"Its selective function on the range of the recipient's states of conditional readiness for goal-directed activity" (D. Mac KAY, 1969, p.24).
By "conditional readiness" Mac KAY understand the number of possible states of the subject, some of which may or may not be actualized by the message. He writes: "It is not until we consider the range of other states, that might have been selected but were'nt, that the notion of meaning comes into its own. A change in meaning (in the message) implies a different selection from the range of states of readiness" (Ibid).
In other words, the message is an activator of behavior, but then only within the limits of the possible states of the subject.
The concept is akin to:
1. VENDRYES' concepts of autonomy and subjective probability
2. MATURANA and VARELA's concept of autopoiesis
It does not however clarify the mechanism of the acquisition of the "range of the recipient's (possible) states of conditional readiness".
In any case, Mac KAY concludes "… meaning is clearly a relationship between message and recipient rather than a unique property of the message alone" (Ibid.).
This is why the same message may very well convey different and even opposed meanings for different recipients.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
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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