Dr. Karl H. Müller (1953) was head of the Departments of Political Science and Sociology at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) in Vienna (1997 – 2001) of the Wiener Institute for Social Science Documentation and Methodology (WISDOM), Austria’s centre for research infrastructures in the social sciences and of the Heinz von Foerster Society (2000 – 2015). Currently he is Director of the Steinbeis Transfer Centre New Cybernetics and senior researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Ljubljana. His main research interests range from problems of complex modeling and from the potential of complex data visualization in the social sciences to the frontiers of second order cybernetics, of radical constructivism and of contemporary RISC-societies.
His recent publications reflect these various interests, namely, (with Lucka Kajfež-Bogataj, Ivan Svetlik, Niko Toš (eds.)), Modern RISC-Societies: Towards a New Paradigm of Societal Evolution (Wien:edition echoraum, 2010), The New Science of Cybernetics. Towards the Evolution of Living Research Designs. Vol. II. Theory (Wien:edition echoraum, 2011), The New Science of Cybernetics. The Evolution of Living Research Designs, vol. III: Research and Design Rules (Wien:edition echoraum, 2012), (together with Niko Toš). Towards a New Kind of Social Science. Social Research in the Context of Science II and RISC-Societies (Wien:edition echoraum, 2012), New Cybernetics. The Structure of a Scientific Revolution (Wien:edition echoraum, 2015, to be published); (with Brina Malnar), Surveys and Self-Reflexivity. A Second-Order Study of the European Social Survey (ESS) (Wien:edition echoraum, 2015, to be published)
Ranulph Glanville (June 13, 1946 – December 20, 2014) was a prolific writer, a magic designer, an avant-garde musician, a cybernetician of the first- and of the second-order, a philosopher in disguise, to name only a few roles. His contributions to second-order cybernetics and to areas like design, philosophy, conversation theory, methodology or games, with the tools and perspectives of his version of second-order cybernetics were unique and have been published recently under the title “The Black B∞x” in three volumes in edition echoraum (Glanville, 2009, 2012, 2014).
In this short memorial lecture I will undertake a systematic attempt to make his work more easily accessible for others, including myself, and to provide a special location for Ranulph Glanville within the research program of second-order cybernetics in particular and within the research tradition of radical constructivism in general. It will become my central thesis in this lecture that Ranulph Glanville’s special role and function was to provide a meta-approach to all the available research programs in radical constructivism. This framework was transcendental in nature and focused on the conditions of the possibility for observation, for communication, for language, for knowledge or for learning to emerge at all. Thus, Ranulph Glanville reserved a unique place for himself that, at the same time, turned out to be magic for his explorations and very difficult to grasp for his intellectual environment.
Glanville, R. (2009), The Black B∞x, vol. III: 39 Steps. Wien:edition echoraum
Glanville, R. (2012), The Black B∞x, vol. I: Cybernetic Circles. Wien:edition echoraum
Glanville, R. (2014), The Black B∞x, vol. II: Living in Cybernetic Circles. Wien:edition echoraum