Cybernetics (1091 words)

Historical Context Essay

  • Niran Abbas (Birkbeck, University of London)


It is difficult to give the credit to any one individual for discovering the idea of “cybernetics”, but generally it is known to have been coined by MIT professor, Norbert Wiener, a mathematician, engineer and social philosopher in 1947. The term can be traced to the Greek “kubernetes” or “steersman,” and may be defined as the study of homeostatic control mechanisms in organisms and machines (the science of communication and control in animal and machine). By communication is meant the system of routes for moving vehicles, people or supplies, or the kind of entities or messages actually exchanged in the process of communication, like letters, telegrams, taped messages. Communications are the carriers of …

Abbas, Niran. "Cybernetics". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2002
[, accessed 25 October 2016.]