Single, Double, and Triple Loop Organizational Learning

Single, Double, and Triple Loop Organizational Learning

Key Terms

  • Learning
  • Organizational Learning
  • Chris Argyris
  • David Schon
  • Peter Senge
  • Single Loop Learning
  • Double Loop Learning
  • Triple Loop Learning
  • Quadruple Loop Learning
  • Error Correction
  • Feedback Loop
  • Gregory Bateson
  • Action Learning
  • Cybernetic Loop
  • Reflexivity
  • Reflection and Learning
  • Systems Thinking
  • Cause and Effects
  • Organizational Adaptability
  • Organizational Culture
  • Theory In Use Models I and II
  • Action Science
  • Ed Schein
  • Levels of Learning
  • Planning as Learning
  • Cybernetics
  • Second Order Cybernetics
  • Third Order Cybernetics
  • Perceptual Flaws
  • Cognitive Learning
  • Hierarchical Planning
  • Management Control Systems
  • Management Planning and Control Systems
  • Planning and Control Systems
  • Manufacturing Planning and Control Systems
  • Advanced Planning Systems (APS)
  • Balanced Scorecards
  • Strategic Management
  • Social Learning
  • Learning to Plan, Planning to learn
  • Deutero Learning
  • Meta Learning
  • Explicit Knowledge
  • Tacit Knowledge

Single and Double Loop Learning

Source: Deradicalization through Double-Loop Learning? How the Egyptian Gamaa Islamiya Renounced Violence

Argyris and Schon thereby start with the assumption that “all deliberate action ha[s] a cognitive basis, that it reflect[s] norms, strategies, and assumptions or models of the world.”21 These mental models work as a “frame of reference” which determine expectations regarding cause and effect relationships between actions and outcomes.22 According to Argyris and Schon, organizational learning becomes necessary when there is an “error,” a mismatch between intended outcomes of strategies of action and actual results; consequently, they define learning as the “detection and correction of error.”23 This correction of errors happens through a continuous process of organizational inquiry of varying depth. Argyris and Schon distinguish two types of learning:24 In single-loop learning systems, the detection and correction of error connects the outcome in a single loop only to strategies of action whereas the governing variables remain unchanged. In double-loop learning systems, a double feedback loop “connects the detection of error not only to strategies and assumptions for effective performance, but to the very norms which define effective performance.”25 Hence, double-loop learning modifies the governing variables underlying objectives.

Single-loop learning to increase the effectiveness of actions is the dominant response to error and ingrained in routine procedures in any organization. Unfortunately, due to organizational inertia and a tendency to become defensive when confronted with failure, organizations have a tendency to produce learning systems that inhibit double-loop learning that would question their objectives and governing variables.26 Single-loop learning systems are characterized by attempts to increase effectiveness without questioning norms underlying objectives. When organizations initiate change to curb activities under existing norms, a conflict in the norms themselves can emerge. For example, requirements for change can come into conflict with the requirement of predictability.27 Argyris and Schon suggest that in order to double-loop learn, leaders must first recognize the conflict between conflicting requirements itself. They must become aware that they cannot correct the error by doing better what they already know how to do. They must engage in deep organizational inquiry: in this process the focus has to shift from learning concerned with improvement in the performance of organizational tasks to inquiry through which an organization explores and restructures the values and criteria through which it defines what it means by improved performance.28 This is often inherently conflictual. Double-loop learning can namely be inhibited when norms are undiscussable within organizations. That leaders may be unaware of the conflict between conflicting requirements may be one reason why norms become undiscussable within organizations, leading to a double-bind situation for individuals. If they expose an error, they question covert or unquestionable norms. If they do not expose an error, they perpetuate a process that inhibits organizational learning.29 Individuals thus face lose/losepage6image1381222848

STUDIES IN CONFLICT & TERRORISM 5 situations in which the rules of the game are not open to discussion.30 Commonly,

organizational norms also make the double binds themselves undiscussable:

Such procedure means that the very information needed to detect and correct errors becomes undiscussable. If one wanted to design a strategy to inhibit double-loop learning and to encourage error, a better one could not be found.31

Argyris and Schon conclude that organizations have a tendency to produce learning systems that inhibit double-loop learning as it would question their objective and norms.32 Double binds indicate such single-loop learning systems. Does the lack of cognitive abilities, as well as perceptual flaws, explain why individuals become locked in double binds, and why learning in organizations becomes inhibited? According to Argyris and Schon, the problem lies with organizational defenses that lead to a lack of error perception, rendering errors uncorrectable. Defensive organizational routines come into play when threatening or embarrassing issues arise, preventing lessons from being learned.33 Defensive routines – such as sending mixed messages or being overly diplomatic – are frequently activated when they are most counterproductive. Defensive routines can create binds:

On the one hand, […] [p]articipants are not supposed to bypass errors. Moreover, the bypass is undiscussable […] On the other hand, if the errors, their undiscussability, and the cover-ups surface, the participants are subject to criticism … 34

Defensive routines therefore prevent members of organizations from discovering the root causes of the problem and lead to paradoxes because individuals design inconsistencies of meaning and camouflage them by producing mixed messages: “to be consistent, act inconsistently, and act as if that is not the case.”35 A second consequence is that people start creating attributions to make sense of other peoples’ actions – attributions which are frequently wrong but remain unquestioned. As a result, reactions lead to unintended consequences. So why do people create consequences that contradict their intentions?36 Argyris and Schon consider that people are responsible for their actions, and that individuals who deny responsibility usually put the blame on others.37

In contrast, in double-loop learning systems productive reasoning takes place, following a logic that is not self-referential, where people take responsibility, acknowledge when there is a mismatch between intention and outcome, share awareness of organizational dilemmas, engage such conflicts through inquiry, and decrease double binds.38 In this second learning loop, the focus shifts from learning how to better accomplish tasks within a given frame of reference to learning what to do by questioning the frame of reference itself.39 In other words, while single-loop learning focuses on improving what an organization already does, or “doing the things right,” double-loop learning is concerned with what organizations ought to do, or “doing the right things.”40 However, Argyris and Schon find only limited empirical evidence for double-loop learning systems and remark that it depicts an ideal type that can be approached, making it possible to speak of organizations learning in a more or less double-loop way.41 The dynamics described above explain how double-loop systems become inhibited and how people hide their responsibility by blaming the environment for their inability to double-loop learn. Argyris and Schon also address intervention strategies that help organizations approach double-loop learning. One tool is the drawing of a diagnostic map describing how the organization learns. Such a map, they suggest, can help with predictions if certain changes were to be implemented,42 and can be used to depict alternative scenarios and their consequences.

Single Loop Learning

Source: Wikipedia

Double Loop Learning

Source: Wikipedia

Single and Double Loop Learning

Triple Loops of Learning

Source: The origins and conceptualizations of ‘triple-loop’ learning: A critical review

Many scholars have considered the concept of organizational learning as a dichotomy. In its basic, primary form they have described it as action oriented, routine and incremental, occurring within existing (mental) frameworks, norms, policies and rules. In the face of profound change in organizational environments, these scholars argue that a qualitatively distinct, secondary form of learning is necessary. This aims to change the (mental) frameworks, norms, policies and routines underlying day-to-day actions and routines (Cope, 2003).

This dichotomy has been expressed in a variety of terms: single-loop and double-loop (e.g. Argyris and Schön, 1974); lower-level and higher-level (Fiol and Lyles, 1985); first-order and second-order (Arthur and Aiman-Smith, 2001); exploitation and exploration (Levinthal and March, 1993; March, 1991); incremental and radical (Miner and Mezias, 1996); and adaptive and generative learning (Senge, 1990). Although these dichotomous terms stem from different perspectives on organizational learning, a reasonable consensus seems to have been established that they refer to comparable learning processes and outcomes (Argyris, 1996; Arthur and Aiman-Smith, 2001; Miner and Mezias, 1996). Thus, as defined by Argyris (1999: 68), single-loop learning occurs ‘whenever an error is detected and corrected without questioning or altering the underlying values of the system’, and double-loop learning occurs ‘when mismatches are corrected by first examining and altering the governing variables and then the actions’.

A number of authors have conceived of a further type of organizational learning, for which the most prominent term is ‘triple-loop’ learning (Flood and Romm, 1996; Isaacs, 1993; Romme and Van Witteloostuijn, 1999; Snell and Chak, 1998; Swieringa and Wierdsma, 1992; Yuthas et al., 2004). Typically, this is described as additional to, and metaphorically at a ‘higher’ or ‘deeper’ level than, primary and secondary forms of learning, the metaphor implying that this level has greater significance and profundity. Yet, in spite of its perceived importance, conceptualizations of this form of learning do not always make clear how it differs from, or relates to, primary or secondary forms. Scholars of organizational learning might look first to Argyris and Schön; significantly, though, we have established that whilst triple-loop learning has been inspired by Argyris and Schön, the term does not appear explicitly in their published work.

Within this we explore the original work of Argyris and Schön, and of the anthropologist and cybernetician Gregory Bateson, the major influences cited by authors who propose these conceptualizations. This enables us to make a theoretical contribution through identifying three distinct conceptualizations of triple-loop learning. These are:

A. a level beyond, and considered by proponents to be superior to, Argyris and Schön’s single-loop and double-loop learning;

B. an equivalent to Argyris and Schön’s (1978, 1996) concept of ‘deutero-learning’;

C. a proposed third level inspired by Bateson’s (1973)1 framework of levels of learning (specifically ‘Learning III’).

We discuss why these conceptualizations should be regarded as distinct from each other, and highlight some implications for practice.

Source: The origins and conceptualizations of ‘triple-loop’ learning: A critical review

Source: Levels of learning: hither and whither

Source: Coping with Uncertainty in River Management: Challenges and Ways Forward

Source: TOOL | Single, Double and Triple Loop Learning

Quadruple Loops of Learning

Source: Policy learning and crisis policy-making: quadruple-loop learning and COVID-19 responses in South Korea

Levels of Learning

Source: The origins and conceptualizations of ‘triple-loop’ learning: A critical review

Org. Culture, Learning, Performance

Source:A Configuration Model of Organizational Culture

Source:A Configuration Model of Organizational Culture

Source:A Configuration Model of Organizational Culture

Source:A Configuration Model of Organizational Culture

Source:A Configuration Model of Organizational Culture

Source:A Configuration Model of Organizational Culture

Source:A Configuration Model of Organizational Culture

Source:A Configuration Model of Organizational Culture

Source: A GENERIC THEORY OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

Source: A GENERIC THEORY OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

Source: Approaches for Organizational Learning: A Literature Review

Management Planning and Control Systems

Source: Performance management: a framework for management control systems research

Hierarchical Production Planning and Control

Source: A bibliography of Hierarchical Production Planning

Production Planning and Control Systems

Source: Google Images

Strategic, Tactical, and Operational Decisions

Source: Hierarchical Production Planning / Bitran/Tirupati/1989

My Related Posts

Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Recursive Vision of Gregory Bateson

Cybernetics, Autopoiesis, and Social Systems Theory

Autocatalysis, Autopoiesis and Relational Biology

Multilevel Approach to Research in Organizations

Second Order Cybernetics of Heinz Von Foerster

Feedback Thought in Economics and Finance

Third and Higher Order Cybernetics

Systems and Organizational Cybernetics

Hierarchical Planning: Integration of Strategy, Planning, Scheduling, and Execution

Hierarchy Theory in Biology, Ecology and Evolution

Jay W. Forrester and System Dynamics

Production and Distribution Planning : Strategic, Global, and Integrated

Key Sources of Research

Triple-loop learning : theoretical framework, methodology & illustration

(An example from the railway sector)

Guillaume BarbatPhilippe BoigeyIsabelle Jehan

Dans Projectics / Proyéctica / Projectique 2011/2-3 (n°8-9), pages 129 à 141

https://www.cairn.info/revue-projectique-2011-2-page-129.htm

What is Social Learning?

Author(s): Mark S. Reed, Anna C. Evely, Georgina Cundill, Ioan Fazey, Jayne Glass, Adele Laing, Jens Newig, Brad Parrish, Christina Prell, Chris Raymond and Lindsay C. Stringer

Source: Ecology and Society , Dec 2010, Vol. 15, No. 4 (Dec 2010) Published by: Resilience Alliance Inc.

Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/26268235

The learning organization and the level of consciousness 

Ricardo Chiva

http://repositori.uji.es/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10234/169412/54786.pdf?sequence=1

Policy learning and crisis policy-making: quadruple-loop learning and COVID-19 responses in South Korea

Sabinne Leea, Changho Hwangb and M. Jae Moonc

aAssociate Research Fellow, Korea Institute of Public Administration, Seoul, South Korea; 

bAssistant Professor, Dong-A University, Busan, South Korea; 

cCollege of Social Science, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea

POLICY AND SOCIETY
2020, VOL. 39, NO. 3, 363–381 https://doi.org/10.1080/14494035.2020.1785195

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14494035.2020.1785195

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14494035.2020.1785195

“A systemic approach to processes of power in learning organizations: Part I – literature, theory, and methodology of triple loop learning”,

Robert L. Flood, Norma R.A. Romm, (2018)

The Learning Organization, Vol. 25 Issue: 4, pp.260-272, https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-10-2017-0101
Permanent link to this document:
https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-10-2017-0101

“A systemic approach to processes of power in learning organizations: Part II – triple loop learning and a facilitative intervention in the “500 schools project””,

Robert L. Flood, Norma R.A. Romm, (2018)

The Learning Organization, https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-11-2017-0106
Permanent link to this document:
https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-11-2017-0106

A Mighty Step: Critical Systemic Interpretation of the Learning Organization

Robert Louis Flood and Hanne Finnestrand

The Oxford Handbook of the Learning Organization Edited by Anders Ragnar Örtenblad

Print Publication Date: Dec 2019
Subject: Business and Management, Organizational Theory and Behaviour
Online Publication Date: Jan 2020 DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198832355.013.11

Click to access A-Mighty-Step-Critical-Systemic-Interpretation-of-the-Learning-Organization.pdf

LEVELS OF LEARNING: HITHER AND WHITHER

“Guest editorial”,

Max Visser, Ricardo Chiva, Paul Tosey, (2018)

The Learning Organization, Vol. 25 Issue: 4, pp.218-223, https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-02-2018-0021
Permanent link to this document:
https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-02-2018-0021

http://repositori.uji.es/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10234/176446/60253.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Learning from the future meets Bateson’s levels of learning

Alexander Kaiser

Institute for Information Business, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria

The Learning Organization Vol. 25 No. 4, 2018 pp. 237-247

https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/TLO-06-2017-0065/full/html

The origins and conceptualizations of ‘triple-loop’ learning: A critical review

Paul Tosey, Max Visser and Mark NK Saunders

Management Learning 2012 43: 291

originally published online 2 December 2011 DOI: 10.1177/1350507611426239

The online version of this article can be found at:

http://mlq.sagepub.com/content/43/3/291

Click to access The-origins-and-conceptualizations-of-triple-loop-learning-A-critical-review.pdf

Why aren‟t we all working for Learning Organisations?

Professor John Seddon and Brendan O‟Donovan

e-ORGANISATIONS & PEOPLE, MAY 200910, VOL 17. NO 2

Click to access why-arent-we-all-working-for-learning-organisations.pdf

The Culture of Learning Organizations: Understanding Argyris’s Theory through a Socio- Cognitive Systems Learning Model

Laura Friesenborg

University of St. Thomas, Minnesota

Thesis PhD 2013

https://ir.stthomas.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1030&context=caps_ed_orgdev_docdiss

FROM ORGANISATIONAL LEARNING TO SOCIAL LEARNING: A TALE OF TWO ORGANISATIONS IN THE MURRAY-DARLING BASIN

Michael Mitchell, School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania

http://dx.doi.org/10.5172/rsj.2013.22.3.230

Rural Society · June 2013

Shifting from Unilateral Control to Mutual Learning

By Fred Kofman

The executive mind and double-loop learning

ChrisAgryris

Available online 6 February 2004.

Organizational Dynamics
Volume 11, Issue 2, Autumn 1982, Pages 5-22

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/009026168290002X

Problem-Solving as a Double-Loop Learning System 

by Jeff Dooley
© 1999 Adaptive Learning Design

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.35.44&rep=rep1&type=pdf

chris argyris: theories of action, double‐loop learning and organizational learning

Double Loop Learning in Organizations

Chris Argyris
Harvard Business Review
No. 77502

Harvard Business Review (September 1977)

Click to access Chris-Argyris-Double-Loop-Learning-in-Organisations.pdf

https://hbr.org/1977/09/double-loop-learning-in-organizations

Single-Loop and Double-Loop Models in Research on Decision Making

Author(s): Chris Argyris


Source: Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Sep., 1976), pp. 363-375 Published by: Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2391848

A Primer on Organizational Learning

By Olivier Serrat

ADB

Modes of Organizational Learning

by Soren Eilertsen, Ph.D., with Kellan London, M.A.

Click to access single_and_double_loop_learning.pdf

The origins and conceptualizations of ‘triple-loop’ learning: A critical review

July 2012

Management Learning 43(3):291-307
DOI:10.1177/1350507611426239

Paul Tosey
Max Visser
Mark NK Saunders

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258171998_The_origins_and_conceptualizations_of_%27triple-loop%27_learning_A_critical_review

https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-origins-and-conceptualizations-of-‘triple-loop’-Tosey-Visser/ea24da54380dc3cabdac74deb6cc57132a470c8a

TOOL | Single, Double and Triple Loop Learning

Good Communication That Blocks Learning

by Chris Argyris

Harvard Business Review 1994
Reprint 94401

Click to access Chris-Argyris-Good-Communication-that-Blocks-Learning.pdf

Double loop learning in organizations

By uncovering their own hidden theories of action, managers can detect and correct errors

Chris Argyris

Harvard Business Review September-October 1977

https://d1wqtxts1xzle7.cloudfront.net/33422921/08_Argyris_doublelooplearning.pdf?1396993260=u0026amp;response-content-disposition=inline%3B+filename%3DDouble_loop_learning_in_organizations.pdfu0026amp;Expires=1627165288u0026amp;Signature=GOY4COga2LJKGnc3XAB5ge8ybpWvBBmeO779XhTzktEKTrIQREbkh9V8apE6z2QMCT2vufBoTq1NSSHNDJj0GGXu66VeCS8D37cTi-onZECbPUF5wXZ7Oa2U5Ih54fN-muWcED9BKEmV4G0e7kF3kDeAWrCs0jX5zC63JnOOvAyRL0ZjCcDGeF2~7T7WeNSnNZBKFJZW49tXy~LjhoRil2s7HBZxYI-Fjjp~fylKpDgDRZnfouPkCSnLU1rpeQBQOgrPnb8qmF0Bl6APCc-edECHKgsDYYBiqViUQ4epMm1yZbCSeUlYV6ODDm1dzWbfarwnOtRBnGWozuUbTYwIYg__u0026amp;Key-Pair-Id=APKAJLOHF5GGSLRBV4ZA

Analyzing the loops and taking the steps on the journey toward a learning organization

Simon Reese

University of Maryland University College, Seoul, Korea

The Learning Organization Vol. 24 No. 3, 2017 pp. 194-197

DOI 10.1108/TLO-01-2017-0004

https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/TLO-01-2017-0004/full/pdf?title=analyzing-the-loops-and-taking-the-steps-on-the-journey-toward-a-learning-organization

N-loop learning: part II – an empirical investigation

Bernard L. Simonin 

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

May 2017

https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/TLO-12-2016-0100/full/html

N-loop learning: part I – of hedgehog, fox, dodo bird and sphinx

Bernard L. Simonin 

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Article publication date: 10 April 2017 

https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/TLO-12-2016-0099/full/html

Challenges of the levels of learning

Nataša Rupčić 

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Article publication date: 14 May 2018

https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/TLO-03-2018-0037/full/html

Deradicalization through Double-Loop Learning? How the Egyptian Gamaa Islamiya Renounced Violence

Carolin Goerzig

To cite this article: Carolin Goerzig (2019): Deradicalization through Double-Loop Learning? How the Egyptian Gamaa Islamiya Renounced Violence, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, DOI: 10.1080/1057610X.2019.1680193

To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/1057610X.2019.1680193

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/epub/10.1080/1057610X.2019.1680193?needAccess=true

Systems Thinkers

  • Magnus Ramage
  • Karen Shipp

2009

https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-1-84882-525-3?page=2#toc

Reframing Conflict: Intercultural Conflict as Potential Transformation

Beth Fisher-Yoshida

Journal of Intercultural Communication No.8, 2005

Developing the Leader’s Strategic Mindset: Establishing the Measures

John Pisapia, Daniel Reyes-Guerra, and Eleni Coukos-Semmel,

Kravis Leadership Institute, Leadership Review, Spring 2005, Vol. 5, pp. 41-68

What is Social Learning?

DOI:10.5751/ES-03564-1504r01

Authors:

Mark S. Reed

Anna Clair Evely

Georgina Cundill

Ioan Fazey

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259638979_What_is_Social_Learning

The social learning discourse: Trends, themes and interdisciplinary influences in current research.

Environmental Science and Policy, 25, 157-166.

Strategic Learning

MICHAEL L. BARNETT

University of Oxford
Saïd Business School, Room 30.015 Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
United Kingdom +44(0)1865 288844 michael.barnett@sbs.ox.ac.uk

The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management

David Teece and Mie Augier (eds.)

The Overview on Evolution of Learning Organization Theories

Sara. Ghaffari,1 Dr. Ishak. Mad Shah,2, and Jeveria Fazal3

Universiti Tecknologi Malaysia

Ishak@utm.my Saragh7@yahoo.com, Javb107@yahoo.com

Modes of Knowing and Modes of Coming to Know Knowledge Creation and Co-Construction as Socio-Epistemological Engineering in Educational Processes

Markus F. Peschl

Constructivist Foundations

Volume 1 · Number 3 · Pages 111–123

Constructivist Foundations 1(3): 111–123.

http://constructivist.info/1/3/111

https://constructivist.info/1/3/111.peschl

Triple-loop learning as foundation for profound change, individual cultivation, and radical innovation: Construction processes beyond scientific and rational knowledge.

Peschl M. F. (2007)

Constructivist Foundations 2(2-3): 136–145.

http://constructivist.info/2/2-3/136

A Configuration Model of Organizational Culture **

Daniel Dauber1, Gerhard Fink2, and Maurice Yolles

SAGE Open 1–16
2012
DOI: 10.1177/2158244012441482

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2158244012441482

Exploring adaptability through learning layers and learning loops

Löf, Annette 

Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.

DOI:10.1080/13504622.2010.505429

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/241715151_Exploring_adaptability_through_learning_layers_and_learning_loops

Kolb’s Model of Experiential Learning: A framework for Collaboration

Dr. Michael Manning

CAAHE Academics Conference October, 2011
Austin, TX

Click to access KolbsModelofExperientialLearning.pdf

A GENERIC THEORY OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

Daniel Dauber, WU -Vienna University of Economics and Business (daniel.dauber@wu.ac.at)

Gerhard Fink, WU -Vienna University of Economics and Business (gerhard.fink@wu.ac.at)

Maurice Yolles, Centre for the Creation of Coherent Change & Knowledge (C4K) (m.yolles@ljmu.ac.uk)

Cross-disciplinary collaboration and learning. 

Pennington, D. D. 2008.

