ISSN 2567-6458, 17.August 2022 – 17 August 2022
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch
This text is part of the subject COMMON SCIENCE as Sustainable Applied Empirical Theory, besides ENGINEERING, in a SOCIETY. It is a preliminary version, which is intended to become part of a book.
AN INFERENCE IS NOT AUTOMATICALLY A FORECAST
After all these preceding considerations we can conclude, that a logical inference is primarily a formal mechanism transforming some expressions (of a formal language) into other expressions. This mechanisms is completely independent of any kind of meaning. The so-called property of being a ‘true’ or ‘false’ expression is a purely technical device with no meaning either. You can translate this ‘abstract property of being true or false’ as a saying “It is unclear what you mean with ‘true’ or ‘false’, but if you will classify an expression in the light of your knowledge as being ‘true’ (or ‘false’), then this abstract property of ‘being true or false’ will be preserved by this inference procedure, independent of the assumed concrete meaning.”
In the light of the traffic-light example we can conclude further, that the classification of an expression as being ‘true’ or ‘false’ in an everyday context with human actors works differently. Saying “The traffic light is red” (abbreviated ‘A’) would allow the purely formal inference
(5) A ⊢X A
If ‘A’ is ‘abstract true’, then it follows, that ‘A’ is abstract true. But in the ‘real world’ of everyday life this property of being true is ‘time dependent’: at some time-interval it can be true, in another not. This results from the fact that the expression ‘The traffic light is red’ is in a human mind associated with a ‘known meaning’ and this known meaning can either actually be associated with concrete perceptions wich can be interpreted as a ‘real’ traffic light showing red or not. Because traffic lights are embedded in an observable ‘behavior’ which produces changes between ‘red’, ‘orange’, and ‘green’, the expression ‘The traffic light is red’ is ’empirically’ only true, if the traffic light behavior in that moment produces ‘red’, otherwise not.
Thus the difference between a ‘formal inference’ and an ’empirical forecast’ is rooted in the fact that human actors, which are using language expressions to communicate about possible ‘states of the world’, always are associating expressions with ‘learned meanings’ as part of their ‘inner knowledge’, and in some cases they can associate this ‘inner knowledge’ with ‘actual perceptions’ which are ‘matching’ some of this ‘inner knowledge’, which as such is always ‘abstract’. Thus if a human actor is able to use his inner abstract knowledge to ‘construct’ (= thinking) some abstract structures as possible ‘follow ups’ of assumed ‘given structures’, and this human actor translates this knowledge by meaning functions into ‘language expressions’, than this human actor can say to someone else “After showing orange the traffic light will show green”, which would represent a possible inference like
(6) ‘The traffic light is orange at time t’ ⊢X ‘The traffic light is green at time t+c’
The sign ‘c’ represents here the time constant which gives the amount of time which is needed until the change from orange to green will happen. The sign ‘X’ represents the hidden knowledge of the speaking actor which is assumed to be shared with the hearer, because they live in the same environment and both have learned this environment and have learned the same meanings in their used language. Formally this is still a ‘logical inference’, but on account of the involved ‘meaning’ it can happen, that the derived expression ‘The traffic light is green at time t+c’ can either ‘become true (if the traffic light really is changing) or it ‘become false’ if it is not changing to green. In this sense the pattern (5) is not only a ‘logical inference’ but additionally it is a ‘communicative forecast’.
These two attributes ‘logical’ and ‘communicative’ are the keys to understand, that we have here two different paradigms: the ‘logic paradigm’ is restricted to formal expressions only combined with some abstract properties’ and ‘operations’ with these expressions. In the ‘communicative paradigm’ the ‘logic paradigm’ is embedded in a bigger framework of human actors in a real environment, where the human actors have a minimal ‘inner structure’ of ‘perceiving’ the environment, of having a ‘self-learning’ inner structure for ‘knowledge’ and for ‘language’, where the language can be ‘mapped’ onto the knowledge, and a ‘behavior’ part, which can translate ‘some inner states’ into observable properties of the actor body surface, which in turn can act in some sense onto the environment.
From this follows that a ‘common science’ which shall be ‘rooted in the empirical world’ and which will include ‘all aspects’ of the empirical world (we have not to judge what is world’!) has to be formatted according to this perspective of ‘communicative forecasting’.
— draft version —