Happy New Year to all,
At 11:20 AM 12/13/2010, Loet Leydesdorff wrote:
Dear Stan and colleagues,
I agree with Joseph Brenner that we need both, but the status of the two theories is different. Behavior of agents (scholars) and relations among texts can be mapped. In this case, we use a theory of the measurement and focus on the retention mechanism of the evolving science system. At the substantive level, however, the science system(s) evolves in terms of rationalized expectations that can be expected to differ in terms of their dynamics and structures from belief systems. Of course, one can neglect this differentia specifica and then subsume everything under religion (a la Bloor) or politics (a la Latour), but the reduction of substantive theorizing to a theory of the measurement unnecessarily sacrifices explanatory power.
Similarly, one should not reduce the trias politica to the text of the American Constitution in which it was sedimented or reduce the Roman-Catholic Church to its instantiations when the cardinals meet in the Vatican (a la Giddens). Content matters! Even if it is difficult to measure. J Thus, I agree that we need both substantive theories and theories of the measurement. (Of course, one can also wish to explain belief-structures among scientists, but that is a different research question. That would be really sociology of science because one can also study gender or age structures, equivalently.)
The question of how the dynamics of normative expectations (religion, politics) differ from the dynamics of cognitive expectations entertained in scholarly discourses has to do with the time axis. In normative expectations one tends to recur towards an origin in the past (e.g., a holy book); normative expectations are community-based (e.g., churches and political parties). Cognitive expectations refer to other possibilities which could be realized in the future. The next version of a textbook is better than the previous one (as different from a holy book). Thus, cognitive expectations enlarge the number of possibilities and hence the redundancy in the system of expectations beyond its current state and states which were realized in the past. This make the theory and computation of anticipatory systems (Rosen, Dubois) most relevant for the modeling of such systems. From this knowledge-based perspective, belief structures and textual structures can be considered as retention mechanisms. In other words, this distinction can only be made fruitful after having used Wittgensteins ladder. J
In practices, we find mixtures of the various dynamics which can be analytically distinguished. One needs the distinctions for the explanation. I elaborate on the differences in a paper of which I did not distribute the abstract on this list because the list-owner (Pedro) asked me no longer to do this. But in this context, the reference may be appropriate because the distinction corresponds to the distinction between a neo-evolutionary and a neo-institutional model when discussing the Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government relations. In this case, the assumption of an innovation system is focal to the research question (as explanandum).
The Triple Helix, Quadruple Helix, . . ., and an N-tuple of Helices:
Explanatory Models for Analyzing the Knowledge-based Economy?
Using the Triple Helix model of university-industry-government relations, one can measure the extent to which innovation has become systemic instead of assuming the existence of national (or regional) systems of innovations on a priori grounds. Systemness of innovation patterns, however, can be expected to remain in transition because of integrating and differentiating forces. Integration among the functions of wealth creation, knowledge production, and normative control takes place at the interfaces in organizations, while exchanges on the market, scholarly communication in knowledge production, and political discourse tend to differentiate globally. The neo-institutional and the neo-evolutionary versions of the Triple Helix model enable us to capture this tension reflexively. Empirical studies inform us whether more than three helices are needed for the explanation. The Triple Helix indicator can be extended algorithmically, for example, with local-global as a fourth dimension or, more generally, to an N-tuple of helices.
Hopefully, I did not use my second chance this week on this Monday morning. J
Professor, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR),
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam.
Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; fax: +31-842239111
l...@leydesdorff.net ; http://www.leydesdorff.net/
From: fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es [ mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] On Behalf Of Stanley N Salthe
Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2010 10:37 PM
Subject: Re: [Fis] reply to Javorsky. Plea for (responsible) trialism
(As my first posting for this week) Loet -- replying
On Sun, Dec 12, 2010 at 2:20 AM, Loet Leydesdorff <l...@leydesdorff.net> wrote:
Dear Stan, Pedro, and colleagues,
I hesitated to react to Pedros post to which you in turn react. However, it seems important to me to distinguish between science as a system of rationalized expectations and a belief system such as a religion or a worldview (or even a philosophy of science such as creationism). Of course, one can also BELIEVE in science as a Worldview (a la the Vienna Circle), but science remains different in its construction from a religious system. The advent of modern science in the 17th century is also called the scientific revolution. It was precisely a clash with religion (e.g., Galileo).
