Friday 28th October 2016                 Change text size:

Book review: The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision – Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi (2014)


The Systems View of Life takes a broad sweep through the history of ideas and across scientific disciplines. It argues that the way we look at and understand the world needs to change in order to view it as a network and recognise the role humans play.

Over the last 30 years, this idea has been emerging at the forefront of science. This book attempts to bring together the ideas, models and theories of this concept into a single comprehensible framework. The implications of the systems view of life on a range of sectors and subjects, from healthcare to economic crises, are also discussed.

In the final section of the book – sustaining the web of life – the authors identify the major issues the world is facing today, including energy, climate change and inequality.

They argue that these are systemic problems that are all interconnected and dependent on one another. As a result, a systems approach that looks at the wider picture is needed to provide solutions to building a more sustainable global economy.

The Systems View of Life was primarily written for undergraduates but the concept discussed and the suggested implications affect a broad range of professions from politics and economics to medicine and law.

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