Ecology and Society 13(2): 8. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol13/iss2/art8/

Barriers to organizational learning: An integration of theory and research

Jan Schilling1 and Annette Kluge

International Journal of Management Reviews (2009)

doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2370.2008.00242.x

Organizational learning in complex world

Agnieszka Dziubińska

Faculty of Management, University of Economics in Katowice, POLAND, Katowice, 1 Maja street 50,
E-mail: agnieszka.dziubińska@ue.katowice.pl

Click to access 87-246-249.pdf

Coming to a New Awareness of Organizational Culture ,

Schein, Edgar H., 

Sloan Management Review, 25:2 (1984:Winter) p.3

https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/coming-to-a-new-awareness-of-organizational-culture/

The Real Relationship Between Organizational Culture and Organizational Learning

Fumie ANDO

School of Business Administration, Nanzan University

E-mail:fumiea@nanzan-u.ac.jp

Annals of Business Administrative Science Vol.1, No.2 (July 2002)

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/abas/1/2/1_25/_pdf

A Review of the Concept of Organisational Learning

By Catherine L Wang & Pervaiz K Ahmed

Working Paper Series 2002 Number WP004/02

ISSN Number ISSN 1363-6839

Catherine L Wang

Research Assistant
University of Wolverhampton, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1902 321651
Email: C.Wang@wlv.ac.uk

Professor Pervaiz K Ahmed

Chair in Management
University of Wolverhampton, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1902 323921
Email: pkahmed@wlv.ac.uk

Double-Loop Learning, Teaching, and Research

DOI:10.5465/AMLE.2002.8509400

Chris Argyris

Performance management: a framework for management control systems research

David Otley􏰆

Management Accounting Research, 1999, 10, 363􏰀382

Article No. mare.1999.0115

Management Control Systems: A Historical Perspective

  • January 2010

Jordi Carenys

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/293221830_Management_Control_Systems_A_Historical_Perspective

MANAGEMENT CONTROL SYSTEMS: A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

Peter Lorange

Michael S. Scott Morton

1974 MIT

Double-loop learning

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-loop_learning

Approaches for Organizational Learning: A Literature Review **

Dirk BastenThilo Haamann

First Published August 12, 2018 

https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244018794224

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2158244018794224

A bibliography of Hierarchical Production Planning

Click to access A_BIBLIOGRAPHY.PDF

HIERARCHIES

IN PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL: A SURVEY

Camille M. Libosvar

Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems 

January 7. 1988

LIDS-P-1734

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge. Massachusetts

HIERARCHICAL PRODUCTION PLANNING SYSTEMS

by
ARNOLDO C. MAX
and JONATHAN J . GOLOVIN


August 1977

Technical Report No. 135
Work Performed Under
Contract N00014—75—C—0556, Office of Naval Research
Multilevel Logistics Organization Models
NR 347—027
M.I.T. OSP 82491
Operations Research Center
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
cambridge , Massachusetts 02139

“Hierarchical Production Planning”

Gabriel R. Bitran*t Devanath Tirupati**

MIT Sloan School Working Paper #3017-89-MS

May 1989

*Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 02139

**Department of Management, The University of Texas at Austin

tThis research has been partially supported by the Leaders for Manufacturing Program.

https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Hierarchical-production-planning-Bitran-Tirupati/ca83a1bab3540162c2b19f19d3d08a99a18c0165

HIERARCHICAL INTEGRATION OF PRODUCTION PLANNING AND SCHEDULING

by
Arnoldo C. Hax and Harlan C. Meal

May 1973

656-73

Hierarchical Production Planning: A Single Stage System

Gabriel R. Bitran, Elizabeth A. Haas and Arnoldo C. Hax

Operations Research
Vol. 29, No. 4, Operations Management (Jul. – Aug., 1981), pp. 717-743 (27 pages)
Published By: INFORMS
Operations Research
https://www.jstor.org/stable/170387

Hierarchical planning systems — a production application

Hax A.C., Bitran G.R. (1979)

In: Ritzman L.P., Krajewski L.J., Berry W.L., Goodman S.H., Hardy S.T., Vitt L.D. (eds) Disaggregation. Springer, Dordrecht.

https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-015-7636-9_5

  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • Print ISBN 978-94-015-7638-3
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-7636-9

Hierarchical Production Planning: A Two Stage System

DOI:10.1287/opre.30.2.232

Gabriel R. Bitran

Elizabeth A. Haas

Arnoldo C. Hax

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235064925_Hierarchical_Production_Planning_A_Two_Stage_System

Analytical Evaluation of Hierarchical Planning Systems

M. A. H. DEMPSTER

Balliol College, Oxford, England

M. L. FISHER

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

L. JANSEN, 8. J. LAGEWEG, J. K. LENSTRA Mathematisch Centrum, AmsterdamThe Netherlands

A. H. G. RINNOOY KAN

Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

(Received December 1979; accepted March 1981)

Click to access RR-84-04.pdf

Deutero-Learning in Organizations: A Review and a Reformulation

DOI:10.5465/AMR.2007.24351883

Max Visser

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228975720_Deutero-Learning_in_Organizations_A_Review_and_a_Reformulation

https://repository.ubn.ru.nl/bitstream/handle/2066/19481/19481.pdf?sequence=1

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Victor Turner’s Postmodern Theory of Social Drama

Victor Turner’s Postmodern Theory of Social Drama

Although it might be argued that the social drama is a story in [Hayden] White’s sense, in that it has discernible inaugural, transitional, and terminal motifs, that is, a beginning, a middle, and an end, my observations convince me that it is, indeed, a spontaneous unit of social process and a fact of everyone’s experience in every human society. My hypothesis, based on repeated observations of such processual units in a range of sociocultural systems and in my reading in ethnography and history, is that social dramas, “dramas of living,” as Kenneth Burke calls them, can be aptly studied as having four phases. These I label breach, crisis, redress, and either reintegration or recognition of schism. Social dramas occur within groups of persons who share values and interests and who have a real or alleged common history. The main actors are persons for whom the group has a high value priority. Most of us have what I call our “star” group or groups to which we owe our deepest loyalty and whose fate is for us of the greatest personal concern. It is the one with which a person identifies most deeply and in which he finds fulfillment of his major social and personal desires. We are all members of many groups, formal or informal, from the family to the nation or some international religion or political institution. Each person makes his/her own subjective evaluation of the group’s respective worth: some are “dear” to one, others it is one’s “duty to defend,” and so on. Some tragic situations arise from conflicts of loyalty to different star groups.

Victor Turner is professor of anthropology and a member of the Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Virginia. His many publications include Schism and Continuity in an African Society, The Forest of Symbols, The Ritual Process, and, with Edith Turner, Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture

Social Dramas and Stories about Them
Victor Turner
Critical Inquiry 7 (1):141-168 (1980)

Key terms

  • Social Drama
  • Frames
  • Victor W Turner
  • David M Boje
  • Liminality
  • Meta theater
  • Meta Commentary
  • Conflict
  • Fragmentation
  • Spectcle
  • Carnival
  • Communitas
  • Anti structure
  • Mela
  • Tamasha
  • Circus
  • Khel
  • Natak
  • Nautanki
  • Leela
  • Communication
  • Reflexivity
  • Social Reflexivity
  • Public Reflexivity
  • Cybernetics
  • Higher Order Cybernetics
  • Processual
  • Performance processes
  • Interpretative Anthropology
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Clifford Geertz

Below, I am reposting an article by David Boje on Victor Turner’s theory of social drama.

Victor Turner’s Postmodern Theory of Social Drama:

Implications for Organization Studies

David M. Boje, Ph.D., New Mexico State University

August 1, 2003

Abstract

I review Victor Turner’s more postmodern moves, such as process, indeterminacy, liminality, fragmentation, and metatheatre. 

The contribution to organization theory of studying Turner’s social drama is in developing a postmodern theatrics that is more processual and dynamitic than dramaturgical theories advanced by Burke and Goffman. Turner acknowledges the influence of Burke and Goffman in his postmodern theatre concepts, but moves off to explore the indeterminacy, liminality, and fragmentation aspects (defined below).  This postmodern dramaturgy allows us to explore how patterns emerged in the seeming chaos of successive situations. 

Theatre Theory

Most reviews of theatre theory focus on contrasts of Burke and Goffman (Boje, Luhman, Cunliffe, 2003; Gusfield, 1989; K’rreman, 2001; Oswick, Keenoy & Grant, 2001), while hardly mentioning Victor Turner’s work (1969; 1974, 1982a, 1982b, 1985). Goffman (1959, 1974) is often criticized, in these reviews, for using theatre as metaphor and for being less sociological than Burke. Burke (1937, 1945, 1972), by contrast, is said to view theatre as part of everyday life and extend literary criticism to politics and sociology.  Goffman is also criticized for engaging in “sociological reductionism” and for not being “particularly dramaturgical at all” (K’rreman, 2001: 96, 107).  

 Turner acknowledges roots to Burke (Turner, 1982a) and to Goffman (Turner, 1985: 181). Burke and Goffman have been applied to organization and public administration studies. Within organization studies, there is a growing body of research taking Goffman seriously. His approach fits neatly with Mintzberg’s (1973) managerial roles and more recent studies of charismatic leadership behavior as dramaturgic (Gardner & Alvolio, 1998; Harvey, 2001), emotional improvisation (Morgan & Krone, 2001) where the leader is the spokesperson and dramatist of organizational life.  Work by Czarniawska-Joerges (1997), Mangham (1990),  Mangham  and Overington (1987), and Rosen (1985, 1987) also seeks to apply tools and devices from theatre to organizational realities and the dramaturgical perspective has become quite central to charismatic leadership studies (Conger, 1991; Gardner & Alvolio, 1998; Harvey, 2001; Howell & Frost, 1989; Jones & Pittman, 1982). 

Theatre for Burke is not a metaphor used in some areas of organizational or social life; human action is dramatic (Gusfield, 1989; p. 36; K’rreman, 2001, p. 106).  As Maital (1999) puts it, “organizing is not like theatre — it is theatre” (as cited in Oswick, Keenoy & Grant, 2001, p. 219). Burke’s dramatistic pentad has been used widely to analyze organizations as theatres of action (Czarniawska-Joerges & Wolff, 1991; Mangham & Overington, 1987; Pine & Gilmour, 1999). Pine and Gilmour (1999) use Burke’s dramatism to assert work is theatre and every business is a stage. Czarniawska (1997) explores how the identities of organizational actors are constituted theatrically through role-playing and image construction.  

We see this critical postmodern integration in the writings of Guy Debord (1967) on “spectacle,” Mikhail Bakhtin (1984) on “carnivalesque,” and Augusto Boal (1972, 1992, 1995) on Theatre of the Oppressed.  

Social drama, says Turner, is defined as aharmonic or disharmonic social process, arising in conflict situations (1974: 37; 1985: 180).   Social drama is defined by Turner (1985: 196), as an eruption from the level surface of ongoing social life, with its interactions, transactions, reciprocities, its customs making for regular, orderly sequences of behavior. Turner’s social drama theory has four phases of public action:

  1. Breach of norm-governed social relations that have liminal characteristics, a liminal between more or less stable social processes;
  2. Crisis, during which there is a tendency for the breach to widen and in public forums, representatives of order are dared to grapple with it;
  3. Redressive action, ranging from personal advice and informal mediation or arbitration to formal juridical and legal machinery, and to resolve certain kinds of crisis or legitimate other modes of resolution, to the performance of public ritual. 
  4. Reintegration of the disturbed social group, or of the social recognition and legitimation of irreparable schism between the contesting parties. 

There is a sequence of processual acts and scenes across the four phases of social drama, with dynamic shifts in scripts, characterizations, rhetoric, and symbolism. The processes were more dynamic, rapid, and forceful during the crisis, and now there is a lull in the action.  There are six key concepts which we can use to explore the dialectic of spectacle and carnival, as well as reactionary counter-carnival theatrics. 

Conflict  Conflict situations between patriotic nationalism and the peaceniks make us aware of the beaches in the societal fabric. Conflict seems to bring fundamental aspects of society, normally overlaid by the customs and habits of daily intercourse, into frightening prominence (Turner, 1974).  People are divided, taking sides, using theatre to dramatize their differences.  In the weeks leading up to the war, and during the war, a cleavage occurs between antagonistic groups. At the same time in crisis, there is the flash of imaginative fire, an inspirational force to be harnessed. The conflict escalates locally, as a reflections of the globally conflict in the Middle East. Some crises spread, and more and more people turn out for vigils, marches, parades, rallies, and teach-ins. For Turner, public crisis has a liminal quality, betwixt and between, more or less stable phases of the social process. Antagonists dare and taunt each other, to deal with liminal forces. For example, the majority accept U.S. occupation of Iraq, even though no weapons of mass destruction were found. On May 30th, members of the administration disclosed that there never had been proof of WMD, but saying they were there, served as a way to rally the nation to go to war.

Within the spectacles and carnivals there are factions.  There were a series of social dramas in the U.S. that weakened the solidarity of the peace movement. Acts of repression under the U.S.A. PATRIOT act and Homeland Security were used to make peace people fearful of being blacklisted.  They have a chilling effect on free speech. We resist being reintegrated back into that social fabric of the status quo; communitas is broken, and our freedoms are curtailed.

Performance Processes  A society is defined by Turner (1985: 44, Paraphrasing) as a set of interactive processes that are punctuated by situations of conflict, with intervals between them.  Turner’s theatrical approach, being processual and dynamic, is more appropriate than Burke or Goffman’s to explore the rise and fall of social movements. In his 1985 book, (On the Edge of the Bush: Anthropology as Experience), Turner develops a postmodern treatment of social drama. He explores the contingent, ad hoc, and emergent character of the phases of social drama (breach, crisis, redress, & reintegration), focusing on how conflicts run their course. The situations interact over time. One set of interactions influence the premises for the next (Turner, 1985: 48).  During periods of intense global conflict, such as the outbreak of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, we became a dense network of social organizing. During the week leading up to March 19th war in Iraq, we had events, such as rallies, teach-ins, retreats, marches, and vigils happening daily.  We joined the millions of people who tried to persuade the administration not to go to war. Once war happened we persisted with our vigils and marches, trying to bring a swift end to the conflict.  After the administration declared an end to the war (though the fighting continued), our numbers dropped off, and many people reintegrated into more normal patterns of social life. 

As the antagonist to disputation play out the conflict phases of social drama, there is resistance to acts of suppression and repression (Turner, 1985: 44).  Contentious issues are kept in abeyance in ritual situations, but can surface again in public situations; some political situations threaten to turn violent, both in their protest and in their repression.  Solidarity of a nation at war, for example, has a chilling effect on political rivalry, so as not to threaten the safety of troops deployed in battle theatres.  The unresolved conflicts and rivalries carry over into subsequent ritual situations in ways that affect behavioral patterns. In this way as Pondy observed, conflict events are interdependent over time. 

The performance events interact such that situations develop spontaneously out of quarrels with domestic and foreign policy which rapidly acquire formalized or structural character (Turner, 1985: 45). For example, contending factions draw apart, consolidate their ranks, and develop spokesmen who represent their cases in terms of a rhetoric that is culturally standardized (p. 45). 

Liminality  Key to Turner is the ‘betwixt and between’ features that have liminal qualities (Turner, 1985: 113). Liminality is defined by Turner (1974: 52), as being ‘between successive participations in social milieu.’ There is a grander ‘liminal transition’ in the peace movement, and seemingly no way to stop the growth of fascism that embeds American governance (Turner, 1974: 47).  There is liminality in the transition from the conceptual system of democracy to another one, we in the movement call, fascism (Turner, 1974: 51). There is also liminal decay, a reluctant reincorporation into the charade and facade of polite society, into more stable social processes.  The reentry is accompanied by rituals of humiliation for the peace movement heroes, such as Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, Gore Vidal, Howard Zinn, and Noam Chomsky. For example, status degradation and social leveling are indicated by the distribution of playing cards depicting peace heroes as traitors, and most wanted. The tricksters have won the symbolism wars, and liminality is existentially untenable to those of us hanging in with the peace movement. 

Each situation in the peace movement affects the premises of the next one.  There is am emergent pattern to the inter-situational events. The successive events have liminal spaces between them.  Liminal space is Turner’s concept of what is betwixt and between situated events.  In the liminality between situations, a leader is without a situation to rally around.  For example, as the Iraq invasion drew nearer, the number of local organizing events that I lead and facilitated was denser, and in the final weeks, there was an event every day.  Now that the invasion has morphed into an occupation, local events are few and far between.  This liminal space is a time for mourning our failure to get our President to stop the war; it is a time for rest and reflection, a time to plan for the next situation. For a few weeks in late April and early May, it looked like Syria would be the next campaign. But, that has subsided. The 2004 election is a bit far off to worry about. 

I am neither what I have been nor what I will become. Similarly, peace consciousness is a liminal space, not yet what it will be. The peace movement refuses reintegration until the social order transforms to something more non-violent than what it is.

Summer vacations, the exodus of students from a university town, also decreased our numbers. Our rebellion is low-key, smoldering factionalism divides us. Members of PeaceAware slip back into anonymity of daily routine. Only a few die-hards persist with vigils or demonstrations outside Congressman Peace’s events. 

Indeterminacy  Indeterminacy is always present in the background of any ritualized performance, ready to intrude. Spectacles, even with expert choreography, scripting, and stage handling, fail to contain the embedded chaos. For example, the search for weapons of mass destruction slips into a sea of indeterminacy along with the war on terror. Each emplotment unravels.  The exact meaning of a speaker’s utterance or performance is a contextualized exchange in which meaning is often indeterminate. Various stakeholders will apprehend different views of the performance. Aristotle’s poetic elements of theatre are in constant flux, with ever-shifting indeterminate plots, characters, themes, dialogs, rhythms, and spectacles. All the president’s men cannot bind chaos with the most advanced theatrics. The spectacle is always self-deconstructing.  Yet, chaos can be used to confuse. There is a sequence of rhetoric switching in the justification and legitimation for war. 

The rhetorical and speech styles have shifted since the war was a way to find weapons of mass destruction hidden from the UN inspectors, to war being way to protect the troops, to a way to support the president. On 30 May 2003, Paul Wolfowitz told Vanity Fair, they the administration did not believe there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; officials thought it was best way to get officials to go to war.[1] “For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on,” says Wolfowitz. It was also a way to get the public on board. In this sense, the spectators cannot determine the cause for the war, and now that war is declared officially over, the original premises no loner matter. 

Spectacle cannot fix the fluidity of context, nor bind the shifting context from infecting performance processes.  The situational adjustments of President Bush’s handlers, betrays the flux and fluidity, and indeterminacy of everyday life. This indeterminacy, says Turner (1985: 185), ‘is towards postmodern ways of thinking’ about social life. 

Fragmentation – Fragmentation is definable as a persistent dialectical ‘opposition of processes’ with many ‘levels of processes’ (Turner, 1985: 185). Postmodern theory spotlights moments when fragmentation takes center stage, revealing how social reality invades spectacle during moments of conflict.  Spectacle role-playing is not able to cover the breakdowns between official perspectives and countless counter stories revealing fragmentation.  For Turner ‘the truly ‘spontaneous’ unit of human social performance is not role-playing sequence in an institutionalized or ‘corporate group’ context; it is the social drama which results precisely form the suspension of normative role-playing, and in its passionate activity abolishes the usual distinction between flow and reflection, since in the social drama it becomes a matter of urgency to become reflexive about the cause and motive of action damaging to the social fabric (Turner, 1985: 196). 

There are moments in institutionalized spectacle, where the social drama of conflict emerges, and Bush engages in reflection. In such moments the fragmentarity of the social fabric becomes temporarily visible, ‘as factors giving meaning to deeds that may seem at first sight meaningless’ (p. 196). These are moments of reflection when we can see an irreparable schism between war and peace factions.

The more the Bush handlers defragment, the more Bush’s performance processes reveal oppositions and layers. The thespian nature of his performance unmasks itself, resulting in a media that begins to reflect upon the fragmentation covered over by performance controls. The president is detected as a performing actor. 

Metatheatre – Turner (1985: 181) invents the term ‘meta-theater.’ Where for Burke and Goffman, all the world is a theatre stage, for Turner, ‘meta-theatre’ is the communication about the communication process, spectators and actors reflect upon how the actors do what they do on stage, ‘the ability to communicate about the communication process itself’ (p. 181). In contrasting his own dramaturgy work with Goffman’s, Turner (1985; 181) says that for him ‘dramaturgical analysis begins when crises arise in the daily flow of social interaction.’   Turner continues, ‘Thus, if daily living is a kind of theater, social drama is a kind of meta-theater, that is, a dramaturgical language about the language of ordinary role-playing and status-maintenance which constitutes communication in the quotidian social process’ (p. 181). Metatheatre then is for Turner, reflexivity by everyday actors about the communication system, where they consciously show spectators what they are doing. Turner studies reflexivity in crisis phase of social interaction, but also within the redressive phase.  Turner theorizes four phases, breech, crisis, redressive action, and reintegration in what he calls ‘social drama.’

Metacommentary, is a term Turner, 1982a: 104) borrows from Geertz, ‘a story a group tells itself about itself’ or ‘a play a society acts about itself.’  Metatheatre then builds upon the idea of metacommentary, ‘an interpretive reenactment of its experience’ (Turner, 1982a: 104). In the positive, metatheatre reenacts conflicts, giving them contextualization, so that with metacommentary, facets are illuminated and accessible for remedial action. Through multiple reflections, spectators are able to provoke transformations in everyday life.  On the negative side, the metatheatre distorts event and context in ways that provoke conformity. For example, our weekly street theatre is a metacommentary on global, national, and local conflicts, a time for reflection and reflexivity. Our signs are commentary, and we resist conformity. We are opposed by metacommentary of our critics, what see our acts as traitorous, seditious, and rebellious. Both sides use drama to provoke and persuade.

Metatheatre is about the dialectic process of framing through theatre, in ways that appeal to the frame of mind of the spectator; resistance is about bringing counter-frames to bear on dominant frames.

In the next section I apply Turner’s constructs of conflict, performance processes, liminality, indeterminacy, fragmentation, and metatheatre to that antagonism of the war and peace movements. 

References

Aristotle (written 350BCE). Citing in the (1954) translation Aristotle: Rhetoric and poetics. Introduction by F. Solmsen, Rhetoric. (W Rhys Roberts, Tran.); Poetics (I. Bywater, Tran.).  New York, NY: The Modern Library (Random House).  Poetics was written 350 BCE. Custom is to cite part and verse (i.e. Aristotle, 1450: 5, p. 23) refers to part 1450, verse 5, on p. 23 of the Solmsen (1954) book.  There is also an on line version translated by S. H. Butcher http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/poetics.html or http://eserver.org/philosophy/aristotle/poetics.txt

Bakhtin, M. (1981). The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays (Caryl Emerson, Michael Holquist, Trans.). Austin: University of Texas Press.

Bakhtin, Mikhail M.  (1973). Rabelais and His World. Translated by H’ l’ ne Iswolsky. 1st ed. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Best, Steve & Douglas Kellner (1991) Postmodern Theory. NY: Guilford Press.

Best, Steve & Douglas Kellner (1997) Postmodern Turn. NY: Guilford Press.

Best, Steve & Douglas Kellner (2001) Postmodern Adventure. NY: Guilford Press.

Boal, A. (1992). Games for actors and non-actors. (A. Jackson, Trans). A conflation of two books, Stop C’est Magique (Paris: Hachette, 1980) and  Jeuz pour acteurs et non-acteurs (Paris: La D’couverte, 1989) with additions by Boal. London, UK: Routledge.  

Boje, David M. (2001). Carnivalesque resistance to global spectacle: A critical postmodern theory of public administration, Administrative Theory & Praxis, 23(3): 431-458.

Boje, David M. (2003). Theatres of Capitalism. NJ: Hampton Press. In press. 

Boje, David M.  John T. Luhman, & Ann L. Cunliffe (2003). A Dialectic Perspective on the Organization Theatre Metaphor American Communication Journal. Volume 6 (2): 1-16.

Bumiller, Elisabeth (2003). Keepers of Bush Image Lift Stagecraft to New Heights.  The New York Times. 16 May, accessed on the web May 31 2003 at http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/16/politics/16IMAG.html

Burke, K. (1937). Attitudes toward history. Las Altos, CA: Hermes Publications. 

Burke, K. (1945). A grammar of motives. Berkeley: University of California Press.  

Burke, K. (1972). Dramatism and development. Barre, MA: Clark University Press with Barre Publishers.  

Carr, Adrian (1996) Putative Problematic Agency in a Postmodern World: Is It Implicit in the Text–Can It Be Explicit in Organization Analysis? Vol 18 (1): 79-.

Debord Guy (1967). Society of the Spectacle. La Soci’t’ du Spectacle was first published in 1967 by Editions, Buchet-Chastel (Paris); it was reprinted in 1971 by Champ Libre (Paris). The full text is available in English at http://www.nothingness.org/SI/debord/index.html It is customary to refer to paragraph numbers in citing this work. 

Fox, Charles J. and Miller Hugh T. (1996) Modern/Postmodern Public Administration: A Discourse About What is Real. Vol 18 (1): 41-.  

Fox, Charles J. and High T. Miller. (1995a). Postmodern Public Administration: A short treatise on self-referential epihenomena. Administrative Theory & Praxis 15(2): 52-70. 

Fox, Charles J. and High T. Miller. (1995b). Postmodern Public Administration: Toward Discourse. Thousand Oaks :Sage Publications, Inc.

Goffman, E. (1959). The presentation of self in everyday life. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books. 

Goffman, E. (1974). Frame analysis. New York, NY: Harper Books. 

Gusfield, J. R. (1989). The bridge over separated lands: Kenneth Burke’s significance for the study of social action.  In H. Simmons & T. Melia (Eds.), The legacy of Kenneth Burke, pp. 28-54. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press. 

