The forgotten Genius. Prof. Marian Mazur and the Polish School of Cybernetics

Andrzej Pawlak


Professor Marian Mazur (1909-1983) was the electrical engineer, specialized in electrothermics, and the founder of the Polish Cybernetics School. Prof. Mazur is the author of two, worldwide groundbreaking theories: "The theory of the autonomous cybernetic systems" (1966) and "The qualitative theory of information" (1970).

In his work "Cybernetics and character" (1976) he related the autonomous systems theory (i.e. able to control itself and able to preserve this ability) to a human being as an example of an autonomous system; he further defined a human character as a set of rigorous control parameters. These parameters cannot be influenced by the environment, except for the destructive effects. It means the human character is non-convertible, and in case of a conflict between a character and a situation, it is the situation that should be changed. This approach varies from that applied in psychology. By analyzing how the autonomous system proceeds the matter, the energy and information, Prof. Marian Mazur defined five kinds of human characters, putting them in order according to the extent of their ability to collect and distract.

The knowledge of the basic rules that determine each character's actions allows predetermining actions of a human being with a particular character in every situation. It also enables indicating the most appropriate range of activity for them to succeed.

Thus, the cybernetic theory of characters can be widely applied in education, psychology, and the organization and management theory, including human resources, as a method for optimizing the decision-making process.

Keywords: cybernetics, autonomous systems, cybernetic theory of characters, qualitative information theory


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  • Mazur, M. (1983). Homeostaza społeczna. W M. Pęcherski i J. Tudrej (red), Procesy samoregulacji w oświacie. Problemy homeostazy społecznej (s. 107-115). PWN.
  • Mazur, M. (1981). Zagadnienie prawdy w nauce. Zeszyty Naukowe Stowarzyszenia PAX, 1(30), 79-92.

Andrzej Pawlak

About the article


The article is in the printed version on pages 5-14.

pdf read the article (Polish)

How to cite

Pawlak, A. (2020). Zapomniany geniusz. Prof. Marian Mazur i jego szkoła cybernetyki. e-mentor, 5(87), 5-14.