Symposium J. How to Integrate Language, Meaning and Mind with Cybernetic-Systemic Theories of Information?

Call for papers

The current state of Information Science is very complex, as there are incompatible paradigms that have not made their implicit ontologies and epistemologies clear. This holds for cybernetic-systemic approaches too.

E.g., Wolfgang Hofkirchner’s Unified Theory of Information (UTI), based on Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s General System Theory in combination with a theory of self-organization and emergence going from nature into social system theory, is not really compatible with Claude Shannon and Norbert Wiener or even Gregory Bateson’s further development of Wiener’s concept of information.

Other researchers and practitioners work with pan-computational and informational paradigms, where they develop concepts of natural computation that go beyond the Turing definition of algorithmic computing. Such a pan-informational and pan-computational view is for instance promoted by Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic (ICON).

But all of these paradigms lack the first person phenomenological approach of human experiential consciousness as the basis for meaning production in the subject as well as intersubjective sign production.

Then there is second order cybernetics and autopoietic theories based on an observer making meaningful distinctions. The problem is that Spencer-Brown, certain interpretations of Bateson and Maturana and Luhmann’s combination of these in a triple autopoietic system theory of communication all presume a conscious observer, but do not really encompass the latter in their ontological foundations.

Differing from this is Søren Brier’s attempt to integrate Peircean pragmaticistic triadic and phaneroscopic semiotics with the Luhmannian approach in what he calls a Cybersemiotics. Cybersemiotics is an attempt to put Luhmann’s theory inside the Peircean epistemological and ontological framework and cure the illness of both paradigms as well as the general problems of the previous attempt to make a unified theory of information.

This track is open for contributions to clear up, solve these problems of how to produce a transdisciplinary theory of information, cognition and communication or elaborate already suggested solutions.


Session 1

  • Introduction
  • Christina Weiss: Phenomenology, Constructivism and cognitive science
  • Søren Brier: How is transdisciplinarity possible in the area of Cognition, Communication and meaning across Nature and Culture? The Cybersemiotic Framework

Session 2

  • Jerry LeRoy Chandler: Third order Cybernetics
  • Boris Sunik: Representation of Meaning in the Theory of Meaningful Information