Cybernetics - DefinitionsCybernetics has been defined in a variety of ways, by a variety of people, from a variety of disciplines. The Larry Richards Reader includes a listing by Stuart Umpleby of notable definitions:
- "Science concerned with the study of systems of any nature which are capable of receiving, storing and processing information so as to use it for control." — A. N. Kolmogorov
- "The art of securing efficient operation." — Louis Couffignal
- "'The art of steersmanship': deals with all forms of behavior in so far as they are regular, or determinate, or reproducible: stands to the real machine -- electronic, mechanical, neural, or economic -- much as geometry stands to real object in our terrestrial space; offers a method for the scientific treatment of the system in which complexity is outstanding and too important to be ignored." — W. Ross Ashby
- "A branch of mathematics dealing with problems of control, recursiveness, and information, focuses on forms and the patterns that connect." — Gregory Bateson
- "The art of effective organization." — Stafford Beer
- "The art and science of manipulating defensible metaphors." — Gordon Pask
- "The art of creating equilibrium in a world of constraints and possibilities." — Ernst von Glasersfeld
- "The science and art of understanding." — Humberto Maturana
- "The ability to cure all temporary truth of eternal triteness." — Herbert Brun
- "The science and art of the understanding of understanding." — Rodney E. Donaldson, the first president of the American Society for Cybernetics
- "A way of thinking about ways of thinking of which it is one." — Larry Richards
- "The art of interaction in dynamic networks." — Roy Ascott
Cybernetics - The roots of cybernetic theory
The word cybernetics was first used in the context of "the study of self-governance" by Plato in The Alcibiades to signify the governance of people.
The word 'cybernétique' was also used in 1834 by the physicist André-Marie Ampère (1775–1836) to denote the sciences of government in his classification system of human knowledge.