The Ontology of Technical Reality








410 2013 .



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,. . 49. .: , 2013. 16 .







The Ontology of Technical Reality

B.I. Kudrin, Moscow, Russia


Let me use the empiric abstract by Vernadsky about biosphere and abiogenesis, reality and irreversibility of any evolutionary process, to take the cognitive decision about the indisputability of the creation of the technical by the biological (five million years ago). We put the question of the essence of the surrounding as it is without separating unitary and general. However, we take into account that unitary may be in the object (material) and general in the mind (ideal). Then it comes to fundamental methods of Nature and of Spirit being, which created the technical, using organized ability of man to abstract.

The cognition of that stage of Nature evolution, following the appearance of physics and biology, presupposes the development of a new science, technetics, which studies technical reality. There are several kinds of substance (hereinafter quot. from Aristoteles. Metaphysics. 1934), of which one subdivision is <> perishable; the latter is recognized by all men, and includes e.g. plants and animals, of which we must grasp the elements (p. 203). Therefore, following Anaximander (610 near 540 B.C.), who was the first to raise the question of the origin of species, I am taking another step, adding to the previously singled out dead and alive technical existence, which became the essence and basis of current existence.

By the new paradigm of the technical perception of the world, I mean the following. Firstly, technical reality, now universal (we speak here of the transformation of biosphere into technosphere) and the impossibility of man existing beyond (and without) technique. Secondly, man cannot survive without particular tools and commodities (like at the beginning of anthropogenesis, when only implement technique of Homo habilis was being made), but is surrounded by a large number useful and useless things made before his birth by people other than himself. Thirdly, elements (articles) of the surrounding technique fixed in time and space create specific communities technical coenosises (cénose, cenosis). Fourthly, global evolutionism lies in the fact that a certain technique leads to the appearance of another one in such a way that every unit, exemplar, thing of the technical world transforms the environment making it more favorable for itself (as for article-species; types or species exist besides individual things, p. 183); it reflects the activity of information selection law in technetics, which goes back to Ch. Darwin and L. S. Berg and describes the node points of science-technical evolution.

Reflexing on the abovementioned as an integrity, the technical is represented by specific substances (As not the underlying substratum produces a change in itself wood becoming a bed, copper turning into a statue, p. 24): equipment which is created and operated, technology which is developed and applied, materials which are extracted and used, goods produced and consumed, eco influence and recycling of garbage, discharge and emission.

We will use the term technetics to name the category (generalizing description, definition, term, conception) which includes documented equipment, technologies, material, goods and garbage. Document is key in the description: whatever is discovered, invented, made by a particular man, it will not be preserved, will not influence the development of society, if the information has not been fixed, multiplied and distributed.

The dead physical-and-chemical world is characterized by the use of information described by physical-and-chemical laws, with no material object-carrier of information and no information usage plan.

The biological world created a plan (genotype) for each species, a non-documental record of information on molecular level with a combination of a material carrier and a reproduction apparatus by each individual as a phenotype, recording it with 20 letters for amino-acids.

The 1875 Metric Convention, the 1881 Electric Convention, 20 letters of the alphabet, an integrated system of measurement and symbols (obligatoriness of SI according to GOST 8.4172002. Units of measure) in drawings, standards, laws have become across the world documental basis for information recording within a document itself, its reproduction method and substance-energetic reproduction of the plan, provided by document.

Constructively on the level of artifact-organism-article-individual the technical may be: 1) dead technical (tools of Homo faber, contemporary tools, materials, parts, simple products; radiations, fields), which does not resist the second law of thermodynamics; 2) alive technical (organic: genetically modified food, microorganisms strains, plants hybrids, Dolly-sheep); 3) technological technique (technetical), requiring organizational, material, power supply, and, obligatorily, counteracting in local against the rise of entropy, and, underline, always (together with dead technical and alive technical) creating technical coenosises.

That is our definition (1976): technical coenosis is a holistic community of articles, of conventionally separated non-emergent object; a great number of elements-articles having weak connections and weak interactions; an anthropogenic origin system of classified by species units-individuals of technique, technology, material, product, garbage, are separating administrative and territorial for investment design, construction (building, installation, tooling), operation (maintenance, repair, modernization), management aims. It turned out that coenosises are created, operate, and evolve in accordance with the third cenological world concept postulate, compiling with the basis of post non-classical philosophy and referring to every material and ideal coenosises.

Technical coenosis as integrated is existing by known method, and existing is integrated (p. 185). Substance is that, from what. It is being, by essence, existence in itself, independent from the subject das Ding an sich, a thing in itself (transcendental, by I. Kant, E. Husserl, M. Heidegger). We cannot separate coenosis physically as something integrated and whole. We can only research the coenosises structure invariance by borrowing terms from other sciences, like biology (individual, species, family) or from informatics (text, vocabulary).

For a defined quantity of species there exists just one series, which is definitely specified (1974) by the authors simple numbers model going back to Pythagoreans, according to which the nature of things is discovered in numbers. For the defined quantity of species there exists a single series, definitely specifying the hyperbolic H-distribution and its parameters: for the expansion of each number of natural series on simple actors, there is an algorithm of factorial transforming. It is by the number of maximum simple value that, from some free number, by excluding some species we can get the series, identical for hyperbolic H-series with reservation, related to the change of the actors quantity, equal to their quantity between two finite simple numbers. Simple numbers model explains nonlinearity of populations quantity growth; on the species curve surges and dips, which are obligatory (and had not explained by Zipf, counted them random); on the range one irregularity of distance between grasshopper (mass) species (had not explained by Mandelbrot).

