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Introductions and Forewords

Introducing the Sociological Project of Professor L.M.Semashko "TetraSociology: Responses to Challenges"

By John Rex,
Professor Emeritus,
University of Warwick, U.K.
Former President Research Committee 05
International Sociological Association.

I have been asked by Professor Semashko to write a brief introduction to the project which he is placing before the Brisbane meeting of the International Sociological Association. I do so gladly because such a project, coming out of Russia in a period of rethinking of the possible role of sociology in the XXIst century, suggests an optimistic and constructive role which many Western Sociologists will welcome.

Professor Semashko calls his sociology Tetrasociology. He argues that in a world of a pluralism of theories which will face the century the possibility emerges of an objective sociological way of looking at new tendencies which will exist in the globalised high-tech world.

The basis for tetrasociology as Professor Semashko sees it has been laid over many centuries in the philosophy of science and in earlier sociologies. He reviews these comprehensively, but now he believes it is possible to put forward the possibility of a social science which puts itself at the service of those who are concerned to ensure that we shall have a harmonious world in the XXIst Century quite unlike the bloody and murderous XXth. It suggests a new age of Enlightenment.

Professor Semashko does not claim to have done the empirical work which Tetrasociology will call for, but he has been writing about it for some 25 years in the inhospitable climate of Soviet Russia. What he asks for is that his colleagues in the International Sociological Association should work within some of the present Committees and Working Groups as well as setting up new o­nes to carry out the sort of research programme which he suggests.

There will of course be others who have doubts about Professor Semashko's optimism and his belief in science. There will still be other types of sociology. But in a pluralistic environment such as that which the International Sociological Association seeks to foster this kind of thinking with its strong suggestions for a programme of work will surely find a place.

Foreword by Dr Bernd Hornung

Leo M. Semashko's "TetraSociology - Responses to Challenges" is in the first place a response from Russia to the challenges of contemporary sociological theory. In the present small book the author gives for the first time an encompassing view of his theories in English, challenging in his turn the worldwide community of sociologists, and in particular sociological theorists, which is strongly dominated by its "Western", i.e. Western European and North American, members. Therefore the present publication of Leo M. Semashko deserves all the more attention, as it is an attempt at "grand theory" coming from a different part of the world, which in future, hopefully, will take o­nce more an important place in the development of science and culture in our meanwhile global world.

Certainly, among many social scientists "grand theory" has become suspect and out of fashion. And yet, if we limit ourselves to details and "medium range" theories o­nly, we shall never manage to get an adequate picture of the whole, of the intricate networks of modern societies, the global world, and the highly interrelated flows of goods, people, information, culture, etc. In a way, systems theory and sociocybernetics, the latter for the particular field of the social sciences, are inherently aiming at looking at the whole, in particular at the whole complexity, although with a strategy somewhat different from traditional "grand theory" and different also from Semashko's approach. Sociocybernetics insists, e.g., much more o­n establishing different levels of abstraction. What has been evident both in systems theory and sociocybernetics, however, is precisely a lack of systematic and coherent theory at a meso-level, in between highly abstract "systems" and concrete empirical research, but connecting to both.

This is where TetraSociology fits in. Of course, in a way all those pessimists are right who tell us, o­ne man alone cannot explain society and that previous attempts have failed. Nonetheless, Semashko is not quite alone, as he draws o­n the rich wealth of sociological and philosophical thinking which numerous generations have produced before. This is well demonstrated in the present text. Moreover, the present book was written precisely with the intention to break isolation and to submit this result of decades of scientific thinking to the public discourse of worldwide sociology.

In this sense the reader should not expect, like in the great tradition, a complete and finished "system" of sociological theory. Rather it is a provocative attempt, a courageous draft, well developed in some parts, less well developed in others, with missing pieces in still others. The author himself is well aware of this. The scientific discourse hopefully to be initiated by the present book, will certainly help to improve o­n many of these aspects.

With his TetraSociology Leo M. Semashko presents and tremendous amount of intellectual work with the admirable ambition of providing a synthesis of sociological theory, and not o­nly theory. After all, it is a synthesis of sociological history, including also the technological and empirical levels, although sometimes at the expense of the theoretical rigor of TetraSociology itself.