Do you recall 'Laboratory Life' by Latour and Woolgar? They observed activities in a lab as ethnographers observe tribesmen. All systematized behaviors have the flavor of ritual. I recall myself secretly 'praying' that my spectrophotometer readings would come out as I wished, and being as careful as a priest working to gain 'purity' in setting up each experiment.
- Within social constructivism, indeed, many scholars have tried since the 1970sto explain science as a belief system or in the plural: belief systems. This is also sometimes called the Durkheimian paradigm in the sociology of science (Mary Douglas, David Bloor). It over-sociologizes science, as sometimes scientific arguments can be overpoliticized. Cognition, however, cannot be reduced to authorship or text. The mechanisms which enable us to generate DISCURSIVE knowledge from messages (knowledge claims) can be studied by considering science as a communication system (or again in the plural: the sciences as differently codified communication systems). The research question then becomes how the communication of knowledge is different from the communication of information. To which extent individual agents have access to this communication may depend on their intelligence as a reflexive capacity.
I don't see how this general description differs from one that would describe the activities of any discourse. Could you make a comparative 'chart' or something to show differences?
- The specific codifications which make it possible to proceed from common-sense knowledge (or personal/tacit knowledge) to discursive knowledge (which can also be counterintuitive) close the system off from the external referent (nature) because the communication of reports about the latter is always mediated by individual perceptions/observations. The observations have to be communicated before they can be appreciated and validated. The system(s) can thus further develop abstracting from the specific agents or texts reporting and in this sense anonymously. These cognitive constructs can be expected to develop differently from social constructs.
Surely 'the Church' proceeds in much the same way. What is distinctive here?
- Similarly, one can raise research questions about how religious codification can be expected to operate differently from scientific codification. Within these cognitive constructs which one can analyze only after hypothesizing them one cannot expect distinctions to be crystal-clear because the cognitive constructs remain discursively constructed (that is, in terms of distributions of agents and at the supra-individual level). It is possible to consider these discursive constructs as belief systems which can be attributed to agents or collective of agents in communities and churches. Analogously, one would be able to attribute them to texts (like in bibliometrics).
You make my point!
- However, the attribution does not change the epistemological status of science as a specific cogitatum (Husserl, Luhmann).
I don't think you have illuminated this yet.
- This is just to say that one should not accept the discussion as a clash of philosophies of science (Pedro) or the characterization of the sciences and a fortiori the philosophies of science as social constructs (Stan) because one is able to argue specifically across these divides (differently from religions or political parties).
How exactly? You know that established figures in scientific fields wield just as much power as bishops! To say nothing about the granting agencies.
- These systems can be theoretically informed by arguments and observational reports. The should is only normative in a specific sense: without this imperative of distinguishing scientific discourse from religion or political discourse, one risks losing the option of specification and progression to empirical research questions. The discussion then easily degenerates into philosophie spontanee des savants (Althusser). Note that the demarcation is not to be made in terms of agents or messages, but in terms of the hypothesized (and therefore uncertain) codes of the communication.
Well, I still would be interested to see a point-by-point comparison between science discourse and religious discourse.
- Best wishes,
- Loet Leydesdorff
- Professor, University of Amsterdam
- Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR),
- Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam.
- Tel.: +31-20- 525 6598; fax: +31-842239111
- l...@leydesdorff.net ; http://www.leydesdorff.net/
- From: fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es [ mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] On Behalf Of Stanley N Salthe
- Sent: Saturday, December 11, 2010 8:36 PM
- To: email@example.com
- Subject: Re: [Fis] reply to Javorsky. Plea for (responsible) trialism
- As my last posting for the week, replying to Pedro's interesting rejoinder to an earlier one of mine -
- On Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 8:20 AM, Pedro C. Marijuan < pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es> wrote:
- Dear Stan and colleagues,
- Taking it literally, isn't it a pure contradiction, an oxymoron, attempting a "scientific" "mythology"? The mythos is the way of knowing purely based on tradition and on the firmest doubtlessness, where the source of authority comes only from magnificent ancestors...
