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The Beginning of Heaven and Earth Has No Name


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The Beginning of Heaven and Earth Has No Name gives an English-speaking audience a new ease of access to the rich thought and generous spirit of this remarkable and protean thinker.

Table of Contents

A Fore-word by the Series Editor An Author's Fore-words Fore-wards with Two Editors Fore-taste of an Author with Two Editors 1. First Day: Building Blocks, Observers, Emergence, Trivial Machines 2. Second Day: Innovation, Life, Order, Thermodynamics 3. Third Day: Movement, Species, Recursion, Selectivity 4. Fourth Day: Cognition, Perception, Memory, Symbols 5. Fifth Day: Communicating, Talking, Thinking, Falling 6. Sixth Day: Experiences, Heuristics, Plans, Futures 7. Seventh Day: Rest, Rest, Rest, Rest Epilogue in Heaven ... Translators' Notes Notes

About the Author

Heinz von Foerster is one of the most consequential thinkers in the history of cybernetics. Von Foerster wrote nearly two hundred professional papers, gaining renown in fields from computer science and artificial intelligence to epistemology and family therapy. Albert Muller is Professor of History in the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte at the University of Vienna and the general secretary of the Heinz von Foerster Society. Karl H. Muller is Head of the Vienna Institute for Social Scientific Documentation and Methodology (WISDOM) and the president of the Heinz von Foerster Society. Elinor Rooks is a doctoral student at the University of Leeds. Michael Kasenbacher is a social scientist and translator.


"Heinz Von Foerster spent most of his career seeking to understand cognition based on neurophysiology, mathematics, and philosophy. He came to a new understanding of knowledge which led to a new epistemology. What this book reveals is that after retiring from the University of Illinois, von Foerster reinterpreted his earlier professional training in physics and the sciences generally from the new perspective. The conversational structure and style of the book brilliantly gives von Foerster the opportunity to retell the story of creation by referring to all of the various branches of natural science, but with the additional insight of the new epistemology. This is a remarkable achievement which will delight any serious student of the natural sciences or of scientific writing. The scholarship that went into the conversation that the book records, both the questions and the answers, is impressive."-Stuart Umpleby, George Washington University "I know of no other such a broad and coherent statement of Foerster's essential thinking."-Ranulph Glanville, University College London

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