He tries to give shape to and to systematize a pluralistic, multidimensional scene, aiming at a new kind of social and sociological rationalism. This requires us to formulate and specify appropriate terminological, conceptual, and theoretical tools as a pre-condition to be able to talk about all of this in a systematic and theoretically coherent way. Yet such an endeavour seems to be very difficult. This is possibly also because TetraSociology is a translation from Russian language and from an entirely different scientific and institutional background. The latter, however, should all the more be a challenge to Western social scientists to face TetraSociology and to accept the dialogue.

In the present English translation, TetraSociology certainly needs to sharpen both terminology and concepts, which sometimes should be used more rigorously and more consistently. Avoiding synonyms should contribute to more clarity of the theoretical structure and the apparent re-fusion of concepts which before were carefully developed and distinguished. This problem may also be at the root of the impression the reader may get, that Semashko presents, or rather postulates, a theory of harmony. In certain statements, however, this is clearly relativized by the author, and he shows that he does not see social life as quite so simple. Nevertheless it is an issue which would require more argument and more elaboration.

One of the merits of TetraSociology is to provide a differentiated view of the complexity of social systems along four different dimensions and to specify appropriate categories and concepts. It is not enough, however, to demonstrate a lot of historical examples of fourfold thinking and theoryzing, as is done in the first part of the book. Rather more arguments need to be developed in the context of TetraSociological theory itself, why the four dimensions are the solution chosen and why they are necessary for such a sociological approach instead of something else. It seems to remain open, after all, whether the four-dimensionality is indeed an epistemic principle of TetraSociology, e.g. in the Kantian sense, or whether it is just a theoretical principle of this particular kind of sociology. An epistemic foundation beyond the examples quoted would not be too far-fetched, as human thinking is considered intrinsically dichotomic, both by the basic Aristotelian logic and by contemporary theories of distinctions. A combination of two dichotomies in a cross-tabulation evidently results in a fourfold structure.

A central weakness in the theory of TetraSociology seems to be the core concept of the "social". o­n the o­ne hand, there are very clearly the efforts to clarify, to define, and to differentiate, o­n the other hand, however, there seems to be, at least in the present text, a reductionism of social reality to time and costs but also to a concept called "employment" or "reproductive employment". At first glance this seems to be an economic category, but at a careful reading it turns out to be a catch-all category covering virtually every activity. It might even be identified with concepts like self-organization, autopoiesis or life. Closely related to this and problematic in a quite similar way seems to be the concept of resources.

In the more empirical parts Semashko stresses justly the necessity of requisite variety in social and political life. Nonetheless, the views expressed about the role of the "old men" seem to be somewhat o­nesided or perhaps too strongly shaped by the gerontocratic experience of the former Soviet Union. A correlation of age with skills, experience, and knowledge can hardly be denied, at least not up to the point where senility starts. This raises questions which require further theoretical and empirical research. Are age groups really social actors, or is age just a correlate of other factors? Are these groups, as well as the other "sphere" groups and classes, just classificatory units of otherwise unrelated individuals, do they have functional importance or are they really actors actively steering and controlling society?

More research and elaboration is necessary also with regard to the political scheme proposed, which is based o­n parliamentary (or maybe rather presidential) democracy.

These latter topics, however, are clearly far beyond the scope of the short introduction and overview this short book wants to present.

Contrary to many sociologists the author takes serious the famous word of Wittgenstein[1]. "What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence." But instead of keeping silence in resignation, he tries to develop an appropriate theoretical language and terminology. In this he may not always have been successful. However, in the attempt to specify a limited number of dimensions, to classify aspects of society and social systems in a systematic way, and to develop an overall framework reaching from the Kantian apriori categories of time and space to empirical indicators, statistics, and even applied technology, Semashko clearly presents material to work o­n and science in use although not a flawless final solution, whereas many others simply tend to use undefined concepts and terminologies often disregarding and neglecting a wider theoretical and empirical context.

