ISSN 2567-6458, 26.Januar 2019
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
An overview to the enhanced AAI theory version 2 you can find here. In this post we talk about the fourth chapter dealing with the epistemology of actors within an AAI analysis process.
EPISTEMOLOGY AND THE EMPIRICAL SCIENCES
Epistemology is a sub-discipline of general philosophy. While a special discipline in empirical science is defined by a certain sub-set of the real world RW by empirical measurement methods generating empirical data which can be interpreted by a formalized theory, philosophy is not restricted to a sub-field of the real world. This is important because an empirical discipline has no methods to define itself. Chemistry e.g. can define by which kinds of measurement it is gaining empirical data and it can offer different kinds of formal theories to interpret these data including inferences to forecast certain reactions given certain configurations of matters, but chemistry is not able to explain the way how a chemist is thinking, how the language works which a chemist is using etc. Thus empirical science presupposes a general framework of bodies, sensors, brains, languages etc. to be able to do a very specialized — but as such highly important — job. One can define ‘philosophy’ then as that kind of activity which tries to clarify all these conditions which are necessary to do science as well as how cognition works in the general case.
Given this one can imagine that philosophy is in principle a nearly ‘infinite’ task. To get not lost in this conceptual infinity it is recommended to start with concrete processes of communications which are oriented to generate those kinds of texts which can be shown as ‘related to parts of the empirical world’ in a decidable way. This kind of texts is here called ’empirically sound’ or ’empirically true’. It is to suppose that there will be texts for which it seems to be clear that they are empirically sound, others will appear ‘fuzzy’ for such a criterion, others even will appear without any direct relation to empirical soundness.
In empirical sciences one is using so-called empirical measurement procedures as benchmarks to decided whether one has empirical data or not, and it is commonly assumed that every ‘normal observer’ can use these data as every other ‘normal observer’. But because individual, single data have nearly no meaning on their own one needs relations, sets of relations (models) and even more complete theories, to integrate the data in a context, which allows some interpretation and some inferences for forecasting. But these relations, models, or theories can not directly be inferred from the real world. They have to be created by the observers as ‘working hypotheses’ which can fit with the data or not. And these constructions are grounded in highly complex cognitive processes which follow their own built-in rules and which are mostly not conscious. ‘Cognitive processes’ in biological systems, especially in human person, are completely generated by a brain and constitute therefore a ‘virtual world’ on their own. This cognitive virtual world is not the result of a 1-to-1 mapping from the real world into the brain states. This becomes important in that moment where the brain is mapping this virtual cognitive world into some symbolic language L. While the symbols of a language (sounds or written signs or …) as such have no meaning the brain enables a ‘coding’, a ‘mapping’ from symbolic expressions into different states of the brain. In the light’ of such encodings the symbolic expressions have some meaning. Besides the fact that different observers can have different encodings it is always an open question whether the encoded meaning of the virtual cognitive space has something to do with some part of the empirical reality. Empirical data generated by empirical measurement procedures can help to coordinate the virtual cognitive states of different observers with each other, but this coordination is not an automatic process. Empirically sound language expressions are difficult to get and therefore of a high value for the survival of mankind. To generate empirically sound formal theories is even more demanding and until today there exists no commonly accepted concept of the right format of an empirically sound theory. In an era which calls itself ‘scientific’ this is a very strange fact.
EPISTEMOLOGY OF THE AAI-EXPERTS
Applying these general considerations to the AAI experts trying to construct an actor story to describe at least one possible path from a start state to a goal state, one can pick up the different languages the AAI experts are using and asking back under which conditions these languages have some ‘meaning’ and under which conditions these meanings can be called ’empirically sound’?
In this book three different ‘modes’ of an actor story will be distinguished:
- A textual mode using some ordinary everyday language, thus using spoken language (stored in an audio file) or written language as a text.
- A pictorial mode using a ‘language of pictures’, possibly enhanced by fragments of texts.
- A mathematical mode using graphical presentations of ‘graphs’ enhanced by symbolic expressions (text) and symbolic expressions only.
For every mode it has to be shown how an AAI expert can generate an actor story out of the virtual cognitive world of his brain and how it is possible to decided the empirical soundness of the actor story.