Systems Theory analyses the world in terms of communications and divides the natural world into environment and systems. Systems are characterised by their high density of communications and tend to become more complex and efficient with time, usually by means of increased specialisation and coordinationof functions.Management is an organisational sub-system which models all necessary aspects of organisational activity such that this model may be used for monitoring, prediction and planning of the organisation as a whole. The function of a specific (...) management system depends on its history of selection by interactions with theenvironment (which includes other systems). The main function of a management system will be a consequence of the most powerful and sustained selection pressure it has experienced.Systems Theory implies a management science which is quantitative and comparative. It is quantitative because it is based upon the measurement and mapping of communications as the basis of analysis; it is comparative because evaluations relate to specific variables measured in a specific spatio-temporal contextand subjected to analytic processes of constrained complexity.Selection processes are broadly responsible for the dominance of management in contemporary Western societies. The complexity of management systems will probably continue to increase for as long as the efficiency-enhancing potential of complexity outweighs its increased transaction costs. (shrink)
The “somatic marker mechanism” (SMM; Damasio 1994) is proposed as the cognitive and neural basis of the theory of mind mechanism. The SMM evolved for evaluating the intentions, dispositions, and relationships of conspecifics; hence, it is adaptive in the social domain. It is predicted that chimpanzees will indeed have theory of mind (ToM) ability, but that this will be socially domain-specific. Domain-general ToM will be found only in primates with abstract, symbolic language (adult humans). Putative ToM tests require revision in (...) the light of these distinctions. (shrink)
Steven Rose regards oversimplification of biology as the supreme sin, inevitably leading to evil consequences, and requiring an unique distortion of scientific practice to avoid it. To avoid this, he proposes a short-cut to scientific knowledge by defining certain areas of biology that are intrinsically flawed. But this achieves only a subordination of science to politics. There are no general-purpose shortcuts for evaluating the validity of theories, and no substitutes for testing specific theories using relevant evidence.
The same aggressive act will – all else being equal – have a different behavioral significance according to whether it is performed by a man or a woman. Such a perspective should have profound implications for legal and psychiatric practice, and for social policy in general.