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My Teachers

Ervin Laszlo introduced me to systems theory through his writings (especially Introduction to Systems Philosophy and Systems, Structure and Experience). He later worked with me as advisor on my doctoral dissertation (later adapted as Mutual Causality) and on a project for the Club of Rome. Gregory Bateson, through his Steps to an Ecology of Mind and in a summer seminar, also shaped my thought, as did the writings of Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Arthur Koestler, and Hazel Henderson (among numerous others).

After my formal studies, I learned a lot more: about biological systems from Tyrone Cashman, and economic systems from Kenneth Boulding. Donella Meadows taught me about the planetary consequences of runaway systems (I used her book Beyond the Limits in my own classes), and Elisabet Sahtouris taught me to see self-organizing systems in evolutionary perspective (I assigned her book Gaia: From Chaos to Cosmos in my courses). I am grateful for a year of informal seminars with Fritjof Capra, as he prepared The Web of Life.