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Metacybernetics: Towards a General Theory of Higher Order Cybernetics

Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 8EN, UK
Academic Editor: Chuck Keating
Received: 8 March 2021 / Revised: 15 April 2021 / Accepted: 20 April 2021 / Published: 11 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Cybernetics)
Metacybernetics refers to the higher cybernetic orders that arise in living system agencies. Agencies are complex, and for them to be viable and hence survive, they require both stability and uncertainty reduction. Metacybernetics is defined through a metasystem hierarchy, and is mostly known through 1st and 2nd order cybernetics. In this exploratory paper the purpose is to create a framework that can underpin metacybernetics and explain the relationship between different cybernetic orders. The framework is built on agency theory which has both substructural and superstructural dimensions. Substructure has an interest in stability, is concerned with the generation of higher cybernetic orders, and is serviced by horizontal recursion. Superstructure is concerned with uncertainty reduction by uncovering hidden material or regulatory relationships, and is serviced by vertical recursion. Philosophical aspects to the framework are discussed, making distinction between global rationality through critical realism, and local rationality that relates to different cybernetic orders that correspond to bounding paradigms like positivism and constructivism. View Full-Text
Keywords: metacybernetics; metasystem hierarchy; cybernetic orders; living system stability; horizontal recursion; uncertainty reduction; vertical recursion; critical realism metacybernetics; metasystem hierarchy; cybernetic orders; living system stability; horizontal recursion; uncertainty reduction; vertical recursion; critical realism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yolles, M. Metacybernetics: Towards a General Theory of Higher Order Cybernetics. Systems 2021, 9, 34. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems9020034

AMA Style

Yolles M. Metacybernetics: Towards a General Theory of Higher Order Cybernetics. Systems. 2021; 9(2):34. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems9020034

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yolles, Maurice. 2021. "Metacybernetics: Towards a General Theory of Higher Order Cybernetics" Systems 9, no. 2: 34. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems9020034

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