Open System (glossary)

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A system which exchanges inputs and outputs with its environment


von Bertalanffy, L. 1968. General system theory: Foundations, development, applications. Revised ed. New York, NY: Braziller.


Open system theory considers an organism as a complex entity composed of many parts with an overall integrity, co-existing in an environment. In an open system the organisms structure is maintained, or adapts, through a continual exchange of energy and information with its environment.