The Beginning of Heaven and Earth Has No Name
Seven Days with Second-Order Cybernetics
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Fordham University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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Cont e nts
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A Foreword by the Series Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ixAn Author’s Forewords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xiForewords with Two Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiiiNotes on the Translation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxiiiPreface to the American Edition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxv...
A F orewor d b y t h e S e r i es E d i tor
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Heinz von Foerster is one of the most consequential cybernetic thinkers in the history of the fi eld. He was born in 1911 in Vienna, Austria, into a progressive bourgeois family of architects, designers, artists, and activ-ists. Hailing from a partially Jewish background, he weathered the Nazi era by moving with his wife from recognition in Vienna to obscurity in ...
A n A u t h or ' s F orewords
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When it came to writing a book, I was corrupted very early on by two doctrines from Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico- Philosophicus. These are the fi rst and the last sentences of his Tractatus. The fi rst is a quotation from Ferdinand Kürnberger, which Wittgenstein put in as a motto for the whole work: and what ever a man knows, what ever is not mere rumbling ...
F orewor d s w i t h T w o E d i tors
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...before it was in the earth, and euery herbe of the fi eld, before Finding suitable introductions proves to be quite diffi cult, if only be-cause incomparably more fi rst sentences present themselves than can possibly be set down. As a rule, books only have the option of one fi rst sentence, one single fi rst paragraph. Composing this introduction proved ...
F or e tast e o f a n A u t h orw i t h T w o E d i tors
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It just won’t work. People come and say, “My dear Heinz, if we just put this neuron and that neuron together like in the brain, wouldn’t we get a Heinz?” Then I say, “My dear friend, it doesn’t work like that.” “But these days we have all these new technologies, so why shouldn’t it work?” Then I start playing the ...
Not es o n t h e T r a n s l ati o n
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The reader, not the writer, determines the meaning of a sentence.What, then, do translators do? For readers in En glish, this trialog now has two additional participants, although these two are trying their best to be discrete, almost transparent. Try though we might, however, this is an impossible task: translation is not a trivial operation, and in true ...
P r e f a c e to t h e A m e r i c a n E d i ti o n
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Heinz von Foerster invoked the meta phor of a fairy who through her magic powers accomplished a series of nearly impossible results, all of them contributing to the German edition of this book in the year 1997. Nevertheless, the most remarkable product of our faithful book fairy was the En glish translation of the German original. For this she needed to ...
A b b r e v i ati o n s
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CoC Heinz von Foerster, ed., Cybernetics of Cybernetics or The Control OS Heinz von Foerster, Observing Systems, 2nd ed. (Salinas, Calif.: PI Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, electronic TLP Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico- Philosophicus, electronic ...
F i r st D a y
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...(i) Observations are not absolute but relative to an observer’s observer’s hope for prediction. . . . In each and every moment I In the beginning God created the Heauen, and the Earth. And the face of the deepe: and the Spirit of God mooued vpon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. ...
S e c o n d D a y
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Life cannot be studied in vitro, one has to explore it in vivo. . . . fi rmament: and it was so. And God called the fi rmament, Heauen: Water: it was created quite literally before everything else. More generally, how-ever, following the beginning of heaven and earth, today will revolve around their continuation. Yesterday we fi nished with images of an invitingly recursive ...
T h i r d D a y
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Seemingly, I am performing “thought- experiments.” Well, they’re was good. . . . And the earth brought foorth grasse, and herbe yeelding seed after his kinde, and the tree yeelding fruit, whose seed was in it selfe, after his kinde: and God saw that it was good. In the sense of a game with the living world in its simpler forms, we would like ...
F o u rt h D a y
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The prophecy does not run, that a man will get this result when he follows this rule in making a transformation— but that he will signes and for seasons, and for dayes and yeeres. . . . And the In our fourth conversation, new possibilities should arise for us, of distinctions, possibilities of orientation, of remembering— and of forgetting. So far we have ...
F i f t h D a y
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I want to regard man here as an animal; as a primitive being to which one grants instinct but not ratiocination. As a creature in a primitive state. Any logic good enough for a primitive means of mouing creature that hath life, and foule that may fl ie aboue the whales, and euery liuing creature that moueth, which the waters ...
S i xt h D a y
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Not knowing . . . how one was born, the navel, an ontoge ne tic Each sentence that I write is trying to say the whole thing, that is, the same thing over and over again & it is as though they were And God made the beast of the earth after his kinde, and cattell after their kinde, and euery thing that creepeth vpon the earth, ...
S e v e nt h D a y
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Now, you may say, “O.K., so what?” But, ladies and gentlemen, if Thus the heauens and the earth were fi nished, and all the hoste of ...
E p i lo g u e i n H e a v e n
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If someone believes that he has fl own from America to En gland On the way back from San Francisco to New York we’re sitting—“tired and happy” would be a fi tting phrase— in a fl ying and, for the next hours, hopefully, totally trivial machine. In our hand luggage we are carry ing, in the form of sixteen cassette tapes, the extracts from one week of Hiss-...
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...1. Hans Hahn, “Superfl uous Entities, or Occam’s Razor” (1930), in Empiricism, Logic, and Mathematics: Philosophical Papers, ed. Brian McGuinness (Dordrecht: 2. See “Im Goldenen Hecht. Über Konstruktivismus und Geschichte. Ein Gespräch zwischen Heinz von Foerster, Albert Müller und Karl H. Müller,” Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften 8 (1997): 129– 143, esp. 136....
I n d e x
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Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Meaning Systems