Hoffman, Leslie (2003). Bush Brings Tax Cut Message To Bernalillo. The Associated Press, May 12. Accessed May 31st at http://www.abqjournal.com/news/apbush05-12-03.htm

K’rreman, D. (2001). The Scripted Organization: Dramaturgy from Burke to Baudrillard. Pp. 95-111 In R. Westwood and S. Linstead (Eds.) The language of organization.  London: Sage Publications.

Kristeva, Julia (1980a) Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art. Edited by L’on Roudiez. Translated by Alice Jardine, Thomas Gora and L’on Roudiez. New York, Columbia University Press, London, Basil Blackwell

Kristeva, Julia (1980b) “Word, Dialogue, and Novel.” Desire and Language. Ed. Leon S. Roudiez. Trans. Thomas Gora et al. New York: Columbia UP, pp. 64-91.

Kristeva, Julia (1986).  Word, dialogue, and the novel.    In T. Moi (Ed.), The Kristeva reader.    (pp. 35-61).   New York: Columbia University Press.

Oswick, C., Keenoy, T. & Grant, D. (2001). Dramatizing and organizing: Acting and being. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 14 (3), 218-224. 

Saunders, Doug (2003). White House insider cleans up Bush’s image on film. Globe and Mail. May 28th. On line at http://www.globeandmail.ca/servlet/story/RTGAM.20030528.ufilm0528/BNStory/International/

Swartz, Marc J., Victor W. Turner, & Arthur Tuden (1966) Political Anthropology. Chicago, IL: Aldine Publishing Company. 

Turner, Victor (1967) Carnival, Ritual, and play in Rio de Janeiro. pp. 74- 92. In Alessandro Falassi (Ed.) Time Out of Time: Essays on the Festival. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.

Turner, Victor (1974). Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society. Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press. 

Turner, Victor (1982a). From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play. NY: PAJ Publications (Division of Performing Arts Journal, Inc.). 

Turner, Victor (1982b, Editor). Celebration: Studies in Festivity and Ritual. Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Turner, Victor (1985). On the Edge of the Bush: Anthropology as Experience. Edith L. B. Turner (Ed). Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press. 

Zanetti, Lisa A. (1997) Advancing praxis: Connecting critical theory with practice in public administration. 27(2): 145-167.

Zanetti, Lisa A. and Carr, Adrian (1999) Exaggerating the Dialectic: Postmodernism’s ‘New Individualism’ and the Detrimental Effects on Citizenship.  AT&P Vol 21 (2) 205-.

Zanetti, Lisa A. & Carr, Adrian (1997). Putting critical theory to work: Giving the public administrator the critical edge. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 19(2): 208-224

My Related Posts

Erving Goffman: Dramaturgy of Social Life

Kenneth Burke and Dramatism

Dialogs and Dialectics

Narrative, Rhetoric and Possible Worlds

Networks, Narratives, and Interaction

The Social Significance of Drama and Narrative Arts

Drama Therapy: Self in Performance

Drama Theory: Acting Strategically

Drama Theory: Choices, Conflicts and Dilemmas

Third and Higher Order Cybernetics

Narrative Psychology: Language, Meaning, and Self

Psychology of Happiness: Value of Storytelling and Narrative Plays

Paradoxes, Contradictions, and Dialectics in Organizations

Key Sources of Research

Victor Turner’s Postmodern Theory of Social Drama:

Implications for Organization Studies

David M. Boje, Ph.D., New Mexico State University

August 1, 2003

https://business.nmsu.edu/~dboje/theatrics/7/victor_turner.htm

‘Themes in the Symbolism of Ndemdu Hunting Ritual, 

Turner, Victor (1962)

Anthropological Quarterly 35, pp. 37-57 reprinted in Myth and Cosmos: Readings in Methodology and Symbolism, edited by John Middleton, 1967, New York: Natural History Press, pp. 249-69.

“Betwixt and Between: The Liminal Period in Rites de Passage.” 

Turner, V.W. (1967)

The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual pp. 93-111. Ithaca: Cornell UP.

The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure 

Turner, V.W. (1969) 

London: Routledge & Kegan Paul

Dramas, Fields and Metaphors 

Turner, V.W. (1974) 

Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press

The Anthropology of Performance 

Turner, V.W. (1988) 

New York: PAJ Publications.

From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play

by Victor Turner

Social Dramas and Stories about Them

Victor Turner

Critical Inquiry 7 (1):141-168 (1980)

Frame, Flow and Reflection: Ritual and Drama as Public Liminality

Victor Turner

Japanese Journal of Religious Studies Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec., 1979),

pp. 465-499 (35 pages) 

Published By: Nanzan University 

https://www.jstor.org/stable/30233219

“Symbols in African Ritual,” 

Victor Turner

Science March 16, 1972, vol. 179, 1100-05.

http://thury.org/Myth/Turner2.html

Performing Ethnography

Victor Turner; Edith Turner

The Drama Review: TDR, Vol. 26, No. 2, Intercultural Performance. (Summer, 1982), pp. 33-50. Stable URL:

http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0012-5962%28198222%2926%3A2%3C33%3APE%3E2.0.CO%3B2-C

Victor Turner

https://lindseypullum.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/victor-turner/

Victor Witter Turner

https://www.encyclopedia.com/people/social-sciences-and-law/sociology-biographies/victor-witter-turner

The Drama of Social Life 

A Dramaturgical Handbook

Edited By Charles Edgley

Edition 1st Edition

First Published 2013

DOI https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315615691 

https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/edit/10.4324/9781315615691/drama-social-life-charles-edgley?refId=08738592-4e3e-4260-a624-c2b9edd005f0

Notes towards an Anthropology of Political Revolutions

BJØRN THOMASSEN

Society and Globalization, Roskilde University

Comparative Studies in Society and History 2012;54(3):679–706.
0010-4175/12

# Society for the Comparative Study of Society and History 2012

doi:10.1017/S0010417512000278

Variations on a theme of Liminality

Victor Turner

chapter in a book Secular Ritual

The Ritual Process

Structure and Anti-Structure

VICTOR TURNER

Acting in Everyday life, Life in Everyday Acting

Click to access Turner.pdf

Maha Vakyas: Great Aphorisms in Vedanta

Maha Vakyas: Great Aphorisms in Vedanta

 

I have always been fascinated by terse short aphorisms of Non dual Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism.

It took me several years to understand meaning of each based on my understanding of several scientific concepts

  • Recursion or Recursiveness
  • Fractal Geometry
  • Cybernetics and Systems Theory
  • Subject Object split to Subject Subject
  • There is no objective reality
  • Part and Whole Relationship
  • Microcosm and Macrocosm
  • Pinde and Brahmande
  • Interconnectedness of all
  • Hierarchy Theory
  • Networks Theory

 

 

Key Words

  • Non Dual Vedanta
  • Dualistic Vedanta
  • Advaita Vedanta
  • Brahman
  • Atman
  • Brahman and Maya
  • Real and Apparant
  • Jivatma and Paramatma
  • Sankhya
  • Yoga
  • Buddhism
  • Tantra

 

 

http://lb.geek.rs.ba/oldstuff/swamij-mirror/mahavakyas.htm

Mahavakyas: The Great Contemplations

Contemplation on the Mahavakyas
gradually reveals their truth
in direct experience.

Introduction

The Great Utterances: The Mahavakyas are the Great Sentences of Advaita Vedanta and Jnana Yoga, and are contained in the Upanishads. Maha is Great, and Vakyas are sentences, or utterances for contemplation. They provide perspective and insights that tie the texts together in a cohesive whole. The contemplations on the Mahavakyas also blend well with the practices of yoga meditation, prayer, and mantra, which are companion practices in Yoga. The pinnacle of the wisdom and practices of the ancient sages is contained in the terse twelve verses of theMandukya Upanishad, which outlines the philosophy and practices of the OM mantra.

See also these articles:
Song of the Self (Atma Shatkam)
Mandukya Upanishad

These make the wisdom more accessible: Seven Mahavakyas are described below. By focusing on these seven Mahavakyas, the rest of the principles of self-exploration described in Vedanta and the Upanishads are more easily accessible. Included with the descriptions below are suggestions on what to do with these seven Mahavakyas.

Validation in the inner laboratory: To truly understand the meaning of the Mahavakyas it is necessary to practice contemplation and meditation in your own inner laboratory of stillness and silence. It means doing a lot of self observation, including the four functions of mind. You may find it useful to learn both the Sanskrit and the English of the Mahavakyas. They are not practiced as blind faith beliefs, but rather are reflected on, so that their meaning is validated in direct experience.

Start by hearing the insights described: Some methods of contemplation give you a principle, a word, on which to reflect, but give no clues of the insights that will come. For example, if you contemplate on the word Truth, that is very broad, and may have many meanings. It might take a long time to even come to a core principle. Sometimes, in school or elsewhere, you have probably seen a study guide that has a list of questions that also includes the answers, in a Q&A format. With the Mahavakyas, it is somewhat like that, in that the Mahavakyas provide the answers, already written down. You still have to do the contemplations, but the journey is much more direct.

Direct experience, not mere belief: In contemplating the Mahavakyas, it is not a matter of merely accepting that the statements are true. In the oral teachings of the sages, it is said that you should never merely believe what you are told or what you read in a book. Rather, it is suggested that you should check it out for yourself in the inner laboratory of direct experience. It also seems true that, while ultimate oneness is the same for all, there is also a coloring of cultural and religious influences that determine the way in which different people will experience the early, or unfolding stages of insight.

Dig deep into the well
of only a few such Mahavakyas.

Dig deep in only a few wells: It can appear that exploring only a few sentences, like these seven, is a mere beginning point, and that one must subsequently learn hundreds or thousands of other sentences. This is definitely not the case. Although in academic circles one may do complex intellectual analysis of many scholarly commentaries, comparing and contrasting viewpoints, the seeker of direct experience digs deep into the well of only a few such contemplations.  In the monastic traditions of the swami order, a monk may contemplate exclusively on a single Mahavakya or maybe several of them. The practice bears fruit by deeply going into one, or a few, rather than memorizing many, or doing only intellectual analysis of the many.

Over and over and over: The passionately dedicated practitioner will contemplate on one or more of the Mahavakyas repeatedly, often, over a long period of time. Mind gradually comes to have a greater understanding, and then becomes still as the contemplation shifts from an observing, reflective process into a deep contemplative meditation. Reflection transforms into insight, which again transforms into the direct experience of the underlying truth or reality of the Mahavakya.

Companion practices: In the oral tradition of the Himalayan sages, the Yoga Sutras, Vedanta, and internal Tantra are companions on the journey to Self-Realization. The practices of the Yoga Sutras stabilize and clear the clouded mind. The Vedanta practices form a philosophical basis and means for discovering the underlying unity of the different aspects of our being. Internal Tantra provides the means for awakening the spiritual energy, so that the absolute, unchanging reality at our core is realized.

Mahavakyas are at the heart of Vedanta: These seven principles below are practices at the heart of the Vedanta part of the triad. Actually, all of these emerged out of the one source of teachings, and now appear to be three separate practices. The higher understanding and direct experience comes from person-to-person listening (written and oral), followed by deep reflection, contemplation, and deep contemplative meditation.

Advaita or Non-Dual Reality: It is popular to speak of Advaita as if it were a brand name of spirituality. It is not. Advaita is exactly what it says, Advaita, which means non-duality, not-two. If this little planet were to fall into the sun and burn up, there would no longer be any religionists or philosophers, but that which truly “is” still “is.” Advaita is exactly what it says it is, Advaita, not-two, which stands alone. Any suggestion that there are things such as Hindu Advaita or Buddhist Advaita or Anything-Else Advaita are games of the mind. To transcend all of the levels of false identity so as to “Be” that Reality of Advaita is the Knowledge or Jnana that is sought. It is only the most sincere and longing of aspirants who seek and Know this in direct experience. For others, it is merely an arena of philosophical and religious debate. For those who Know, Advaita stands alone.

 Stages of Yoga Vedanta Meditation and Contemplation
Swami Rama

Meditation and contemplation are two different techniques, yet they are complementary to each other. Meditation is a definite method of training oneself on all levels – body, breath, conscious mind, and unconscious mind – while contemplation builds a definite philosophy. Without the support of a solid philosophy, the method of meditation does not lead to higher dimensions of consciousness.

Contemplation makes one aware of the existence of the Reality, but Reality can be experienced only through the higher techniques of meditation. In the Vedanta system, meditation and contemplation are both used. When an aspirant tires of meditation because of lack of endurance, then he contemplates on the mahavakyas [great contemplations] and studies those scriptures that are helpful in the path of Self-realization and enlightenment. Contemplation, vichara, complements the Vedantic way of meditation, dhyana.

In Vedanta philosophy, there is a definite method used for contemplation. Ordinarily, the mind remains busy in self-dialogue, entangled in the web of its thought patterns. Because of desires, feelings, and emotions, unmanageable conflicts are created in one’s mental life. But the Vedanta way of contemplating transforms the entire personality of the aspirant, for the statements, mahavakyas, imparted by the preceptor create a dynamic change in the values of his life. These statements are compact, condensed, and abstruse srutis and cannot be understood without the help of a preceptor who is fully knowledgeable of the scriptures and these terse texts. Only a realized teacher can impart the profundity of such knowledge in a lucid language.

The thoughts, feelings, and desires which were once important to the aspirant lose their value, for he has only one goal to attain. The glory of contemplation brings a dynamic transformation to the internal states of the aspirant. This seems to be very necessary, because that which creates a barrier or becomes an obstacle for students loses its strength due to the power of contemplation, which transforms all his internal states.

First, an aspirant attentively listens to the sayings of the Upanishads from a preceptor who is Brahman-conscious all the time.

In the second step, he practices vichara (contemplation), which means that he goes to the depths of the great sayings and determines to practice them with mind, action, and speech.

One-pointed devotion, full determination, and dedication lead him to the higher step called nididhyasana. Here he acquires comprehensive knowledge of the Ultimate Truth. But he has not yet attained the final step of consciousness that leads him to the direct realization of the one self-existent Truth without second.

The highest state of contemplation is called saksatkara. In this state, perception and conceptualization are in complete agreement, and all the doubts from all levels of understanding vanish forever. At this height of knowledge, truth reveals itself to the aspirant, and perfect realization is accomplished, “I am Atman – I am Brahman.” This state of advaita is attained by the process of contemplation. Meditation plays an entirely different role and helps the aspirant make his mind one-pointed, inward, and steady.

Steadiness and stillness are practiced from the very beginning in this meditational method. The method of sitting, the method of breathing, the method of concentration, and the method of allowing a concentrated mind to flow uninterruptedly are subsequent steps that help the aspirant to expand his capacity so that he can contemplate without distraction.

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Meaning of the word brahman

Root of the word: The word brahman comes from the root brha or brhi, which means knowledge, expansion, and all-pervasiveness. It is that existence which alone exists, and in which there is the appearance of the entire universe.

Not subject to change: Brahman means the absolute reality, that which is eternal, and not subject to death, decay, or decomposition. In English, we speak of omnipresence or oneness. This is the principle of the word brahman.

Not a proper name: Brahman is not a proper name, but a Sanskrit word that denotes that oneness, the non-dual reality, the substratum underneath all of the many names and forms of the universe. Brahman is somewhat like the difference between the word ocean, and the specific ocean called Pacific Ocean. The word brahman is like ocean, not Pacific Ocean. Brahman is not a name of God. These contemplations neither promote nor oppose any particular religious concept of God.

Immanance and transcendence: One may also choose to think of brahman in theological terms, though that is not necessary. Within that perspective, the scholars speak of two principles: immanence and transcendence. Immanence is described as the divinity existing in, and extending into all parts of the created world. In that sense, the Mahavakyas can be read as suggesting there is no object that does not contain, or is not part of that creation.

It’s really indescribable, as it is beyond form: However one chooses to hold the word brahman, it is very useful to remember that brahman is often described as indescribable. For convenience sake, it is said that brahman is the nature of existence, consciousness, and bliss, though admitting that these words, too, are inadequate.

Seek direct experience: The real meaning comes only in direct experience resulting from contemplation and yoga meditation.

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1. Brahma satyam jagan mithya
Brahman is real; the world is unreal
(The absolute is real; the world is unreal or only relatively real)

Brahman is real: The way in which brahman is real is like saying that the clay in a pot is real, or the gold in a bracelet is real (metaphorically speaking). The idea is that first there was clay and gold, and when those changed form, there now appears to be a pot and a bracelet.

The world is unreal: However, when the pot is broken, or the bracelet is melted, there is once again only clay and gold. It is in that sense that the pot and the bracelet are not real; they come and go from manifestation. They are not as real as are the clay and the gold. (Remember that these are metaphors, and that obviously, we could also say that clay and gold also come and go, such as when planets are born and die from the nuclear fire of suns. Also, note that using the English words real and unreal for the Sanskrit words satyam and mithya, are not perfect, but they are the best we have to work with.)

Something is more real than the temporary: In saying that the world is unreal, it means to say that literally everything we experience in the external world is, like the pot and the bracelet, in a process of coming, being, and going (so too with all of the objects of the subtle realm). If the Mahavakya stopped there, this might appear to be a negative, or depressing comment. But it does not stop there. It makes the added comment that this absolute reality is, in a sense, more real than the temporary appearances.

Two points: Thus, the Mahavakya does two major things:

  • Reminder of the temporary: First, it serves as a reminder of the temporary nature of the worldly objects.

  • Reminder of the eternal: Second, it serves as a reminder that there is an eternal nature, that is not subject to change.

An invitation to know: In these reminders there is an invitation to come to know, in direct experience, the existence, consciousness, and bliss that is this eternal essence of our being.

Don’t stop living in the world: When practicing contemplation with this, and the other Mahavakyas, it is important to not allow the reflection that the world is unreal to stop you from doing your actions in the external world. To think that the world is unreal, and therefore we need not do anything is a grave mistake. The realization of the unreality of the world and the reality of the essence behind the world brings freedom, not bondage or lethargy.

1. Brahma satyam jagan mithya
Brahman is real; the world is unreal
(The absolute is real; the world is unreal or only relatively real)

What to do: The purpose of contemplation and yoga meditation exercises is to attain Self-realization, or enlightenment, which has to do with knowing or experiencing the deepest, eternal aspect of our own being. By working with this Mahavakya, one increasingly sees the difference between what is temporary and what is eternal.

  • Be mindful of the passing objects: One way to work with this Mahavakya, is to simply be mindful of the world around you. Gradually, gently, and lovingly observe the countless objects that are ever in a process of coming and going.

  • Remember the eternal: Allow yourself to also remember the eternal nature that is always there, enjoying the beauty of how this process ebbs and flows through that unchanging, eternal essence.

Be mindful of your own temporary and eternal: As you witness the external world in this way, allow your attention to shift to your own physical, energetic, and mental makeup. Gradually comes the insight that these more surface aspects are also temporary, and in a sense, are also unreal, or only relatively real. It increasingly allows the mind to see that there is an eternal aspect of our being, and that this is actually the source of the mind itself. The mind comes to see that it must, itself, let go, so as to experience the eternal that is within.

Practice this at daily meditation time: By observing the world in this way, it is then easier to do the same kind of silent observation and contemplation while sitting in the stillness of your meditation time. Over time, the depth of the insights increase, as an inner expansion comes.

The different Mahavakyas work together: In practice, the Mahavakyas work together. This becomes evident by exploring the others, such as the ones that follow below.

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2. Ekam evadvitiyam brahma
Brahman is one, without a second
(There is one absolute reality, without any secondary parts)

No object is truly independent: As our attention goes from object to object, image to image, we keep finding that those objects and images are only relatively real (as discussed above). Gradually, we come to see that no object exists independently from brahman, the whole. Hence, it is said there is one, without a second. Wherever we look, whatever we think or feel, try as we will, we can find no second object or part. Everything is seen as a manifestation of something else.

The objects are made of the same stuff: To speak of one, without a second, is like thinking of thousands of pots or bracelets made from clay or gold. As you look at each of the pots and bracelets, one at a time, you conclude that this pot, and this bracelet is not separate from the whole field of clay and gold. Suddenly you come to the insight that there is not a single pot that is separate from clay, and there is not a single bracelet separate from gold. In other words, you see that there is one field, without a second object, or simply stated, there is one, without a second.

Once again, this can also be viewed in a theological way, wherein immanence(versus transcendence) means the divinity existing in, and extending into all parts all parts of the created world. Thus, there is no object that does not contain, or is not part of that creation.

2. Ekam evadvitiyam brahma
Brahman is one, without a second
(There is one absolute reality, without any secondary parts)

What to do: Keep exploring the latter part of the sentence, the part of being without a second. Consciously look at the objects of the world, and the thoughts that arise in the mind. Observe whether it has independent existence and permanence. It is like asking, “Does this object or thought exist on its own? Does it stay in this form, or does it go away? Is it, therefore a second object in comparison to the whole?”

  • Try to find a second object: One practice is to repeatedly look for some second object, which has independent existence from the whole, from brahman.

  • You’ll find there is none: The aspirant will repeatedly find that there is no second object, which has independent existence, but that all objects derive from some other, like the pots from clay, or bracelets from gold. This brings the increasing awareness of underlying wholeness.

See the beauty of oneness in diversity: If this is approached as a mere philosophical opinion, if we merely believe the principle, then the deep insight that comes from exploration will be missed. Each time that some new object or thought is seen to not be a second in relation to the whole, the personal realization of the truth of the principle will become deeper and more profound. We come to see the beauty in this, to see the joy of wholeness, of the unity within the diversity. The interrelationship between the Mahavakyas will also become clearer.

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3. Prajnanam brahman
Brahman is the supreme knowledge
(Knowing the absolute reality is the supreme knowledge)

Knowledge out of which other knowledge arises: There are many types of knowledge one can attain. However, they all stem from, or are a part of, a higher knowledge. There is one exception, and that is the absolute knowledge, which is the highest. It is called absolute because it is not stemming from something else. Supreme knowledge is the ground out of which the diversity of knowledge and experience grows. The plant, though appearing separate, is made of the stuff of the ground.

Many metaphors for higher knowledge: It is just about impossible to write words describing this notion of supreme knowledge, which is part of the reason that there are so many different descriptions given by many people. Thus, we use metaphor after metaphor trying to capture and communicate the essence of the meaning. This Mahavakya is saying that as you climb the ladder of knowledge, this higher knowledge is to be found at the level of brahman, the oneness of universal consciousness.

Reflect on lower knowledge to find the higher: Reflecting on lower knowledge might give some idea. The knowledge of how to ride a bicycle is a form of knowledge, but it is based on the higher knowledge of how to move your body. The knowledge of complex mathematics is based on the higher, more foundational, prerequisite knowledge that allows the thinking process itself. When you see a person that you recognize as your friend, there was first an ability to see and conceptualize, which is a higher knowledge.

Find the foundation: Intuitively, you come to see that there is consciousness, or whatever term you would like to use, that is higher, more foundational, or prerequisite to the lower knowledge in all of its other forms. The highest rung of the ladder is called supreme knowledge, prajna, and this is said to be one and the same with brahman, the oneness.

Knowing is not mere intellectualizing: It is extremely important to note here, that this is not a process of intellectualizing. Knowledge refers to knowing or awareness, not just a linear, cognitive thinking process. The knowledge here, is more like the knowledge of recognizing an object as a tree, than the process of adding up a list of numbers. There is simply no more straightforward way of saying it, than to say it is a matter of knowing the tree.

Knowing applies to both head and heart people: Also, it is not that some people are intellectual, or head people, while others are emotional, or heart people. While these differences between people might be real, this Mahavakya is talking about a universal principle that applies to all people. The practices themselves are applicable to all people, whether inclined towards the head or the heart, though different people will quite naturally have different experiences leading to the same ultimate realizations.

3. Prajnanam brahman
Brahman is the supreme knowledge
(Knowing the absolute reality is the supreme knowledge)

What to do: In trying to reflect on the nature of supreme knowledge, the eternal substratum of all other knowledge, the mind will present many memories, images, impressions, thoughts, sensations, and emotions. All of these are some form of knowledge, that’s for sure. However, they are not the highest knowledge.

Ask yourself if a knowledge is lower or higher: Simply allow these thought patterns to arise. Then ask yourself, “Is this the higher knowledge?” Repeatedly you will find that the answer is no, that it is not the higher, but is a lower form of knowledge.

Remember there is higher knowledge: This kind of reflection leaves a quietness in which the intuition of the existence of the higher knowledge starts to come. The intuition deepens with practice. This quietness is not one of lethargy or laziness, but rather of clarity and openness. It brings a smile to the face and to the heart, as the field of knowing gradually expands towards the wisdom of the Mahavakya.

