Frases de William Ross Ashby

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William Ross Ashby

Data de nascimento: 6. Setembro 1903
Data de falecimento: 15. Novembro 1972

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William Ross Ashby foi um médico neurologista inglês que em 1951 criou o primeiro homeostato, um dispositivo eletrônico auto-regulado por retroalimentação.

Entre 1946 e 1953 integrou o grupo reunido sob o nome de Macy Conferences, contribuindo para a consolidação da teoria cibernética junto com outros cientistas renomados: Arturo Rosenblueth, Gregory Bateson, Heinz von Foerster, John von Neumann, Julian Bigelow, Kurt Lewin, Lawrence Kubie, Lawrence K. Frank, Leonard J. Savage, Margaret Mead, Molly Harrower, Norbert Wiener, Paul Lazarsfeld, Ralph W. Gerard, Walter Pitts e Warren McCulloch; além de Claude Shannon, Erik Erikson e Max Delbrück.

Citações William Ross Ashby

„All the changes that may occur with time are naturally included, for when plants grow and planets age and machines move some change from one state to another is implicit.“

—  W. Ross Ashby
Context: The most fundamental concept in cybernetics is that of "difference", either that two things are recognisably different or that one thing has changed with time. Its range of application need not be described now, for the subsequent chapters will illustrate the range abundantly. All the changes that may occur with time are naturally included, for when plants grow and planets age and machines move some change from one state to another is implicit. So our first task will be to develop this concept of "change", not only making it more precise but making it richer, converting it to a form that experience has shown to be necessary if significant developments are to be made. p. 9: Chapter 2 Change, lead paragraph.

„Cybernetics treats not things but ways of behaving.“

—  W. Ross Ashby
Context: Cybernetics treats not things but ways of behaving. It does not ask “what is this thing?” but “what does it do?”... It is thus essentially functional and behaviouristic. Cybernetics deals with all forms of behavior in so far as they are regular, or determinate, or reproducible. The materiality is irrelevant... The truths of cybernetics are not conditional on their being derived from some other branch of science. Cybernetics has its own foundations. p. 1; As cited in: Stuart A. Umpleby, "Ross Ashby's general theory of adaptive systems." International Journal of General Systems 38.2 (2009): 231-238.

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„Every isolated determinate dynamic system, obeying unchanging laws, will ultimately develop some sort of organisms that are adapted to their environments.“

—  W. Ross Ashby
Ashby (1962), quoted in: V. Lawrence Parsegian (1972) This cybernetic world of men, machines, and earth systems'. p. 178: About the principle of

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