11 May 2011 /

metaphysics, second order cybernetics, systemics and art

By heinz von förster

In a world that is increasingly complex, it is no longer possible to maintain traditional science as the dominant structure of thinking. Consequently there is a shift to a new attitude that sees things together in complex connections and interrelations. Heinz von Foerster, a key figure in development of cybernetics, draws a distinction between two different modalities of acquiring knowledge: a traditional understanding of science, founded on reductionist methodology -- drawing distinctions between things and focussing on isolated details -- and what he describes as ‘systemics’. In an interview for the documentary film The Net, he describes a systemic approach, in which science, art and philosophy should ‘see all things together’ and be seen together After all, to von Foerster, contemporary science, like art, is a matter of inventing a good, convincing and interesting story to explain things to which there is no definite answer.



“I don't know where my expertise is; my expertise is no disciplines. I would recommend to drop disciplinarity wherever one can. Disciplines are an outgrowth of academia. […] Disciplines are an after-effect of the institutional situation.”

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