It seems that cybernetics is many different things to many different people. But this is because of the richness of its conceptual base; and I believe that this is very good, otherwise cybernetics would become a somewhat boring exercise. However, all of those perspectives arise from one central theme; that of circularity. When, perhaps a half century ago, the fecundity of this concept was seen, it was sheer euphoria to philosophize, epistemologize, and theorize about its unifying power and its consequences and rami?cation on various ?elds. While this was going on, something strange evolved among the philosophers, the epistemologists and, the theoreticians. They began to see themselves more and more as being included in a larger circularity; maybe within the circularity of their family; or that of their society and culture; or even being included in a circularity of cosmic proportions!
We are beginning to play with ideas of ecology, and although we immediately trivialize these into commerce or politics, there is at least an impulse still in the human breast to unify and thereby sanctify the total natural world, of which we are.... There have been, and still are, in the world many different and even contrasting epistemologies which have been alike in stressing an ultimate unity, and, although this is less sure, which have also stressed the notion that ultimate unity is aesthetic. The uniformity of these views gives hope that perhaps the great authority of quantitative science may be insufficient to deny an ultimate unifying beauty. I hold to the presupposition that our loss of the sense of aesthetic unity was, quite simply, an epistemological mistake.