4.0831 Confs: Principia Cybernetica Workshop (1/175)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Sun, 16 Dec 90 15:58:29 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0831. Sunday, 16 Dec 1990.

Date: Mon, 10 Dec 90 08:26:32 EST
Originally Posted: PHILOS-L; Editor: stephen clark <AP01@LIVERPOOL.AC.UK>
Forwarded by: Willard McCarty <McCarty@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: CFP for 1st Principia Cybernetica Worskhop

Preliminary Announcement and Call for Papers

* *
* *
* computer-supported cooperative development *
* of an evolutionary-systemic philosophy *

Free University of Brussels, Belgium
July 2-5, 1991

Organized by: the Principia Cybernetica Editorial Board
the Transdisciplinary Research Group


Principia Cybernetica is an attempt by a group of researchers to
collaboratively build a system of cybernetic philosophy, moving
towards a transdisciplinary unification of the domain of Systems
Theory and Cybernetics. This philosophical system will be developed as
a network, consisting of nodes or concepts, linked by specific types
of semantic relations. The network will be implemented in a hybrid
computer-based environment involving hypermedia, electronic mail, and
electronic publishing, thus providing readers and authors with
flexible access to every part of the system.

Development of this system is seen as a long-term project involving many
participants, communicating and conversing through electronic media, and
supervised by an Editorial Board. While traditional publication of
parts of the network will be made periodically, the project is seen as
necessarily open-ended and developing, a process of discourse among a
community of researchers.

The philosophy to be developed is systemic and evolutionary, em-
phasizing the spontaneous emergence of higher levels of organization or
control through variation and natural selection. It includes: 1) a
metaphysics, based on processes as ontological primitives, 2) an epis-
temology, which understands knowledge as constructed by the subject, but
undergoing selection by the environment; 3) an ethics, with the
continuance of the process of evolution as supreme value.

Workshop Topics

* Supporting Technology: electronic mail and publishing, computer-
supported cooperative working, groupware, Standard Generalized Markup
Languages, hypertext markup languages, hypermedia, object-oriented
environments, ...

* Semantic and Conversational Systems: knowledge representation
schemes for philosophical systems and arguments, different semantic
categories and relations, knowledge structuring and integration,
dealing with disagreements and contradictions, ...

* Constructive Epistemology: model-building, selection criteria for
models, evolutionary epistemology, metacognitive reasoning, levels of
cognition: associative, rational, metarational, ...

* Evolutionary Ethics: survival and immortality as fundamental
values, freedom and/or integration, self-actualization, individual-
society-ecosystem relations, the next metasystem transition: super-
being versus metabeing ...

* Process Metaphysics: modelling of emergence and metasystem
transitions, actions as ontological primitives, the process of evolu-
tion as generator of complexity, levels of organization ...

We would particularly appreciate contributions that cut across these
different tracks: for example, emergence mechanisms applicable to
evolution and to computer-supported knowledge structuring, or
hyperspace as technology and as substrate for "cyberbeings". The
emphasis is on contributions that integrate or synthesize multiple
domains or issues. They are not limited to these separate topics.

Organization of the Workshop

After the organization of a symposium on "Cybernetics and Human
Values" at the 8th World Congress of Systems and Cybernetics (New
York, June 1990), the next official activity of the Principia
Cybernetica project will be a Workshop at the Free University of
Brussels (VUB) in July 1991. The official language is English.

The informal Workshop will allow all researchers interested in
collaborating in the Project to meet and to discuss the main problems.
It will be introduced by a more formal Symposium where the main issues
in developing a systemic philosophy will be expounded, as a basis on
which to continue working. The Symposium will take one day, the
Workshop will take two or three days, depending on the number of
contributions. The attendance to the Workshop will be limited to some
35 participants in order to intensify the interactions; the attendance
to the Symposium is unlimited.

The event will be organized in the tradition of a pleasant, informal
setting and warm social contacts initiated by the conference on
"Self-Steering and Cognition in Complex Systems: toward a new
cybernetics" (proceedings edited by Heylighen et al., Gordon and Breach,
New York, 1990), which was held at the same place in 1987. There will
be a possibility for inexpensive accomodation in university rooms. In
addition to that Brussels offers plenty of hotels of all standards.
Interested people may combine participation in the workshop with
participation in the congress of the Int. Fuzzy Systems Assoc., which
is held at the same location, July 7-12.

Brussels, the capital of Europe, is very easy to reach by a variety of
means of transportation. As the second international city in the world
(measured by the number of headquarters of international organizations),
and with its 1000 years of history, it offers many interesting sights to
visit. It boasts the most beautiful historic market place and the
highest concentration of restaurants in the world.

Submission of Papers

Abstracts of minimum one, maximum two pages (about 300-600 words)
should be submitted to one of the addresses below, as soon as possible
but not later than March 15, 1991. If possible, abstracts should be
submitted in printed and in electronic form: email or 3.5 inch floppy
disk (720 Kb MS-DOS or 800Kb Mac) with ASCII text. Authors should give
their full address, phone number, and electronic mail address where
possible. Abstracts will be evaluated by the scientific committee.
Authors will be notified about acceptance before April 15, 1991. It is
possible to send in abstracts late (after March 15), but they will be
considered depending upon whether there are still places available at
the Workshop.

Accepted abstracts will be published in an abstract book available at
the conference. The best contributions will be considered for
elaboration into full papers, to be published in a book devoted to the
Principia Cybernetica project and edited by its present editorial board.
An international scientific publisher is being sollicited.


Conference Chairman:

Francis Heylighen (Free University of Brussels)

Scientific Committee:

Francis Heylighen (Free University of Brussels)
Cliff Joslyn (State University of New York at Binghamton)
Valentin Turchin (City University of New York)
Jean Paul Van Bendegem (Free University of Brussels)
Gordon Pask (London)
Gerard de Zeeuw (University of Amsterdam)
Jean Ramaekers (Int. Assoc. for Cybernetics, Namur)

Local Organizing Committee:

An Vranckx, Eric Van Engeland, Alex Housen


For submissions of abstracts, or further information, contact:

PESP, V.U.B., Pleinlaan 2
B-1050 Brussels, Belgium.
Tel. +32 - 2 - 641 25 25
Fax +32 - 2 - 641 22 82
Telex 61051 VUBCO B
Email: Z09302@BBRBFU01.bitnet

Systems Science, SUNY Binghamton
6 Garfield Ave. # 2
Binghamton NY 13905, USA.
Tel. +1 - 607 - 729 53 48
Email: cjoslyn@bingvaxu.cc.binghamton.edu