The Second Scientific Revolution in Capital Letters: The Informatic Turn
AbstractTamito Yoshida is Member of the Japan Academy, Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo and the Chuo University. He was Vice-President of the Science Council of Japan. The text published here forms the basis of the keynote speech he delivered at the First World Congress of the International Federation for Systems Research held November 14–17, 2005, in Kobe, Japan. This was Yoshida’s first (!) presentation in English to an international scientific audience. It is an outstanding resumé of his lifework worth taking into consideration outside Japan.
It was no later than 1993 when during his participation in a Japanese project aimed at clarifying information concepts, Yoshida introduced what he calls the “informatic” turn – an idea the origins of which date back as early as the late 1960ies. According to the paper presented here, it comprises a “genomic turn” of biological science, a “linguistic turn of the human and social sciences” and an “IT turn of engineering”. The “informatic” turn marks a second scientific revolution compared to the revolution in which modern science itself was formed. This revolution leads to a new paradigm of science: science is fundamentally made for design, and it is fundamentally based upon the categories of “information” and “programme” which are defined in a fresh way to link philosophy-of-science considerations with semiotics.
Regarding the references, this paper may represent an exception from normal standards of scientific writing. Only a few Japanese sources are given. But we decided to publish it anyway, since the scientificity of the paper is beyond any doubt.
This paper was printed in the International Journal of Knowledge and Systems Sciences, Vol. 2, No. 2, September 2005. We publish this paper here in electronic form with kind permission of JAIST Press. Slight changes as to style and wordings are due to the editor. (Wolfgang Hofkirchner)
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