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4. Tat tvam asi
That is what you are
(That absolute reality is the essence of what you really are)

That is what YOU are: This Mahavakya is stated as if one person is speaking to the other, saying, “That is what you are!” when referring to brahman. The person speaking is the teacher, and person being spoken to is the student.

It is YOU at the deepest level: Imagine that the teacher has explained to you all of the above Mahavakyas, that you had reflected on these, and that you started to have some sense of the meaning of the oneness called brahman. Imagine that the teacher then pointed a finger at you and explained, “That brahman, that oneness, is who you really are, at the deepest level of your being!” It is like telling a wave in the ocean that it IS the ocean.

You are the person underneath the personality: Often, we hold on to our personal identities, such as being from this or that family, organization, or country. We take on the identity of our roles in our jobs or in our families, such as father or mother, sister or brother, son or daughter. Or, we come to believe that who we are, is our personality traits that have developed through living. We forget our true nature, that is underneath all of these only relative identities.

We continue our duties, holding identities loosely: The realization of this Mahavakya, Tat tvam asi, leads us to see that the relative identities are not who we really are. It does not mean that we drop our duties in the world, or stop acting in service of other people because of this realization. Rather, we become ever more free to hold those identities loosely, while increasingly being able to act in the loving service of others, independent of attachment to our false identities.

4. Tat tvam asi
That is what you are
(That absolute reality is the essence of what you really are)

What to do: As if talking to yourself, direct your attention inward, possibly towards the heart center. Say to yourself, “That is who you are!”

Point a finger at yourself: You might want to even point your index finger at your own chest, the place from where you experience, “I am.” As you hold in awareness the essence of the truth that this brahman, this oneness, is who you reallyare, also observe how you can gently let go of the false identities, seeing that they are only temporary and relativelyme.

Say to yourself, “That is who you are”:When reflecting on the other Mahavakyas, such as brahman is the supreme knowledge, then shift the observation from that truth, directing attention to your own inner being and say, “Tat tvam asi; That you are!”

Remember the inner feeling: Notice the inner feeling that comes from the statement and the realization of your spiritual nature, rather than your more surface level of mental or physical identity.

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5. Ayam atma brahma
Atman and Brahman are the same
(The individual Self is one and the same with the absolute)

The wave and the ocean are one: Is the wave separate from the ocean? Not really, but sometimes we lose sight of that. Imagine that you are standing by the ocean, watching the vastness of the ocean. Imagine that a really big wave starts to come ashore, and that your attention comes to this one wave. You intently notice it, becoming absorbed in the crashing of the surf, and the feel of the salt spray. In that moment, you are only aware of the immensity of this one wave. The ocean itself is forgotten during that time. Then, an instant later, you recall with an inner “Aha!”, that the wave and the ocean are one and the same.

  • Atman refers to that pure, perfect, eternal spark of consciousness that is the deepest, central core of our being.

  • Brahman refers to the oneness of the manifest and unmanifest universe.

It is like saying that atman is a wave, and brahman is the ocean. The insight of Ayam atma brahma is that the wave and the ocean are one and the same.

Atman seems to be here, and brahman there: Notice how the statement Ayam atma brahma (Atman and Brahman are the same) is framed as if you are a separate observer of both Atman and Brahman. It is like standing at the beach, looking out at both the wave and the ocean, and declaring that the wave an the ocean are one. You are observing from a witnessing stance, outside of both of them . Notice how this perspective contrasts with Aham brahmasmi (I am Brahman), which declares that “I am!”, an inner experience, rather than from an observing standpoint (like being on the beach).

Different perspectives for the underlying reality: In this way, each of the Mahavakyas gives a different perspective of the same underlying Reality. Gradually, they are seen as mirror reflections of the same Absolute Reality. That integrated flash of insight touches on the true meaning of the word brahman. It is like gaining different points of view from different viewing points. Together, they converge in a complete understanding.

5. Ayam atma brahma
Atman and Brahman are the same
(The individual Self is one and the same with the absolute)

What to do: Sit quietly and reflect on the inner core of your being, such as by placing your attention in the space between the breasts, the heart center.

Be aware of your center: Don’t visualize anything, but allow your awareness to touch the feeling aspect of the center of your being. Or, if you like to visualize internally, imagine a tiny spark of light that represents the eternal essence your own self, the atman. Hold this attention for a few seconds or minutes.

Shift to awareness of the universe: Then, shift your attention in such a way that you are imagining the breadth of the entire manifest and unmanifest universe, the gross, subtle, and causal realms. Imagine the oneness that permeates all, and is all. Do this in a way that you are aware of the essence in which all exists, like being aware of the gold or the clay described above.

Then be aware of both as separate: Then, allow your attention to hold both the awareness of the spark that is atmanand the universal essence that is brahman. Be aware of atmanalso being within that oneness of brahman. Allow this to bring insight and peace. You might want to internally think the words of the Mahavakya, “Ayam atma brahma; atman and brahman are the same.”

Be aware of both as one: It is a beautiful practice to do the same thing in relation to other people. Think of the people who are closest to you, including family, friends, and coworkers. Allow yourself to notice the surface levels of their actions and speech, their physical features, and their personalities. Be aware of the subtle aspects of their makeup, and of the spark of the eternal that is the center of their consciousness. Be aware of how that spark, atman, is one with the oneness, brahman.

Different insights from different Mahavakyas: Notice the different insights and feelings between the Mahavakyas. The insight from Tat tvam asi (That is who you are) is experienced differently from Ayam atma brahma (This individual Self is one with the absolute). The two simply feel different internally, yet they work together, describing the same fundamental truth about about who we are. By experiencing the separate vantage points, the whole is more completely experienced.

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6. Aham brahmasmi
I am Brahman
(Who I really am, is that absolute reality.)

If a gold bracelet could speak: Imagine two possibilities of what a gold bracelet might say, if it could speak. It might say one of these two things:

  1. “I am a bracelet!”
  2. “I am gold!”

Bracelet is temporary: Which is more true, more everlasting? We might be tempted to say that #1 is more accurate, in that bracelet seems more encompassing, being both bracelet and gold at the same time. However, the bracelet aspect is not eternal. It is temporary. It is only a matter of the particular shape in which the gold was molded. Is bracelet what it really is?

Gold is everlasting: What is always true, is #2, that “I am gold,” everlasting, ever pure, and not subject to death, decay, and decomposition. (One might argue that gold is not everlasting either, but in the metaphor, gold is being only used as an example.)

Bracelet is gold; I am gold: Note that this metaphor may sound similar to the ones above, regarding the impermanence of a bracelet and the permanence of the gold (metaphorically speaking). This is not the case. The realization that, “I am gold!” or “I am brahman!” is an internal experience compared to the statement, “The bracelet is gold!” (which sounds like the bracelet over there). The two insights are separate, though they also come to be the same.

Similarly, it is very different to realize, in direct experience, “I am brahman!” than one of the statements such as, “Brahman alone is real!”:

  • Out there: “Brahman alone is real!” seems to be about the world out there. It is a valid perspective.

  • In here: “I am brahman!” is an inner declaration of who I am, in here. This is also a valid perspecive.

Truth comes in the stillness of intuitive flash: The truth of a Mahavakyacomes through intuitive flash, that is progressively deeper as one practices. It is not merely an intellectual process, as it might appear to be by explaining the gold metaphor. The metaphors are used as a means of explaining the principle, but this is not the end of the process. In a sense, such explanations are only the beginning of the process. The key is in the still, silent reflection in the inner workshop of contemplation and yoga meditation.

After thinking, let go into contemplative insight:The initial insights come somewhat like the creative process when you are trying to solve some problem in daily life. You think and think, and then finally let go into silence. Then, suddenly, the creative idea just pops out, giving you the solution to your problem. The contemplation on the Mahavakyas is somewhat like that at first. Later, it goes into deeper meditation.

Insight comes within your own context: One may experience himself or herself as being like the gold or the clay, or like a wave in an ocean of bliss, that realizes the wave is also the ocean. With all these metaphors used only as tools of explanation, the insight of each person will come in the context of their own culture and religion, and will not seem foreign or unnatural. One’s religious values are not violated, but rather, are affirmed.

6. Aham brahmasmi
I am Brahman
(Who I really am, is that absolute reality.)

What to do: Reflect on the oneness, or brahman, and the meaning, as suggested in the practices above. Allow your attention to focus on the insights from those Mahavakyas, such as Brahman is one, without a second.

Literally ask questions of yourself: Ask yourself, internally, “Who am I? Am I this body, or do I have a body? Am I this breath, or is this breath just flowing? Am I this mind, or is this mind a manifestation of some deeper truth? Who am I, really? Who am I?”

Make your own declarations: Inside the chamber of your own being, declare to yourself, “I am brahman. I am not only a wave, I am made of ocean. I am ocean!” Allow the truth of the statements to expand. Be sure to practice such affirmations only if you have reflected on them, and find truth in them. This is not about selling yourself, but on affirming what you know.

In daily life, when sitting, or resting: As you do these contemplations, you might be right in the middle of your daily life. Or, you might be sitting straight in a formal yoga meditation posture. Or, you might be resting comfortably in a chair, on a sofa, or lying down in a relaxed position. There is a great diversity of settings in which you can do this type of contemplation.

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7. Sarvam khalvidam brahma
All of this is Brahman
(All of this, including me, is that absolute reality)

The various insights are revealed: Gradually, one comes to understand and increasingly experience the deeper aspects of the other Mahavakyas (the six described above):

  • Brahman is real; the world is unreal.
  • Brahman is one, without a second.
  • Brahman is the supreme knowledge.
  • That is what you are.
  • Atman and brahman are the same.
  • I am brahman.

They sing a song together: As one comes to experience the truth of the individual Mahavakyas, it seems they come together in a song, that cries out in joy, “All of this is brahman!” As was said in the beginning, it is a process that comes from person-to-person listening (written and oral), followed by deep reflection, contemplation, and meditation.


(Perspective on “Sarvam khalvidam brahma”)

Realization comes in stages:

  • First, there is cognitive understanding of the meaning.
  • Second, intuition rolls down, revealing deeper meanings.
  • Finally, it is as if the one doing the practice travels upwards to merge in the direct experience, even though there was never any division in the first place.

7. Sarvam khalvidam brahma
All of this is Brahman
(All of this, including me, is that absolute reality)

What to do: Allow your awareness to try to encompass, at one time, the entire manifest and unmanifest universe, the objects and people in the world around you, as well as your own body and mind. Hold these together, as one whole, and reflect on the words, “All of this is brahman! All of this is one!” This builds on the other practices, and expands in its experience.

Mind is set aside in an explosion of awareness: Eventually, in the depth of meditation and contemplation, the entire mind is set aside in an explosion of awareness, in which the truth of the Mahavakyas comes forward, and is seen to have been there all along, ever still, waiting to be discovered in direct experience.

Four traditional Mahavakyas

Four of the Mahavakyas above are most traditional to Vedanta. Some 1200 years ago Adi Shankaracharya assigned one Mahavakya to one of four monastic teaching centers or mutts in India.

Mahavakya Source Mutt/Center

Prajnanam brahman
Brahman is supreme knowledge
Aitareya Upanishad
3.3, of Rig Veda
Puri/Govardhana
East

Tat tvam asi
That is what you are
Chandogya Upanishad
6.8.7, of Sama Veda,
Kaivalya Upanishad
Dwaraka/Sarada/Gujrat
West

Ayam atma brahma
Atman and brahman
are the same
Mandukya Upanishad
1.2, of Atharva Veda
Jyoti/Badrinath
North

Aham brahmasmi
I am brahman
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
1.4.10, of Yajur Veda,
Mahanarayana Upanishad
Sringeri/Mysore
South

 

 

Please see my related posts

The Pillar of Celestial Fire

The Great Chain of Being

Indra’s Net: On Interconnectedness

On Holons and Holarchy

Recursion, Incursion, and Hyper-incursion

Third and Higher Order Cybernetics

 

 

 

Key sources of Research:

 

Arsha Vidya Gurukulam

arshavidya.org

Talk on The Essence of Vedanta

 

Talk on Vedanta by Swami Sarvpriyananda

Third and Higher Order Cybernetics

Third and Higher Order Cybernetics

 

 

The logic of the formation of third-order cybernetics is based on the transition from first-order cybernetics – “observable systems”, to second-order – “observing systems”, to third-order cybernetics – “self-developing poly-subject (reflexive-active) environments”. And also on the ascent from the paradigm “subject – object” to the paradigm “subject – subject” and then, in third-order cybernetics, to the paradigm of “subject – metasubject (self-developing poly-subject environment)”. Third-order cybernetics has its own specifics and also defines a paradigm (framework construction) that includes first and second order cybernetic paradigms, similar to post-non-classical scientific rationality.

 

What is required in third order cybernetics? Narrative arts such as Drama, Films, Literature, Stories, Novels as means of social reflexivity for providing ethical and moral grounds for social action & justice.

 

Key Terms

  • Cybernetics
  • Second Order Cybernetics
  • Third Order Cybernetics
  • Fourth Order Cybernetics
  • Reflexivity
  • Socio Cybernetics
  • Autopoiesis
  • Autocatalysis
  • Feedback
  • Interaction
  • Self Awareness
  • Observable Systems
  • Observing systems
  • Reflexive – Active system
  • Subject Object
  • Subject Subject
  • Subject Meta-Subject
  • Story Telling
  • Narratives
  • Mirroring of Experience
  • Social Reflexivity
  • Social Action
  • Social Justice
  • Coherence Narrative
  • Problem Structuring
  • Social Responsibility
  • Ethics in Society

 

 

 

https://www.wosc2020.org/section-1-5

World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics
18th Congress-WOSC2020
Moscow, 16th to 18th September 2020

1.5 Cybernetics of self-developing poly-subject (reflexive-active) environments:  third-order cybernetics

In recent years, much attention has been paid to the development of socially-oriented types of cybernetics, the development of second-order cybernetics (S. Umpleby, V. Lepskiy, R. Vallée, S. Bozicnik & M. Mulej, T. Ivanuša and others). An urgent problem is the analysis of the foundations and models of different types of socially-oriented cybernetics. The focus of this section is third-order cybernetics developed in Russia.

Third-order cybernetics (V. Lepskiy, 1998) is formed on the basis of post-non-classical scientific rationality. The logic of the formation of third-order cybernetics is based on the transition from first-order cybernetics – “observable systems”, to second-order – “observing systems”, to third-order cybernetics – “self-developing poly-subject (reflexive-active) environments”. And also on the ascent from the paradigm “subject – object” to the paradigm “subject – subject” and then, in third-order cybernetics, to the paradigm of “subject – metasubject (self-developing poly-subject environment)”. Third-order cybernetics has its own specifics and also defines a paradigm (framework construction) that includes first and second order cybernetic paradigms, similar to post-non-classical scientific rationality.

On the basis of post-non-classical scientific rationality it became possible to integrate ideas and concepts of humanitarian studies: ideas about the noosphere (V. Vernadsky), the concept of society as a social system (N. Luhman), activity and subject-activity approaches (A. Leontiev, L. Vygotsky, S. Rubinshtein, et al.), contributions of Russian methodologists (G. Shchedrovitsky, et al.), interdisciplinary ideas of the formation of social cybernetics (S. Umpleby), sociohumanitarian analysis of the experience of developing automated systems (V. Lepskiy), and others.

Discussion points
  • Foundations and models of socially-oriented types of cybernetics (S. Umpleby, V. Lepskiy, R. Vallée, S. Bozicnik & M. Mulej, T. Ivanuša and others).

  • Civilization aspects of self-developing poly-subject environments (third-order cybernetics).

  • Philosophical and methodological aspects of third-order cybernetics.

  • Third-order cybernetics is an ontological integrator of first and second order cybernetics.

  • The problem of complexity is third-order cybernetics.

  • Reflexive processes in third-order cybernetics.

  • Ethical aspects of third-order cybernetics.

  • Social Responsibility in Third Order Cybernetics.

  • Public participation in self-developing poly-subject environments

  • Organization of hybrid (subject, digital, physical) environments in third-order cybernetics.

  • Socio-humanitarian ergonomics of self-developing poly-subject environments.

 

 

https://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/10605

New Horizons for Second-Order Cybernetics

Pages: 404

,

    • Karl H Müller (International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences, Austria)

and

In almost 60 articles this book reviews the current state of second-order cybernetics and investigates which new research methods second-order cybernetics can offer to tackle wicked problems in science and in society. The contributions explore its application to both scientific fields (such as mathematics, psychology and consciousness research) and non-scientific ones (such as design theory and theater science). The book uses a pluralistic, multifaceted approach to discuss these applications: Each main article is accompanied by several commentaries and author responses, which together allow the reader to discover further perspectives than in the original article alone. This procedure shows that second-order cybernetics is already on its way to becoming an idea shared by many researchers in a variety of disciplines.

Sample Chapter(s)

A Brief History of (Second-Order) Cybernetics

Contents:

  • Prologue:
    • A Brief History of (Second-Order) Cybernetics (Louis H Kauffman & Stuart A Umpleb)
    • Mapping the Varieties of Second-Order Cybernetics (Karl H Müller & Alexander Riegle)
  • Part I: Exploring Second-Order Cybernetics and Its Fivefold Agenda:
    • Second-Order Cybernetics as a Fundamental Revolution in Science (Stuart A Umpleby)
    • Obstacles and Opportunities in the Future of Second-Order Cybernetics and Other Compatible Methods (Allenna Leonard)
    • Connecting Second-Order Cybernetics’ Revolution with Genetic Epistemology (Gastón Becerra)
    • Shed the Name to Find Second-Order Success: Renaming Second-Order Cybernetics to Rescue its Essence (Michael R Lissack)
    • Beware False Dichotomies (Peter A Cariani)
    • Second-Order Cybernetics Needs a Unifying Methodology (Thomas R Flanagan)
    • Viva the Fundamental Revolution! Confessions of a Case Writer (T Grandon Gill)
    • Author’s Response: Struggling to Define an Identity for Second-Order Cybernetics (Stuart A Umpleby)
    • Cybernetics, Reflexivity and Second-Order Science (Louis H Kauffman)
    • Remarks From a Continental Philosophy Point of View (Tatjana Schönwälder-Kuntze)
    • Finally Understanding Eigenforms (Michael R Lissack)
    • Eigenforms, Coherence, and the Imaginal (Arthur M Collings)
    • Conserving the Disposition for Wonder (Kathleen Forsythe)
    • Author’s Response: Distinction, Eigenform and the Epistemology of the Imagination (Louis H Kauffman)
    • Cybernetic Foundations for Psychology (Bernard Scott)
    • Wielding the Cybernetic Scythe in the Blunting Undergrowth of Psychological Confusion (Vincent Kenny)
    • To What Extent Can Second-Order Cybernetics Be a Foundation for Psychology? (Marcelo Arnold-Cathalifaud & Daniela Thumala-Dockendorff)
    • The Importance — and the Difficulty — of Moving Beyond Linear Causality (Robert J Martin)
    • Obstacles to Cybernetics Becoming a Conceptual Framework and Metanarrative in the Psychologies (Philip Baron)
    • The Social and the Psychological: Conceptual Cybernetic Unification vs Disciplinary Analysis? (Eva Buchinger)
    • Second Thoughts on Cybernetic Unifications (Tilia Stingl de Vasconcelos Guedes)
    • Cybernetics and Synergetics as Foundations for Complex Approach Towards Complexities of Life (Lea Šugman Bohinc)
    • Author’s Response: On Becoming and Being a Cybernetician (Bernard Scott)
    • Consciousness as Self-Description in Differences (Diana Gasparyan)
    • On the Too Often Overlooked Complexity of the Tension between Subject and Object (Yochai Ataria)
    • Where Is Consciousness? (Urban Kordeš)
    • Theorizing Agents: Their Games, Hermeneutical Tools and Epistemic Resources (Konstantin Pavlov-Pinus)
    • How Can Meaning be Grounded within a Closed Self-Referential System? (Bryony Pierce)
    • Self-Description Alone Will not Account for Qualia (John Pickering)
    • Consciousness as Self-Description and the Inescapability of Reduction (Sergei Levin)
    • The Non-Relationality of Consciousness (Adriana Schetz)
    • Author’s Response: Phenomenology of the System: Intentionality, Differences, Understanding, and the Unity of Consciousness (Diana Gasparyan)
    • Design Research as a Variety of Second-Order Cybernetic Practice (Ben Sweeting)
    • Design Cycles: Conversing with Lawrence Halprin (Tom Scholte)
    • Understanding Design from a Second-Order Cybernetics Perspective: Is There a Place for Material Agency? (David Griffiths)
    • What Can Cybernetics Learn from Design? (Christiane M Herr)
    • Rigor in Research, Honesty and Values (Michael Hohl)
    • Digital Design Research and Second-Order Cybernetics (Mateus de Sousa van Stralen)
    • Cybernetics Is the Answer, but What Was the Conversation About? (Jose dos Santos Cabral Filho)
    • (Architectural) Design Research in the Age of Neuroscience: The Value of the Second-Order Cybernetic Practice Perspective (Andrea Jelić)
    • Author’s Response: Beyond Application (Ben Sweeting)
    • “Black Box” Theatre: Second-Order Cybernetics and Naturalism in Rehearsal and Performance (Tom Scholte)
    • Audience and Autopoiesis (Bruce Clarke & Dorothy Chansky)
    • “Truthful” Acting Emerges Through Forward Model Development (Bernd Porr)
    • Naturalism in Improvisation and Embodiment (Edgar Landgraf)
    • Opening the Black Box of Minds: Theatre as a Laboratory of System Unknowns (Lowell F Christy Jr)
    • Does Second-Order Cybernetics Provide a Framework for Theatre Studies? (Albert Müller)
    • A Theatre for Exploring the Cybernetic (Ben Sweeting)
    • The Many Varieties of Experimentation in Second-Order Cybernetics: Art, Science, Craft (Laurence D Richards)
    • Author’s Response: “Playing With Dynamics”: Procedures and Possibilities for a Theatre of Cybernetics (Tom Scholte)
  • Part II: Reflecting on the Perspectives for a Fivefold Agenda of Second-Order Cybernetics:
    • Remarks of a Philosopher of Mathematics and Science (Michèle Friend)
    • The Past and the Future of Second-Order Cybernetics (Ronald R Kline)
    • Embracing Realists Without Embracing Realism: The Future of Second-Order Cybernetics (Robert J Martin)
    • Some Implications of Second-Order Cybernetics (Anthony Hodgson)
    • New Directions in Second-Order Cybernetics (Larry Richards)
  • Epilogue:
    • Possible Futures for Cybernetics (Karl H Müller, Stuart A Umpleby & Alexander Riegler)

http://attainable-utopias.org/tiki/ThirdOrderCybernetics

Third Order Cybernetics


See First Order Cybernetics
See Second Order Cybernetics
See Fourth Order Cybernetics


When a whole system acknowledges its surroundings

  • First Order Cybernetics emerged from engineering, therefore tended to see systems as objects.
  • Second Order Cybernetics started explored the internal dynamics of the system.
  • Third Order Cybernetics regards a system more as an active-interactive element in a circuit.
  • It acknowledged the way that a whole system may redirect itself in order to adapt to its context.
  • Therefore, the observer and the system co-evolve together.
  • This mean that the observer can see himself as part of the system under examination.
  • Each player in a musical ensemble, for example, listens to each other player, and to his, or her, own instrument.
  • The whole ensemble may then play as a unified, emergent sound, as though all the instruments play as one.
  • This is a kind of System Transformation.
  • Wittgenstein’s language games (external link) may help to explain the complexity of this.
  • It will be evident that in this case the System itself is regarded from the perspective of a Loop in First Order Cybernetics.

 

 

From RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN CYBERNETICS,
A THEORY FOR UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL SYSTEMS

Authors

Emergence of third order cybernetics

Much to the surprise and delight of the co-editors, this special issue of Emergence: Complexity & Organization on complexity and storytelling appears to mark more a beginning than an ending. For, while the publication of any journal is the end of a discrete project, what we are learning from it suggests the opening moves in a game of exploration pursuing a fascinating question: Are the studies of storytelling, in its widest sense, and of complex human systems largely the same thing? At first, that seemed an obvious overstatement. Yet, in the process of developing this special issue, both of us have concluded that it is a question that is, at least, worth exploring. In this way, we offer you this special issue as an introduction to the possibility that the dynamics that arise as people tell stories, to themselves as well as to others, and then enact those stories, create the dynamic human systems – families and neighborhoods; workgroups, organizations, and economies – that Ralph Stacey’s (2001) conception of complex responsive processes seems to deny.

