Thursday, November 20, 2014

is "second-order science" any kind of science at all?

constructivism |   Context: The journal Constructivist Foundations celebrates ten years of publishing articles on constructivist approaches, in particular radical constructivism. Problem: In order to preserve the sustainability of radical constructivism and regain its appeal to new generations of researchers, we set up a new course of action for and with the radical constructivist community to study its innovative potential. This new avenue is “second-order science.” Method: We specify two motivations of second-order science, i.e., the inclusion of the observer, and self-reflexivity that allows second-order science to operate on the products of normal or first-order science. Also, we present a short overview of the contributions that we have collected for this inaugural issue on second-order science. Results: These six initial contributions demonstrate the potential of the new set of approaches to second-order science across several disciplines. Implications: Second-order science is believed to be a cogent concept in the evolution of science, leading to a new wave of innovations, novel experiments and a much closer relationship with current research in the cognitive neurosciences in particular, and with evolutionary and complexity theories in general.

wikipedia |  One version of social constructivism contends that categories of knowledge and reality are actively created by social relationships and interactions. These interactions also alter the way in which scientific episteme is organized.

Social activity presupposes human beings inhabiting shared forms of life, and in the case of social construction, utilizing semiotic resources (meaning making and meaning signifying) with reference to social structures and institutions. Several traditions use the term Social Constructivism: psychology (after Lev Vygotsky), sociology (after Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann, themselves influenced by Alfred Schütz), sociology of knowledge (David Bloor), sociology of mathematics (Sal Restivo), philosophy of mathematics (Paul Ernest). Ludwig Wittgenstein's later philosophy can be seen as a foundation for Social Constructivism, with its key theoretical concepts of language games embedded in forms of life.

Constructivism in philosophy of science
Thomas Kuhn argued that changes in scientists' views of reality not only contain subjective elements, but result from group dynamics, "revolutions" in scientific practice and changes in "paradigms".[3] As an example, Kuhn suggested that the Sun-centric Copernican "revolution" replaced the Earth-centric views of Ptolemy not because of empirical failures, but because of a new "paradigm" that exerted control over what scientists felt to be the more fruitful way to pursue their goals.
"But paradigm debates are not really about relative problem-solving ability, though for good reasons they are usually couched in those terms. Instead, the issue is which paradigm should in future guide research on problems many of which neither competitor can yet claim to resolve completely. [A decision is called for] and in the circumstances that decision must be based less on past achievement than on future promise."
—Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions . p. 157
The view of reality as accessible only through models was called model-dependent realism by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.[4] While not rejecting the idea of "reality-as-it-is-in-itself", model-dependent realism suggests that we cannot know "reality-as-it-is-in-itself", but only an approximation of it provided by the intermediary of models.[5] These models evolve over time as guided by scientific inspiration and experiment.

In the field of the social sciences, constructivism as an epistemology urges that researchers reflect upon the paradigms that may be underpinning their research, and in the light of this that they become more open to consider other ways of interpreting any results of the research. Furthermore, the focus is on presenting results as negotiable constructs rather than as models that aim to "represent" social realities more or less accurately. Norma Romm in her book Accountability in Social Research (2001) argues that social researchers can earn trust from participants and wider audiences insofar as they adopt this orientation and invite inputs from others regarding their inquiry practices and the results thereof.


John Kurman said...

I've not seen Interstellar, but word is there is they rely on some magic at the end: time travel via a black hole. Well, this is not *quite* a Godelian Metric, but this sure do look like either a Haldeman collapsar network involving closed time loops, or it's time to admit we are all just a simulation:

CNu said...

Nolan is an unrepentant Madeleine L'engle fanboy..., his "magic" is consistent with Gurdjieff's cosmoses and the ray of creation.

Dale Asberry said...

For those of us doing "big data", it typically means lots of data that doesn't fit well into a datamart (an SQL database with a well defined schema and lots of records), reporting tools can't provide apple-to-apple comparisons, or data needing heuristics applied to the whole dataset. Essentially data that needs serious horsepower that only a large organization can afford.

woodensplinter said...

