WELCOME TO THE GENERAL THEORY CLUB - 08-30-2004, 11:39 AM
One of the hardest problems that the constructor of the new scientific theory encounters with is the problem of finding an appropriate cognitive environment to which his ideas may be addressed. It is well known that the main criticisms aimed at psi research is that (1) it fails to produce a replicable demonstration of an effect and (2) that there are no scientifically correct theories. As Jean Burns indicates: "There are a number of theoretical models for psi?, but there is no generally accepted theory of it." . From another source we read: "No-one has as yet come up with any evidence for a theory of consciousness that will satisfy the demands of the various sceptics..." . Or, as Richard Amoroso puts the problem: "Science is inadequate to complete the task of explaining consciousness without being drastically reformulated" . So, the General Theory Club aims to unite the scientists who make attempts to construct their general theories. Hitherto, in the most scientific disciplines like Physics, Chemistry, Biology, etc. the task was to construct one theory which must satisfy everybody. But, in case of the complex phenomena studies, we say about the necessity to form a chain of mutually compatible intellectual products of different authors which may use the different notional bases, different theoretical (knowledge) bases, different systems of proofs, etc., but such that share basic principles in their construction (see below in the text).
On the site http://www.geocities.com/spatlavskiy one may found two target articles. The key idea expressed therein is that to construct a scientifically correct theory of complex phenomena (the theory of psi-effects, the theory of consciousness, the theory of artificial intelligence, the theory of cool fusion, etc.) we have first to advance an appropriate meta-theoretical basement. The conclusion is being made that all attempts to construct the theory of complex phenomena within the frames of presently existing quantum, neurophysiologic, psychological, etc. scientific paradigms are in vain -- the task seems to be much more complex. The Theory of Everything is being seen not as one theory, but as an ensemble of applied theories, which use the common theoretical base provided by the general theory, called Nonstatanalysis. The articles are much illustrated and contain many discussions with leading scientists working in the field of consciousness studies. One may also find there a lot of comments on the papers of the scientists who are engaged in the study of consciousness, complex phenomena, evolution, and related problems.
THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION OF GENERAL THEORIES
Let us assume that such a theory exists that regards any intellectual product as its object of study. Such a theory (I call it the Applied ADC theory; here ADC -- the appearance, development and compatibility of intellectual products) states firstly that the creation of any intellectual product is constrained by a certain approach (see http://patlavskiy.012webpages.com). Any approach consists of the two parts, viz.: the aim of approach and the criteria of approach. Secondly, the theory requires there to be four distinct levels of intellectual product that may be called:
1) the level of description (the D-level);
2) the level of generalization and systematization (the GS-level);
3) the level of applied theory (the AT-level);
4) the level of meta-theory (the MT-level).
Each of these levels has its own particular aim and criteria of approach. The General theory is a sort of the MT-level intellectual product and is being determined by its particular aim and criteria of approach (the criteria of approach are the consecutive steps in achieving the aim). In case of Nonstatanalysis the aim is formulated as two following assertions:
1) to show that there is nothing outside the integral and objectively existing Reality; wiz., that there are no parallel realities and that all phenomena belong to Reality we live in;
2) to show that the general Law of Reality exists, simultaneously as the condition and the transitional result of the process of cognition.
The criteria of approach are as follows:
1) determination of the limits of the meta-theory’s field of expediency, or meta-theory’s canon;
2) formation of a base of notions (prime concepts);
3) elaboration of the theoretical base of the process of cognition including basic ideas and the system of proofs;
4) level-by-level exposition of material, and consecutive exposition on each level;
5) regard of reliable results of scientific experiment as starting-points in working out the meta-theory;
6) elaboration of questions of epistemological, theoretical, hypothetical and empirical verifications of the meta-theory;
7) possibility of post-development of the meta-theory in case understanding of the extremely complex phenomena is required;
8) compatibility with other authors’ intellectual products (meta-theories), created under similar criteria of approach.
Those both aim and criteria of approach are determined subjectively -- they are the author’s personal ideas. So, the problem of subjectivity of the aim and criteria of approach is formulated. The applied ADC theory says that to solve the problem of subjectivity of the criteria of approach I have to investigate my criteria for compatibility with such ones, which other authors use when constructing their general theories. But the problem is that there are not many scientists in the world who undertake steps in constructing their MT-level intellectual products. Among them are Mario Bunge, David Chalmers, Ken Wilber, Evan Harris Walker. The investigation for compatibility of Nonstatanalysis with the MT-level intellectual products of the above mentioned authors is given in , Appendix A. If the problem of subjectivity of the criteria of approach will be solved, then those criteria could be called scientific, and the resulting General Theory will be scientifically correct (with all that it implies).
Now let us see what is the necessity in construction of the scientifically correct General theory. Suppose our task is to construct an applied theory of consciousness. The traditional scheme of fulfilling this task is as follows: "data -> hypothesis -> theory", with the only direction of movement from the piling of the experimental data to the required theory. According to the applied ADC theory, we must rewrite this scheme as: "data -> hypothesis -> theory -> existing meta-theory" since we have four levels of intellectual products. Here, the existing meta-theory (or the current scientific framework) is the "Modern Scientific Picture of the World". The existing meta-theory is basically commonsensical -- it was formed historically on the basis of the human’s personal subjective experience. Such a scheme works well in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and other scientific disciplines. But I state that in case our task is to construct the applied theory of consciousness (or, the theory of complex phenomena in general) we have, first, to replace the existing meta-theory on the above presented scheme by a certain new meta-theory which contradicts the commonsensical one, but which all the same is scientifically correct: "data -> hypothesis -> theory <- new meta-theory", and, second, to construct the theory of consciousness from two directions simultaneously. And such a new meta-theory must be the chain of mutually compatible MT-level intellectual products of different authors.
So, the authors of General Theories are welcome to join the General Theory Club. The participants’ versions of the General Theory must have its own respective aim and the correspondent criteria of approach, and to be inner non-contradictory.
 Jean Burns, "What is Beyond the Edge of the Known World?", Journal of Consciousness Studies, 10, No: 6-7, 2003.
 The Editors, "The Future of Consciousness Studies", Journal of Consciousness Studies, 4, No. 5-6, 1997, pp. 385-8
 Richard L. Amoroso, "Greetings", The Noetic Press, http://www.mindspring.com/~noeticj
 "Elaboration of the New Paradigm of Interdisciplinary Investigations", Journal of Conscientiology (ISSN 1520-4049), Volume 1, Number 4, pp. 305-36, 1999 http://cogprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/archive/00003571/ or at http://www.geocities.com/spatlavskiy, First target article, a full illustrated version, Msword formatted.
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