Henri laborit: Cybernetics, biology and the social

John O'Carroll

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Abstract

This essay explores the work of Henri Laborit, the French cyberneticist renowned for his injection of cybernetic theory into urban cultural analysis. Laborit went beyond a claim of isomorphism to contend a radical continuity of levels of communication between the multicellular system of the body and the internal operations of the city and of human society. In this respect, his version of cybernetics restores a biological framework which bypasses the problems of machine intelligence that characterized much of the American tradition. By tracing aspects of his work, especially his L'Homme et la Ville, the essay ventures a framing narrative of this version of the social body which at once shows its value to scholarship today. It further suggests the value of a limited and situated interdisciplinarity of the kind that Laborit himself practised.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)914-923
Number of pages10
JournalContinuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

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