Dr Bernd R.Hornung
Philipps-University Marburg, Germany
President, Research Committee 51 (on Sociocybernetics) of the International Sociological Association
April 2002

Editor's Introduction by Dr Bernard Scott

Professor Leo Semashko approached me just recently and asked if I would help him by doing some editorial work for his book "Tetrasociology: Responses to Challenges". I was sympathetic to his needs as a Russian sociologist wishing to communicate his ideas to a Western, mainly English speaking audience. o­n a cursory examination, I saw that some of Semashko's colleagues had already done much to improve his original text and essentially what I undertook was to make additional stylistic changes, such as the correct use of the definite article ("the"), the avoidance of abbreviations, such as "isn't", and occasional change of terms, for example, substituting "the individual", "humanity" or "mankind" for the term "the man". It turned out that I needed to make many hundreds of such changes, working to a publisher's deadline. Because of the limited time, I have concentrated most of my effort o­n the main text (the first fifty pages or so). My feeling is that if the reader has made it that far he or she should be able to make reasonable sense of the remainder (chiefly appended material that includes the thirty two abstracts submitted by Semashko to various research committees and working groups of the International Sociological Association for presentation at the ISA's World Congress, Brisbane, July 7th – 13th, 2002).

I was acquainted with some of the abstracts in my position as programme coordinator for Research Committee 51 o­n Sociocybernetics. Initially, I was not attracted by the content. My impression was that Semashko's "Tetrasociology" is a grand "theory of everything", closed to alternative formulations. o­n reading the text of the book, alongside my editing chores, I discovered this was not so, that Semashko is quite clear that he wishes his ideas to be judged alongside others, that he actively seeks collaborations and that he is prepared to accept that much of what Tetrasociology has to offer, as theory, methodology and application to "real world" problems, is embryonic, and in need of much further development. With this understanding I found myself engaging with the text more sympathetically and with greater interest and came to the conclusion that, at least in general form, I am very much in accord with the aims of Semashko's research programme, finding them very much aligned to those pursued by myself and colleagues within the Sociocybernetics community. o­n that basis, I have accepted Professor Semashko's invitation to make some "editor's introductory comments".

As noted earlier, I have o­nly had time to attend to some relatively minor stylistic changes. My reading shows me that the text could be much improved in other ways, chiefly in terms of organisation to improve the didactics of how the ideas are communicated. It should also be noted that the text, though relatively short, is a very condensed presentation of ideas that could well be fleshed out to make two or even three book length documents. In this short text, we find a summary of the history of sociological thought, a presentation of the theoretical ideas in Tetrasociology (centred around the concept of the "tetra" (four-fold) structure of "social space-time"), a treatise o­n "tetra" methodology (a new "social statistics" of indicators applied to a "tetra" classification of "social spheres") and a discussion of how Tetrasociology might be applied to address a number of social problems, grouped under the heading of "the new racism", by which Semashko means the several forms of discrimination and prejudice that (in his view) typify the global, social world of the twenty first century. In order to facilitate the reader's access to the text, I will briefly summarise what I see to be some of the key ideas.

In developing his theory, Semashko characterises it as a "post-pluralist" sociological theory, to be contrasted with earlier "pluralist" and "monist" positions. The pluralist/monist distinction follows the usage of Sorokin to distinguish between theories that are predicated o­n just o­ne primordial aspect or dimension (monist theories) and theories based o­n two or more aspects or dimensions (pluralist theories). In monist theories, the primordial aspect is typically something like "matter/energy", "spirit", "organisation" or "existence". Pluralist theories typically treat two or more of these as "equally-primordial" (necessary). Semashko asserts that pluralist theories are typical of the postmodern era and that, indeed, we now have a "plurality of pluralist" theories (my phrase) that from the perspective of a "postmodernist", relativistic epistemology may all have some claim to validity. In Semashko's terms, a post-pluralistic theory is a "new-old" theory: it is old in that counterparts can be found in the work of earlier theorists; it is new in that it declares that for a sociological theory to be truly "scientific" it must be based firmly o­n non-relativistic foundations. In other words, an explicitly formulated and agreed metaphysical framework is required, o­ne which, o­n careful consideration, has to be inescapably "tetra" or fourfold in form.

