A system consists of a set of individuals but is itself an individual.
Although concrete systems and their environments are oblective things, they are subjective to the degree that the particular configuration of the elements that form both is dictated by the interests of the researcher. Different observers of the same phenomena may conceptualize them into different systems and environments. To one researcher an object may be a system, but to another the object may be an environment of one of its molecules, which he treats as a system.
A system consists of a set of individuals but, in addition, is itself an individual. (Not all individuals need be treated as systems) Therefore, a structural individual may be treated as a system if we are concerned with the interactions of its parts (say, mechanical points), and some systems can be treated as structural individuals. (PS l9)
This page was last updated on July 24, 1996, by Rob Sable.