A very special case permitting observational localization of emotions and demonstrating the language of emotions - as well as - demonstrating the exponentially faster and greater cognitive power "G" of emotions.

woodensplinter said...

Another special case permitting observational localization of instinctual/moving centre and demonstrating the language of the instinctual/moving centre. Not as fast, complex, or powerful as the emotions, but still at least a full order of magnitude faster and more powerful than the language-based intellect. The moving/instinctual centre described by Gurdjieff roughly corresponding to the "subconscious" - operationalizing and timing the emotional space-time construct of the body.

It's no accident that music and dance were the embodied expression's of the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man's objective art.

woodensplinter said...

It made me think of Tamgidi.

CNu said...


woodensplinter said...

Several things actually, from the movie, the notion that "parents are ghosts to their children, because they make up their children's memories". The central theme of "love" as our higher emotional/higher intellectual reckoning with the 4th/5th dimension, i.e., our literal cognition of dimensions beyond spacetime.

From the book, there is the translation of the 2nd series and the profound tricks in mystigogical truthtelling relating children to the afterlife, the overlap between that and what Nolan depicted so powerfully in the movie was most remarkable.

From page 195 there's Kurman's second order reference to magic and or time travel upthread, when it's really neither one of those things at all:Gurdjieff ’s discussion of the etymology of the word “say” and how some languages cannot express the subtleties of its manifold meanings as found in other languages (such as Persian6) is actually meant to indicate how the words and “sayings” he uses throughout his texts, using words and terms taken from various languages, could be intended to convey different meanings targeting various unconscious, conscious, and subconscious realms of the reader’s awareness arising from her/his separately functioning instinctive, intellectual, or emotional centers.

Gurdjieff ’s references even to the “intelligent, elderly Persian” as someone who possesses not just “knowledge” but “being” (M:8)—or his later discussion about the people in the West who only understand things with their “minds” compared to those from the East who even when not possessing much book knowledge know more with their “feelings” and “being”—are meant again as illustrations of this central “idea” embedded in Gurdjieff ’s introduction. The use of “anecdotes and proverbs” by the “Persian”—such as that about “the Conversation of the Two Sparrows” (M:15–16)—is meant to illustrate how the same (or even an entirely different) idea could be conveyed in different forms and levels of meaning targeted for arousal of one or another of conscious, subconscious, or instinctive impulses in the reader.Our fledgling and pitiful book knowledge rather pales in significance when stacked against the essential knowledge out of which our organisms "magically construct themselves" from the raw stuff of the cosmos, right?

Non-talking animals "construct and maintain themselves" absent any intellectual or book knowledge. Consequently, I don't find it a stretch that across the spacetime event horizon of Gargantua, what is essential in us at our level might take on an essential expression transcending spacetime in the presence of that cosmic body much higher up on the ray of creation. Wouldn't Cooper be the equivalent of a virus inside the event horizon, adjacent to the singularity, and wouldn't his higher cosmic nature take on and do with the raw "stuff" inside the black hole what a virus does inside of us? His love for Murphy, love of our species and will to survive all combined to yield the dream construct which his own being fabricated. I didn't see it as magic, so much as a tremendously sophisticated speculation and visualization on the nature of the cosmos and our place in it.

Lastly, from the movie again, there's the business of Brand "knowing" in her heart that Edmonds' planet was the one they should have gone to from the outset. Too bad her emotional "knowing" was vetoed by Cooper and Romilly.

Ed Dunn said...

So we have our second guy (navy shipyard guy first) who went on a shooting rampage claiming the government is using low frequency electromagnetic waves putting voices in his head and controlling him. So between the PUA and electronic magnetics, something have to give here...

CNu said...

So, I had my regularly scheduled Friday conversation with the first born this morning. She saw it and said what you said above. Made me proud. To soon to say "my work is done" but beyond any shadow of a doubt, she's on the right track.

No "disembodied" higher intelligences required or allowed. If it can construct you from the raw stuff of the cosmos, it can construct something it can work with out of the raw stuff of the cosmos across the event horizon.