The Be-ing of Objects

Cybernetics & Human Knowing 22, No. 2-3 (2015), 49-58

14 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2015 Last revised: 26 Mar 2017

See all articles by Dirk Baecker

Dirk Baecker

Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen

Date Written: January 29, 2015


The paper is a reading of Martin Heidegger's Contributions to Philosophy (Of the Even) by means of Ranulph Glanville's notions of black box, cybernetic control and objects as well as by George Spencer-Brown's notion of form and Fritz Heider's notion of medium. In fact, as Heidegger was among those who emphasized systems thinking as the epitome of modern thinking, did in his lecture on Schelling's Treatise on the Essence of Human Freedom a most thorough reading of this thinking, and considered cybernetics the very fulfilment of modern science it is interesting to know whether second-order cybernetics, as it was not known to Heidegger and as it delves into an understanding of inevitable complexity and foundational ignorance, falls within that verdict mere modernity or goes beyond it. If modern science in its rational understanding considers its subjects to be objects sitting still while being observed, then indeed second-order cybernetics is different. It looks into the observer's interactions with black boxes, radically uncertain of where to expect operations of a self, but certain that we cannot restrict it to human consciousness.

Suggested Citation

Baecker, Dirk, The Be-ing of Objects (January 29, 2015). Cybernetics & Human Knowing 22, No. 2-3 (2015), 49-58, Available at SSRN: or

Dirk Baecker (Contact Author)

Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen ( email )

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