The Information Turn in Modelling People and Society: Early German Work

Bissell, Chris (2016). The Information Turn in Modelling People and Society: Early German Work. In: Images of Europe: Past, Present and Future (Espina, Yolanda ed.), Universidade Católica Editora, Porto, pp. 53–60.

URL: http://www.uceditora.ucp.pt/resources/Documentos/U...

Abstract

This paper considers early attempts by German scholars at viewing individuals and societies from what, in retrospect, can be considered an information point of view. Major figures considered are Eduard Pflüger, Felix Lincke, Jakob Von Uexküll, and Richard Wagner. Specific areas examined by such scholars are the dilation of the pupil of the eye, a general ‘proto-cybernetic’ approach to the human body, and feedback in organisms and the state. Such early work was not widely known by later German cyberneticists of the 1940s onwards, but it gradually came to inform their ideas.

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