Let us consider components of technetics, starting from technique and basing ourselves on Kapp, Engelmeer and Meleshenko. Each of its units is created by and submits to strict physics laws. In particularly, the term technique techne (τέχνη) can be understood in two different ways: as aggregation of means, created for executing producing processes and serving nonproducing demands of society, and as species of human activity (in positive sense, evidencing about professionalism).

We change the wording and define technique as part of technical reality. Technique is an article or articles aggregate, of which each is algorithmically documented. By article we understand any item or aggregate of produced articles, based on a certain technology. An article is an autonomic operating discrete unit, which is further considered as elementary. Going back from the finished article to the appearance of an idea, I just state the technical evolution, availability of its first cycle point.

The conception of technology becomes key for current globalizing world. English language philosophy uses this conception to describe all technical things (social rate Technology Assessment); German philosophy (Technikfolgenabschátzung) uses the term technique as a synonym to technical reality (all technique components). According to S. Lem, technology is methods of society provided aims achievement, conditional by the state of knowledge and society efficiency. Technology is an aggregate of knowledge, or, in other words, a documented series of methods, processes, operations, applied to get finished production.

This way, technique forms a framework, a structure of technical coenosis, and technology provides processes (and consists of them) of operating either single machines, aggregates, or technical coenosis on the whole. Its basis is a single documented technological process, act of motion. Technique is an ontological category, which relates to such an idea of the material, which grows old physically (and morally), degrades, expires, etc., inevitably passing away and disappearing in the eternity. Technology is a category of gnosiology, something known, not necessarily truthful and ethically verified knowledge about what to do and how to do. In its ideal quality it is indestructible.

Singling out technology is closely connected with the change of the role of raw materials, which has increased. Material is understood as an aggregative term, which means different substantial elements of production, mainly used as tools; items, substations, used to produce something. According to this definition, the technical is a broad phenomenon, including nano-matrix, microchips, fields, waves, radiations, electrical current, and mechanical tensions. Materials are measured in units of mass, length, square and volume. We must point at the official irreducibility of one definition to the other because of essential distinctions between the two.

Besides the technique, technology, materials, defining the article produced, we need to separately consider: 1) a documentarily registered result the end product (tangible and intangible), that is the article-product itself; 2) waste (solid, liquid or gas), discharged or emitted to the environment, which is regulated by the environmental law. It must be mentioned that, according to Bodriyar, it is impossible to limit consumption by reasonable limits. On the level of goods and items distribution contemporary civil society has substituted the natural world and biological world with the social system of values.

In order to comprehend the subject knowledge of the components of technetics, I introduce the notion of information selection as a motive basis and result of the technique and technology (technical evolution) evolution cycle based on changeability, succession and rating. Information selection consists in the following: every document is changeable; there appear more species of articles (more documents are created) than the existing ecological niches allow; the realized phenotypes struggle for existence while limited in substance, energy, and informational resources; unfixed information is fixed materially (documentarily) and transformed into a program; the document is confirmed and becomes functional for articles production. Changing and amplifying the cybernetic scheme of Smalgauzen, we mention three points of technical evolution (1976): 1) birth (after Plato) of species idea, R&D, production of article-individual; 2) plant, city (technical coenosis) design; 3) performance evaluation of the article operation and of the created technical coenosis.

It is significant that species is a product of the first scientific worldview (organism oriented perspective), where the observer is absent. There is simply no place for subject in mechanics, electrotechnics and the majority of technical sciences.

If the object is coenosis, it is theoretically impossible to describe mathematically (by system of parameters) in a thorough and adequate way. Two coenosises described qualitatively and quantitatively (mathematically) conventionally in the same way, may differ in need-dimension space and irreversible phenological time. That is what defines the formal aspect of the post-non-classical conception of the world: physical, biological (natural), and technical (artificial).

We can state, epistemologically associating the abovementioned idea with science worldviews, that R&D brings Platos idea back to life. Then, following the first worldview postulates, it designs the article with strictly defined parameters by developing stated technology from defined materials to get an appropriate product for the consumer (client). However, reality may alter the article making it different from what it was intended (and documented) to be by all technique components. It is theoretically explained by the second probability-statistical worldview. From the point of view of experience (but not cognition theory), the difference between the two conceptions is not significant. If in the former case mathematics (physics, chemistry, technical sciences) gives a unique answer, in the latter one the results are described through distributions, convergent in limit to normal (Gaussian) with assembly average and acceptable mistake (finite variance).

Cenologycal concepts presuppose a formalized coenosis description, identification of elements-individuals with labeling each one to particular species with priority for discrete values of species distribution (1973) in the form of hyperbolic H-limits, associating global evolutionism ideas with non-Gaussian statistics, according to Kholmogorov, with world consideration without an average and with infinitely large dispersion (used for strategy by economics branches and Russian regions creation in 19702010). H-modeling is used as a theoretical basis for the paradigm of stated cenologycal development for energetics to the end of XXI century in RSA in 2005 2012.

The realization of technical cenologycal nature laws as a development strategy, revival of provinces, territory development will give Russia a chance to becomes the world dominant.



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