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A (Cybernetic) Musing: Certain Propositions Concerning Prepositions

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In this column, I explore the subtle distinction created in English by the choice of preposition. The choice of preposition can make a remarkable difference to the understanding of a word, creating great variety. Such distinctions (one example I cite is between models_of and models_for) give great power to concepts, especially in terms of associated intention. Thus, I distinguish systems with an observer_of from those with an observer_in, arguing that the first are first order cybernetic systems, the second, second order. I then develop in more detail a new prepositional distinction, between knowledge_of and knowledge_for, exploring the differences in intentionality and world view. Although this is only a beginning, its relevance and importance is argued and an example is given.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: CybernEthics Research, 52 Lawrence Road, Southsea, Hants PO5 1NY, UK., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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