Ross Ashby was a deeply original thinker, who produced innovative work in a number of different areas. He was a psychiatrist by training, and his core concern was in understanding how the mind and brain worked, to find “what principles must be followed when one attempts to restore normal function to a sick organism that is, as a human patient, of fearful complexity” (Ashby 1956, p. vii). The pursuit of this goal led him to advance the field of cybernetics very significantly. His influence on the field, both in his own time and to the present day, has been considerable.
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