Some readers may say that this exploration is hardly new. In fact, nearly 30 years ago, Louis R. Pondy’s essay “Beyond open system models of organization,” included as a classic complexity article in this issue (see pp. 119-137), lays out the challenge to launch into just such an exploration as the co-editors believe this issue represents. Basing his argument on Boulding’s nine levels of system complexity, Pondy insists that organizational theorists are locked into analysis based on the lower levels of complexity. Given the then-current understanding of organizations, analysts should think of them less as ‘input-output’ machines and more as ‘language-using, sensemaking cultures’. What is needed, as a result, is “radical methodological departures [such as] ethnographic techniques more suitable for studying meaning and belief systems.” The theme articles in this issue play with a variety of such departures.

Moreover, mostly over the last five years, a significant amount of work has been compiled applying complexity and storytelling to organizations, answering Pondy’s challenge after only a quarter century. Already, three practitioners – Carl Weick (1995), Dave Snowden (see Kurtz & Snowden, 2003), and David Boje (2001) – have developed sophisticated approaches to this study. What makes this issue of E:CO new and exciting is an explosion of interest in this developing area of study. Previously, the intersection of complexity and storytelling studies had been applied largely to organizations. However, among the more than 40 proposals we received were abstracts whose subject ranged from economics and law to disaster control, healthcare, and oriental literature. As a result, we began to suspect that this evolving hybrid field could suggest a powerful approach to the application of complexity thinking to all human systems. Nor are we the first to suggest this. One contributor to this issue, anthropologist Michael Agar, has observed elsewhere (Agar, 2005), that the most effective methodology to complexity-based social studies is ethnography.

In some ways, it seems odd that the intersection between complexity and storytelling has been so little examined. For one thing, the two studies have grown on remarkably parallel tracks for the last 15 years or so. During this time, both studies have been adapted from their origins – complexity in the natural sciences and narrative/storytelling in literature – and applied increasingly to organizations, but in a somewhat limited way. Complexity studies of organizations have been largely limited to considering organizations as (narratively) coherent entities in market ecosystems, ignoring what complexity thinking suggests about the dynamics of organizations as ecosystems for the people working in them. Some work on organizations as ecosystems has begun to appear in, for example, the work of Brenda Dervin, et al. (2003) or Ken Baskin (2005b). Similarly, the vast majority of the work on narrative in organizations has explored its function on the level of the organization and in its function for managers. It’s only in recent years, as writers such as Weick, Snowden and Boje have applied the double lens of complexity and storytelling, that attention has begun to focus also on how people within organizations use narrative and storytelling quite differently. Here, a thaw of sorts is occurring, as those studying the field move from narrative, with its implications as a complete linear-construction (with beginning, middle and end), to storytelling, with its suggestion that some stories are emergent attempts to formulate and negotiate the understandings held as finished in narrative study.

In addition to these historical similarities, the two studies (story-emergence and complexity) seem an almost ideal fit for each other. On one hand, some writers on storytelling are beginning to recognize it as an emergent phenomenon, sensitive to initial states, that groups negotiate in their interactions. On the other, some writers about complex human systems are beginning to recognize that storytelling drives the human equivalent of attractors at several levels – personality, group dynamics, and culture. As a result, the principles of complexity and storytelling come together as a series of strands that, like a rope, when woven together, form a more powerful tool than either alone.

Given all that, it seems only fitting that the co-editors of this issue approach this intersection of studies from opposite directions. David Boje (2001) came to it through his study of storytelling organizations. In his studies, he has focused on the difference between ‘antenarrative’, the preliminary stories people tell as they begin to understand what might be happening around them, and the more fixed (whole, linear) narratives, which are explanations of what people believe actually happened. Along with this view of storytelling, Boje (1995) had developed the idea of the organization as ‘Tamara’, a house with many rooms in which people in different rooms simultaneously tell different stories about the same events, experienced from their differing points of view, networking with one another to make sense of the divergent storylines. Much of the dynamics of any organization, he suggests, arises in the negotiation that occur as people enact these different stories about common events in distributed locations.

On the other hand, Ken Baskin approached this intersection from his work in applying complexity thinking to organizations. His 2001 research study on workgroup cultures in three American hospitals, funded by ISCE, brought him to the conclusion that the stories people tell, to themselves as well as others, create the human equivalent of attractors – personality in the individual, group dynamics, and culture in organizations and other larger entities (2005a). His most recent work (2005b) suggests that, in addition to being coherent units existing in market ecosystems, organizations can be examined as ecosystems of storytelling groups, a concept with much in common with Boje’s Tamara.

When we first issued the call for abstracts on complexity and storytelling, we had no idea that so many people had begun thinking about the function of storytelling and complexity in the various fields in which they worked. We quickly discovered that interweaving the principles of these areas of study was proving absolutely as illuminating as we had suspected from our own work. The nine topical articles published in this issue will give the reader an idea of the variety and excitement of thought among those combining the insights of complexity thinking and storytelling:

  • Theodore Taptiklis’s “After managerialism,” for instance, contrasts managerialism’s tendency to reduce complexity with the approach supported by this journal, among others, to confront the complexity of contemporary markets. He examines his work with organizations to record and share the narrative experience of professionals in order to foster emergence and creativity.

  • In “Narrative processes in organizational discourse,” John Luhman discusses organizational discourse as a complex system that includes three processes – storying coercion, story weaving, and story betting, the last of which reflects Boje’s antenarrative theory. For him, narratives provide a “field of choices in which meaning takes place.” In organizations managed as complex systems, these choices can create the rich diversity from which innovation emerges.

  • Michael Agar’s essay, “Telling it like you think it might be,” explores a methodology for analyzing organizational storytelling. At a time when so many organizations are trying to transform management style from the traditional mechanical model to a more complex one, Agar offers a way of measuring the degree of complexity recognized in any organization’s operations, through examining five elements of the storytelling.

  • Taking a different tack in “The use of narrative to understand and respond to complexity,” Larry Browning and Thierry Boudés compare two of the major models for using “narrative as a sensemaking response to complexity.” In examining David Snowden’s Cynefin model and that of Carl Weick, Browning and Boudés conclude that, in spite of the many differences in these models, they are remarkably similar, especially in their emphasis on widespread participation and “management by exclusion.”

  • In “Wanted for breaking and entering organizational systems in complexity,” Adrian Carr and Cheryl Lapp take a Freudian approach to the function of narrative in organizations transforming from a traditional model to a more complex one. Introducing the principles of complexity into such an organization, they note, demands that people in the organization co-create stories that cannot help but cause anxiety. It is through the pain created in the destruction of old certainties, which the authors insist people cling to as an expression of Freud’s ‘Thanatos’, that the creative energies of ‘Eros’ emerge.

  • Doug Smith’s “Order (for free) in the court” examines the legal system as a complex system that has evolved as a result of what he has called “full-contract storytelling.” Rather than the traditional view that law is a system governed by rules, Smith insists that it depends on a self-reinforcing cycle of learning and retelling stories in law school and then anticipating and countering the stories of others in practice. In court lawyers use stories to reduce the complexity of life in order to win judges and juries to their clients’ points of view. Ironically, this central role of storytelling in the legal system remains unacknowledged.

  • Similarly, Michelle Shumate, Alison Bryant and Peter Monge argue, in “Storytelling and globalization,” that networked global organizations engage in “narrative netwar” in order to affect the ideological landscape. Using the Direct Action network’s protest of the World Trade Organization’s 1999 meeting in Seattle as an example, they explore how people in both networks use narrative to simplify an issue as complex as global trade in order to persuade people to support their positions. The world is much more complex than any one story can communicate; by reducing that complexity with narrative, they can make their cases, suggesting that those narratives are the reality.

  • Finally, Check Teck Foo’s essay, “Three kingdoms, sense making and complexity theory,” examines the famous Chinese novel, Romance of three kingdoms, as a narrative about the phase transition between the Han and Jin dynasties. Rather than a monolithic narrative, the story is presented as a collection of short stories with interlocking characters, whose interactions eventually result in the reemergence of orderly government. As a novel about social phase transition, he notes, this work offers insights into how today’s leaders and approach the chaotic developments of our own period.

If, in fact, this intersection between the study of complexity and of storytelling is as powerful as the co-editors suspect, an enormous amount of work remains. Those exploring it are only beginning to develop methodologies and a vocabulary.

We would like to offer a bold conclusion, one that is an answer to Boulding (1968), as well as Pondy’s (1976) challenge to system/complexity theory. We think that the difference between coherence-narrative and the more emergence-storytelling theories is the dawn of the ‘Third Cybernetics’ of dynamic complexity. Boulding made it clear that for systems theory to theorize and study higher orders of complexity, we need to differentiate between sign-representations (e.g., narratives as the ‘mirror’ of experience). First and Second Cybernetics has been dominated by master-narratives, each with a particular metaphorization: level 1 (frameworks of narrative types); level 2 (mechanistic narrative); level 3 (thermostat-control narrative); level 4 (cell of the ‘open system’); and level 5 (tree as ‘organic’ narrative). First cybernetics is the mechanistic-narrative of deviation-counteraction through the input-output-feedback sign-comparison model of communication. Second cybernetics is the open (cell) system narrative of deviation-counteracting (comparing narratives of the environment, systemically-organizing more variety to process them).

We think the articles point to a Third Cybernetics, where what Boulding calls image (managed in story, level 6), symbol (self-reflexion in story, level 7), societal discourse (social organization shaped by story, a domain of discourse, level 8), and transcendental (stories of unknowable and knowable, level 9). For Pondy, these upper levels are where language, story, and symbol, exceed the theory of ‘open system’ modeling. The problem is that narrative (conceived as linear metaphorization), does not come to grips with the needs of Third Order Cybernetics[1].

References

  • Agar, M. (2005). “We have met the other and we’re all nonlinear: Ethnography as a nonlinear dynamic system,” Complexity, ISSN 1076-2787, 10(2): 16-24.
  • Baskin, K. (2005a). “Storytelling and the complex epistemology of organizations,” in K. A. Richardson (ed.), Managing organizational complexity: Philosophy, theory, application, Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing, ISBN 1593113188, pp. 331-344.
  • Baskin, K. (2005b). “Complexity, stories and knowing,” Emergence: Complexity & Organization, ISSN 1521-3250, 7(2): 32-40.
  • Boje, D. M. (2001). Narrative methods for organizational and communication research, London, UK: Sage Publications, ISBN 0761965874.
  • Boje, D. M. (1995). “Stories of the storytelling organization: A postmodern analysis of Disney as ‘Tamara-land’,” Academy of Management Journal, ISSN 0001-4273, 38(4): 997-1035, http://cbae.nmsu.edu/∼dboje/papers/DisneyTamaraland.html.
  • Boulding, K. (1968). “General systems theory: The skeleton of science,” in Walter Buckley (ed.), Modern systems research for the behavioral scientist, Chicago: Adeline, ISBN 0202300110, pp. 3-10. More recently reprinted in K. A. Richardson, J. A. Goldstein, P. M. Allen and D. Snowden (eds.) (2004). E:CO Annual Volume 6, Mansfield, MA: ISCE Publishing, ISBN 0976681404, pp. 252-264.
  • Dervin, B., Foreman-Wernet, L. and Lauterback, Eric (eds.) (2003). Sense-making methodology reader: Selected writings of Brenda Dervin, Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, ISBN 1572735090.
  • Kurtz, C. F. and Snowden, D. J. (2003). “The new dynamics of strategy: Sense-making in a complex and complicated world,” IBM Systems Journal, ISSN 0018-8670, 42(3): 462-483.
  • Pondy, L. R. (1976). “Beyond open systems models of organization,” Annual meeting of the Academy of Management, August 12, reprinted in this issue of E:CO, pp. 122-139.
  • Stacey, R.D. (2001). Complex responsive processes in organizations, London, UK: Routledge, ISBN 0415249198.
  • Weick, K. E. (1995), Sensemaking in organizations, London, UK: Sage Publications, ISBN 080397177X.

 

 

https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Fourth_Order_Cybernetics

http://attainable-utopias.org/tiki/FourthOrderCybernetics

Fourth Order Cybernetics

M. C. Escher’s pictures illustrate some relevant issues…


See First Order Cybernetics
See Second Order Cybernetics
See Third Order Cybernetics


Can we Define a Fourth Order System?

  • Fourth Order Cybernetics considers what happens when a system redefines itself.
  • It focuses on the integration of a system within its larger, co-defining context.
  • Ultimately, Fourth Order Cybernetics is difficult or, perhaps, impossible to conceive.
  • It unavoidably defies certain principles that make sense at the ‘lower Orders’ .
  • Fourth Order Cybernetics acknowledges the complex system’s emergent properties.
  • Emergence entails a greater complexity that reduces knowability and predictability.
  • It also implies that a system will ‘immerge’ into its environment, of which it is part.
  • Immergence means ‘submergence’ or ‘disappearance in, or as if in, a liquid’.

The Distributed Nature of 4th Order Cybernetics

  • Who (or what) is capable of seeing a Fourth Order system in its full complexity?
  • At the Fourth Order, the discrete observer’s boundaries become problematic.
  • Who is sufficiently mercurial to notice all relevant changes as, and when they occur?
  • A single agent is unable to see enough – its standpoint is too fixed, partial or out of date.
  • In First Order Cybernetics the idea of a Network (external link) makes sense.
  • So could a network be described as an ‘observer’ of a Fourth Order system?
  • Yes, in theory, but we may not be able to learn what it ‘knows’ in any depth. (see neural networks (external link))
  • Consider a musical ensemble, and how it attunes itself to audience responses (e.g. cheering).
  • This raises complex issues of consciousness – where, when, and how it emerges.
  • We can discuss this by describing how the body manages many levels of knowing.

Fourth Order Systems Integrate the Inner with the Outer

It is difficult to focus on the dark birds at the same time as the light ones

  • Some human knowledge is tacit (external link) rather than descriptive or declarative (external link).
  • Embodied knowledge is an example of knowledge distributed within, and across a network
  • It is something we may say we ‘know’, but it exists at a level that cannot be described.
  • Saying that we know how to ride a bicycle is not saying the ‘knowing’ itself.
  • When I am riding, my body uses knowledge that cannot be described in words.
  • Nevertheless I may sit quietly and meditate on what it was like to ride a bicycle.
  • When I do so my attention focuses inwards and distracts me from events around me.
  • Conversely, when in a difficult task (e.g. winning a cycle race) I soon forget the ‘inner’ me.
  • This illustrates that systems appear to have distinct ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ realities.

Fourth Order Systems are Holarchic (external link)

  • How can we view a system as though from the outside and the inside, simultaneously?
  • To do this would mean combining two (categorically) opposite descriptions.
  • In Fourth Order Systems, anything we notice can also be seen as the system.
  • The system can therefore seem to become its own inverse
  • This cannot be conceived in terms of classical science
  • The ethical system needed to sustain a 4th Order system is likely to be eudaimonic (external link)

  • Fourth Order Cybernetics can only be understood and described in terms if the inverse of First Order Cybernetics.
  • Yet by understanding the underlying principle of system inversion, this makes it possible to describe the Open System.
  • The 4th Order system is contextualised, embedded and integrated into the context
  • It can thereby become representative for the integrated context.
  • It therefore operates at two levels simultaneously.
  • It is no longer a system, but a meta-system.
  • It operates both as a system in its context, and as a system that is part of the context.
  • It thereby has the capacity to integrate and disintegrate the contact between both.
  • It is an active, interactive, reactive and ideally representative agent in/for/with/of that context.
  • This requires a different level of description: not in relationship to the system, but to the relationship between systems.
  • The Interface is now the system of reference, instead of the system.
  • This relationship is the basis of the interaction.
  • The transformation is the basis of the processing.
  • The integration is the basis of integrity.
  • The significant feature of the meta-system is its duality.
  • The essence is the same, but the relevance brings inversion.
  • The metasystem is an object; the meta-system is a subject.
  • Whereas a system can normally be described, a meta-system can only be experienced
  • The ‘pillars’ in this transition are the relationships (Second Order) and the interactions (Third Order).
  • Fourth Order Design would integrate all activities in an inverted, contextualised form
  • It would be embedded in its context and responsible in, and for, its actions
  • The system would act as meta-system and design would act as meta-design.
  • This represents the level of self-awareness.
  • It is where the system reflects upon itself and steers itself (i.e. is autopoietic).
  • These attributes facilitate self-regeneration, thus self-healing.
  • They can therefore be managed to enable a healing process.

http://attainable-utopias.org/tiki/FourthOrderCybernetics

https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Fourth_Order_Cybernetics

Fourth Order Cybernetics

Description

Can we Define a Fourth Order System?

Fourth Order Cybernetics considers what happens when a system redefines itself.

It focuses on the integration of a system within its larger, co-defining context.

* The 4th Order system is contextualised, embedded and integrated into the context
* It can thereby become representative for the integrated context.
* It therefore operates at two levels simultaneously.
* It is no longer a system, but a meta-system.
* It operates both as a system in its context, and as a system that is part of the context.
* It thereby has the capacity to integrate and disintegrate the contact between both.
* It is an active, interactive, reactive and ideally representative agent in/for/with/of that context.
* This requires a different level of description: not in relationship to the system, but to the relationship between systems.
* The Interface is now the system of reference, instead of the system.
* This relationship is the basis of the interaction.
* The transformation is the basis of the processing.
* The integration is the basis of integrity.
* The significant feature of the meta-system is its duality.
* The essence is the same, but the relevance brings inversion.
* The metasystem is an object; the meta-system is a subject.
* Whereas a system can normally be described, a meta-system can only be experienced
* The ‘pillars’ in this transition are the relationships (Second Order) and the interactions (Third Order).
* Fourth Order Design would integrate all activities in an inverted, contextualised form
* It would be embedded in its context and responsible in, and for, its actions
* The system would act as meta-system and design would act as meta-design.
* This represents the level of self-awareness.
* It is where the system reflects upon itself and steers itself (i.e. is autopoietic).
* These attributes facilitate self-regeneration, thus self-healing.
* They can therefore be managed to enable a healing process.

(http://attainable-utopias.org/tiki/FourthOrderCybernetics)

More Information

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybernetics: interdisciplinary study of the structure of regulatory systems.

Please see my related posts:

Cybernetics Group: A Brief History of American Cybernetics

Ratio Club: A Brief History of British Cyberneticians

Second Order Cybernetics of Heinz Von Foerster

Cybernetics, Autopoiesis, and Social Systems Theory

Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Recursive Vision of Gregory Bateson

Socio-Cybernetics and Constructivist Approaches

Society as Communication: Social Systems Theory of Niklas Luhmann

Reflexivity, Recursion, and Self Reference

Autocatalysis, Autopoiesis and Relational Biology

Systems and Organizational Cybernetics

Feedback Thought in Economics and Finance

On Holons and Holarchy

Psychology of Happiness: Value of Storytelling and Narrative Plays

Drama Theory: Choices, Conflicts and Dilemmas

Drama Theory: Acting Strategically

Drama Therapy: Self in Performance

Aesthetics and Ethics: At the Intersection

Arts and Moral Philosophy

Narrative Psychology: Language, Meaning, and Self

Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: Integral Theory of Ken Wilber

Meta Integral Theories: Integral Theory, Critical Realism, and Complex Thought

Cyber-Semiotics: Why Information is not enough

 

Key Sources of Research:

Introduction to Sociocybernetics (Part 1):

Third Order Cybernetics and a Basic Framework for Society

Roberto Gustavo Mancilla

 

Click to access Third+order+cyberntics.pdf

 

Introduction to Sociocybernetics (Part 2): Power, Culture and Institutions

  • Roberto Gustavo Mancilla

https://papiro.unizar.es/ojs/index.php/rc51-jos/article/view/625

Introduction to Sociocybernetics (Part 3): Fourth Order Cybernetics

Roberto Gustavo Mancilla

Click to access 208de7103c9fd87688023e66d06111454862.pdf

 

 

 

The Third Order Cybernetics of Eric Schwarz

Eric Schwarz and Maurice Yolles

Prof.m.yolles@gmail.com

July 2019

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3427683

 

 

 

“There’s Nothing Like the Real Thing” Revisiting the Need for a Third-Order Cybernetics

 

Click to access kenny_cyber3.pdf

 

 

 

Cybernetics and Second-Order Cybernetics

Francis Heylighen Free University of Brussels

Cliff Joslyn Los Alamos National Laboratory

Click to access Cybernetics-EPST.pdf

A new – 4th order cybernetics and sustainable future

Stane Božičnik, Matjaž Mulej

Kybernetes

Publication date: 14 June 2011

https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/03684921111142232/full/html

 

 

 

The cybernetics of systems of belief

Bernard Scott

Centre for Educational Technology and Development, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

Click to access b1c419023f5cec784d0c75e8058930f9e6c9.pdf

 

 

 

Ethics and Second-Order Cybernetics*

Heinz von Foerster

 

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.384.6075&rep=rep1&type=pdf#page=300

 

Philosophical-Methodological Basis for the Formation of Third-Order Cybernetics

V. E. Lepskiy

The New Science of Cybernetics: A Primer

Karl H. Müller

 

 

 

New Horizons for Second-Order Cybernetics

WORLD SCIENTIFIC 2017

April 13, 2018

Karl H. Muller et al., “New Horizons for Second-Order Cybernetics” (World Scientific, 2017)

 

 

 

RECONSIDERING CYBERNETIC

UMPLEBY STUART

https://sites.nationalacademies.org/cs/groups/dbassesite/documents/webpage/dbasse_176892.pdf

 

 

 

Introduction to the Theory of Intersubjective Management

Vladimir A. Vittikh

Click to access s10726-014-9380-z.pdf

 

 

 

Lacan and Maturana: Constructivist Origins for a 30 Cybernetics

Philip Boxer & Vincent Kenny

 

Click to access 552bda070cf2e089a3aa87d4.pdf

 

 

 

The Economy of Discourses: a third order cybernetics?

Philip Boxer & Vincent Kenny

 

Click to access The-economy-of-discourses-a-third-order-cybernetics.pdf

 

 

 

THIRD-ORDER CYBERNETICS

Vladimir Lepskiy

(Institute of Philosophy Russian Academy of Sciences)

 

http://www.reflexion.ru/Library/Sbornic2017.pdf#page=32

 

 

 

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN CYBERNETICS,
A THEORY FOR UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL SYSTEMS

Stuart A. Umpleby, Vladimir E. Lepskiy, and Tatiana A. Medvedeva

 

Click to access db4a81a13d83bd3222ead66e9988bc5b47ac.pdf

 

 

 

First-, Second-, and Third-Order Cybernetics for Music & Mediated Interaction

 

Click to access IDAH-FA10.pdf

Cybernetics Group: A Brief History of American Cybernetics

Cybernetics Group: A Brief History of American Cybernetics

The Cybernetics Group

Focusing on the Macy Foundation conferences, a series of encounters that captured a moment of transformation in the human sciences.

In this sequel to his acclaimed double biography, John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener, Steve Heims recounts another fascinating story in twentieth-century intellectual history – a series of encounters that captured a moment of transformation in the human sciences. Focusing on the Macy Foundation conferences, which were designed to forge connections between wartime science and postwar social science, Heims’s richly detailed account explores the dialogues that emerged among a remarkable group that included Wiener, von Neumann, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, Warren McCulloch, Kurt Lewin, Molly Harrower, and Lawrence Kubie. Heims shows how those dialogues shaped ideas in psychology, sociology, anthropology, and psychiatry.

 

Cybernetics

THE MACY CONFERENCES 1946-1953. THE COMPLETE TRANSACTIONS

Between 1946 and 1953, the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation sponsored a series of conferences aiming to bring together a diverse, interdisciplinary community of scholars and researchers who would join forces to lay the groundwork for the new science of cybernetics. These conferences, known as the Macy conferences, constituted a landmark for the field. They were the first to grapple with new terms such as information and feedback and to develop a cohesive and broadly applicable theory of systems that would become equally applicable to living beings and machines, economic and cognitive processes, and many scholarly disciplines. The concepts that emerged from the conferences come to permeate thinking in many fields, including biology, neurology, sociology, ecology, economics, politics, psychoanalysis, linguistics, and computer science.

This book contains the complete transcripts of all ten Macy conferences and the guidelines for the conference proceedings. These transcripts are supplemented with an introduction by Claus Pias that charts the significance of the Macy conferences to the history of science.

