examine shared roots.
> Christine