|Falsification and the strange loop
||[Jun. 7th, 2012|02:37 am]
|[||Tags|||||biology, book, determinism, dualism, language, mathematics, mind, philosophy, physics, popper, soul, truth||]|
“Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach” (1979) by Karl Popper
Some extracts and comments.
About the method [of getting knowledge].
Amoeba is not different from Einstein, they are both using the same method of trial and error. The difference is that amoeba doesn’t like errors, but Einstein does. He seeks for errors: error search and elimination process gives him something new.
About the pure expirience as facts.
Popper versus the tabula rasa theory - the theory of originally empty mind which is filled with pure expierience - facts.
Cons: our [human] observations are very complex (not simple, multi-layered), but not sure, methods of decoding external signals coming from our evnvironment. They are just good evolutional tools.
About the 3rd world - the world of abstract things, produced by humanity.
Book is still a book - some kind of human activity product. Even it had never been read (as so often is the case today). Book is like beaver dam, or a bird nest - an external human organ, a product of evolution.
About human language
Human language functions:
lowest (common to animal languages)
- self-expression (hmm)
Language is a product of evolution. So it is not perfect or absolute. It is limited by evolution needs: the same way as our eyes are blind for something unexpected, our language is not able to describe this something unexpected.
About determinism [V.L.: and quality vs quantity]
Popper is a nondeterminist. It states that all things are not deterministic, and the difference is only in the quantity of determinism. That line is very similar to Douglas Hofstadter’s thoughts about consciousness (mind, soul, etc) - the question is more about quantity, not quality.
Talking about body and mind, Popper is a dualist. He talks about the close interaction between physico-chemical and mental states.
Popper notices that the sense of "I", spatio-temporal location, self-identity, is for example less prominent while dreaming, so it could be the not so old product of evolution.
About good and not so good types of questions.
Popper states that questions like "What is <something>?" are not productive and should be avoided. Better types of questions are about statements, theories; are they true or not.
If you are asked: "are you sure, that the words you said mean this or that", you should answer: "I don’t know, and am not interested in meanings, if you’d like, it’d be a pleasure for me to accept your terminology."
About the truth and its undecidability.
Popper reminds: Tarski has shown that
if the language is rich enough (e.g. for formulating physics and mathematics problems) there could be no truth criterion.
In case the truth concept could be formulated in some language, one could no more tell if some statement is true in that language.
V.L.: one could also notice that otherwise it would be too easy to produce the truth mechanically.
About syntax and semantics.
Once again Tarski results contain such one among others: semantics of some language L1 could be expressed as just a syntax of some other more powerful language L2.
The only real way to perceive the reality, to know it, is to falsify your expectations in trial and error - the way to exist. Otherwise one just does not notice the environment - it's being passed by.
The most interesting thing about human
is the self-transcendence - the endless feedback loop between human deeds, the results they lead to, and the person himself, that started the loop.
The strange loop.