Sustainable empirical theory concept II 

ISSN 2567-6458, 17.August 2022 – 17 August 2022
Author: Gerd Doeben-Henisch


This text is part of the text SUSTAINABLE EMPIRICAL THEORY which belongs to 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.

Sustainable EMPIRICAL THEORY concept II

According to the short characterization of the concept of an ’empirical theory II’ above we have to take into account the ‘theory producers’, their ‘environment’, and the ‘procedure’, how the theory producers are ‘building’ a ‘theory concept I’. This theory concept I requires (i) those expressions which represent the hypotheses; (ii) a logical inference concept which enables inferences (deductions); (iii) the inferred inferences as candidates for forecasts; (iv) an experimental procedure to test whether one can find measurements which ‘confirm’ or ‘weaken’ a forecast.

If one accepts the idea of a population of brains which together have to find a ‘sustainable path’ into a ‘live-supporting future’ then the vision of a sustainable empirical theory can be reformatted as follows:

  1. As ‘theory producers’ the whole population of human actors is assumed.
  2. The ‘environment’ of these theory producers is the planet earth located in the solar system as part of the milky way galaxy in the universe.
  3. The ‘theory I producing procedure’ by which the theory producers are acting is characterized as follows:
    1. The theory producers are using a ‘common language’ whose possible ‘meanings’ are encoded in their brains.
    2. The ‘bodies’ of the brains are collecting ‘sensory data’ from the body-external environment and ‘sensory data’ from he bodies themselves in a process called ‘sensory perception’. The perceived signals are processed by the brains.
    3. The brains can ‘store’ processed sensory input, can process these stored — ‘cognitive’ — entities, and can map between ‘cognitive elements’ and ‘language related elements’. The cognitive referents of language expressions are called ‘meaning’. The whole ‘process of mapping’ is a ‘dynamic’ process (adaptation, learning).
    4. The brains can stimulate their bodies to ‘act’ in the body-external environment based on the the inner processes. The ‘observable’ acts are called in sum the ‘behavior’ of the actors.
    5. To ‘coordinate’ the behavior of the different human actors in a population the individual brains have to ‘synchronize’ their internal mappings between cognitive and language elements.
    6. The individual processing of perceptions, storing, cognitive processing, meaning generating mappings, and acting has in every individual actor ‘processing limits’ and ‘needs processing time’. The same holds for ‘synchronization processes’.
    7. The perception of the brain-external environment (bodies as well as body-external environments) as well as the communication by language can be enhanced by ‘artifacts’: certain observation patterns as well as certain communication tools. Such a usage should also by synchronized by a process called ‘standardization’.
  4. One outcome of such a ‘theory I producing process’ should be collections of expressions which are assumed by all participating actors as a ‘description’ of a ‘given situation (state)’ which is assumed to be ‘true by observation’. Such a collection of expressions can be understood as the primary ‘hypotheses’ of the theory process.
  5. As part of a ‘theory II producing process’ there has to be another set of expressions which by all participating actors is understood as the description of a ‘possible state in a possible future’, which these actors want to ‘achieve’ as their ‘goal’.
  6. To realize a ‘path’ from the given situation to the wanted future state the participating actors have to ‘remember’ or to ‘invent’ those actions which transform a given situation step by step into a situation, which is ‘judged’ by the participating actors as ‘including the wanted state’. These actions are called ‘inference rules’. These inference rules are telling how a given set of expressions can be transformed into another set of expressions.
  7. The exact process, how one can apply rules of inference onto a given set of expressions (the ‘assumptions’) to get a new set of expressions (the ‘inferences’, the ‘forecasts’) is called ‘inference mechanism’.
  8. To judge whether a reached forecast has already the wanted future state as part of itself can be decided by ‘observation’ of a given state together with a ‘comparison’ between the ‘perceived’ inner states with the ‘meaning associated’ inner states by all participating actors. If they agree, that the perceived given situation matches the ‘expected wanted situation’ sufficiently well then the process has reached its ‘goal’. The whole process to this final decision is called an ’empirical experiment’.
  9. If after some finite number of steps no situation can be reached which matches sufficiently well the ‘expectations’ encoded in the inference rules and the wanted future state the situation is ‘undefined’: it is not ‘true by observation’, but it is also not necessarily ‘false by observation’. The only clear statement can be that the situation is ‘after finite steps’ with the given conditions not yet ‘observational true’.