Search results

1 – 10 of 421
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 19 September 2018

Ben Sweeting

The purpose of this paper is to put forward a way that ethics may be applied recursively to itself, in the sense that how we speak and reason about ethics is an activity…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to put forward a way that ethics may be applied recursively to itself, in the sense that how we speak and reason about ethics is an activity to which ethical considerations and questions apply.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is built on parallels between design and cybernetics, integrating elements of ethical discourse in each field. The way that cybernetics and design can each act as their own meta-disciplines, in the design of design and the cybernetics of cybernetics, is used as a pattern for a similarly recursive approach to ethics. This is explored further by drawing parallels between Heinz von Foersters’ criticism of moral codes and concerns about paternalism in designing architecture.

Findings

Designers incorporate implicit ethical questioning as part of the recursive process through which they design their design activity, moving between conversations that pursue the goals of a project and meta-conversations in which they question which goals to pursue and the methods they employ in doing so. Given parallels between designing architecture and setting out an ethics (both of which put forward ways in which others are to live), a similar approach may be taken within ethical discourse, folding ethics within itself as its own meta-discipline.

Originality/value

The paper provides a framework in which to address ethical considerations within ethical discourse itself. Recursive ethical questioning of this sort offers a way of coping with the incommensurability of values and goals that is commonplace given the fragmented state of contemporary ethics.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Content available
Article
Publication date: 28 August 2020

Jocelyn Chapman, Christiane M. Herr and Ben Sweeting

Abstract

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 49 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Content available
Article
Publication date: 15 January 2018

Philip Baron, David Griffiths and Ben Sweeting

Abstract

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 46 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Ben Sweeting

– The purpose of this paper is to explore ways in which cybernetics leads to distinctiveways of acting.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore ways in which cybernetics leads to distinctiveways of acting.

Design/methodology/approach

Paralleling von Foerster’s argument that it makes more sense to speak of the cybernetics of epistemology than the epistemology of cybernetics, the author argues that cybernetics is not one form of practice amongst others but an account of what it is to practice, understood as where we relate how we act to how we understand so that each informs the other. The author explores the potential difference that adopting this understanding of practice makes in practice and shows its significance by establishing connections between the eponymous cybernetic example of steering and questions regarding teleology in ethics.

Findings

While all practice is cybernetic in the sense of involving a relationship between understanding and acting, the relationship between cybernetics and practice is not a neutral one. Understanding practice in cybernetic terms enables us to pursue goods internal to the practice, which, in turn, makes a difference to how we act.

Practical implications

The author argues that how we understand the relation between our understanding and our acting (our theories of theory and practice) leads to significant differences of action in practice.

Originality/value

The author argues that cybernetics has non-neutral, and ethically significant, consequences in practice that are beyond the application of cybernetics to practice or the advantages of adopting explicitly conversational ways of acting.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 44 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Ben Sweeting

The purpose of this paper is to describe the various movements from abstraction to actuality in the context of design, with particular reference to architecture, first in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the various movements from abstraction to actuality in the context of design, with particular reference to architecture, first in terms of the design process and second in terms of the interpretation of architecture by observers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper focuses on the designers' use of forms of representation, such as drawings, with reference to the cybernetic understanding of conversation. This account is then used to discuss the representational properties of architecture itself and to relate this back to the design process.

Findings

It is argued that the forms of representation used by designers, such as drawings and physical models, have both abstract and actual properties and that this combination is important for their representational function. The ambiguity in the interpretation of drawings and models is not only useful in generating ideas but also appropriate given the ambiguity in the interpretation of the architecture they represent.

Originality/value

The division between the abstract (understood in terms of representation) and the actual is challenged. A connection is proposed between architecture itself as a form of representation and the representation used in its design.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 40 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 44 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 7 May 2020

Tom Scholte

The purpose of this paper is to suggest a more central role for reflexive artistic practices in a clarified research agenda for second-order cybernetics (SOC). This is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to suggest a more central role for reflexive artistic practices in a clarified research agenda for second-order cybernetics (SOC). This is offered as a way to assist the field in the further development of its theoretical/methodological “core” and, subsequently, enhance its impact on the world.

