Second-order cybernetics ‘seeks the (co-) construction of understanding through conversation’. It is the cybernetics of Cybernetics.

‘Since around 1970, Cybernetics developed a reflective, more philosophical and less control-focused perspective referred to as second-order cybernetics. This perspective recognises circular causality, non-determinism, the subjective observer and other concepts avoided by natural science.’

‘It is the recursive application of cybernetics to itself.’[1]

‘Concerned with learning rather than with bending the other to one’s will, second-order cybernetics seeks the (co-) construction of understanding through conversation.’[2]

‘Amongst other systems-oriented research traditions, this broader, more recent form of cybernetics has been found to to deviate most radically from assumptions underlying conventional empirical science by acknowledging “holism”, context, relationships, circular causality, non-determinability, the subjective observer, and self-organisation.’[3]

See Conversation Theory and Relational design.