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Title: Science as a growing system : a cybernetic essay
Author: Medina-Martins, P. R.
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 1987
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Direct and significant narrations of the Human's past subsume so complex a multitude of problems (historical, anthropological, psychological, epistemological, etc) that, taking exception for some few areas, no formal, quantified and predictive theory of historical reconstitutions (understood in the classical, paradigmatic, sense of physical, quasi-physical or engineering disciplines) has, so far, been constructed. A first step towards overcoming this situation is outlined in the essay. The work is primarily (though not exclusively) devoted to historical/ scientific reconstitutions; special emphasis is laid upon the so called "domain of Natural Science". Throughout it a rather unconventional way of looking upon human's past achievements in that area is proposed, discussed and progressively developed: not as a mere repository of inventions and discoveries (as the usual historical approaches do), not as a simple reproduction of the possible cognitive processes which their authors used' (as the logistic reconstitutions seek) but rather as a cybernetic adaptative learning process (in the sense of G. PASK and H. VON FOESTER). The use of this approach allows, in particular: - to demonstrate that Science may be globally regarded as a (time-"space") growing system; - to give expression to this growth in terms, of an evolutionary model binding the approaches of PIAGET, WALLON, FREUD, HARTMANN etc (in which epistemological, contextual (social), psychological (conscious, unconscious) affective and cognitive paradigms are involved); - to describe this evolution in formal and quantifiable terms (using for it fuzzy "conditioned" automata theories); - to reproduce it in a special purpose cybernetic device (PASK's THOUGHTSTICKER system); - to perform historical experimentation (varying the value of the parameters, relationships and constraints by means of which the system is described). The essay ends with a practical application: the construction of an entailment-mesh of the First (or Greek) Image of Nature.
Supervisor: Pask, G. Sponsor: NATO ; INIC (Instituto Nacional de Investigaccao Cientifica) ; Gulbenkian Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cybernetic adaptative learning Bionics Psychology