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< previous page page_7 next page > Page 7 all the characteristics of a system as set out above. We say that these sub-systems are identifiable at a higher level of resolution than the system of which they are part. Sub- systems may themselves be considered in terms of parts, or sub-subsystems, at an even higher resolution level. Since the concept of hierarchy is very significant for a number of the systems methodologies we consider later, let us try to illustrate it further. Imagine we have a microscope. It is in fact a very special microscope. An ordinary traditional scientific microscope helps us to see things in an ever more detailed reductionist way, as things physically are. Our microscope, however, is a systemic scientific microscope that has the inbuilt capability of discriminating between the richly and poorly interacting features under view and hence displays "systems". It is selective and leaves out aggregates. It can be used with numerous magnifications that lead us to various "levels of resolution". This we can term systemic reduction.
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