Filed under book | Tags: · cognition, marxism, organisation, philosophy, science, systems theory, tektology
Bogdanov playing chess with Lenin during a visit to Gorky on Capri, Italy, April 1908. (source)
Tektology is a term used by Alexander Bogdanov to describe a discipline that consisted of unifying all social, biological and physical sciences by considering them as systems of relationships and by seeking the organizational principles that underlie all systems.
Bogdanov’s work on tektology, published in Russia in two volumes in 1913 and 1917, anticipated many of the ideas that were popularized later by Norbert Wiener in Cybernetics and Ludwig von Bertalanffy in the General Systems Theory. There are suggestions that both Wiener and von Bertalanffy might have read the German edition of Tektology which was published in 1928. (from Wikipedia)
In Bogdanov’s philosophical endeavours there was one very important motive: from his point of view the philosophy of Marxism should be a philosophy of modern natural science and in this respect he acted in full accordance with Engels’ thesis that “with each epochal discovery, even in the natural-historical field, materialism should inevitably change its form.” (from the Foreword)
First published as The Universal Science of Organization (Tektologia), 1913-1917
This edition: Tektologia: Universal Organizational Science
Publisher Ekonomika, Moscow, 1989
303 and 352 pages
Foreword by Vadim N. Sadovsky and Vladimir V. Kelle
Edited with an Introduction by Peter Dudley
Translated by Vadim N. Sadovsky, Andrei Kartashov, Vladimir V. Kelle and Peter Bystrov
Publisher Centre for Systems Studies, University of Hull, 1996
Etienne Turpin (ed.): Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy (2013)
Filed under book | Tags: · anthropocene, architecture, climate, design, earth, ecology, geology, philosophy, science, time
Research regarding the significance and consequence of anthropogenic transformations of the earth’s land, oceans, biosphere and climate have demonstrated that, from a wide variety of perspectives, it is very likely that humans have initiated a new geological epoch, their own. First labeled the Anthropocene by the chemist Paul Crutzen, the consideration of the merits of the Anthropocene thesis by the International Commission on Stratigraphy and the International Union of Geological Sciences has also garnered the attention of philosophers, historians, and legal scholars, as well as an increasing number of researchers from a range of scientific backgrounds. Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy intensifies the potential of this multidisciplinary discourse by bringing together essays, conversations, and design proposals that respond to the “geological imperative” for contemporary architecture scholarship and practice.
Contributors include Nabil Ahmed, Meghan Archer, Adam Bobbette, Emily Cheng, Heather Davis, Sara Dean, Seth Denizen, Mark Dorrian, Elizabeth Grosz, Lisa Hirmer, Jane Hutton, Eleanor Kaufman, Amy Catania Kulper, Clinton Langevin, Michael C.C. Lin, Amy Norris, John Palmesino, Chester Rennie, François Roche, Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, Isabelle Stengers, Paulo Tavares, Etienne Turpin, Eyal Weizman, Jane Wolff, Guy Zimmerman.
Publisher Open Humanities Press, December 2013
Critical Climate Change series
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives 3.0 Licence
Bruce Clarke, Mark B. N. Hansen (eds.): Emergence and Embodiment: New Essays on Second-Order Systems Theory (2009)
Filed under book | Tags: · autopoiesis, body, cognition, complexity, cybernetics, emergence, neocybernetics, science, systems theory
Emerging in the 1940s, the first cybernetics—the study of communication and control systems—was mainstreamed under the names artificial intelligence and computer science and taken up by the social sciences, the humanities, and the creative arts. In Emergence and Embodiment, Bruce Clarke and Mark B. N. Hansen focus on cybernetic developments that stem from the second-order turn in the 1970s, when the cyberneticist Heinz von Foerster catalyzed new thinking about the cognitive implications of self-referential systems. The crucial shift he inspired was from first-order cybernetics’ attention to homeostasis as a mode of autonomous self-regulation in mechanical and informatic systems, to second-order concepts of self-organization and autopoiesis in embodied and metabiotic systems. The collection opens with an interview with von Foerster and then traces the lines of neocybernetic thought that have followed from his work.
In response to the apparent dissolution of boundaries at work in the contemporary technosciences of emergence, neocybernetics observes that cognitive systems are operationally bounded, semi-autonomous entities coupled with their environments and other systems. Second-order systems theory stresses the recursive complexities of observation, mediation, and communication. Focused on the neocybernetic contributions of von Foerster, Francisco Varela, and Niklas Luhmann, this collection advances theoretical debates about the cultural, philosophical, and literary uses of their ideas. In addition to the interview with von Foerster, Emergence and Embodiment includes essays by Varela and Luhmann. It engages with Humberto Maturana’s and Varela’s creation of the concept of autopoiesis, Varela’s later work on neurophenomenology, and Luhmann’s adaptations of autopoiesis to social systems theory. Taken together, these essays illuminate the shared commitments uniting the broader discourse of neocybernetics.
Contributors. Linda Brigham, Bruce Clarke, Mark B. N. Hansen, Edgar Landgraf, Ira Livingston, Niklas Luhmann, Hans-Georg Moeller, John Protevi, Michael Schiltz, Evan Thompson, Francisco J. Varela, Cary Wolfe.
Publisher Duke University Press, 2009
Science and Cultural Theory series
ISBN 0822391384, 9780822391388
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Filed under book | Tags: · enlightenment, history, history of science, humanities, knowledge, philosophy, politics, science
In this outstanding collection of essays, Isaiah Berlin, one of the great thinkers of the twentieth century, discusses the importance of dissenters in the history of ideas–among them Machiavelli, Giambattista Vico, Montesquieu, Alexander Herzen, Georges Sorel, Verdi, and Moses Hess. With his unusual powers of imaginative re-creation, Berlin brings to life original minds that swam against the current of their times.
Edited and with a Bibliography by Henry Hardy
With an Introduction by Roger Hausheer
Publisher The Viking Press, New York, 1980
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Filed under book | Tags: · 1950s, 1960s, communism, cybernetics, economy, engineering, history of computing, mathematics, politics, science, soviet union
This book is about the moment in the mid-20th century when people believed that the state-owned Soviet economy might genuinely outdo the market, and produce a world of rich communists and envious capitalists. Specifically, it’s about the last and cleverest version of the idea – central planning via cybernetics – and about how and why, in the 1960s, it failed. To give the economics some human depth, Red Plenty generates a miniature Soviet Union on the page, peopled by scientists and politicians, fixers and managers, dreamers and cynics.
Publisher Faber & Faber, 2010
ISBN 0571269478, 9780571269471