Volume 11 · Number 3 · Pages 472–475
Beware False Dichotomies

Peter Cariani

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Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Cybernetics as a Fundamental Revolution in Science” by Stuart A. Umpleby. Upshot: While I agree with most of the thrust of second-order cybernetics, I find the dichotomy of firstvs. second-order cybernetics conceptually and historically problematic because it implicitly conflates the cybernetics of nonhuman systems with realist conceptions of observer-free science. The dichotomy may be divisive and unhealthy for cybernetics by driving natural scientists and engineers out of the movement, thereby undermining the universality of its principles.


Cariani P. (2016) Beware false dichotomies. Constructivist Foundations 11(3): 472–475. http://constructivist.info/11/3/472

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