The Evolution of Complexity - Abstracts.

Modern Rationality (A Cybernetics View)

By Jan Sarnovsky

  • Department of Cybernetics and Art. Int.
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  • Abstract:

    Integration is the main tendency of the development of natural and human sciences today. The discoveries arising on the boundary of separate sciences are the direct expression of sciences knowledge integration. Theoretical tools are becoming necessary to make this integration in a regular, meaning, a nonstochastic way. Cybernetics can give these tools.

    In the half of 20th century the problem of the possibility of constructing artificial thinking systems based on computers had arisen. This basic philosophical problem is projecting into cybernetics as the problem of modeling of physiology, psychology, logic and esthetic structures, formalization of language, knowledge and thinking, the problem of the system and its elements (of the whole and part), as well as the other categories.

    The artificial intelligence can be farther unfolded as till now unknown, unprobable, seemingly absurd synthesis of technical and engineering discipline (technical cybernetics and programm creation) and of social and nature sciences; and at the same time it is possible to create "experimental" philosophy, until recently a fantastic possibility to verify the more delicate and the more abstract hypothesis about the nature of human reason.

    Cybernetics as a science about control of large-scale systems examines and seeks some common lawfulness of activity of machines, animals and society. It stresses the fact that the absolute differences between the organic and anorganic world doesn't exist. The system functional approach to the examining of problems and phenomena of the surrronding world is typical for cybernetics. This is tightly binded with fundamental notions and principles of cybernetics. Philosophy can find in cybernetics a lot of stimuli, especially on that account, that in cybernetics certain synthesis in form of principles and laws has been tried about .

    It is very interesting to try to predict various possibilities of the future evolution from a cybernetic viewpoint. Man in a posthominal world is a paradox, which possibly in the near future will become the dominant problem provoking especially the philosophic reflection. A "posthominal" world doesn't mean a world without man. It is a world created by man, which is gradually independent of its creators. It is changing in accordance with its own laws, it isn't wholly "compatible" with man, and so this is placed in front of the problem to comprehend and to overcome that world. The "second (another) nature" (the virtual reality, cyberspace, etc.), the intricate multidimensional reality determines our life each time in a bigger degree. The life of todays man in a world of "common welfare" requires much effort as there is in universality considered. It is the question of surviving. Man began to penetrate beyond the limits of immidiate sensual reality, and reached results without straight contact with things. In today's world, man, each time more, doesn't act as an integrate being ; it arises to the tremendeous tension between thinking and senses, spirit and body.

    The development of information techology causes the fact that many operating and technical functions begin to depart from man. The cases arent rare in which in the man-machine system the machine is not the mean, but the man; the danger arises that the real subject of activity can become not the man, but the machine. We can't resist to the tendency of transformation of means into goals, which is the expression of aggressiveness of the artificial posthominal world, if we don't know the substance of this phenomenon. The other forms of its manifestation are, eg.: the extraordinary complexity of economic and organizational structures, the problem of controllability of such structures, extraordinary speed of technology innovations, the information satisfying. The possibility of creating of artificial intelligence is emerging, which could outrun man. We, perhaps, shall have to admit the ambigousness of human intellect faced with the possibility of parallel existence of human and artificial intellect. Afterwards, a question is arising about the position of man in such a world. This is but the task for philosophy.