It is from this point of view that Semashko can declare that (his) Tetrasociology is but o­ne of many possible post-pluralist sociologies, although he would contend that any theory adequate to the job of being a theory of the social world must also be a "tetra" sociology, o­ne that includes four equally primordial aspects, dimensions or coordinates. In his own Tetrasociology, these are termed "resources", "structures", "processes" and "states" (genetics, historical development). In his review of the history of sociological thought from classical times o­nwards, Semashko's notes many monist and pluralist theories, including several of the latter which indeed have a fourfold, "tetra" form.

The idea that there is an underlying metaphysical justification for the "tetra" form is not developed until to the paragraph 2.6. Didactically, this could perhaps come earlier in the presentation. Curiously, I noted that, although there is a reference to Plato, there is no explicit reference to Aristotle and his "four causes" ("material cause", "necessary cause", "formal cause" and "final cause"). I suggest here to Professor Semashko that this is a reference that many Western scholars would be familiar with, particularly those with a background in Biology, where Aristotle is routinely invoked in discussions of "teleology" and "purposive behaviour".

Indeed, these very topics are some of those at the cornerstone of the development of the interdisciplinary thinking that gave birth to Cybernetics. Further, it is perhaps here where we can note that the research programme of Sociocybernetics is essentially post-pluralist (i.e., scientific) and tetra (i.e., grounded in Aristotelian metaphysics) in orientation. Another useful reference point for many Western readers would be the "process metaphysics" of A.N. Whitehead[2],[3], who updates Aristotle's terminology in his assertion that every "occasion" (one of Semashko's "social phenomena") has the four aspects: "extension", "duration", "idea" and "intention". Other explicitly "tetra" thinkers in recent times are Korzybski[4] (with his General Semantics – an Aristotelian metaphysics that leads to a "non-Aristotelian logic") and Gregory Bateson[5] (e.g. the formula "Information is a difference that makes a difference"), both of whom are acknowledged by Heinz von Foerster[6] as being forerunners of his own distinction between a first and second order cybernetics, where the latter is about "observers in communication", i.e., social phenomena.

Finally, by way of introduction, I wish to alert the reader to the significance of Semashko's idea that the structure of "social space-time" implies the "interpenetration" and "interinclusiveness" of all social phenomena. I see this as capturing the idea of the social world being a "polycontexture" (Gotthard Gunther[7]) or "multiverse" (Humberto[8]) (i.e. many-dimensioned and faceted) but also in a sense holographic or "organisationally closed", each part – each social phenomenon – having within it an aspect of the whole. Semashko uses the Russian word "matryoshka" for this idea of "interinclusiveness" of wholes and parts.

There are many more ideas and themes that I could address, particularly to draw parallels with other work in Sociocybernetics, not least the emphasis Semashko puts o­n the importance of the structures and processes that reproduce the social world, the world of social phenomena, which puts o­ne in mind of Luhmannn's theory of "autopoietic social systems": self-reproducing, organisationally closed systems of "communications"[9],[10]. I could also indicate areas where I am less sympathetic, for example, Semashko's unashamedly utopian visions of a harmonious world and proposals for how to get there, which, as a Christian, I find – as is often the case with scientists who wish to rationally resolve the "problems" of religion – somewhat simplistic. Having said that, I certainly have no quarrel with him for wishing to see more love in the world!

I wish him all success at the ISA Brisbane Congress - and beyond - in persuading the Sociology community to engage with his ideas and to help him refine them and apply them in pursuit of his noble aims.

Dr Bernard Scott,
Cranfield University
Royal Military College of Science, UK
Board Member, Research Committee 51 (on Sociocybernetics) of the International Sociological Association
May 1, 2002.

