By objective description of the world we mean, first, a description
in terms of some objects, and second, a description which is,
as much as possible, ``objective'' in the usual sense, i.e.
impersonal, not depending on the cognitive actions, or other
features, of the subject of knowledge. The use of the same
word in these two meanings is not accidental: a description can be
``objective'' because it is a description in terms of objects.
Looking for objectivity is nothing else but
factoring out certain cognitive actions.
Function fa (see *Object*) factors out the action a by predicting
what should be observed when the only change in the world is
the subject's taking of the action a. If the prediction comes true,
we interpret this as the same kind of stability as when nothing changes
at all. The concept of object btings in a certain invariance, or stability,
in the perception of a cybernetic system that actively explores
The metasystem transition from representations to their transformations
is a step towards objectivity of knowledge.
Actions and, in particular, sensations are intimately tied to the agent,
the subject of knowledge. An object is a transformation and prediction
of actions. The very fact that prediction is possible indicates
that the transformation depends less on the subject of knowledge,
the `I', and more on the `not-I'.
This does not ensure a complete objectivity; alas, there is
no such thing. But a jump from a representations to a transformation
of representations verified by the practice of correct predictions,
is the only way we know to increase objectivity.
When we perceive a tea-pot as an object, we have a lot of cognitive actions
to factor out: we can walk around it, grasp it, rotate it in from of our
eyes etc. But often we observe things from afar and that is about all
we can do, as, fro instance, when we observe a star and still call it
an object. Well, from the viewpoint of our theory, we always associate
with an object some kind of stability, and stability exist only with
respect to action. In the case of a star, this is the stability with respect
to varying conditions of observation. We can observe `the same' star
at different times and factor out the differences in time by taking into
account the rotation of the sky around the Earth's axis. The same is
true with respect to the movement of the observer around the Earth's
surface. The more we know of astronomy and physics, the greater number
of properties of the object will we discover, such as the constancy of the
star's spectrum etc.
We also must include into the concept of cognitive actions
the more sophisticated and esoteric actions which were not
among those actions for which evolution created human brain, but
emerge as a result of the development of science.
We get involved in this kind of actions when we construct huge
accelerators of elementary particles and set up experiments to explore how
the particles interact. As an apple and other physical bodies are
invariants in the processing of input information by the brain,
so an electron and other elementary particles
are invariants of the scientific symbolic models of the world.
We can measure the charge of the electron in many different ways --
which all are various cognitive actions -- but
after making all the computations required by the theory, we still
come to the same number (within the error). The same with mass, spin, etc.
So an electron is, for us, an object, as real as an apple.
One could qualify this statement by noticing that the existence of
electrons depends on the legitimacy of our physical theory, which is not
absolute. True enough. But who are we to claim that the legitimacy of
our brain as a collection of models is absolute?
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