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University Seminar

About The University Seminar on Reflexive Systems

The seminar brings together people who are interested in cybernetics, systems science and complexity. This year we shall be discussing "Reflexive systems" as the next step in the systems sciences following work on complex systems.

The systems sciences and cybernetics provide a general theory of perception, cognition, learning, adaptation, and understanding, whether these phenomena occur in human beings, groups, organizations, nations, or machines. Just as physics provides a foundational theory of matter and energy which is used in the various fields of engineering, cybernetics may one day be seen as providing a foundational theory of information processing and decision-making for the various fields of the social and design sciences .

Reflexivity is similiar to second order cybernetics. Both emphasize including the observer in what is observed. Cybernetics has already had an impact on a wide range of fields – computer science, robotics, engineering, biology, psychology, management, sociology, political science, economics and the philosophy of science. As a transdisciplinary field cybernetics serves as a catalyst for further developments in many fields.

The group meets from September to April except December. The presentations and discussions take place at The George Washington University, from 10 a.m to noon usually in Duques Hall, Room 320, 2201 G Street NW, Washington DC (coffee is available, lunch afterwards).


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