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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

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
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

2 sociocybernetics
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

3 a paradigm or disciplinary matrix according to thomas s kuhn
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

3 1 the scientific community i within the paradigm of systems science
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

3 1 the scientific community ii within the paradigm of systems science
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

3 1 the scientific community iii within the paradigm of systems science
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

3 2 metaphysical assumptions within the paradigm of systems science
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

3 3 central components of theory within the paradigm of systems science
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

3 4 specific methods within the paradigm of systems science
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

3 5 standards for problem solutions within the paradigm of systems science
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

3 6 the paradigm or exemplar of systems science
3.6 THE PARADIGM(or Exemplar) of Systems Science
  • The System
  • e.g. according to Laszlo

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics

3 7 data within the paradigm of systems science
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

3 8 specific problems and issues within the paradigm of systems science
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

4 basic principles what is a system
4. Basic Principles: WHAT IS A SYSTEM ?

A system is a whole

which consists of interdependent components.

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics

4 basic principles cont the ontological construction
4. Basic Principles (cont.):THE ONTOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION

1) Event

2) Process

3) Structure („slow“ variables)

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics

4 basic principles cont characteristics of a system according to laszlo
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

4 basic principles cont relations and circularities
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

causality
CAUSALITY

Feedback

Cause and Effect

Multi-Causality

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics

slide21

CIRCULAR CAUSALITY

+

+

-

Negative Feedback

Positive Feedback

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics

slide22

CIRCULAR CAUSALITY

(cont.)

Compare

Effect Measure

+

-

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics

slide23

CIRCULAR CAUSALITY

(cont.)

- Cognition -

- Outputs - - Inputs -

Compare

Effect Measure

Action/

Matter/Energy

Communication/

Information

- Transformation -

Matter/Energy

Information

Organisational Work

ISA RC51 on Sociocybernetics

slide24

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

4 basic principles cont the construction of complexity
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

4 basic principles cont the construction of complexity26
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

4 basic principles cont the construction of complexity27
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

5 applications to sociology
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