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A Science of Conceptual Systems (SOCS) Approach to Accelerating the Advancement of the Systems Sciences

  • Foundation for the Advancement of Social Theory


Draft Paper - In this paper, I suggest that we recognize and encourage the development of a “Science of Conceptual Systems” (SOCS). A conceptual system is any set of interrelated concepts that is useful for understanding and engaging our world (e.g. theories, policies, models, mental models). Compared to other world systems (e.g. physical, biological, social), conceptual systems are understudied. Thus, we do not fully understand them. Because of that lack, we find it difficult to create theories and policies that are reliably highly effective in practical application within the social/behavioral sciences. In this paper I will present some background information about conceptual systems – how they have been generated, tested, developed, and applied in practical application and research. I will also describe emerging understandings and their implications for improving our understanding of conceptual systems and developing more effective theories and policies for research and practice.
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