Author's Foreword: The Goals of the Book and Motives

The book is dedicated to the XVth World Congress of Sociology (WCS). Its general theme: "The Social World in the Twenty First Century: Ambivalent Legacies and Rising Challenges". The sociological community worldwide is looking for adequate responses to challenges of the new century. TetraSociology (which up until 1998 was called the "Systems-Sphere Approach") is one of such responses. The author has been working o­n it since 1975. However, TetraSociology is practically unknown because of problems with finding publishing outlets. Besides, it was confined to Russia. Now it is going to step out of the confines. Global scale is more appropriate for TetraSociology. So the book's key goal is to raise TetraSociology to an international level and to make sociologists worldwide aware of its general outline, main ideas, discoveries and practical implications. Its ideas and conclusions are practically unknown, although they have been worked o­n for more than 25 years. The reasons behind this are quite simple. Up to 1992 it was impossible to publish o­n the subject in Marxist Russia, let alone in another country, although we managed to publish some works, when we served the ideas in a Marxist guise. o­nly 12 small-scale works were published prior to 1992. After the collapse of the USSR and the Marxism the situation in publishing got better, although not much, because most editors were left over from the previous period. (For the ideas, the author has undergone from communists many persecutions, not o­nly tens of refusals to publish but also work related and defence doctor's. Actually, the persecutions are still happening, though in a less frank, veiled form. This is no accident as, my research shows that more than 80% of Russian social scientists remain in positions of monism and Marxism, rejecting pluralism.)

Since 1992, I have been able to publish 22 works, including 3 monographs that came out with sponsors help. I have not been able to publish a single work abroad, except the abstracts prepared for the last (1998) and the forthcoming World Congress of Sociology. In general terms the result of my 25-years work is little satisfying: o­nly 34 works are published, while 400 are not. Such statistics are probably quite typical for any new scientific theory. However, no matter how "crazy" it is each new theory has the right to life. Sociology needs original theories as much as physics does. The World Congress is INTENDED for acquaintance with new sociological ideas and is INTERESTED in them, in order to know and evaluate them. Such is the main goal and driving force behind the book's publication and its dedication to the XVth WCS.

Second goal. Providing an outline of the pragmatic and empirical potential of TetraSociology as they are realized in sociocultural projects and technologies.

Third goal. Recruiting interested specialists for the development and realization of sociocultural projects and technologies of TetraSociology.

Fourth goal. Getting feedback about the theoretical basis and practical implications of TetraSociology, as well as answers to the questionnaire attached.

Fifth goal. To enquire the International Sociological Association about establishing in it, or as part of Research Committee 51 o­n Sociocybernetics, a new working group "TetraSociology".

The structure of the book accommodates these goals. It has three parts. The first part consists of two articles briefly outlining the main theoretical ideas and conceptual conclusions of TetraSociology. The second part goes over projects of information and sociocultural technologies of TetraSociology in the form of more or less detailed abstracts, which were submitted to 32 sessions of the XVth WCS. The third part, "Appendices", includes supplementary material - mainly the results of the polls regarding attitudes to TetraSociology.

Here is the philosophical and pragmatic credo of TetraSociology outlined in the book. In the XXI century mankind cannot transform itself and the social world and ensure harmony and prosperity if it does not have a pluralistic, multi-dimensional method of social thinking, if it does not know or theoretically create a system of general parameters (dimensions, coordinates, constants, indices) which it shares with the world. This system includes: 1. An integrated, emergent and global model of mankind and the world in the form of 4 universal coordinates of indivisible social space-time, 2. Necessary and sufficient dimensions of the coordinates in the form of variable constants, 3. Cause-effect and structural-functional interlinks of the variable constants in the form of laws of social statics, dynamics, structuratics and genetics, 4. General quantitative gauges in the form of a system of aggregated, sociological, sphere indices. 5. New information and sociocultural technologies of harmony as nonviolence and adequate instruments for achieving the ultimate goal of mankind's and the world's prosperity. All this makes TetraSociology a new constructive form of pluralism, which might be called "postpluralism." If pluralism is identical with multi-dimensionalism, the main feature of postpluralism is a definite number of dimensions involved, i.e. the distinguishing of a limited number of equally necessary parameters (foundations, basics) of the social world. (If you do not like the term "postpluralism," you can replace it with, for instance, such terms as "neoconstructivism" or "constructivism".)

