Publication 3337

Slaymaker K. & Meltzer M. (2010) Negative Dialectics and Cybernetics: Changing Systems. Cybernetics & Human Knowing 17(1–2): 25–35.
Within this writing, the authors explore existing associations and establish new connections between philosophy and cybernetics. Special attention is given to the idea of conceptualization and the abstraction inherent within this process. The authors weave a meticulous web between the constructs of thinkers including Theodor Adorno, Benjamin Lee Whorf, Humberto Maturana and Ernst von Glasersfeld and then attempt to traverse these new constructions, paths, or concepts. Through this process Meltzer and Slaymaker endeavor to lay a foundation on which further connections may be established and to clear space in which distinctions between philosophy and cybernetics may be drawn. The authors offer these connections and distinctions as premises in which concepts may be arranged in order to create desirable systems while simultaneously striving to protect subjectivity in conceptualization. Editor’s Note (R. Glanville): This piece is the recipient of the 2009 Heinz von Foerster Award. The award is given to the young person (under age 35) who has made the best presentation at the ASC annual conference. The judges, attend the presentations made by all who qualify for the award. It is based on both the presentation itself and quality of content and argument, usually in a written paper that is presented. The judges consist of members of the ASC executive who are present at the conference, chaired by the president. The award commemorates Heinz von Foerster, whose presentations had exactly the qualities we look for in making the award. He was the founder of the ASC and the central ringmaster in identifying second order cybernetics. His support for young scholars was legendary.
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