- Here I use the term 'mythology' in an ethnographic sense, meaning 'stories that are believed to be true'. I use it deliberately in connection with my understanding that scientific knowledge is a social construct every bit as much as were the various knowledges gained by more 'primitive' cultures by whatever means. Of course, science itself, as a practice, does not claim 'truth' in the sense of unchanging status; even the Second Law of thermodynamics might someday be falsified. But persons brought up in a scientific culture more or less instinctively assume that what is taught in the classroom is true (unless other cultural forces working through the family cast doubt on this), especially if this knowledge is useful in technology. Putting a fine point on it, let me say that I personally do BELIEVE that the Second Law is a truth about Nature. But I also know that it is merely a social construct.
- Well, I am going happily with Stan in the attempt of a renewed Natural Philosophy (and I think that future info outcomes may play a significant role there), but it does not necessarily mean to be engaged in a confrontation with other legitimate ways of seeing the world --and legitimately influencing in social practices, particularly by shared morals and ethos... Given the antecedents of previous historical "revolutions" I am afraid that a funny world would not result from a unilateral scientifist vision (Orwell's 1984?).
- This is a good point. Here our experience in the US may be bearing upon me. Here we have religious groups actively engaged in contesting some scientifically accepted truths -- e.g., the theory that biological evolution has occurred. In other countries this may no longer (or for the moment anyway) be an issue, but the conflict clearly raises the possibility of the contestability of belief, however grounded. Allied religions in other nations MIGHT take up the same position as some of those in the US, since all (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) have the same root myths, and that puts them all constitutively aligned against any new mythology, even if based in science, and even if they use Jesuitical means to avoid literal understandings of the ancient Middle Eastern myths. We can see today that mythology can motivate considerable activity in the adventures of the current group of fundamentalists in Eurasia.
- Also, reflecting on Bob's advocation of "dualism", I would like to bring to attention again the informational scheme where "agency" is implied. The philosophical outcome may be some form of "trialism", as one finds now the triplet: "world", "agents", "scientific observers". Casually I have found an interesting philosophical doctrine on trialism, as an alternative to Cartesian dualism, by John Cottingham (1985). The trialist interpretation keeps the two substances of mind and body, but introduces a third attribute, sensation, alongside thought and extension and belonging to the union of mind and body... There are many other nuances and complexities on the term, and probably some adjustments have to be made to properly fit the info scheme, but it looks OK.
- I feel I should mention here the triadic philosophy of Charles Peirce, which now is gaining considerable traction. Here 'world-agents-scientific observers' would appear as 'object-interpretant-sign'. Working from this, one reaches my position viv-a-vis scientific knowledge. The cultural 'system of interpretance' creates both the sign (using information from the object) and the interpretation. Knowledge in this view, including scientific knowledge, cannot be 'objective'. The context for knowledge is the knower.
- At a quick glance, and just looking at the discussions we have here, every party plays at his/her own with a "world" where information of different kinds impinge on active/perceptive "agents", endowed with transformative capabilities and with some form of intelligence (embodiment, self-production, etc may enter here, or not); and the scientific "observer" establishes the cutoffs and constraints through a narrative following a particular disciplinary pathway. I have also argued that in different angles of that story, at least in Nature (cells, nervous systems, people), one has to re-enter populational thinking, optimality guidance, and the doctrine of limitation. The hierarchy/heterarchy theme is also of importance in the populational aspect (as what we see often is "nested agencies"), etc.
- My contention is that the general relationship between information & intelligence (and their respective disciplines) needs a new form of discourse. Whether the depicted scaffolding may be of interest or not, is highly debatable!
- best wishes
- Stanley N Salthe escribió:
- in my first for the week, Replying to Joseph:
- Dealing as I do with hierarchies and thermodynamics, I have come to the postmodern conclusion that our explicit scientific knowledge is a logical construct -- unlike our intuitive 'knowledge' (viz. qualia) of the world we are IMMERSED IN. In these scientifically-based efforts we create a logical simulacrum (which I call 'Nature') of The World. Its basis is logic and esthetic, but today it also passes through a pragmatic filter imposed by those who pay for the science. This latter bias works mostly in choice of study objects. Stepping back from active engagement in the process of gaining primary knowledge in these ways, I feel that I am these days engaging in a renewed Natural Philosophy -- an attempt to construct a scientifically based 'mythology' for moderns, meant as an alternative to religious myths. These latter importantly have also engaged, via rituals, the qualia we are immersed in. Inasmuch as Natural Philosophy has no such practices associated with it, the primary function of the emerging Nature is to challenge the religiously based myths associated with the rituals in an attempt to unseat the associated political establishments (Rome, the Caliphate, the Republican Party, etc.) that enforce them.
