The Ackoff Center Weblog has an interesting posting titled:
“Analysis, synthesis, systems thinking and the scientific method: rediscovering the importance of open systems”
Along with this entry they have a paper that you can download.
Quoting a bit from the blog posting:
This paper reconsiders the role of systems thinking in science …The paper argues that the scientific method is most usefully interpreted as a dialectic between analysis and synthesis supported by the triadic logic of C.S. Peirce, and that the role of systems thinking is to frame this dialectic.