 

Macy Conferences Participants

A series of 10 focused meetings spanning 1942 to 1953 sponsored by the Josiah Macy Foundation, which brought together

  • John von Neumann
  • Norbert Wiener
  • Margaret Mead
  • Karl Lashley
  • Ross Ashby
  • Warren McCulloch
  • Walter Pitts
  • Arturo Rosenblueth
  • Claude Shannon
  • Heinz von Foerster
  • Rafael Lorente de No ́
  • R. Karl Pribram
  • Duncan Luce
  • Donald M. MacKay
  • Gregory Bateson
  • Kurt Lewin
  • Molly Harrower
  • Lawrence Kubie
  • Filmer S. C. Northrop
  • Lawrence K. Frank
  • Heinrich Kluver
  • Leonard J Savage
  • Ralph Girard and many others

 

Stuart A. Umpleby

A Short History of Cybernetics in the United States

The Origin of Cybernetics

Cybernetics as a field of scientific activity in the United States began in the years after World War II. Between 1946 and 1953 the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation sponsored a series of conferences in New York City on the subject of „Circular Causal and Feedback Mechanisms in Biological and Social Systems.“ The chair of the conferences was Warren McCulloch of MIT. Only the last five conferences were recorded in written proceedings. These have now been republished.1 After Norbert Wiener published his book Cybernetics in 1948,2 Heinz von Foerster suggested that the name of the conferences should be changed to „Cybernetics: Circular Causal and Feedback Mechanisms in Biological and Social Systems.“ In this way the meetings became known as the Macy Conferences on Cybernetics.

In subsequent years cybernetics influenced many academic fields – computer science, electrical engineering, artificial intelligence, robotics, management, family therapy, political science, sociology, biology, psychology, epistemology, music, etc. Cybernetics has been defined in many ways: as control and communication in animals, machines, and social systems; as a general theory of regulation; as the science or art of effective organization; as the art of constructing defensible metaphors, etc.3 The term ‚cybernetics‘ has been associated with many stimulating conferences, yet cybernetics has not thrived as an organized scientific field within American universities. Although a few cybernetics programs were established on U.S. campuses, these programs usually did not survive the retirement or death of their founders. Quite often transdisciplinary fields are perceived as threatening by established disciplines.

Relative to other academic societies the meetings on cybernetics tended to have more than the usual controversy, probably due to the wide variety of disciplines represented by the participants. Indeed Margaret Mead contributed an article,

Cybernetics of Cybernetics, to the proceedings of the first conference of the American Society for Cybernetics, in which she suggested that cyberneticians should apply their knowledge of communication to how they communicate with each other.4

Interpretations of Cybernetics

Not everyone originally connected with cybernetics continued to use the term. The original group of cyberneticians created approximately four research traditions.

  • The cybernetics of Alan Turing and John von Neumann became computer science, AI, and robotics. Turing5 formulated the concept of a Universal Turing Machine – a mathematical description of a computational device. He also devised the Turing test – a way of determining whether a computer program displays „artificial intelligence“.6 The related professional societies are the Association for Computing Machinery and the American Association for Artificial Intelligence.
  • Norbert Wiener’s cybernetics became part of electrical engineering. This branch of cybernetics includes control mechanisms, from thermostats to automated assembly lines. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, including the Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society, is the main professional society. The principal concern is systems engineering.
  • Warren McCulloch’s cybernetics became „second order cybernetics“. McCulloch chaired the Macy Foundation conferences. He sought to understand the functioning of the nervous system and thereby the operation of the brain and the mind. The American Society for Cybernetics has continued this tradition.
  • Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead pursued research in the social sciences, particularly anthropology, psychology, and family therapy. Work on the cybernetics of social systems is being continued in the American Society for Cybernetics and the Socio-Cybernetics Group within the International Sociological Association.

Other groups can also be identified. For example, a control systems group within psychology was generated by the work of William Powers.7 Biofeedback or neuro- feedback is a subject of investigation by some researchers in medicine and psycho- logy. The Santa Fe Institute has developed simulation methods based on the ideas of self-organizing systems and cellular automata.8 Some members of the International Society for the Systems Sciences have an interest in management cybernetics.

This paper recounts about sixty years of the history of cybernetics in the United States, divided into five year intervals. The emphasis will be on the third and fourth groups, McCulloch’s cybernetics and social cybernetics.

Early 1940s

In 1943 two landmark papers were published. Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts wrote, A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity.9 This article sought to understand how a network of neurons functions so that we experience what we call „an idea.“ They presented their explanation in mathematical form.

Arthuro Rosenblueth, Norbert Wiener and Julian Bigelow published Behavior, Purpose, Teleology.10 They observed behavior, which they interpreted as purposeful, and then sought to explain how this phenomenon could happen without teleology, using only Aristotle’s efficient cause. Also in the early 1940s Wiener worked on a radar-guided anti-aircraft gun.

Late 1940s

In the late 1940s the early Macy Conferences were held in New York City.11 They were attended by scientists including Norbert Wiener, Julian Bigelow, John von Neumann, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, Ross Ashby, Grey Walter, and Heinz von Foerster. By 1949 three key books were published: Von Neumann’s and Morgenstern’s Theory of Games and Economic Behavior,12 Wiener’s (1948) Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine,13 and Shannon’s and Weaver’s (1949) The Mathematical Theory of Communication.14 These books defined a new science of information and regulation.

Early 1950s

In the early 1950s more Macy conferences took place. This time proceedings were published with Heinz von Foerster as editor. Meanwhile the first commercial com- puters were manufactured.

Late 1950s

In the 1950s the CIA was concerned about the possibility of brain-washing and mind control. Under the code name MKUltra experiments with LSD and other drugs were conducted at Harvard University and elsewhere.15 Some of the money for this research was channeled through the Macy Foundation. In one incident, a CIA employee was given LSD without his knowledge. Apparently he thought he was going mad and jumped out a window of a hotel in New York City. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, when he was a student at Harvard, was an experimental subject of these mind control experiments.16

Early checkers-playing programs were written and raised the possibility of artifi- cial intelligence.17 In 1956 at a conference at Dartmouth University people interested in studying the brain and people interested in creating computer programs parted ways. Neurophysiologists valued work that illuminated the nature of cognition. Engineers valued work that led to useful machines. Thereafter the people interested in cybernetics and those interested in artificial intelligence had little interaction.

Following a sabbatical year working with Arthuro Rosenblueth and Warren McCulloch, Heinz von Foerster founded the Biological Computer Laboratory (BCL) at the University of Illinois in 1958. During the 1960s and early 1970s BCL was the leading center for cybernetics research in the U.S. Frequent visitors were Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela, Gordon Pask, and Lars Loefgren. Graduates included Klaus Krippendorff, Alfred Inselberg, Crayton Walker, Roger Conant, and Stuart Umpleby.  During the same period the Mental Health Research Institute (MHRI) at the University of Michigan was the leading center for general systems research in the U.S. The founding director of MHRI was James G. Miller. Other systems scientists at MHRI were Kenneth E. Boulding, Anatol Rapoport, Richard L. Meier, and John R. Platt.

Early 1960s

In the early 1960s several conferences on self-organizing systems were held.18 One of these conferences was held in 1961 at the University of Illinois’s Allerton Park.19 As a result of an invitation made at this conference, Ross Ashby moved from England to Illinois. The work on self-organizing systems was a forerunner to the field of study now called ‚complexity‘ or ‚complex systems‘.

Although the Macy Foundation Conferences ended in 1953, the American Society for Cybernetics (ASC) was not founded until 1964. This seems rather late. Actually the ASC was founded not so much to continue the work of the Macy conferences but rather as a result of the Cold War.20 During the Presidential campaign in 1960, when John F. Kennedy was elected, there was talk about a „missile gap“ between the United States and the Soviet Union. Not long thereafter there began to be talk about a „cybernetics gap.“ Some people in the Soviet Union thought cybernetics would provide the theory they needed to operate their centrally planned economy.

Consequently, the Soviet government generously funded cybernetics research. Some people in the U.S. government then feared that the U.S. might fall behind in a criti- cal area of research, if this country did not also fund cybernetics research.

In Washington, DC, a cybernetics luncheon club was meeting. The participants included Paul Henshaw, Atomic Energy Commission; Carl Hammer, Univac; Jack Ford, CIA; Douglas Knight, IBM; Walter Munster; Bill Moore, lawyer. This group founded the American Society for Cybernetics (ASC). The founding ceremony was held at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. A grant from the National Science Foundation helped the Society to establish the Journal of Cybernetics. A conference on the social impact of cybernetics was held at Georgetown University in 1964.21 The first conference arranged by the ASC was held in 1967 at the National Bureau of Standards in Gaithersburg, MD.22

Late 1960s

Social movements in the United States – against the Viet Nam war and for civil rights, women’s rights, and environmental protection – produced a time of student activism on campuses. In terms of research it was a productive period for the Bio- logical Computer Laboratory (BCL) at the University of Illinois.23

Early 1970s

At a meeting of the American Society for Cybernetics in 1974 in Philadelphia, Heinz von Foerster introduced the term „second order cybernetics.“24 The Mansfield Amendment, which was an attempt to reduce campus unrest caused by the Viet Nam War, cut off government funds for research that was not related to a military mission, including research at BCL.25

There was an argument between the officers of ASC and the publisher of the Journal of Cybernetics. The dispute was submitted to arbitration, and the publisher won. Thereafter the journal continued to be published, but without ASC involvement. The journal published articles primarily in engineering. However, the field of cybernetics was increasingly emphasizing biology and the social sciences.

Late 1970s

Heinz von Foerster retired from the University of Illinois in 1976 and moved to California. There he communicated with Paul Watzlawick, John Weakland and others at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto. During this time second order cybernetics or constructivist epistemology had a significant impact on the field of family therapy.26

In the late 1970s no meetings of the American Society for Cybernetics were held. The people connected with BCL attended meetings of the Society for General Systems Research, which a few years later changed its name to the International Society for the Systems Sciences.

For a few years, due to a conflict among the ASC officers in Washington, DC, there was a rival organization, the American Cybernetics Association (ACA), based in Philadelphia. The two organizations came back together a few years later through the efforts of Barry Clemson, Doreen Steg, Klaus Krippendorff and others. The reorganized society used the ASC name and the ACA by-laws. But the society remained small, usually having fewer than 400 members.

Stuart Umpleby, who received his PhD from the University of Illinois in 1975 and moved to The George Washington University in Washington, DC, received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for an Electronic Information Exchange for Small Research Communities. The BCL group moved into cyberspace.27 This group, discussing General Systems Theory, was one of nine academic groups using the Electronic Information Exchange System (EIES) at New Jersey Institute of Technology. For three years in the late 1970s cyberneticians and systems scientists across the United States and a few in Europe communicated with each other using email and computer conferencing via dumb terminals and, initially, 300 baud modems. The long distance telephone charges were paid by the NSF grant. When the grant ran out, there was disappointment that universities would not pay the communications charges. Indeed, it took almost fifteen years before costs declined sufficiently to permit regular email communication among academics.

Early 1980s

As a result of being the moderator of the on-line discussion group, Umpleby was elected president of ASC. A planning conference in 1980 charted a new direction for the Society.28 ASC began organizing conferences again and reestablished connec- tions with its former journal, now called Cybernetics and Systems.

A series of meetings with Soviet scientists was started as a way to bring leading American scientists together to review fundamentals, in particular to discuss second order cybernetics.29 The meetings were funded by the American Council of Learned Societies and the Soviet Academy of Sciences. These meetings were quite productive for exchanging views; however, a controversy with the Soviet side arose over the participation of Vladimir Lefebvre, a Soviet émigré. Prior to glasnost and perestro- ika Lefebvre’s theory30 of two systems of ethical cognition was not accepted by the Soviet government. However, during the break up of the USSR Lefebvre’s work was used by people at the highest levels of government in both the United States and the Soviet Union to prevent miscommunication.31

Lefebvre’s work is being further developed through annual conferences organized by Vladimir Lepsky in the Insti- tute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Lefebvre’s theory of reflexive control is being used by psychologists and educators to help with the psychological and cultural difficulties involved in the social, political, and economic transition in Russia.32

Late 1980s

Members of the American Society for Cybernetics began offering tutorials on first and second order cybernetics prior to systems conferences (see Table 1). They were seeking to make a scientific revolution.33 At a conference in St. Gallen, Switzerland, in 1987 the members of the American Society for Cybernetics decided to focus their attention almost exclusively on advancing second order cybernetics.34 The focus on second order cybernetics to the exclusion of other interpretations of cybernetics had the effect of reducing the membership of the ASC to about one hundred mem- bers. However, there was strong interest in second order cybernetics in Europe.35

 

Table 1. Definitions of First and Second Order Cybernetics

Author

First Order Cybernetics

Second Order Cybernetics

von Foerster

The cybernetics of observed systems

The cybernetics of observing system

Pask

The purpose of a model

The purpose of modeler

Varela

Controlled systems

Autonomous systems

Umpleby

Interaction among the vari- ables in a system

Interaction between observer and observed

Umpleby

Theories of social systems

Theories of the interaction between ideas and society

The second Soviet-American conference was held in Tallinn, Estonia, in 1988. Due to glasnost and perestroika the original topics (epistemology, methodology, and management) were expanded to include large-scale social experiments.

 

Early 1990s

In 1990 two symposia on Theories to Guide the Reform of Socialist Societies were held in Washington, DC, and Vienna, Austria.36 These meetings were the beginning of a multi-year effort both to understand the changes occurring in the former Soviet Union from the perspective of social theory and to use knowledge of social systems to guide the transitions.

The work on second order cybernetics was also changing. The members of the ASC had worked almost twenty years on developing and promoting the point of view known as second order cybernetics or constructivism. Some people wanted to move from a period of revolutionary science to a new period of normal science.37 One way to understand the change is to say that the period of engineering cyberne- tics lasted from the mid 1940s to the mid 1970s. The period of biological cybernetics or second order cybernetics lasted from the mid 1970s to the mid 1990s. And the period of social cybernetics began in the mid 1990s (see Table 2).

Late 1990s

Symposia on the transitions in the former Soviet Union continued to be held as part of the European Meetings on Cybernetics and Systems Research. These meetings are held every two years in Vienna, Austria. The symposia bring together scientists from East and West.

In Washington, DC, a series of meetings on the Year 2000 Computer Problem were held with the support of The Washington Post. These meetings were based on the idea that „y2k“ could be regarded as an experiment which would reveal the amount of interconnectedness in our increasingly cybernetic society.38

Niklas Luhmann’s writings in sociology introduced ideas such as constructivism and autopoiesis to social scientists in Europe.39 A Socio-Cybernetics Working Group within the International Sociological Association was established by Felix Geyer and others.

Early 2000s

In the early years of the 21st century large conferences on informatics and cyber- netics were organized by Nagib Callaos and his colleagues in Orlando, FL. One result has been organizing efforts in Latin America stimulated by the conferences in Orlando. Annual conferences on reflexive control began to be held in Moscow

 

Table 2. Three Versions of Cybernetics

Engineering Cybernetics

Biological Cybernetics

Social Cybernetics

The view
of epistemo­ logy

A realist view of epistemology: knowledge is a „picture“ of reality

A biological view of epistemology: how the brain func­ tions

A pragmatic view of epistemology: knowledge is con­ structed to achieve human purposes

A key distinction

Reality vs. Scientific Theories

Realism vs. Constructivism

The biology of cognition vs. the observer as a social participant

The puzzle to be solved

Construct theories which explain ob­ served phenomena

Include the ob­ server within the domain of science

Explain the rela­ tionship between the natural and the social sciences

What must be explained

How the world works

How an individual constructs a „real­ ity“

How people cre­ ate, maintain, and change social sys­ tems through lan­ guage and ideas

A key as­ sumption

Natural processes can be explained by scientific theo­ ries

Ideas about knowl­ edge should be rooted in neuro­ physiology

Ideas are accepted if they serve the observer’s pur­ poses as a social participant

An impor­ tant conse­ quence

Scientific know- ledge can be used to modify natural processes to benefitpeople

If people accept constructivism, they will be more tolerant

By transforming conceptual systems (through persua­ sion, not coercion), we can change society

and may lead to the founding of a Russian Association in the field of cybernetics and systems.

In the International Society for the Systems Sciences there is growing interest in group facilitation and participation methods.40 An increasing number of books about cybernetics appear, frequently by German authors.41 A Heinz von Foerster

Society was established in Vienna to further develop the ideas explored at the Bio- logical Computer Laboratory. A new biography of Norbert Wiener was published which explains the break that occurred between Wiener and McCulloch.42

The „global university system“ created by the Internet and the Bologna process is not only greatly facilitating communication among scientists around the world but is also leading to a new metaphor for the social implications of cybernetics, an alternative metaphor to the „global brain.“43

Questions about the History of Cybernetics

Given the promising and exciting beginnings of cybernetics, the outstanding sci- entists involved, and the subsequent impact of cybernetics on many disciplines, it is curious that the term ‚cybernetics‘ is not widely known or used today, even though most professional people spend several hours a day in cyberspace. Margaret Mead commented on the development of cybernetics at the first ASC conference in 1968:

„We were impressed by the potential usefulness of a language sufficiently sophisticated to be used to solve complex human problems, and sufficiently abstract to make it possible to cross disciplinary boundaries. We thought we would go on to real interdisciplinary research, using this language as a medium. Instead, the whole thing fragmented. Norbert Wiener wrote his book Cybernetics. It fascinated intellectuals and it looked for a while as if the ideas that he expressed would become a way of thought. But they didn’t.“44

Why did the cybernetics movement break up following the Macy Conferences? Perhaps it never came together. People stayed in their home disciplines. Many very thought-provoking meetings were held under the label of cybernetics, but the educational programs that were established did not survive in discipline-oriented universities. When their founders retired, the programs were closed. One conse- quence of the lack of educational programs at universities is that key ideas tend to be reinvented. One example is the work on complex systems centered at the Santa Fe Institute. These writers rarely refer to the work in cybernetics and systems theory.

What prevented unity? There was never agreement on fundamentals. Eric Dent in his doctoral dissertation at The George Washington University provides an explanation of the continuing heterogeneity of the field of cybernetics and systems science.45 Dent claims that after World War II the systems sciences dramatically expanded the scientific enterprise. Specifically, science expanded along eight dimen- sions: causality, determinism, relationships, holism, environment, self-organization, reflexivity, and observation.46 However, not all of the various systems fields chose to emphasize the same dimensions. Indeed, each field chose a unique combination. This meant that the various systems fields did not agree on what the key issues were. As a result each subfield developed its own language, theories, methods, traditions, and results.

These eight dimensions have both united and divided the systems sciences. The dimensions unite the systems sciences because each of the subfields of systems sci- ence uses at least one of the new assumptions, whereas classical science uses none. The dimensions divide the systems sciences because each subfield emphasizes a different dimension or set of dimensions. Hence, issues that are very important in one subfield are less important or do not arise in other subfields. Given different questions, the answers in theories and methods have been different.47 Perhaps in the 21st century the progress made in developing the field of cybernetics in many disciplines will be successfully integrated.

Notes

1  Claus Pias, ed., Cybernetics – Kybernetik: The Macy Conferences 1946–1953, Zürich and Berlin 2004.

2  Norbert Wiener, Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, Cambridge, MA 1948.

3  Larry Richards, Defining ‚Cybernetics‘ (1987), http://www.asc-cybernetics.org/foundations/definitions.htm.

4  Margaret Mead, Cybernetics of Cybernetics, in: Heinz von Foerster et al., eds., Purposive Systems, New York 1968.

5  Alan Turing, On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, in: Pro- ceedings of the London Mathematical Society 42/2 (1936), 230–265. Reprinted in Martin Davis, ed., The Undecidable, New York 1965.

6  Alan Turing, Computing Machinery and Intelligence, in: Mind 59 (1950), 433–460.

7  William Powers, Behavior: the Control of Perception, New York 1973.

8  M. Mitchell Waldrop, Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos, New York 1992.

9  Warren S. McCulloch and Walter Pitts, A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity, in: Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics 5 (1943), 115–133; reprinted in Warren S. McCulloch, Embodiments of Mind, Cambridge, MA, 1965, 19–39.

10  Arturo Rosenblueth, Norbert Wiener and Julian Bigelow, Behavior, Purpose and Teleology, in: Philosophy of Science 10 (1943), 18–24; reprinted in W. Buckley, ed., Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist, Chicago 1968, 221–225.

11  Steve J. Heims, The Cybernetics Group, Cambridge, MA 1991.

12  John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern, Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, Princeton, NJ 1944.

13  Wiener, Cybernetics.

14  Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver, The Mathematical Theory of Communication, Urbana, Ill. 1949.

15  John Marks, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, New York 1978.

16  Alston Chase, Harvard and the Unabomber: The Education of an American Terrorist, New York 2003.

17  Arthur Samuel, Some Studies in Machine Learning Using the Game of Checkers in: IBM Journal 3/3 (1959), 210–229.

18  Marshall Yovits and Scott Cameron, eds., Self-Organizing Systems, London 1960; Marshall Yovits, George Jacobi, Gordon Goldstein, eds., Self-Organizing Systems – 1962, Washington 1962.

19  Heinz von Foerster and George W. Zopf Jr., eds., Principles of Self-Organization, New York 1962.

20  Charles Richard Dechert, ed., The Social Impact of Cybernetics, New York 1966.

21  Ibid.

22  Heinz von Foerster et al., eds., Purposive Systems, New York 1968.

23  Albert Müller and Karl H. Müller, eds., An Unfinished Revolution? Heinz von Foerster and the Bio- logical Computer Laboratory, 1958–1976, Wien 2007.

24  Heinz von Foerster, Cybernetics of Cybernetics, in: Klaus Krippendorff, ed., Communication and Control in Society, New York 1979.

25  Stuart Umpleby, Heinz von Foerster and the Mansfield Amendment, in: Cybernetics and Human Knowing 10 (2003), No. 3–4.

26  Paul Watzlawick, The Invented Reality: How do we Know what we Believe we Know? Contributions to Constructivism, New York 1984.

27  Stuart Umpleby, Computer Conference on General Systems Theory: One Year’s Experience, in: M. Henderson and M. MacNaughton, eds., Electronic Communication: Technology and Impacts, Boul- der, CO 1979; Stuart Umpleby and K. Thomas, Applying Systems Theory to the Conduct of Systems Research, in: Anthony Debons ed., Information Science in Action: System Design, vol. l, The Hague 1983.

28  Stuart Umpleby, The 1980 Planning Conference of the American Society for Cybernetics, in: Cyber- netics Forum 10/1 (1981).

29  Stuart Umpleby, American and Soviet Discussions of the Foundations of Cybernetics and General Systems Theory, in: Cybernetics and Systems 18 (1987); Stuart Umpleby and Vadim Sadovsky, eds., A Science of Goal Formulation: American and Soviet Discussions of Cybernetics and Systems Theory, New York 1991.

30  Vladimir A. Lefebvre, Algebra of Conscience: A Comparative Analysis of Western and Soviet Ethical Systems, London 1982.

31  Stuart Umpleby, A Preliminary Inventory of Theories Available to Guide the Reform of Socialist Societies, in: Stuart Umpleby and Robert Trappl, eds., Cybernetics and Systems 22/4 (1991).

32  Stuart Umpleby and Tatyana A. Medvedeva, Psychological Adjustment to Economic and Social Change, in: Reflexive Control 1/1 (2001), 102–112.

33  Stuart Umpleby, On Making a Scientific Revolution, in: Heinz von Foerster, ed., Cybernetics of Cy- bernetics, Urbana 1974; reprinted in 1995, Minneapolis: Future Systems.

34  Stuart Umpleby, Three Conceptions of Conversation, in: Continuing the Conversation: A Newsletter of Ideas in Cybernetics, No. 10, 1987.

35  Stuart Umpleby, Cybernetics of Conceptual Systems, in: Cybernetics and Systems 28/8 (1997), 635– 652.

36  Umpleby, Inventory.

37  Stuart Umpleby, The Science of Cybernetics and the Cybernetics of Science, in: Cybernetics and Systems 21/1 (1990).

38  Stuart Umpleby, Coping with an Error in a Knowledge Society: The Case of the Year 2000 Computer Crisis, in: George E. Lasker et al., eds., Advances in Sociocybernetics and Human Development VIII, Windsor, Canada 2000.

39  Niklas Luhmann, Social Systems. Stanford, CA 1995.

40  Ken Bausch, ed., Special Issue on Agoras of the Global Village, World Futures, 6/1–2 (2004).

41  Müller and Müller, Revolution.

42  Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman, Dark Hero of the Information Age: In Search of Norbert Wiener, the Father of Cybernetics, New York 2005.