- On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 7:54 AM, Joseph Brenner <joe.bren...@bluewin.ch > wrote:
- Dear All,
- In agreeing with Bob, I would like to point out that his critique is not
- "theoretical philosophy". He is calling attention to something essential
- missing in the pictures and models of Stan and Karl, namely, 1) the "life
- and blood" of the world; 2) that that "life and blood" follows different
- rules than the entities in the models; 3) those rules are based on real
- dualities of equal ontological purport: order and disorder, continuity and
- discontinuity, entropy and negentropy; etc.; and 4) these dualities play
- out in real interactions in biology, cognition and society, for example
- in information and non-information.
- It is perfectly possible to see "grids" of numbers and levels or hierarchies
- in Nature as abstract structures - this is indeed Karl's word, as is his use
- of "independence" - but this is not going toward the world, but away from
- it. The world includes Karls and Stans and Josephs and Bobs, and I challenge
- anyone to propose a theory that insures that our "antagonisms", which are
- real, also receive some logical treatment.
- I for one do not know everything about everything I'm made of (cf. our
- fluctuon discussion), but I have the feeling it is not abstractions or
- sequences of numbers. I mentioned string theory, but I am by no
- means pushing it as the full story.
- ----- Original Message -----
- From: "Robert Ulanowicz" <u...@umces.edu>
- To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Sent: Friday, December 03, 2010 4:52 PM
- Subject: Re: [Fis] reply to Javorsky
- Dear All:
- At the risk of being seen as the one who tries to throw a monkey
- wrench into the fine discussion you all are having, I would like to
- mention that the foregoing thread had focused entirely on alternatives
- among monist scenarios.
- I see the world as dual, not in the sense of Descartes, but of
- Heraclitus. If I am correct, then any strategy predicated on a monist
- principle is destined to lead to disaster. (Stan and I have gone round
- and round on this. I see entropy as double-sided and not simply as
- disorder. [Ecological Modelling 220 (2009) 1886-1892].)
- But I'm hardly the only one to warn against a monist view. Terry
- Deacon's model of self-organization, the "Autocell" acts similarly.
- The process starts by using up external gradients as quickly as
- possible, but gradually shuts down as the autocell nears
- self-completion. (Deacon, T.W. and J. Sherman. 2008. The Pattern Which
- Connects Pleroma to Creatura: The Autocell Bridge from Physics to
- Life. Biosemiotics 2:59-76.)
- The best to all,
- Robert E. Ulanowicz | Tel: +1-352-378-7355
- Arthur R. Marshall Laboratory | FAX: +1-352-392-3704
- Department of Biology | Emeritus, Chesapeake Biol. Lab
- Bartram Hall 110 | University of Maryland
- University of Florida | Email <u...@cbl.umces.edu>
- Gainesville, FL 32611-8525 USA | Web < http://www.cbl.umces.edu/~ulan>
- Quoting Stanley N Salthe <ssal...@binghamton.edu >:
- > *Replying to Karl, who said:*
- > one can use a stable model used by neurology and psychology to come closer
- > to understanding how our brain works. This can help to formulate the
- > thoughts Pedro mentioned being obscure.
- > One pictures the brain as a quasi-meteorological model of an extended
- > world
- > containing among others swamp, savanna, arid zones. The dissipation of
- > water
- > above these regions causes clouds to form and storms to discharge the
- > vapor
- > within the clouds. The model observes the lightnings in the model and sets
- > them as an allegory to thoughts (these being electrical discharges) as
- > opposed to hormones (that are the fluids in the swamps). So there is an
- > assumed independence between the rainfall, the humidity of the ground,
- > cloud
- > formation and lightnings. The real meteorologists would not agree with the
- > simplification that the lightning is the central idea of a rainfall, but
- > this is how the picture works (at present).
- > Why I offer these idle thoughts from the biologic sciences to FIS is that
- > it
- > is now possible to make a model of these processes in an abstract, logical
- > fashion. The colleaugues in Fis are scientists in the rational tradition
- > and
- > may find useful that a rational algorithm can be shown to allow simulating
- > the little tricks Nature appears to use.
- > Nature changes the form of the imbalance, once too many or too few
- > lightnings, once too much or lacking water - relative to the other
- > representation's stable state. There are TWO sets of reference. The
- > deviation between the two sets of references is what Nature uses in its
- > manifold activities.
