Publication 3973

Esposito E. (1996) Observing objects and programming objects. Systems Research 13(3): 251–260. Fulltext at
The paper uses the tools of second-order cybernetics (theory of the observation of observations) in order to examine the implicit ontology of first-order cybernetics, i.e. of informatics. The starting point is the distinction of operations and observations, which is used to show that computers are machines operating without the capability to observe, but have the task to process observations. This requires a highly complex structure of distinctions and observations, based upon the possibility to program the lack of programs. The progress of informatic programming and the extension to telematics impose today a very refined (although often unconscious) articulation of observation levels: this is shown using the example of object-oriented programming (OOP).


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