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Reflexivity revisited: the sociocybernetics of belief, meaning, truth and power

Bernard Scott (Royal Military College of Science, Cranfield University, Shrivenham, UK)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 1 March 2006



To present sociocybernetic models of observers in interaction with the aim of encouraging reflection on what is good practice in human communication.


Foundational cybernetic concepts of “process and product” are drawn upon to develop models of “belief”, “meaning”, “truth” and “power”.


“Belief”, following Pask and Rescher, is modelled as a coherent, self‐reproducing system of concepts. “Meaning”, following Peirce, is modelled in terms of the pragmatic consequences of holding certain beliefs to be true. The concept of “truth” is modelled as “justified true belief”, the classic ideal of the “objective sciences”. “Power” is modelled as the pragmatic consequences of social interaction.


The paper invites the members of the sociocybernetics community to reflect on the reflexive nature of these models and to critically monitor and evaluate the quality of the communication within that community.



Scott, B. (2006), "Reflexivity revisited: the sociocybernetics of belief, meaning, truth and power", Kybernetes, Vol. 35 No. 3/4, pp. 308-316.



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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited