Principia Cybernetica Web

Bibliography on Principia Cybernetica

Several publications devoted to PCP are available, and more are planned. The titles with links below are directly connected to draft versions of the paper on FTP (mostly ASCII or TEX format), or on WWW. Reprints of papers can also be requested from their respective authors.


  1. Bollen J. (1994): "The Principia Cybernetica Web - Using the Internet to consult a knowledge base for systems research", Newsletter of the International Federation for Systems Research No. 34/35, p. 8.
  2. Bollen J. & Heylighen F. (1996): Algorithms for the self-organisation of distributed, multi-user networks. Possible application to the future World Wide Web, in: Cybernetics and Systems '96 R. Trappl (ed.), (Austrian Society for Cybernetics), p. 911-916.
  3. Heylighen F. (1991): "Cognitive Levels of Evolution: pre-rational to meta-rational", in: The Cybernetics of Complex Systems, F. Geyer (ed.), (Intersystems, Salinas, California), p. 75-92.
  4. Heylighen F. (1992): "Principles of Systems and Cybernetics", in: Cybernetics and Systems '92, R. Trappl (ed.), (World Science, Singapore), p. 3-10.
  5. Heylighen F. (1993): "Selection Criteria for the Evolution of Knowledge", in: Proc. 13th Int. Congress on Cybernetics (Association Internat. de Cybernetique, Namur), p. 529.
  6. Heylighen F. (1994): "Fitness as Default: the evolutionary basis for cognitive complexity reduction", in: Cybernetics and Systems '94, R. Trappl (ed.), (World Science, Singapore), p.1595-1602.
  7. Heylighen F. (1996): "Application of the World-Wide Web for the Development and Publication of a Systems Encyclopedia", in: Proc. 14th Int. Congress on Cybernetics (Association Internat. de Cybernétique, Namur).
  8. Heylighen F. (1997): "The Growth of Structural and Functional Complexity during Evolution", in: F. Heylighen & D. Aerts (eds.) (1997): "The Evolution of Complexity" (Kluwer, Dordrecht). (in press )
  9. Heylighen F. (1997): "Objective, subjective and intersubjective selectors of knowledge", Evolution and Cognition 3:1, p. 63-67. (special issue devoted to D.T. Campbell's evolutionary epistemology)
  10. F. Heylighen: "Foundations and Methodology for an Evolutionary World View: a review of the Principia Cybernetica Project"
  11. Heylighen F. (2000): "Evolutionary Transitions: how do levels of complexity emerge?" (book review)
  12. Heylighen F. & Bollen J. (1996) The World-Wide Web as aSuper-Brain: from metaphor to model, in: Cybernetics and Systems '96 R. Trappl (ed.), (Austrian Society for Cybernetics).p. 917-922.
  13. Heylighen F. & Bollen J.: "Development and Publication of Systems Knowledge on the Internet: the Principia Cybernetica Web", [submitted]
  14. Francis Heylighen & Donald T. Campbell: Selection of Organization at the Social Level: obstacles and facilitators of Metasystem Transitions, "World Futures: the journal of general evolution", Vol. 45:1-4 (1995), p. 181.
  15. Heylighen F., Joslyn C. & Turchin V. (1991) : "A Short Introduction to the Principia Cybernetica Project", Journal of Ideas 2, #1 p. 26-29.
  16. Heylighen F. & Joslyn C. (1993): "Electronic Networking for Philosophical Development in the Principia Cybernetica Project", Informatica, Vol. 17, No. 3 p. 285-293.
  17. Joslyn C., Heylighen F. & Turchin V. (1993): "Synopsys of the Principia Cybernetica Project", in: Proc. 13th Int. Congress on Cybernetics (Association Internationale de Cybernetique, Namur), p. 509.
  18. Joslyn C. (1991): "Tools for the Development of Consensually-Based Philosophical Systems: a feasibility study for the Principia Cybernetica Project" (Principia Cybernetica Technical Report)
  19. Joslyn, C.: (1991) "Control Theory and Cybernetic Ontology", (Principia Cybernetica Technical Report, long version of the paper on p. 24 of the Workbook).
  20. Joslyn C (1996).: Semantic Webs: A Cyberspatial Representational Form for Cybernetics, in: Cybernetics and Systems '96 R. Trappl (ed.), (Austrian Society for Cybernetics).
  21. Joslyn, Cliff: "Semiotic Aspects of Control and Modeling Relations in Complex Systems", to appear in: Control Mechanisms for Complex Systems, ed. Michael Coombs, Addison-Wesley, Redwood City CA.
  22. Lichtenstein B. (1991): "A difference that makes a differance: cybernetic inquiry and post-modern philosophy", in: The Cybernetics of Complex Systems, F. Geyer (ed.), (Intersystems, Salinas, California), p. 11-20.
  23. Moritz E. (1991) "On the Road to Cybernetic Immortality: A Report on the First Principia Cybernetica Workshop", Journal of Ideas, 2, #2/3.
  24. Turchin V. (1990): "Cybernetics and Philosophy", in: The Cybernetics of Complex Systems, F. Geyer (ed.), (Intersystems, Salinas, California), p. 61-74.
  25. Turchin V. (1993): "On Cybernetic Epistemology", Systems Research 10:1, p. 3-28.
  26. Turchin V. (1993): "The Cybernetic Ontology of Actions", Kybernetes 22:2, p. 10-30.
  27. Turchin V. and Joslyn C.: (1990) "The Cybernetic Manifesto", Kybernetes 19:2-3, p. 63-65.
  28. In addition to those, the following papers, presented at a Symposium on the Principia Cybernetica Project, have been published in the Proceedings of the 13th Int. Congress of Cybernetics (Int. Association of Cybernetics, Namur, 1993):
    • Introduction (Heylighen F. ), p. 507.
    • Jdanko A.V.: On Fundamental Problems of the Principia Cybernetica Project, p. 514.
    • Umerez J., Etxeberria A. & Moreno A. : Emergence and Functionality, p. 519.
    • Glück R.: The Requirement of Identical Variety, p. 524.
    • Elohim J.L. : Automation: a conscious human tool to rationally accomplish human aims in order to purposefully push ahead human evolution, p. 534.
    • Carvallo M.E.: Some Alternatives to the Representational Mind, p. 539.
    • Maddock J. W. : Modeling Human Relationships via Dialectical Ecology, p. 544
    • Conclusion (Heylighen F.), p.549.


  1. Heylighen F. (ed.) (1991): Workbook of the 1st Principia Cybernetica Workshop (Principia Cybernetica, Brussels-New York).

    This booklet (70 pages) contains short articles and abstracts presented at the Workshop in Brussels. Paper copies are available from F. Heylighen.

  2. Heylighen F., Joslyn C. & Turchin V. (eds.) (1995) : The Quantum of Evolution (special issue, Vol. 45:1-4, of "World Futures: the journal of general evolution, published by Gordon and Breach, New York).

    This volume is an edited collection of papers by invited authors on the Theory of Metasystem Transitions.

  3. A second, more long-term project is to synthesize the different ideas that were developed separately, in the form of a real "Principia Cybernetica" monograph, authored by the PCP editorial board, and similar to the set of linked nodes existing on the PCP-Web.

    Finally, many of the ideas underlying PCP can be found in two books written well before PCP was founded:

  4. Turchin V. (1977): The Phenomenon of Science. A cybernetic approach to human evolution, (Columbia University Press, New York).

    Cybernetic theory of universal evolution, from unicellular organisms to culture and society, based on the concept of the Metasystem Transition.

  5. Turchin V. (1981) The Inertia of Fear and the Scientific Worldview, (Columbia University Press, New York).

    Interpretation of (Soviet) totalitarianism from the perspective of cybernetic social theory.

Copyright© 1997 Principia Cybernetica - Referencing this page

F. Heylighen, C. Joslyn,

Jul 7, 1997 (modified)
Aug 1993 (created)


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