Volume 2 Fascicle 2 (December 1995)


Alaksandr Labanau

The development of particular sciences and the re-assessment of the philosophic category of <174>part and the whole<175> relationship have brought about the system approach genesis. The principle of <174>orga- nism analogy<175> and treatment of any system as a living organism we- re first applied in the theory of open biological systems by L.von Bertalanffy. Later on, the idea was extended on to ethology, social sciences and, in the long run, historical studies.

When it became clear in biology that any species was a selfdeveloping system, the idea was corresponded to civilization as a cultural and historical system limited in time and space, in history and philosophy (A.Toynbee).

However, being in many ways opposed to materialist dialectic, the system approach was not widely used in the Soviet historical studies.

This paper discusses the history of the human society research from the point of view of system paradigm. The society is a social system which is comprised of the economic, social, spiritual and regulative domains or sub-systems. The historical reality is distorted if any of these is believed to be absolute, as K.Marx claimed, the economic sub-system was, or as M.Weber believed with respect to the spiritual sub-system.

It is also suggested that the system approach can prove to be an ideal method for the Belarusian historical studies, recently started.

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