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Full-Text Articles in Other Social and Behavioral Sciences

Conversation: Possibilities Of Its Repair And Descent Into Discourse And Computation, Klaus Krippendorff Jul 2009

Conversation: Possibilities Of Its Repair And Descent Into Discourse And Computation, Klaus Krippendorff

Departmental Papers (ASC)

This essay contends that radical constructivism makes a mistake by focusing on cognition at the expense of where cognitive phenomena surface: in the interactive use of language. By contrast, it advocates a radically social constructivism grounded in the conversational nature of being human. It also urges to abandon the celebration of observation, inherited from the enlightenment’s preoccupation with description, in favor of participation, the recognition that speaking and writing are acts of continuously reconstructing reality, only partly conceivable by participants yet interactively realized.

It distinguishes between conversation as observed and conversation as articulated by its participants. It postulates accountability ...


Information Of Interactions In Complex Systems, Klaus Krippendorff Jul 2009

Information Of Interactions In Complex Systems, Klaus Krippendorff

Departmental Papers (ASC)

This paper addresses misconceptions of the multi-variate interaction-information measure Q, which several authors have reinvented since its proposal by McGill (1954), giving it a variety of names and interpretations. McGill’s measure claimed to quantify the amount of information of interactions among three or more variables in complex systems. In (Krippendorff, 1980), I raised doubts about the validity of Q and its relatives. The chief problem that Q-measures fail to recognize is that complex interactions tend to involve circularities and the probability distributions characterizing such circularities cannot be obtained by products of probabilities, which underlie information theory as far as ...


Ross Ashby's Information Theory: A Bit Of History, Some Solutions To Problems, And What We Face Today, Klaus Krippendorff Feb 2009

Ross Ashby's Information Theory: A Bit Of History, Some Solutions To Problems, And What We Face Today, Klaus Krippendorff

Departmental Papers (ASC)

This paper presents a personal history of one strand of W. Ross Ashby's many ideas: using information theory to analyse complex systems empirically. It starts with where I entered the evolution of the idea as one of his students, points out a problem that emerged as a consequence of generalising information measures from simple to complex systems, i.e. systems with many variables, shows how this problem was eventually solved, and ends with how his idea of decomposing complex systems into smaller interactions reappears in one of the most complex technologies of our time: cyberspace. While nobody could anticipate ...


Towards A Radically Social Constructivism, Klaus Krippendorff Mar 2008

Towards A Radically Social Constructivism, Klaus Krippendorff

Departmental Papers (ASC)

This brief paper responds to a featured article By Ernst von Glasersfeld, titled “Who conceives of society,” Constructivist Foundations 3,2: 59-64, 2008, in which he elaborates his radical constructivist conception of human cognition about social phenomena. The response agrees that individuals construct their own meanings but questions whether discrepancies in understanding are recognizable and resolvable in conversation. Understanding, it suggests, does not refer to similarities of meanings, but is asserted to move a conversation on, including to other topics. Regarding social phenomena, the response suggests that social organizations, for example, consist of networks of conversations of which its participants ...


Cybernetics’S Reflexive Turns, Klaus Krippendorff Jan 2008

Cybernetics’S Reflexive Turns, Klaus Krippendorff

Departmental Papers (ASC)

In the history of cybernetics there have been several attempts by cyberneticians to put themselves into the circularities of their theories and designs, invoking a shift from the cybernetics of mechanisms to a cybernetics of cybernetics. The latter is the title of a book chapter by Margaret Mead (1968) and of Heinz von Foerster’s (1974) edited compilation of articles on cybernetics. Foerster introduced the concept of second-order cybernetics which may have overshadowed or sidelined other reflexivities. I am attempting to recover four reflexive turns, describe their origin, implications, and suggest ways in which they continue what Karl Müller (2007 ...