43  Stuart Umpleby, Strengthening the Global University System, in: R. Meyer, ed., Perspectives in Higher Education Reform, vol. 12, Alliance of Universities for Democracy, American University in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria 2003.

44  Mead, Cybernetics.

45  Eric B. Dent, The Design, Development, and Evaluation of Measures to Survey Worldview in Orga- nizations. Ann Arbor, MI University Microfilms 1996

46  Eric B. Dent, System Science Traditions: Differing Philosophical Assumptions, in: Systems, Journal of the Polish Systems Society 6 (2001), No. 1–2.

47  Stuart Umpleby and Eric B. Dent, The Origins and Purposes of Several Traditions in Systems Theory and Cybernetics, in: Cybernetics and Systems 30 (1999).

 

 

 

 

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Systems and Organizational Cybernetics

Feedback Thought in Economics and Finance

Reflexivity, Recursion, and Self Reference

Autocatalysis, Autopoiesis and Relational Biology

Socio-Cybernetics and Constructivist Approaches

Cybernetics, Autopoiesis, and Social Systems Theory

Ratio Club: A Brief History of British Cyberneticians

Second Order Cybernetics of Heinz Von Foerster

Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Recursive Vision of Gregory Bateson

Society as Communication: Social Systems Theory of Niklas Luhmann

 

 

Key Sources of Research:

 

 

Whatever Happened to Cybernetics

Kevin Kelly in his book Out of Control

https://kk.org/mt-files/outofcontrol/ch23-a.html

The Cybernetics Group

Steve Heims

https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/cybernetics-group

Constructing a Social Science for Postwar America

The Cybernetics Group, 1946–1953

By Steve Joshua Heims

https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/constructing-social-science-postwar-america

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/396a/f617fb699b71d3a7ecb44c5a8a39d7c69d31.pdf?_ga=2.252779531.343517398.1572734637-1265037359.1572734637

 

John Von Neumann and Norbert Weiner

From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death

Steve Heims

https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/john-von-neumann-and-norbert-weiner

Cybernetics

THE MACY CONFERENCES 1946-1953. THE COMPLETE TRANSACTIONS

EDITED BY CLAUS PIAS

 

https://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/C/bo23348570.html

 

 

 

Do Cyborgs Dream of Electronic Rats? The Macy Conferences and the Emergence of Hybrid Multi-Agent Systems

 

Samuel Gerald Collins

 

Click to access FS07-04-005.pdf

 

 

Macy conferences

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macy_conferences

 

 

Cybernetics

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybernetics

History of Cybernetics

American Society of Cybernetics

http://www.asc-cybernetics.org/foundations/history.htm

 

History of Cybernetics and Systems Science

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/CYBSHIST.html

 

 

HISTORY OF CYBERNETICS
Additional Reference Resources

http://www.asc-cybernetics.org/foundations/historyrefs.htm

The Macy Story

https://macyfoundation.org/news-and-commentary/the-macy-story

 

 

The Next Macy Conference: A New Interdisciplinary Synthesis [Keynote]

September 2015

Andrew Pickering

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281896821_The_Next_Macy_Conference_A_New_Interdisciplinary_Synthesis_Keynote

 

 

A Brief History of (Second-Order) Cybernetics

Louis Kauffman
Stuart Umpleby

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319751991_A_Brief_History_of_Second-Order_Cybernetics

 

 

A Short History of Cybernetics in the United States

The Origin of Cybernetics

 

Stuart Umpleby

 

Click to access 4566_oezg4_08_s28_40_umpleby_1_.pdf

 

 

 

Analog, digital, and the cybernetic illusion

Claus Pias

 

Click to access kybernetes.pdf

 

 

 

 

GREGORY BATESON, CYBERNETICS, AND THE SOCIAL/BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

 

Click to access gbcatsbs.pdf

 

 

Cybernetics: A General Theory that Includes Command and Control

Stuart Umpleby

 

Click to access 076.pdf

 

The Future of Cybernetics

Click to access Pangaro-Nano-2018.pdf

 

 

John Bowlby: Rediscovering a systems scientist

Gary S. Metcalf, PhD

January 7, 2010

 

Click to access John_Bowlby_-_Rediscovering_a_systems_scientist.pdf

 

 

REBEL GENIUS: WARREN MCCULLOCH’S TRANSDISCIPLINARY LIFE IN SCIENCE

By Tara H. Abraham

2016 MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, USA

ISBN: 9780262035095

 

Click to access The%20prophet%20who%20foretold%20our%20future%202018-4523.pdf

 

 

 

Where are the Cyborgs in Cybernetics?

Ronald Kline

 

Click to access Where-are-the-Cyborgs-in-Cybernetics-Kline.pdf

 

 

SECOND ORDER CYBERNETICS

Ranulph Glanville

 

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.645.9031&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

 

The Road to Servomechanisms: The Influence of Cybernetics on Hayek

from The Sensory Order to the Social Order

Gabriel Oliva

 

Click to access The%20Road%20to%20Servomechanisms.pdf

 

 

Cybernetics Revolutinaries

Click to access Eden_Medina_Cybernetic_Revolutionaries.pdf

 

 

 

CYBERNETICS AND THE MANGLE: ASHBY, BEER AND PASK*

Andrew Pickering

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.15.882&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

 

 

 

Cybernetics Page at Monoskop.org

https://monoskop.org/Cybernetics

 

 

 

The Cybernetics Brain

Andrew Pickering

 

 

 

HISTORY OF CYBERNETICS

R. Vallée

Université Paris-Nord, France

 

Click to access E6-46-03-01.pdf

Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Recursive Vision of Gregory Bateson

Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Recursive Vision of Gregory Bateson

Gregory Bateson.  One of the most brilliant man I have read.  Please check out his books and books about him.  He was married to Margaret Mead, a famous Anthropologist.  His daughters Mary Catherine Bateson and Nora Bateson have also published books and documentaries about him.

  • Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology.
  • Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity (Advances in Systems Theory, Complexity, and the Human Sciences).
  • A Sacred Unity: Further Steps to an Ecology of Mind
  • Angels Fear: Towards an Epistemology of the Sacred.
  • Communication: The Social Matrix of Psychiatry

 

GB used concepts of Cybernetics and Systems Theory to seek integration among:

  • Aesthetics
  • Consciousness
  • Sacred
  • Ecology

I have found book A Recursive Vision to be most helpful in understanding GB.

 

 

Please see my related posts.

Reflexivity, Recursion, and Self Reference

Systems View of Life: A Synthesis by Fritjof Capra

Meta Integral Theories: Integral Theory, Critical Realism, and Complex Thought

Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: Integral Theory of Ken Wilber

Cyber-Semiotics: Why Information is not enough

Levels of Human Psychological Development in Integral Spiral Dynamics

 

 

 

Key Sources of Research

 

GREGORY BATESON (1904-1980)

http://www.interculturalstudies.org/Bateson/

 

 

MEAD/BATESON RESOURCES

http://www.interculturalstudies.org/resources.html

 

Gregory Bateson and the Promise of Transdisciplinarity

December 2005

Alfonso Montuori

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228380041_Gregory_Bateson_and_the_Promise_of_Transdisciplinarity

The Cybernetics Society

UK

http://www.cybsoc.org

Undersstanding Gregory Bateson

Suny Press

https://www.sunypress.edu/p-4615-understanding-gregory-bateson.aspx

 

 

Book “A Recursive Vision: Ecological Understanding and Gregory Bateson”

by Peter Harries-Jones

 

 

Gregory Bateson

WIKIPEDIA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Bateson

 

 

Bateson Archive

Cambridge University

https://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/collections/batesonarchive/1

 

 

Bateson Archives

California

https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt029029gz/

AUM Conference 1973

https://www.kurtvonmeier.com/aum-conference-introduction

American Society for Cybernetics

USA

http://www.asc-cybernetics.org/foundations/history/MacySummary.htm

GREGORY BATESON, CYBERNETICS, AND THE SOCIAL/BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

 

Click to access gbcatsbs.pdf

Cybernetics, Autopoiesis, and Social Systems Theory

Cybernetics, Autopoiesis, and Social Systems Theory

Key Developments:

  • Cybernetics to Second Order Cybernetics
  • Social Systems (Talcot Parsons) to Autopoietic Social Systems (Niklas Luhmann)
  • Semiotics to Cyber Semiotics
  • Systems Theory to Networks Theory
  • Communication Theory
  • Conversation Theory
  • Culture Theory

Key Terms and People

  • Niklas Luhmann
  • Dirk Baecker
  • F Varela
  • H Maturana
  • Heinz Von Foerster
  • George Spencer Brown
  • Charles Sanders Pierce
  • Soren Brier
  • Louis Kauffman
  • Gordon Pask
  • Second Order Cybernetics
  • Socio Cybernetics
  • Second Order Systems Theory
  • Social Systems Theory
  • Cybernetics of Cybernetics
  • Semiotics
  • Cyber Semiotics
  • Autopoiesis
  • Emergence, Embodiment, Enactment
  • Organizations in Networks

From Second Order Cybernetics

Second order Cybernetics (also known as the Cybernetics of Cybernetics, and the New Cybernetics) was developed between 1968 and 1975 in recognition of the power and consequences of cybernetic examinations of circularity. It is Cybernetics, when Cybernetics is subjected to the critique and the understandings of Cybernetics. It is the Cybernetics in which the role of the observer is appreciated and acknowledged rather than disguised, as had become traditional in western science: and is thus the Cybernetics that considers observing, rather than observed systems.

In this article, the rationale from and through the application of which, second order Cybernetics was developed is explored, together with the contributions of the main precursors and protagonists. This is developed from an examination of the nature of feedback and the Black Box—both seen as circular systems, where the circularity is taken seriously. The necessary presence of the observer doing the observing is established. The primacy of, for example, conversation over coding as a means of communication is argued-—one example of circularity and interactivity in second order cybernetic systems. Thus second order Cybernetics, understood as proposing an epistemology and (through autopoietic systems) an ontogenesis, is seen as connected to the philosophical position of Constructivism.

Examples are given of the application of second order Cybernetics concepts in practice in studies of, and applications in, communication, society, learning and cognition, math and computation, management, and design. It is asserted that the relationship between theory and practice is not essentially one of application: rather they strengthen each other by building on each other in a circularity of their own: the presentation of one before the other results from the process of explanation rather than a necessary, structural dependency.

Finally, the future of second order Cybernetics (and of Cybernetics in general) is considered. The possibility of escalation from second to third and further orders is considered, as is the notion that second order Cybernetics is, effectively, a conscience for Cybernetics. And the popular use of “cyber-” as a prefix is discussed.

 Please see my related posts:

Society as Communication: Social Systems Theory of Niklas Luhmann

Socio-Cybernetics and Constructivist Approaches

Autocatalysis, Autopoiesis and Relational Biology

Cyber-Semiotics: Why Information is not enough

Systems and Organizational Cybernetics

Ratio Club: A Brief History of British Cyberneticians

Key Sources of Research:

SOCIAL SYSTEMS

Niklas Luhmann

TRANSLATED BY John Bednarz, Jr., with Dirk Baecker

FOREWORD BY Eva M. Knodt

STANFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
STANFORD, CALIFORNIA

Click to access Niklas_Luhmann_Social_Systems.pdf

Form of the Firm

Dirk Baecker

https://www.academia.edu/11784199/The_Form_of_the_Firm

Why Systems

Dirk Baecker

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1867406

Systems, Networks and Culture

Dirk Baecker

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1867444&download=yes

SECOND ORDER CYBERNETICS

Ranulph Glanville,

Click to access Glanville-SECOND_ORDER_CYBERNETICS.pdf

Observing Networks: A Note on Asymmetrical Social Forms

Dirk Baecker

https://www.academia.edu/24649161/Observing_Networks_A_Note_on_Asymmetrical_Social_Forms

Systemic Theories of Communication

Dirk Baecker

https://www.academia.edu/24649171/Systemic_Theories_of_Communication

Reintroducing Communication into Cybernetics

Dirk Baecker

https://www.academia.edu/24649181/Reintroducing_Communication_into_Cybernetics

Managing Corporations in Networks

Dirk Baecker

Click to access 5795f05a08ae33e89fad5f96.pdf

Niklas Luhman and Cybernetics

https://papiro.unizar.es/ojs/index.php/rc51-jos/article/download/790/721

Cybernetics and Human Knowing

Click to access Peirce%20and%20Spencer%20Brown.pdf

Systems in Context
On the outcome of the Habermas/Luhmann‐debate

Poul Kjaer

Click to access ancilla2006_66_kjaer.pdf

The myth of the system: On the development, purpose and context of Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory

Stefan Rossbach
University of Kent at Canterbury

Click to access 30ae4fa5-2413-4e4d-a837-37c5df56f4c7.pdf

Niklas Luhmann and Organization Studies

Click to access 9788763003049.pdf

Network Society

Dirk Baecker

https://www.academia.edu/11784198/Network_Society

Shape of things to come: From the ‘laws of form’ to management in the post-growth economy

André Reichel

Click to access 17-1reichel.pdf

Luhmann’s theory of autopoietic social systems

David Seidl

Click to access paper2004_2.pdf

Systems, Network, and Culture

Dirk Baecker

Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Germany baecker@mac.com

Click to access baecker2.pdf

Niklas Luhmann neosystemic theory and the notion of communicative autopoiesis in organizational studies

Click to access 2b127064006ab5fedb0746faa395f9d3a5b1.pdf

A Calculus for Autopoiesis

in: Dirk Baecker und Birger P. Priddat (eds.), Ökonomie der Werte: Festschrift zum 65. Geburtstag von Michael Hutter, Marburg: Metropolis, 2013, 249-267

15 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2012 Last revised: 1 Jun 2013

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2073362

The N-Closure of the Observer

Dirk Baecker

https://www.academia.edu/24649177/The_N-Closure_of_the_Observer

Working the Form: George Spencer-Brown and the Mark of Distinction

Socio-Cybernetics and Constructivist Approaches

Socio-Cybernetics and Constructivist Approaches

There are two related concepts.

  • Socio-Cybernetics
  • Constructivist Approaches

Will appeal to people interested in Philosophy, Cybernetics, and Systems Theory.

A. Socio Cybernetics

Socio-cybernetics can be defined as “Systems Science in Sociology and Other Social Sciences” – systems science, because sociocybernetics is not limited to theory but includes application, empirical research, methodology, axiology (i.e., ethics and value research), and epistemology. In general use, “systems theory” and “cybernetics” are frequently interchangeable or appear in combination. Hence, they can be considered as synonyms, although the two terms come from different traditions and are not used uniformly in different languages and national traditions. Sociocybernetics includes both what are called first order cybernetics and second order cybernetics. Cybernetics, according to Wiener´s original definition, is the science of “control and communication in the animal and the machine”. Heinz von Foerster went on to distinguish a first order cybernetics, “the study of observed systems”, and a second order cybernetics, “the study of observing systems”. Second order cybernetics is explicitly based on a constructivist epistemology and is concerned with issues of self-reference, paying particular attention to the observer-dependence of knowledge, including scientific theories. In the interdisciplinary and holistic spirit of systems science, although sociology is clearly at the centre of interest of sociocybernetics, the other social sciences, such as psychology, anthropology, political science, economics, are addressed as well, with emphases depending on the particular research question to be dealt with.

 

SOCIOCYBERNETICS traces its intellectual roots to the rise of a panoply of new approaches to scientific inquiry beginning in the 1940’s. These included General System Theory, cybernetics and information theory, game theory and automata, net, set, graph and compartment theories, and decision and queuing theory conceived as strategies in one way or another appropriate to the study of organized complexity. Although today the Research Committee casts a wide net in terms of appropriate subject matters, pertinent theoretical frameworks and applicable methodologies, the range of approaches deployed by scholars associated with RC51 reflect the maturation of these developments. Here we find, again, GST and first- and second-order cybernetics; in addition, there is widespread sensitivity to the issues raised by “complexity studies,” especially in work conceptualizing systems as self-organizing, autocatalytic or autopoietic. “System theory”, in the form given it by Niklas Luhmann, and world-systems analysis are also prominently represented within the ranks of RC51. The institutionalization of sociocybernetic approaches in what was to become RC51, the Re-search Committee on Sociocybernetics of the International Sociological Association, began in 1980 with the founding of an ISA Ad Hoc Group and proceeded with the organization of ses-sions at succeeding quadrennial World Congresses of Sociology. The eventual RC51 became a Thematic Group and then a Working Group. Finally, in recognition of its extraordinary success (growing from some 30 members in early 1995 to 240 in 1998), the group was promoted to the status of Research Committee at the 1998 World Congress of Sociology in Montreal. Over these past two decades, sociocybernetics has attracted a broad range of scholars whose departmental affiliations represent the entire spectrum of the disciplines, from the humanities and the social sciences through the sciences, mathematics and engineering. Furthermore, the many countries of origin of these RC51 members attest to the wide international appeal of sociocybernetic approaches. Within this highly diverse community, there is wide agreement on some very general issues, for instance, on developing strategies for the study of human reality that avoid reification, are cognizant of the pitfalls of reductionism and dualism, and generally eschew linear or homeostatic models. Not surprisingly, however, there are also wide divergences in subject matter, theoretical frameworks and methodological practices. Many have argued that models developed for the study of complexity can be usefully appropriated for the study of human reality. Moreover, however, the emphasis in complexity studies on contingency, context-dependency, multiple, overlapping temporal and spatial frameworks, and deterministic but unpredictable systems displaying an arrow-of-time suggest that the dividing line between the sciences and the historical social sciences is fuzzier than many might like to think. What is more, in the humanities, the uniquely modern concepts of original object and autonomous human creator have come under serious attack. The coincidence of these two phenomena substantiate the impression that across the disciplines there may be observed a new concern for spatial-temporal wholes constituted at once of relational structures and the phenomenological time of their reproduction and change. In this context of rich history and exciting possibilities, the Research Committee on Sociocybernetics of the International Sociological Association extends an open invitation through the Journal of Sociocybernetics to all engaged in the common quest to explain and understand social reality holistically and self-reflexively without forsaking a concern for human values–human values not construed simply as a matter of individual ethics, but conceived as an integral part of a social science for our time.

 

 

B. Constructivist Foundations

Constructivist Foundations (CF) is an international peer-reviewed e-journal focusing on the multidisciplinary study of the philosophical and scientific foundations and applications of constructivism and related disciplines. The journal promotes interdisciplinary discussion and cooperation among researchers and theorists working in a great number of diverse fields such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science, biology, neuroscience, psychology, educational research, linguistics, communication science, sociology, mathematics, computer science, and philosophy.

Constructivist approaches covered in the journal include the theory of autopoietic systems, enactivism, radical constructivism, second-order cybernetics, neurophenomenology, constructionism, and non-dualizing philosophy.

 

Constructivist Approaches

Constructivist approaches support the idea that mental structures such as cognition and perception are actively built by one’s mind rather than passively acquired. However, constructivist approaches vary in function of how much influence they attribute to constructions.

Many assume a dualistic relationship between reality and constructed elements. They maintain that constructed mental structures gradually adapt to the structures of the real world (e.g., Piaget). In this view perception is the pickup of information controlled by the mental structure that is constructed from earlier perceptions (e.g., Neisser). This leads to the claim that mental structures are about learning sensorimotor contingencies (e.g., O’Regan).

Others seek to avoid the dualistic position. Either they skeptically reject that the structures of the real world can be compared with mental ones, independently of the senses through which the mental structures were constructed in the first place (e.g., von Glasersfeld), or they embrace a phenomenological perspective that considers perception as the grouping of experiential complexes (e.g., Mach).

All these approaches emphasize the primacy of the cognitive system (e.g., Llinás) and its organizational closure (e.g., von Foerster, Maturana). Hence, perceived patterns and regularities may be regarded as invariants of inborn cognitive operators (e.g., Diettrich).

Constructivist approaches can be said to differ also with respect to whether constructs are considered to populate the rational-linguistic (e.g., von Glasersfeld, Schmidt) or the biological-bodily (“enactivist/embodied” theories, e.g., Varela).

 

Common Denominators of Constructivist Approaches

The common denominators of constructivist approaches can be summarized as follows.

  • Constructivist approaches question the Cartesian separation between the objective world and subjective experience;
  • Consequently, they demand the inclusion of the observer in scientific explanations;
  • Representationalism is rejected; knowledge is a system-related cognitive process rather than a mapping of an objective world onto subjective cognitive structures;
  • According to constructivist approaches, it is futile to claim that knowledge approaches reality; reality is brought forth by the subject rather than passively received;
  • Constructivist approaches entertain an agnostic relationship with reality, which is considered beyond our cognitive horizon; any reference to it should be refrained from;
  • Therefore, the focus of research moves from the world that consists of matter to the world that consists of what matters;
  • Constructivist approaches focus on self-referential and organizationally closed systems; such systems strive for control over their inputs rather than their outputs;
  • With regard to scientific explanations, constructivist approaches favor a process-oriented approach rather than a substance-based perspective, e.g. living systems are defined by the processes whereby they constitute and maintain their own organization;
  • Constructivist approaches emphasize the “individual as personal scientist” approach; sociality is defined as accommodation within the framework of social interaction;
  • Finally, constructivist approaches ask for an open and less dogmatic approach to science in order to generate the flexibility that is needed to cope with today’s scientific frontiers.

 

Key People:

  • Felix Geyer
  • Ernst Von Glasersfeld
  • H Maturana
  • F Varela
  • Heinz Von  Foerster
  • Niklas Luhmann

 

 

Key Sources of Research:

 

Constructivist Foundations (CF)

http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/journal/

Click to access riegler2005editorial.pdf

Click to access denominator.pdf

 

 

The role of sociocybernetics in understanding world futures 

Bernard Scott

Click to access 1794.pdf

 

 

PRINCIPLES OF SOCIOCYBERNETICS

Bernd R. Hornung

 

Click to access hornung.pdf

 

 

JOURNAL OF SOCIOCYBERNETICS

 

Click to access JoS6-2-2008.pdf

Click to access JoS7-2-2009.pdf

 

 

THE CHALLENGE OF SOCIOCYBERNETICS

FELIX GEYER

http://www.unizar.es/sociocybernetics/chen/felix/pfge2.html

 

 

SOCIOCYBERNETICS

Felix Geyer and Johannes van der Zouwen

http://www.unizar.es/sociocybernetics/chen/felix/pfge8.html

 

 

JOURNAL OF SOCIOCYBERNETICS

https://sociocybernetics.wordpress.com/journal-of-sociocybernetics/

 

Reflexivity, Recursion, and Self Reference

 Reflexivity, Recursion, and Self Reference

 

From Reflexivity and Eigenform The Shape of Process

 

“Reflexive” is a term that refers to the presence of a relationship between an entity and itself. One can be aware of one’s own thoughts. An organism produces itself through its own action and its own productions. A market or a system of finance is composed of actions and individuals, and the actions of those individuals influence the market just as the global information from the market influences the actions of the individuals. Here it is the self-relations of the market through its own structure and the structure of its individuals that moves its evolution forward. Nowhere is there a way to cut an individual participant from the market effectively and make him into an objective observer. His action in the market is concomitant to his being reflexively linked with that market. It is just so for theorists of the market, for their theories, if communicated, become part of the action and decisionmaking of the market. Social systems partake of this same reflexivity, and so does apparently objective science and mathematics. In order to see the reflexivity of the practice of physical science or mathematics, one must leave the idea of an objective domain of investigation in brackets and see the enterprise as a wide ranging conversation among a group of investigators. Then, at once, the process is seen to be a reflexive interaction among the members of this group. Mathematical results, like all technical inventions, have a certain stability over time that gives them an air of permanence, but the process that produces these novelties is every bit as fraught with circularity and mutual influence as any other conversation or social interaction.

 

In such a context, every object is inherently a process, and the structure of the domain as a whole comes from the relationships whose exploration constitutes the domain. There is no place to hide in a reflexive domain, no fundamental particle, no irreducible object or building block. Any given entity acquires its properties through its relationships with everything else. The sense of such a domain is not at all like the set theoretic notion of collections or unrelated things, or things related by an identifiable property. It is more like a conversation or an improvisation, held up and moving in its own momentum, creating and lifting sound and meaning in the process of its own exchange. Conversations create spaces and events, and these events create further conversations. The worlds appearing from reflexivity are worlds nevertheless, with those properties of partial longevity, emergence of patterns, and emergence of laws that we have come to associate with seemingly objective reality.

