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European Systems Science Union (ESSU) 6th EUROPEAN CONGRESS ON SYSTEMS SCIENCE Paris, France, September 19-22, 2005 ISA – International Sociological Association RC51 on Sociocybernetics Principles of Sociocybernetics Bernd R. Hornung Marburg University, Germany 1. INTRODUCTION

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Principles of sociocybernetics l.jpg

European Systems Science Union (ESSU)

6th EUROPEAN CONGRESS ON SYSTEMS SCIENCE

Paris, France, September 19-22, 2005

ISA – International Sociological Association

RC51 on Sociocybernetics

Principles of Sociocybernetics

Bernd R. Hornung

Marburg University, Germany


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1. INTRODUCTION

  • What is Sociocybernetics ?

  • How does it relate to (general) system theory and (1st and 2nd order) cybernetics ?

  • Which are the basic principles that system theory and sociocybernetics have in common and how can they be applied in sociology and other social sciences ?

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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2. SOCIOCYBERNETICS

The application of system theory or rather systems science, including 1st and 2nd order cybernetics, to sociology and the other social sciences.

  • System Theory, Systems Science.

  • Study of observed systems vs. study of observing systems (cf. H. von Foerster)

  • Constructivist epistemology

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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URL: http://www.unizar.es/sociocybernetics/

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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3. A PARADIGM OR DISCIPLINARY MATRIX(according to Thomas S. Kuhn)

  • A scientific community

  • Metaphysical assumptions

  • Central components of a theory

  • Specific methods

  • Standards for problem solutions

  • Paradigm in a narrow sense - EXEMPLAR

  • Kind of data accepted by scientific com.

  • Specific problems to be dealt with

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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3.1 THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY IWithin the Paradigm of Systems Science

Scientific Associations, e.g.:

  • WOSC, World Organization of General Systems and Cybernetics

  • ISSS, International Society for Systems Sciences

  • IFSR, International Federation for Systems Research

  • Society for Systems Science

  • UES/ESSU, Union europeénne des systèmes,

    • European Systems Science Union

  • RC51, Research Committee 51 on Sociocybernetics of the ISA – International Sociological Association

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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3.1 THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY IIWithin the Paradigm of Systems Science

Institutes, e.g.:

  • IIASA, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg near Vienna

  • Instituto Andino de Sistemas, Lima, Peru

  • FHG/ISI Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Institut für System-technik und Innovationsforschung, Karlsruhe, Germany

  • Santa Fé Institute, Santa Fé, USA

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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3.1 THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY IIIWithin the Paradigm of Systems Science

Journals, e.g.:

  • Kybernetes

  • Behavioral Science

  • International Journal for General Systems

  • International Journal for Systems Science

  • Revista Internacional de Sistemas

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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3.2 METAPHYSICAL ASSUMPTIONSWithin the Paradigm of Systems Science

  • Nominalism / Constructivism

  • Unity of Nature / Unity of Science

  • Interdisciplinarity

  • Holism / Emergence / Synergy

  • Complexity / Interdepence /

  • Networks

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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3.3 CENTRAL COMPONENTS OF THEORYWithin the Paradigm of Systems Science

  • Relation System-Environment

  • Systems Hierarchy

  • Feedback Loops (negative & positive)

  • Information Processing

  • Cognition (Knowledge, Meaning)

  • Problem-Solving

  • Complexity

  • Self-Organization / Autopoiesis

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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3.4 SPECIFIC METHODSWithin the Paradigm of Systems Science

  • Graphical Representation

  • Modelling

  • Computer Simulation

A model is a construction; it permits to experiment, to test, and to simulate

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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3.5 STANDARDS FOR PROBLEM SOLUTIONSWithin the Paradigm of Systems Science

  • Solutions compatible with the theories and methodologies of systems science and cybernetics

Solutions both to theoretical problems and to practical issues and applications

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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3.6 THE PARADIGM(or Exemplar) of Systems Science

  • The System

  • e.g. according to Laszlo

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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3.7 DATAWithin the Paradigm of Systems Science

  • All data acceptable by the sciences and the social sciences

In addition data obtained by means of simulations

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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3.8 SPECIFIC PROBLEMS AND ISSUESWithin the Paradigm of Systems Science

  • All empirical and theoretical issues related to the specific concepts and methodology of system theory

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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4. Basic Principles: WHAT IS A SYSTEM ?

A system is a whole

which consists of interdependent components.

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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4. Basic Principles (cont.):THE ONTOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION

1) Event

2) Process

3) Structure („slow“ variables)

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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4. Basic Principles (cont.):CHARACTERISTICS OF A SYSTEM(according to Laszlo)

  • Holon property - it is a whole

  • Negative feedback circles

  • Positive feedback circles

  • Systems hierarchy

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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4. Basic Principles (cont.):RELATIONS AND CIRCULARITIES

  • Structure: Focussing on relations between « objects » not on « objets »

  • Process: Circular causality, self-referential sequences

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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CAUSALITY

Feedback

Cause and Effect

Multi-Causality

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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CIRCULAR CAUSALITY

+

+

-

Negative Feedback

Positive Feedback

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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CIRCULAR CAUSALITY

(cont.)

Compare

Effect Measure

+

-

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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CIRCULAR CAUSALITY

(cont.)

- Cognition -

- Outputs - - Inputs -

Compare

Effect Measure

Action/

Matter/Energy

Communication/

Information

- Transformation -

Matter/Energy

Information

Organisational Work

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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CIRCULAR CAUSALITY

(cont.)

Adaptation:

Changement structurel en

réaction à l´environnement

Adaptation:

Structural change in reaction to the environment

Organisational Work

Self-Organisation:

- Structuring and Restructuring

  • Self-Reproduction/Autopoiesis:

  • Producing/Replacing Components

(Self-) Procreation/Life:

- Creation of New Systems

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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4. Basic Principles (cont.):THE CONSTRUCTION OF COMPLEXITY

  • Circular Causality

  • Positive Feedback: Deviation amplification

  • Negative Feedback: Deviation reduction

  • Absence of feedback effects

  • Controle: Feedback after the event - corrective action

  • Steering: Feed-forward before the event – anticipative action

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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4. Basic Principles (cont.):THE CONSTRUCTION OF COMPLEXITY

  • Goal-orientation: Conscious systems, decision-making

  • Information processing

  • Self-organisation

  • Living systems, autopoietic systems

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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4. Basic Principles (cont.):THE CONSTRUCTION OF COMPLEXITY

  • Goal-Orientation: Goal-seeking systems, conscious systems, decision-making systems

  • Information Processing: Communication between two or more systems

  • Circular processes ofself-organization;

  • Living systems,autopoietic systems

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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5. APPLICATIONS TO SOCIOLOGY

Social Systems : Interactions and communications

between individuals or actor-systems.

  • Feedback between different levels of systems and the different levels of emergence – both upwards and downwards

  • Organization of social phenomena at different levels of emergence and different levels of social structure

  • Analysis of effects of communication, action, steering, and control in hybrid systems: Communities, regions, countries, etc. according to the type of sociological units (individuals, small groups, collectivities, organizations, etc.)

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics


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