Postpluralism is replacing postmodernism. Not o­nly monism, but also the traditional, "dimensionless" pluralism in the form of postmodernism has proved inadequate for the new, informational civilization and the processes of globalization, which call for transition to postpluralism, to a definite-dimensionality. TetraSociology is one of many forms of postpluralism. TetraSociological method of thinking and social construction does not exclude other methods, it is not the o­nly o­ne or the "absolute," but rather it is more efficient than many others. The future will show if this is so. TetraSociology is not faultless. It has several drawbacks in content and terminology because it is still evolving from an embryo to a full-fledged theory. Its recognition and wide application are a matter for the future.

TetraSociology is a "new old" paradigm. It is "old" because "four-dimensional" and kindred ideas had been elaborated, in o­ne or another form, by Pythagoras, Plato, Montesquieu, Kant, Marx, Comte, Danilevsky, Weber, Jaspers, Sorokin, Parsons, Braudel, Toffler, Rozhin, Bourdieu, Alexander, Giddens, Barulin, Toshchenko, Sztompka, Hornung, Castells and others. In this respect, it "stands o­n the shoulders of giants." But it is "new" because within the framework of its four-dimensional continuum we attempt a synthesis of the best qualities of very different sociological theories, which have seemed incompatible heretofore. What are the driving forces - the motives - behind TetraSociology and the projects deriving from it?

First, the XXth century is over - the bloodiest century in history. Hence the question is - will the new century witness a modification of the last century's nightmares, such as, for instance, international terrorism, or will it bring a peaceful and harmonious renovation of life, culture, politics, economy and their prosperity? Is there a hope for prosperity through harmony? How can it be achieved? In the long run, the last century did not present us examples of prosperity. A deficit of ideas and concepts o­n prosperity and harmony is strongly felt. By the force of inertia the XX-century-style catastrophic, apocalyptic theories are proliferating where people, religions and civilizations are doomed to conflict and perpetual clash[11] which can lead o­nly to mutual destruction. In contradistinction to the "clash" scenario, TetraSociological projects offer a different strategy - that of peaceful coexistence and prosperity through harmony. The search for such a strategy is very difficult. The XXth century has shown that killing o­ne another is simpler than looking for a common language. But this is a path to global destruction. For survival, let alone for harmony and prosperity, other paths should be sought out, no matter how difficult such a search could be. Our projects are the attempt of the quest. As long as they are looking for paths to peace and harmony, people will stay alive. This is the main driving force.

Second, the book is dedicated to the XVth World Congress of Sociology, which will take place 7 - 13 July, 2002 in Brisbane, Australia. Global projects can be implemented o­nly through worldwide intellectual and practical efforts. Due to the nature of their research, of all the professional groups it is sociologists who are the closest to comprehending general problems of social world and to bringing forward global projects. A testimony to this is the Congress's slogan - The Social World in the XXIst Century: Ambivalent Legacies and Rising Challenges. However, in the topic the accent is shifted toward pointing to rising challenges of the new century, and not o­n seeking responses to them. Pointing to challenges is necessary, but it is o­nly half of what has needed. The other part of the task - the most complicated and urgent o­ne - consists in seeking responses to challenges of modernity in the form of appropriate projects and in introducing them to such representatives of the worldwide community as international organizations. Our projects contribute to achieving the common goal of formulating responses to the challenges of the new century. What is a "response to challenge"? This is a general theory realized through an adequate global sociocultural project.

Features of the projects suggested.

1. They are international research and applied programs. International in subject, in financial investment, in organizational structure.

2. They are "projects of projects," i.e. they are drafts and blueprints but not an accomplished thing. They are hypotheses in need of empirical substantiation, which are intended to stimulate the quest for alternatives should a substantiation fail to materialize or they be found inopportune.

3. They give o­nly a general outline of the programs.

4. They are based o­n the principle of supplementation, not exclusivity.

5. Their inner structure is based o­n the principles of necessity and sufficiency of tetrism.

6. Although the goal of all the projects is fostering prosperity through harmony, each o­ne has a specific strategy.

The International Sociological Association, as well as its separate Committees, if should they become interested, can take charge of further elaboration and verification of these projects.

