simpler forms of knowledge management as existing in animals?
I agree natural language probably separates hominids from other primates etc. But what about 'information'?
And inferencing? Remember 'Chrysippus's dog' who infers to the best explanation (abduction) when on reaching ajunction of threepathssniffstwo for the scent of his prey thenrushes off down the third without sniffing further.
I once tried a number of similarexperiments with my intelligent curly-coated retriever and a tennis ball. Smart dog! She understood the idea of variation (hiding the ball in different spots) within theconstraint of my back yard.
And what's to say thatcellular entities such as astrocytes,chaperone cells and telomeresare not also 'inferencing' ininformational situations like calcium signalling,protein foldingand cell ageing? Let alone my GPS's cybernetic navigational ability.Maybe our existing concepts of information are 'human all too human'.Chrysippus of Soli attributed 'psyche' to animals (from 'animus') and 'pneuma' (soul) to human beings. Reportedly he died laughing while watching a donkey trying to eat figs (after the animal was plied with alcohol - inferencing to the best drink ?)
bridge knowledge with meaning generation, information/knowledge
I agree that semantic networks are a more fruitful approach to the information/meaning problem than DIK. I have yet to find any convincing study which verifies an intrinsic relationship between Data Information and Knowledge (let alone Wisdom). The 'DIK triangle' (the basis of informatics) is IMO a contrived infertile notion. Neither am I convinced (like Rafael) by the Dretske/Floridi attempts to understand the phenomenon of information from the POV of traditional (and Shannon-driven) semantics ('grammatically meaningful statements'). IMO we need to develop a comprehensive Grammar of Information which embraces not only semantics and syntax but also modality, case, aspect , tense etc and looks at the language of informational states, objects, events, experiences and processes throughout thebiosphere, physiosphere, sociosphere etc. A number of recent developments in dynamic andevidential linguistics, media communication studies and Social Information(like Scott Lash's 'information critique' and Dave Weinberger's 'third order of order' ) are pointing to a new,more non-linear approach to the information/communication interplay which FIS should map into its current ICT agenda for discussion and research.
On Wed Oct 7 3:39 , sent:
Dear FIS colleagues,
Knowledge is a wide and interesting subject as applied to us humans. But what
about knowledge in the world of animals ?
What about an evolutionary approach to knowledge that takes into account
simpler forms of knowledge management as existing in animals ?
S: Any property we must have, necessarily had to evolve from precursor
systems in our ancestors. This is the 'logic' here. These systems need not have
had exactly the same function as with us, but they still would count as 'proto-
We Humans can consciously manageknowledge. But the performance of human
consciousness does not imply that knowledge is absent in animals. We also
manage knowledge unconsciously.
And knowledge is a personal and social construction. It is a tool we use all the
time in our everyday life to satisfy various constraints. For finding our way in a
city as well as for doing math. We acquire and use knowledge automatically as
well as consciously by introspection. But the difference is more about
complexity than about nature. In both cases we manage meaningful information
for some purpose.
S: The difference between us and animals is basically language.
Animals also have constraints to satisfy, the key one being to stay alive.
S: Darwinians would say 'to reproduce'.
Most animals miss a conscious self to be in a position of conscious
introspection (perhaps some of our cousins like chimpanzee or bonobo have a
minimum sense of conscious self that allow them a minimum of introspection).
S; As a bird watcher, I am convinced that some of the larger birds (jays and
crows, parrots) are able to think as individuals different from other individuals
("This is mine -- go away!"). I have watched jays handle peanuts, comparing
their weights, presumably to see which one is heaviest. And so 'heaviness' has a
meaning to the jay not directly related to eating, because it buries most of them
for the future. Thus, it has knowledge of locations as well as anticipation..
So I feel that the concept of knowledge deserves being addressed in an
evolutionary background in order to allow a bottom-up approach highlighting
simpler cases than human one (just to work as long as possible without the
“hard problem”, and bring it back in explicitly later). Animals are submitted to
constraint satisfaction processes as we humans are(with different constraints