Principia Cybernetica Web

Specific Goals for Principia Cybernetica

Principia Cybernetica has the following specific goals:

For a group of researchers, perhaps not all geographically close, to collaboratively develop a system of philosophy. The task of growing such a system should be beyond the grasp of any one individual. In order to achieve progress, openness, and the participation of the scholarly community, balance in the content of the system must be reflected by a balance of opinions of its authors and between editorial control and public participation.

To produce a system of philosophy that can develop dynamically over time, with continuing refinement and expansion, while retaining a record of its history. Such a system must be "grown"--it will begin small, and become larger. But change in the philosophy must not only be in its growth, but also in revision, the correction of error, and incorporation of new opinions and participants. Thus it must be possible for parts of the system to be changed and deleted on an ongoing basis.

The content of the project should not just be a passive reflection what the authors construct, but be a an model able to generate its own activity, and to act on itself and its organization. The structure of the system should not just represent the principles being developed, but also manifest them in its actions.

Semantic Representations and Analysis:
For the system of philosophy to fully reflect and incorporate the multiple semantic relations inherent among the terms being explicated, and to unify and synthesize notations and the senses of terms as used in different disciplines. The semantic relations among the terms and concepts are complex and intricate. In this way, knowledge can be represented in its breadth, depth, and other orderings as conceived by the readers and authors. The coherence of a system of thought is aided by the unification and synthesis of terminology. Much of the development of the system will be done through the explication of concepts and the multiple senses of terms in the context of their history in the literature.

To support the process of argument and dialogue among experts toward the development of consensually held views among a number of researchers, while preserving their individual views.

Multiple Representational Forms:
To support mathematical notation and the easy movement among natural language, formal language, and mathematics, and to support bibliographical and historical reference. There are many different forms of linguistic expression aside from natural language which are very useful for philosophical work. These include graph notation (nodes and arcs), set notation, predicate logic, mathematical notation, and other forms of lists, tables, and diagrams.

To allow researchers to develop or read the philosophical system in various orders and in various degrees of depth or specificity. It must be possible for readers to have access to all of the orderings and dimensions of this large multi-dimensional semantic system, and to travel freely along and among them.

To support the traditional publication of different stages of parts or the whole of the philosophical system and of various special purpose documents, including journal articles, books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, texts on a subject, reference pages, essays, dialogues on a subject, or "streams of consciousness".

To allow the representation and utilization of knowledge in its breadth, depth, and any other arbitrary orderings.

Copyright© 1992 Principia Cybernetica - Referencing this page

C. Joslyn,

Jan 1992


Introduction to Principia Cybernetica

The Need for Principia Cybernetica

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