These are the questions that physicist and philosopher Heinz von Foerster and journalist Bernhard Poerksen debate about in their conversations. Together, they explore the borders of our capacity for knowledge. They discuss the seeming objectivity of our sensual perception, the consequences of “truth terrorism” and the connections between knowledge and ethics, sight and insight.
Developed from a week-long conversation between the editors and von Foerster near the end of his life, this work playfully engages von Foerster in developing the difference his notion of second-order cybernetics makes for topics ranging from emergence, life, order, and thermodynamics to observation, recursion, cognition, perception, memory, and communication.
The book gives an English-speaking audience a new ease of access to the rich thought and generous spirit of this remarkable and protean thinker.