Constructing a Social Science for Postwar America: The Cybernetics Group, 1946-1953
In this sequel to his acclaimed double biography, John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener, Steve Heims recounts another fascinating story in twentieth-century intellectual history - a series of encounters that captured a moment of transformation in the human sciences. Focusing on the Macy Foundation conferences, which were designed to forge connections between wartime science and postwar social science, Heims's richly detailed account explores the dialogues that emerged among a remarkable group that included Wiener, von Neumann, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, Warren McCulloch, Kurt Lewin, Molly Harrower, and Lawrence Kubie. Heims shows how those dialogues shaped ideas in psychology, sociology, anthropology, and psychiatry.
Steve Joshua Heims, once a research physicist, has devoted his attention to the history of twentieth-century science for the past two decades.
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American analysis anthropology became behavior behaviorist biological brain Chicago circular causality cognitive communication concepts concerned culture cyberneticians cybernetics cybernetics conferences cybernetics meetings described discussion emphasized ence engineering experience feedback field formal Frank Fremont-Smith Gestalt psychology Gregory Bateson Harrower Heims human sciences Ibid ical ideas individual intellectual interest interview Jerome Lettvin John von Neumann Kliiver Kohler Kubie Kubie's Kurt Lewin language Larry Frank later Lazarsfeld learning logical machines Macy conferences Macy Foundation Macy group Macy meetings Margaret Mead mathematical mathematicians Mead's mechanism mental health mind neurons Norbert Wiener Northrop notion organization participants particular patterns Paul Lazarsfeld perception philosophical phrenology physical Pitts's political presented problem psychiatry psychoanalysis psychotherapy Rosenblueth Savage schismogenesis scientific social sciences social scientists society sociology Stroud talk Teuber theory thinking thought tion United University Press Walter Pitts Warren McCulloch York