 

From The march of self-reference

 

One of the main characteristics of social systems as well as individual systems, distinguishing them from many other systems, is indeed their potential for self- referentiality in the latter sense. Concretely, this means not only that the self- knowledge accumulated by the individual in turn affects both his structure and modus operandi, but it also implies – as especially stressed by constructivism – that in self-referential systems like individuals and social systems, feedback loops exist between parts of external reality on the one hand, and models and theories about these parts of reality on the other hand. To a large extent, both individuals and collectivities indeed produce their own world.

While constructivism, as an explanatory paradigm, is focused on individuals, it is certainly valid for social systems as well. Concretely, whenever social scientists systematically accumulate new knowledge about the structure and functions of their society, or about subgroups within that society, and when they subsequently make that knowledge known, through their publications or sometimes even through the mass media – in principle also to those to whom that knowledge pertains – the consequence often is that such knowledge will be invalidated, because the research subjects may react to this knowledge in such a way that the analyses or forecasts made by the social scientists are falsified. In this respect, social systems are different from many other systems, including (most?) biological ones. There is a clearly two-sided relationship between self-knowledge of the system on the one hand, and the behavior and structure of that system on the other hand.

Biological systems, like social systems, admittedly do show goal-oriented behavior of actors, self-organization, self-reproduction, adaptation and learning. But it is only psychological and social systems that arrive systematically, by means of experiment and reflection, at knowledge about their own structure and operating procedures, with the obvious aim to improve these. This holds true on the micro-level of the individual, as in psychoanalysis or other self-referential activities, and on the macro-level of world society, as in planning international trade or optimal distribution of available resources.

For social scientists, the consequences of self-referentiality are interesting not only for gaining an insight in the functioning of social systems, but also for the methodology and epistemology used to study them. There is a paradox here: as stated above, the accumulation of knowledge often leads to a utilization of that knowledge – both by the social scientists and the objects of their research – which may change or even invalidate the validity of that knowledge (Geyer and van der Zouwen, 1988; Henshel, 1990). It is maintained here that this paradox is interesting as well for psychologists, and exists also at the individual level where the individual not only constructs his world, but also continually reconstructs it. This can be seen in a normal life, but is especially visible in several forms of individual therapy, where old self- knowledge is invalidated by new – though not necessarily always better – self-knowledge.

The usual examples of self-referential behavior in social science consist of self-fulfilling and self-defeating prophecies. Henshel (1990) for example, has studied serial self-fulfilling prophecies, where the accuracy of earlier predictions, themselves influenced by the self-fulfilling mechanism, impacts upon the accuracy of the subsequent predictions. In much of empirical social science research. However, self-referential behavior does not loom large – which is rather amazing in view of its supposedly being an essential characteristic of individual human functioning. In this case the research methodology used may be an issue: survey research, where people are asked what they think or feel, offers little opportunity to bring out self-referential behavior, while depth interviews, which concentrate more on the awhyo than the awhato of people’s opinions have a better chance to elicit self-referential remarks in this respect.

 

Key People:

  • Francisco Varela
  • Lois Kauffman
  • Steven J Bartlett
  • Howard Pattee
  • Niklas Luhmann
  • Felix Geyer
  • George Soros
  • Eric D. Beinhocker
  • Stuart A. Umpleby
  • Heinz Von Foerster

 

Key Sources of Research:

 

Reflexivity. A Source-Book in Self-Reference

Steven Bartlett

http://www.willamette.edu/~sbartlet/reflexivity_and_theory%20of_reference.html

ub.eur.nl/pub/7870http://rep7

 

Self-reference: Reflections on Reflexivity

Steven J. Bartlett & Peter Suber (Eds.)

Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1987. Now published by Springer Science.

 

Self Reference and Recursive Forms

Lois Kauffman

Click to access SelfRefRecurForm.pdf

 

The Complexity of Self-reference
A Critical Evaluation of Luhmann’s Theory of Social Systems

Roberto Poli

 

Click to access quad50.pdf

 

Reflexivity and Eigenform The Shape of Process

Louis H. Kauffman

 

Click to access ReflexPublished.pdf

 

The march of self-reference

Felix Geyer

 

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.202.9606&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

Essays on Self-reference

By Niklas Luhmann

 

Evolving Self Reference

Howard Pattee

Click to access 09e4150577eb05a2cd000000.pdf

 

SELF-REFERENCE, PHENOMENOLOGY, AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE

Steven James Bartlett

Click to access Bartlett_Self-reference,%20Phenomenology,%20and%20Philosophy%20of%20Science.pdf

 

 

Recursivity and Self-Referentiality of Economic Theories and Their Implications for Bounded Rational Actors

 

Marco Lehmann-Waffenschmidt Serena Sandri

Click to access DDPE200703.pdf

 

A Calculus for Self Reference

F Varela

Click to access VarelaCSR.pdf

 

Ouroboros avatars:
A mathematical exploration of Self-reference and Metabolic Closure

Jorge Soto-Andrade, Sebastia ́n Jaramillo ,Claudio Gutie ́rrez and Juan-Carlos Letelier

Click to access 0262297140chap115.pdf

 

Self Reference and Autopoiesis

A Locker

Click to access metatheor-presupp-autopoiesis.pdf

 

Snakes all the Way Down: Varela’s Calculus for Self-Reference and the Praxis of Paradise

André Reichel

 

Click to access 09e4150d0287eebed2000000.pdf

 

Self-Reference and Time According to G. Spencer-Brown 

Andreas Kull

 

http://sfile-pull.f-static.com/image/users/112431/ftp/my_files/sbrown.pdf?id=11014655

 

Reflexivity in Economics: An Experimental Examination on the Self-Referentiality of Economic Theories

By Serena Sandri 2009

Springer

 

Operational Closure and Seif-Reference: On the Logic of Organizational Change

Markus Schwaninger1and Stefan N. Groesser

Click to access 235_Operational%20Closure%20and%20Self-Reference_SRBS%202012.pdf

 

Fallibility, reflexivity, and the human uncertainty principle

George Soros

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/1350178X.2013.859415

 

Reflexivity, complexity, and the nature of social science

Eric D. Beinhocker

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/1350178X.2013.859403

 

Reflexivity and Economics: George Soros’s Theory of Reflexivity and the Methodology of Economic Science

http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rjec20/20/4

 

REFLEXIVITY IN SOCIAL SYSTEMS: THE THEORIES OF GEORGE SOROS

Stuart Umpleby

Click to access 0c9605187eecf06dff000000.pdf

 

Reflexivity, Expectations Feedback and Almost Self-fulfilling Equilibria: Economic Theory, Empirical Evidence and Laboratory Experiments

Cars Hommes

August 14, 2013

http://dare.uva.nl/document/2/156151

 

 Reflexivity, path dependence, and disequilibrium dynamics

Anwar Shaikh

Click to access 2-Reflexivity,%20path%20dependence,%20and%20disequilibrium%20dynamics.pdf

 

Second-Order Economics as an Example of Second-Order Cybernetics

Stuart A. Umpleby

 

Click to access 890.pdf

 

Reflexivity and Equilibria

Francesco Guala

 

Click to access DEMM-2013_16wp.pdf

 

Umpleby, Stuart A.

“Fundamentals and history of Cybernetics.”

World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics. 2006.

Click to access videoSUfh-slides.pdf

 

Complexity to Reflexivity: Underlying Logics Used in Science

Stuart A. Umpleby

Click to access 55edc5ad08ae199d47be4b99.pdf

 

EigenForm

Louis H. Kauffman

 

Click to access Eigen.pdf

 

Laws of Form and the Logic of Non-Duality

Louis H. Kauffman

Click to access KauffSAND.pdf

 

EigenForm

Louis H. Kauffman

 

Click to access Eigenform.pdf

 

Systems and Organizational Cybernetics

Systems and Organizational Cybernetics

 

From  System Dynamics and the Evolution of Systems Movement A Historical Perspective

Origins

The systems movement has many roots and facets, with some of its concepts going back as far as ancient Greece. What we call ”the systems approach” today materialized in the first half of the twentieth century. At least, two important components should be mentioned, those proposed by von Bertalanffy and by Wiener.

Ludwig von Bertalanffy, an American biologist of Austrian origin, developed the idea that organized wholes of any kind should be describable, and to a certain extent explainable, by means of the same categories, and ultimately by one and the same formal apparatus. His General Systems Theory triggered a whole movement, which has tried to identify invariant structures and mechanisms across different kinds of organized wholes (for example, hierarchy, teleology, purposefulness, differentiation, morphogenesis, stability, ultrastability, emergence, and evolution). 

Norbert Wiener, an American mathematician at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, building on interdisciplinary work, accomplished in cooperation with Bigelow, an IBM engineer, and Rosenblueth, a physiologist, published his seminal book on Cybernetics. His work became the trans-disciplinary foundation for a new science of capturing, as well as designing control and communication mechanisms in all kinds of dynamical systems. Cyberneticians have been interested in concepts such as information, communication, complexity, autonomy, interdependence, cooperation and conflict, self-production (”autopoiesis”), self-organization, (self-) control, self-reference, and (self-) transformation of complex dynamical systems.

From System Dynamics and the Evolution of Systems Movement A Historical Perspective

Roots

Along the tradition which led to the evolution of General Systems Theory (Bertalannfy, Boulding, Gerard, Miller, Rapoport) and Cybernetics (Wiener, McCulloch, Ashby, Powers, Pask, Beer), a number of roots can be identified, in particular:

  • Mathematics (for example, Newton, Poincaré, Lyapunov, Lotka, Volterra, Rashevsky);
  • Logic (for example, Epimenides, Leibniz, Boole, Russell and Whitehead, Goedel, Spencer-Brown);
  • Biology, including general physiology and neurophysiology (for example, Hippocrates, Cannon, Rosenblueth, McCulloch, Rosen);
  • Engineering, including its physical and mathematical foundations (for example, Heron, Kepler, Watt, Euler, Fourier, Maxwell, Hertz, Turing, Shannon and Weaver, von Neumann, Walsh); and
  • Social and human sciences, including economics (for example, Hume, Adam Smith, Adam Ferguson, John Stuart Mill, Dewey, Bateson, Merton, Simon, Piaget).

 

From System Dynamics and the Evolution of Systems Movement A Historical Perspective

Levels of Organizations 

In this strand of the systems movement, one focus of inquiry is on the role of feedback in communication and control in (and between) organizations and society, as well as in technical systems. The other focal interest is on the multidimensional nature and the multilevel structures of complex systems. Specific theory building, methodological developments and pertinent applications have occurred at the following levels:

  • Individual and family levels (for example, systemic psychotherapy, family therapy, holistic medicine, cognitivist therapy, reality therapy);
  • Organizational and societal levels (for example, managerial cybernetics, organizational cybernetics, sociocybernetics, social systems design, social ecology, learning organizations); and
  • The level of complex technical systems (systems engineering).

 

From System Dynamics and the Evolution of Systems Movement A Historical Perspective

Mathematical/Quantitative Strand

 

As can be noted from these preliminaries, different kinds of system theory and methodology have evolved over time. One of these is Jay W. Forrester’s theory of dynamical systems, which is a basis for the methodology of System Dynamics. In SD, the main emphasis is on the role of structure, and its relationship with the dynamic behavior of systems, modeled as networks of informationally closed feedback loops between stock and flow variables. Several other mathematical systems theories, for example, mathematical general systems theory (Klir, Pestel, Mesarovic & Takahara), as well as a whole stream of theoretical developments, which can be subsumed under the terms ”dynamical systems theory” or ”theories of non-linear dynamics,” for example, catastrophe theory, chaos theory, complexity theory have been elaborated. Under the latter, branches such as the theory of fractals (Mandelbrot), geometry of behavior (Abraham) and self- organized criticality (Bak) are subsumed. In this context, the term ”sciences of complexity” has also been used. In addition, a number of essentially mathematical theories, which can be called ”system theories,” have emerged in different application contexts, examples of which are discernible in such fields as:

  • Engineering, namely information and communication theory and technology (for example, Kalman filters, Walsh functions, hypercube architectures, automata, cellular automata, artificial intelligence, cybernetic machines, neural nets);
  • Operations research (for example, modeling theory and simulation methodologies, Markov chains, genetic algorithms, fuzzy control, orthogonal sets, rough sets);
  • Social sciences, economics in particular (for example, game theory, decision theory); and
  • Ecology (for example, H. Odum’s systems ecology).

Qualitative System Theories

Examples of essentially non-mathematical system theories can be found in many different areas of study, for example:

  • Economics, namely its institutional/evolutionist strand (Veblen, Myrdal, Boulding);
  • Sociology (for example, Parsons’ and Luhmann’s social system theories, Hall’s cultural systems theory);
  • Political sciences (for example, Easton, Deutsch, Wallerstein);
  • Anthropology (for example, Levi Strauss’s structuralist-functionalist anthropology);
  • Semiotics (for example, general semantics (Korzybski, Hayakawa, Rapoport)); and
  • Psychology and psychotherapy (for example, systemic intervention (Bateson, Watzlawick, F. Simon), fractal affect logic (Ciompi)).

Quantitative and Qualitative

Several system-theoretic contributions have merged the quantitative and the qualitative in new ways. This is the case for example in Rapoport’s works in game theory as well as General Systems Theory, Pask’s Conversation Theory, von Foerster’s Cybernetics of Cybernetics (second order cybernetics), and Stafford Beer’s opus in Managerial Cybernetics. In all four cases, mathematical expression is virtuously connected to ethical, philosophical, and epistemological reflection. Further examples are Prigogine’s theory of dissipative structures, Mandelbrot’s theory of fractals, Kauffman’s complexity theory, and Haken’s Synergetics, all of which combine mathematical analysis and a strong component of qualitative interpretation.

System Dynamics vs Managerial Cybernetics

At this point, it is worth elaborating on the specific differences between two major threads of the systems movement: the cybernetic thread, from which Managerial Cybernetics has emanated, and the servomechanic thread in which SD is grounded [Richardson 1999]. As Richardson’s detailed study shows, the strongest influence on cybernetics came from biologists and physiologists, while the thinking of economists and engineers essentially shaped the servomechanic thread. Consequently, the concepts of the former are more focused on the adaptation and control of complex systems for the purpose of maintaining stability under exogenous disturbances. Servomechanics, on the other hand, and SD in particular, take an endogenous view, being mainly interested in understanding circular causality as a source of a system’s behavior. Cybernetics is more connected with communication theory, the general concern of which can be summarized as how to deal with randomly varying input. SD, on the other hand, shows a stronger link with engineering control theory, which is primarily concerned with behavior generated by the control system itself, and the role of nonlinearities. Managerial cybernetics and SD both share the concern of contributing to management science, but with different emphases and with instruments that are, in principle, complementary. Finally, the quantitative foundations are generally more evident in the basic literature on SD, than in the writings on Managerial Cybernetics, in which the mathematical apparatus underlying model formulation is confined to a small number of publications [e.g., Beer 1962, 1981], which are less known than the qualitative treatises.

Positivistic Tradition

A positivistic methodological position is tendentially objectivistic, conceptual–instrumental, quantitative, and structuralist–functionalist in its approach. An interpretive position, on the other hand, tendentially emphasizes the subjectivist, communicational, cultural, political, ethical, and esthetic: the qualitative, and the discursive aspects. It would be too simplistic to classify a specific methodology in itself as ”positivistic” or as ”interpretative.” Despite the traditions they have grown out of, several methodologies have evolved and been reinterpreted or opened to new aspects (see below).

In the following, a sample of systems methodologies will be characterized and positioned in relation to these two traditions:

  • ”Hard” OR methods. Operations research (OR) uses a wide variety of mathematical and statistical methods and techniques––for example of optimization, queuing, dynamic programming, graph theory, time series analysis––to provide solutions for organizational problems, mainly in the domains of operations, such as production and logistics, and finance.
  • Living Systems Theory. In his LST, James Grier Miller [1978], identifies a set of 20 necessary components that can be discerned in living systems of any kind. These structural features are specified on the basis of a huge empirical study and proposed as the ”critical subsystems” that ”make up a living system.” LST has been used as a device for diagnosis and design in the domains of engineering and the social sciences.
  • Viable System Model. Stafford Beer’s VSM specifies a set of control functions and their interrelationships as the sufficient conditions for the viability of any human or social system [cf. Beer, 1981]. These are applicable in a recursive mode, for example, to the different levels of an organization. The VSM has been widely applied in the diagnostic mode, but also to support the design of all kinds of social systems. Specific methodologies for these purposes have been developed, for instance, for use in consultancy. The term viable system diagnosis (VSD) is also widely used.

Interpretative Tradition

The methodologies addressed up to this point have by and large been created in the positivistic tradition of science. However, they have not altogether been excluded from fertile contacts with the interpretivist strand of inquiry. In principle, all of them can be considered as instruments to support discourses about different interpretations of an organizational reality or alternative futures studied in concrete cases.

  • Interactive Planning. IP is a methodology, designed by Russell Ackoff [1981], and developed further by Jamshid Gharajedaghi, for the purpose of dealing with ”messes” and enabling actors to design their desired futures, as well as bring them about. It is grounded in theoretical work on purposeful systems, reverts to the principles of continuous, participative, and holistic planning, and centers on the idea of an ”idealized design.”
  • Soft Systems Methodology. SSM is a heuristic designed by Peter Checkland [1981] for dealing with complex situations. Checkland suggests a process of inquiry constituted by two aspects: a conceptual one, which is logic based, and a sociopolitical one, which is concerned with the cultural feasibility, desirability, and the implementation of change.
  • Critical Systems Heuristics. CSH is a methodology, which Werner Ulrich [1996] proposed for the purpose of scientifically informing planning and design in order to lead to an improvement in the human condition. The process aims to uncover the interests that the system under study serves. The legitimacy and expertise of actors, and particularly the impacts of decisions and behaviors of the system on others – the ”affected” – are elicited by means of a set of boundary questions.

All of these three methodologies (IP, SSM, and CSH) are positioned in the interpretive tradition. They were designed to deal with the qualitative aspects in the analysis and design of complex systems, emphasizing the communicational, social, political, and ethical dimensions of problem solving. Several of them mention explicitly that they do not preclude the use of quantitative techniques.

 

Key People:

  • Markus Schwaninger
  • Stafford Beer
  • Werner Ulrich
  • Raul Espejo
  • Peter Checkland
  • John Mingers
  • M C Jackson 
  • Peter Senge
  • Russell Ackoff
  • C. West Churchman
  • R L Flood
  • J Rosenhead
  • Gregory Bateson
  • Fritjof Capra
  • D C Lane 
  • Ralph Stacey
  • James Grier Miller
  • Hans Ulrich

 

Key Sources of Research:

 

System theory and cybernetics

A solid basis for transdisciplinarity in management education and research

Markus Schwaninger

 

Click to access System%20Theory%20and%20Cybernetics_%20A%20Solid%20Basis.pdf

 

Intelligent Organizations: An Integrative Framework

Markus Schwaninger

Click to access Intelligent%20Organizations_An%20Integrative%20Framework.pdf

 

System Dynamics and the Evolution of the Systems Movement

Markus Schwaninger

Click to access System%20Dynamics%20and%20the%20Evolution%20of%20the%20Systems%20Movement_SysResBehSc%2023.pdf

 

Methodologies in Conflict: Achieving Synergies Between System Dynamics and Organizational Cybernetics

Markus Schwaninger

 

Click to access Integrative%20Systems%20Methodology%20-%20Methodologies%20in%20Conflict%202004_.pdf

 

System dynamics and cybernetics: a synergetic pair

 

Markus Schwaningera and José Pérez Ríos

Click to access System%20Dynamics%20and%20Cybernetics_SDR_2008.pdf

 

Managing Complexity—The Path Toward Intelligent Organizations

Markus Schwaninger

 

Click to access Managing%20Complexity%20-%20The%20Path%20Toward%20Intelligent%20Organizations.pdf

 

Design for viable organizations: The diagnostic power of the viable system model

 

Markus Schwaninger

 

Click to access Design%20for%20Viable%20Organizations_06.pdf

 

Contributions to model validation: hierarchy, process, and cessation

Stefan N. Groesser and Markus Schwaninger

Click to access 233_Contributions%20to%20Model%20Validation_SDR%2028-2,%202012.pdf

 

A CYBERNETIC MODEL TO ENHANCE ORGANIZATIONAL INTELLIGENCE

MARKUS SCHWANINGER

Click to access A%20Cybernetic%20Model%20to%20Enhance%20Organizational%20Intelligence-Systems%20Analysis%20Modeling%20Simulation_2003.pdf

 

System Dynamics and Cybernetics: A Necessary Synergy

Schwaninger, Markus; Ambroz, Kristjan & Ríos, José Pérez

Click to access System%20Dynamics%20and%20Cybernetics%20-%20A%20Necessary%20Synergy%20072004_IntSDConf%20Oxford.pdf

 

System Dynamics and the Evolution of Systems Movement

A Historical Perspective

Markus Schwaninger

Click to access DB52_Schwaninger_historical.pdf.pdf

 

System Dynamics in the evolution of Systems Approach

Markus Schwaninger

 

Click to access 214_System%20Dynamics%20in%20the%20Evolution%20of%20the%20Systems%20Approach_Encycl.%20SySciences_2009.pdf

 

The Evolution of Organizational Cybernetics

Markus Schwinger

Click to access The%20Evolution%20of%20Organizational%20Cybernetics.pdf

 

Operational Closure and Self-Reference: On the Logic of Organizational Change

Markus Schwaninger and Stefan N. Groesser

Click to access 235_Operational%20Closure%20and%20Self-Reference_SRBS%202012.pdf

 

 

Model-based Management: A Cybernetic Concept

Markus Schwaninger

2015

 

Click to access 254_Model-Based%20Management_A%20Cybernetic%20Concept-SRBS-2015.pdf

 

 

THE VIABLE SYSTEM MODEL
A BRIEFING ABOUT ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE

Raul Espejo 2003

 

Click to access INTRODUCTION%20TO%20THE%20VIABLE%20SYSTEM%20MODEL3.pdf

 

 

A complexity approach to sustainability – Stafford Beer revisited

 

A. Espinosa *, R. Harnden, J. Walker

2007

Click to access 57043bc708ae74a08e2461d9.pdf

 

THE SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE: METHODS AND MODELS FOR THE FUTURE

 

Allenna Leonard with Stafford Beer

 

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.20.9436&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

Stafford Beer

The Viable System Model:

its provenance, development, methodology and pathology

2002

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.456.2285&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

Cybernetics and the Mangle: Ashby, Beer and Pask

Andrew Pickering

Click to access 544529760cf2f14fb80ef419.pdf

 

What Can Cybernetics Contribute to the Conscious Evolution of Organizations and Society?

Markus Schwaninger

Click to access What%20can%20Cybernetics%20Contribute%20to%20the%20Conscious%20Evolution….pdf

 

Fifty years of systems thinking for management

MC Jackson

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.511.6731&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

 

Introducing Systems Approaches

Martin Reynolds and Sue Holwell

 

Click to access systems-approaches_ch1.pdf

 

A review of the recent contribution of systems thinking to operational research and management science

John Mingers
Leroy White

Click to access EJOR-Systems_version_1_sent_Web.pdf

 

Managing Complexity by Recursion

by Bernd Schiemenz

 

Hard OR, Soft OR, Problem Structuring Methods, Critical Systems Thinking: A Primer

Hans G. Daellenbach

Click to access Daellenbach.pdf

 

Anticipatory Viable Systems

Maurice Yolles

Daniel Dubois

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.195.2167&rep=rep1&type=pdf

 

Second-order cybernetics: an historical introduction

Bernard Scott

Click to access 1798.pdf

 

Glanville R. (2003)

Second-Order Cybernetics.

http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/archive/fulltexts/2326.html

 

Systems Theory, Systems Thinking

S White

Click to access Systems%20Theory%20-%20Systems%20Thinking%20Baltimore%20talk%2010022012.pdf

 

Theoretical approaches to managing complexity in organizations: A comparative analysis

Estudios Gerenciales
Volume 31, Issue 134, January–March 2015, Pages 20–29

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0123592314001843

 

Helping business schools engage with real problems: The contribution of critical realism and systems thinking

John Mingers

Click to access Tackling%20Real%20Problems%20EJOR%20Rev1%20sent.pdf

 

Only Connect! An Annotated

Bibliography Reflecting the Breadth and Diversitv of Svstem.sThinking

David C. Lane

Mike C. Jackson

Click to access 548f08000cf2d1800d861f3f.pdf

 

The greater whole: Towards a synthesis of system dynamics and soft systems methodology
David C. Lane  Rogelio Oliva

Click to access 54d9e2e20cf2970e4e7d06ae.pdf