Principia Cybernetica Web

On Semantic Analysis and Consensus Building

This project will aim at building consensus, not by normatively establishing a monolithic edifice, but through the explication of the various senses of terms. Careful semantic analysis will be done of words and concepts used in systems and cybernetics

in the context of their historical development. While we hope that actual progress can be made through the elimination of incoherent or anachronistic usages, it may be that a simple listing of the various senses will be required. If one contributor asserts "P", and another "not P", and no further progress can be made, then in the worst case a kind of "null consensus" can be achieved by including "P or not P" in the project. At the very least the different conditions under which these usages arise should be described. At best one usage would be eliminated.

Nodes of the project will be in one of the following categories:

Consensus Nodes
Ideas held in common by the contributors and the Editorial Board.
Individual Contribution Nodes
Further development of the ideas expressed in the Consensus Nodes at greater depth. This development need not be held consensually by the contributors and Editors, but should be similar in spirit and style to the Consensus Nodes.
Discussion Nodes
Including defence or criticism of the consensus or individual contribution nodes and development of other ideas.

Copyright© 1993 Principia Cybernetica - Referencing this page

C. Joslyn, F. Heylighen,

Aug 1993 (modified)
Aug 1991 (created)


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