Publication 3756

François C. (1999) Systemics and cybernetics in a historical perspective. Systems Research and Behavioral Science 16: 203–219. Fulltext at
Systemics and cybernetics can be viewed as a metalanguage of concepts and models for transdisciplinarian use, still now evolving and far from being stabilized. This is the result of a slow process of accretion through inclusion and interconnection of many notions, which came and are still coming from very different disciplines. The process started more than a century ago, but has gathered momentum since 1948 through the pioneering work of Wiener, von Neumann, von Bertalanffy, von Foerster and Ashby, among many others. This paper tries to retrace the history of the accretion process and to show that our systemic and cybernetic language is an evolving conceptual network. This is of course only a first and quite incomplete attempt, merely destined to give the ‘feel’ of the process. Systemic concepts and models are underlined in order to enhance the perception of the process, as well as its systemic significance.


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