The book's main drawback is its limited empiricism. There are two reasons behind this. First, a full-fledged empirical basis would turn a thin book into a hefty volume, and this is not the author's intention since he is interested in compiling o­nly a general outline of TetraSociology, to be its first world presentation. Second, TetraSociology, while not rejecting traditional empiricism, creates a principally new, sociologo-statistical empiricism, called "tetraempiricism," which turns into an adequate information technology - a very effort-consuming and voluminous o­ne (see below). This kind of empiricism, examples of which are o­nly touched upon in the book, calls for a separate book.

The author wishes to express enormous gratitude to V.V.Kavtorin and V.V.Isayev - for their help in editing the book; to his son Andrey - for help with design; to the painter G.N.Sosin - for the painting o­n the bookcover. The author is grateful to his departmental colleagues - A.V.Lebedev and I.V.Maruseva; to the friends - M.Yu.Lebedinsky, D.A.Ivashintsov, B.V.Drozdov, N.G.Korolenko - for helpful and good-natured comments. Special thanks go to my students, who discussed, with gusto and interest, separate chapters of the book.

The author thanks his foreign colleagues for invaluable advice, criticism, comments, support: Dr. B.Hornung, President of the RC 51 o­n Sociocybernetics of the International Sociological Association (ISA) and Dr. I.Shmidt Germany; Prof. R.Bachika, President of the ISA RC07 o­n Futures Research, Japan; Dr. G.Tremblay, Canada, President of the ISA RC14 o­n Sociology of Communication; Professor F.Dubet, France, President of the ISA RC47 o­n Social Classes and Social Movements; Professors J.Turner, Editor journal "Sociological Theory", R.Siebert and M. Albrow, USA; Professors J.Rex, M.Travers and B.Scott, England; Professor F.Geyer and Dr. Cor van Dijkum, Netherlands; Professors G.Ternborn and J.Trost, Sweden; Dr. V.Dimitrov and Professor R.Cummins, Australia and many others. It is with their help and support that TetraSociology is being born as an international phenomenon. Enormous thanks go to the International Sociological Association for the grant, which the author was among the few to receive, enabling him to participate in the XVth World Congress of Sociologists.

Special thanks go to Professor J. Rex (University of Warwick, England) and to Dr B.Scott (University of Cranfield, England) for editing of the English edition and editorial introductions and also to Dr B.Hornung (Philipps-University Marburg, Germany) - for the foreword. Without their huge and disinterested work there would be no world presentation of TetraSociology. Thanks to M.Solovjeva - the translator of the greater part of the book's complex text into English (the abstracts and separate appendices remain in author's translation).

The author will be thankful for feedback, criticisms and filling out the questionnaire at the end of the book. He apologizes for the difficulties caused by the new terminology, these difficulties being a concomitant of every new idea.

St.Petersburg, May 10, 2002.

[1] Wittgenstein, Ludwig: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Translated by D.F. Pears & B.F. McGuinness, with the Introduction by Bertrand Russell, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London 1961, paragraph 7.

[2] Whitehead, A.N. (1979). Process and Reality, Collier Mac, New York.

[3] Demarus, E. von (1967) The logical structure of mind, (with an introduction by W.S. McCulloch) in Communication: Theory and Research, L.O. Thayer (ed.), Chas. C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois.

[4] Korzybski, A. (1958). Science and Sanity, 4th Edition, International Non-Aristotelian Library, Lakeville, Connecticut.

[5] Bateson, G. (1972). Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Paladin, New York.

[6] Foerster, H. von (1980) Epistemology of Communication, in Woodward, K (ed.) The Myths of Information: Technology and Postindustrial Culture, Routledge, London.

[7] Gunther, G. (1971). Life as Polycontexturality, in Collected Works of the Biological Computer Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois.

[8] Maturana, H. and Varela, F.J. (1980). Autopoiesis and Cognition, Reidel, Dordrecht, Holland.

[9] Luhmann, N. (1995). Social Systems, Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA.

[10] Scott, B. (2001). Cybernetics and the Social Sciences, Systems Research, 18, pp. 411-420.

[11] Huntington S. The Clash of Civilization? // Foreign Affairs, Summer 1993

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