- > This model looks at the physical equivalences in two realms by
- > modeling in thermodynamics. Today in thermodynamics we have an advancing
- > perspective known as the `Maximum Entropy Production Principle´ (MEPP) for
- > relatively simple systems like weather, or Maximum Energy Dispersal
- > Principle´ (MEDP) for complicated material systems like the brain. In
- > both
- > cases the dynamics are controlled by the Second Law of Thermodynamics,
- > which
- > imposes that the available energy gradients will be dissipated in the
- > least
- > possible time, taking the easiest routes available. This becomes very
- > interesting in the brain, where the flow of depolarizations would then be
- > predicted to be biased in the direction of more habitual `thoughts´. I
- > think that this prediction seems to be born out in our own experiences of
- > the frequent return of our attention to various insistent thoughts. I
- > recommend that Karl inquire into MEPP. For this purpose I paste in some
- > references.
- > STAN
- > MEPP related publications:
- > Annila, A. and S.N. Salthe, 2009. Economies evolve by energy dispersal.
- > Entropy, 2009, 11: 606-633.
- > Annila, A. and S.N. Salthe, 2010. Physical foundations of evolutionary
- > theory. Journal on Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics 35: 301-321.
- > Annila, A. and S.N. Salthe, 2010. Cultural naturalism. Entropy, 2010,
- > 12:
- > 1325-1352.
- > Bejan, A. and S. Lorente, 2010. The constructal law of design and
- > evolution
- > in nature. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B, 365:
- > 1335-1347.
- > Brooks, D.R. and E.O. Wiley, 1988. Evolution As Entropy: Toward A Unified
- > Theory Of Biology (2nd. ed.) Chicago. University of Chicago Press.
- > Chaisson, E.J., 2008. Long-term global heating from energy usage. Eos,
- > Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 89: 353-255.
- > DeLong, J.P., J.G. Okie, M.E. Moses, R.M. Sibly and J.H. Brown, 2010.
- > Shifts
- > in metabolic scaling, production, and efficiency across major evolutionary
- > transitions of life. Proceedings of the Natiional Academy of Sciences.
- > Early
- > EDition
- > Dewar, R. C., 2003. Information theory explanation of the fluctuation
- > theorem, maximum entropy production, and self-organized criticality in
- > non-equilibrium stationary states. Journal of Physics, A Mathematics and
- > General 36: L631-L641.
- > Dewar, R.C., 2005. Maximum entropy production and the fluctuation
- > theorem.
- > Journal of Physics A Mathematics and General 38: L371-L381.
- > Dewar, R.C., 2009. Maximum entropy production as an inference algorithm
- > that translates physical assumptions into macroscopic predictions: Don't
- > shoot the messenger. Entropy 2009. 11: 931-944.
- > Dewar. R.C. and A. Porté, 2008. Statistical mechanics unifies different
- > ecological patterns. Journal of Theoretical Biology 251:389-403.
- > Dyke, J. and A. Kleidon. 2010. The maximum entropy production principle:
- > its
- > theoretical foundations and applications to the Earth system. Entropy
- > 2010,
- > 12:613-630.
- > Herrmann-Pillath, C., 2010. Entropy, function and evolution: naturalizing
- > Peircean semiosis. Entropy 2010, 12: 197-242.
- > Kleidon, A. (2009): Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics and Maximum Entropy
- > Production in the Earth System: Applications and Implications,
- > Naturwissenschaften 96: 653-677.
- > Kleidon, A. (2010): Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics, Maximum Entropy
- > Production and Earth-system evolution, Philosophical Transactions of the
- > Royal Society A, 368: 181-196.
- > Kleidon, A. and R. Lorenz (eds) Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics and the
- > Production of Entropy: Life Earth, and Beyond Heidelberg: Springer.
- > Lineweaver, C.H. 2005. Cosmological and biological reproducibility:
- > limits
- > of the maximum entropy production principle. In Kleidon, A. and Lorenz,
- > R.
- > Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics and the Production of Entropy: Life, Earth
- > and Beyond. Springer Pp. 67-76.
- > Lineweaver, C.H. and C.A. Egan, 2008. Life, gravity and the second law of
- > thermodynamics. Physics of Life Reviews (2008)
- > doi:10.1016/j.plrev.2008.08.002
- > Lorenz. R.D., 2002. Planets, life and the production of entropy.