Design/methodology/approach

The argument begins by reviewing Karl Müller’s account of the failure of SOC to emerge as a mainstream endeavor. Then, Müller’s account is recontextualized within recent developments in SOC that are traced through the Design Cybernetics movement inspired by Ranulph Glanville. This alternate narrative frames a supposedly moribund period as a phase of continuing refinement of the field’s focus upon its “proper object of study,” namely, the observer’s mentation of/about their mentation. The implications of this renewed focus are then positioned within Larry Richard’s vision of the cybernetician, not as “scientist” per se but rather as a “craftsperson in and with time” capable of productively varying the dynamics of their daily interactions. Having centered widespread capacity building for this “craft” as a proposed research agenda for a new phase of SOC, the paper concludes by pointing to the unique and necessary role to be played by the arts in this endeavor. Personal reflections upon the author’s own artistic and theoretical activities are included throughout.

Findings

The development and application of artistic methods for the enhancement of individual capacity for second-order observation is consistent with the purpose of SOC, namely, “to explain the observer to himself.” Therefore, it is in the field’s interest to more fulsomely embrace non-scientific, arts-based forms of research.

Research limitations/implications

In a truly reflexive/recursive fashion, the very idea that first-person, arts-based narratives are seen, from a mainstream scientific point of view, as an insufficiently rigorous form of research is, itself, a research limitation. This highlights, perhaps ironically, the need for cybernetics to continue to pursue its own independent definitions and standards of research beyond the boundaries of mainstream science rather than limiting its own modes of inquiry in the name of “scientific legitimacy.”

Practical implications

A general uptake of the view presented here would expand the horizon of what might be considered legitimate, rigorous and valuable research in the field.

Social implications

The view presented here implies that many valuable contributions that SOC can make to society take place beyond the constraints of academic publication and within the realm of personal growth and social development.

Originality/value

The very clearly defined and “refocused” vision of SOC in this paper can be of substantial utility in developing a more robust, distinctive and concrete research agenda across this field.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 49 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Joanna Wlaszyn

The purpose of this paper is to explore current questions about metaphor, experience and aesthetic awareness that persist through the variations of critical approaches and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore current questions about metaphor, experience and aesthetic awareness that persist through the variations of critical approaches and projective research in architectural theory and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Further considerations focus on the advanced technological possibilities which re‐invest the relations between principles of cybernetics and architecture.

Findings

The current between art and architecture is more than ever manifested in fields related to the computer sciences and its conceptual background: cybernetic sciences.

Originality/value

The paper re‐thinks the aesthetic value of architecture and architectural experience in this time of digital productivity.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 40 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Ranulph Glanville

The purpose of this paper is to justify the theme of the ASC 50th anniversary conference; to implement Mead’s cybernetics of cybernetics; and to establish cybernetics as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to justify the theme of the ASC 50th anniversary conference; to implement Mead’s cybernetics of cybernetics; and to establish cybernetics as “a way of acting” as well as Glasersfeld’s “a way of thinking”.

Design/methodology/approach

Examination of the implicit in Mead’s cybernetics of cybernetics and comparison with Foerster’s second order cybernetics, related to the central concept of circularity – that acting and understanding form a whole.

Findings

Mead’s cybernetics of cybernetics is more general than Foerster’s second order cybernetics; the advantages of working from the bottom up as well as (instead of) the top down.

Practical implications

Cybernetics is not just a study, but a way of acting. The author lives in cybernetics. If the author wish cybernetics to regain its former influence, the author should consider the way of living in cybernetics as an example that may attract others.

Originality/value

To return cybernetics to a subject that focuses on acting as well as understanding, and to point to effective ways of acting.

1 – 10 of 421