A prefix used to indicate a higher level of complexity or abstraction, referring to models, languages, or systems.
This prefix, mainly diffused by J.van GIGCH and his collaborators, has been occasionally criticized by some users on the ground of its supposed philosophical connotations and arguing that it could be replaced by "supra-" or "super- ".
It is, however, widely used and does not seem to entail semantic confusion. Moreover, its meaning is solidly grounded in B. RUSSELL's and A.N. WHITHEHEAD's Theory of logical types.
E. SCHWARZ observes that it has frequently a self-referential meaning: "Examples: Meta-knowledge, as knowledge on knowledge; meta-mathematics, as mathematics of the mathematics; meta-communication, as communication about communication" (1993, p.7).
Meta- can also imply a transition from one state or process to another, as for example in metabolism; or some kind of generalization, as when systemics is spoken of as a metalanguage.
- 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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