International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics

2nd Edition, as published by Charles François 2004 Presented by the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science Vienna for public access.


The International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics was first edited and published by the system scientist Charles François in 1997. The online version that is provided here was based on the 2nd edition in 2004. It was uploaded and gifted to the center by ASC president Michael Lissack in 2019; the BCSSS purchased the rights for the re-publication of this volume in 200?. In 2018, the original editor expressed his wish to pass on the stewardship over the maintenance and further development of the encyclopedia to the Bertalanffy Center. In the future, the BCSSS seeks to further develop the encyclopedia by open collaboration within the systems sciences. Until the center has found and been able to implement an adequate technical solution for this, the static website is made accessible for the benefit of public scholarship and education.


CONSCIOUSNESS (Evolutionary and Planetary) 1)4)

K. BAUSCH synthetizes as follows B.H. BANATHY's views on the subject. BANATHY "distinguishes between two kinds of consciousness which coexist at the individual and the societal level". Before going further it should be useful to give some thoughts to the existence and nature of that societal level (see Observer (Collective)

According to BANATHY: "the self-reflective consciousness contemplates "what is and creates an image of the self, the world around the self, and one's role in the world"

Possibly BANATHY's optimism should be put in perspective by a skeptical comment of A. EINSTEIN: "Der Horizont vieler Menschen ist ein Kreis mit Radius null -und das nennen sie ihrer Standpunkt"(The horizon of many people is a circle of zero radius- and they call this their viewpoint")

BANATHY follows on: "The creative consciousness focuses on "what should be". Here a second question mark appears: On the base of which criteria do we define (personally and in groups) "what should be". And what happens if no common criteria are accepted? and "… creates a guiding evolutionary vision of the desired future"…

As to the "planetary consciousness which involves the knowing and feeling of the vital interdependence and essential oneness of humankind, and the conscious adoption of the ethics and ethos that entails", it is of course probably the basic condition for planetary survival. However it remains to be seen if and when this "knowing and feeling "could be achieved in a sufficient majority of the planet's inhabitants (in order to transform any utopia in a workable reality)

Moreover that "knowing"is impossible without a much deeper understanding of the deep causes of the woeful present situation of mankind. Such understanding can be much enhanced by the use of systemic-cybernetic concepts, models and tools, including in it a better awareness of the conditions of our own consciousness.

Finally adequate thinking (i.e. coherent, not self contradictory, wide embracing and open to progressive adaptiveness) seems to be the necessary bedrock for a responsible management of the issues at stake.


  • 1) General information
  • 2) Methodology or model
  • 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
  • 4) Human sciences
  • 5) Discipline oriented


Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science(2020).

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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]

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