Coming Up
in Factasia


This page is about where philosophy in Factasia is going.
This web site had its beginnings in philosophy and logic. My interest in both these domains is pragmatic rather than academic. Ultimately their applications for me lie in that enterprise which has given the site its name Factasia, which is the idea that our future should be shaped by a rational consideration of the alternatives open to us in the light of fundamental human values on which our best source of knowledge lies in heart rather than head. Philosophy of different kinds has a contribution to make both to the elaboration of values and ends, and to the logic which may help us to realise them.
While the main part of Factasia is philosophical in character, this page concerns that special kind of philosophy which may be termed analytic. I expect my future work in this area to be focussed on those aspects which will contribute most to the more general purposes of Factasia, and in particular to the articulation and implementation of a better future. An important part of this is simply the story about what it is to be rational, and how machines and people could be both more intelligent and more rational. Under this heading can be encompassed all that analytic philosophy in Factasia has to say about the various branches of philosophy considered below.


The theory of knowledge.
This must surely be the most quintessentially philosophical of the topics touched upon in Factasia. The epistemological distinction between a priori and a posteriori propositions is probably the most fundamental feature of analytic philosophy as here envisaged.
Epistemology has a role to play in the definition of logical truth which I am seeking, to underpin logicism and my architecture for the Global SuperBrain. Following on from that an epistemological position which supports all other aspects of knowledge in the Global SuperBrain. I would like to write something about "rationality" which fits.


The science of the a priori.
The main purposes of the material on the philosophy of logic are:
  1. to support the absoluteness of logical truth
  2. to locate the boundary of logical truth
  3. to explore the scope of application of logical truths
I am working on a definition of "logical truth", which is intended eventually to get down to fine detail. This connects with work in epistemology, the philosophy of mathematics and metaphysics, and is intended to contribute to the design of the Global SuperBrain. The details of the implementation of the HOST foundation system will require stretching the idea of a formal proof (similar to that found in the LCF paradigm, but more radical) and may therefore require some philosophical discussion.


Foundational studies.
Logicism, alongside the analytic/synthetic dichotomy were the first topics I attempted to address. This remains a keystone of the analytic side of Factasia Philosophy.
The main work in this area is on the foundation of mathematics, particularly logical foundations. Because of the logicist position this becomes a part of the definition of logical truth, and its implementation a part of the Global SuperBrain. I would like both to clearly articulate and to precisely define a foundation system for the first generation of Global SuperBrain, but also to articulate why this is not ideal and give some ideas on how a better foundation system might be established.


Possible worlds, concrete ontology, space and time.
I'm not so very far off being a logical positivist, so I could easily have done without metaphysics. However, I think there is a place for something which I would be inclined to call metaphysics, which forms a link between logic and mathematics on the one hand, and science and engineering on the other.
My main current interest in this area is to explore the idea of a possible world. This forms a part of the investigation of logical truth which is fundamental to logic and mathematics, and will also contributes to the philosophy of science. The explanations of possible worlds will contribute to an account of how science should be formalised, which follows on from the formalisation of mathematics and is part of the proposed approach to the automation of reasoning and its application (via the Global SuperBrain).


Building mathematical models of our world.
Science is one link in a chain which connects the products of reason, logical truths, with applications in the real world. I am interested in building information systems which support the derivation of logical truths and their application. The design of such a system depends upon and impacts upon scientific method, raising problems which lie in the philosophy of science.
I would like to articulate a position on scientific method engineering to fit well with the kind of architecture for the Global Superbrain which I am considering. Such a view would involve:
  • no causal language
  • no role for inductive inference
  • a diminished role for the notion of truth in empirical science
instead of which science would be concerned with postulating and evaluating the scope of applicability of various mathematical models of aspects of reality.


Getting things done. Changing the world.
I use the term "engineering" very broadly to cover practical applications of science, mathematics and logic. The importance of this subject is that it gets us closer to purpose. We cannot understand science without understanding what it is for.
Philosophy in Factasia is purpose driven, and the purpose is to transform our world. The Global Superbrain is an engineering megaproject which I intend to use to give a "practical" orientation to the philosophy in Factasia, which will address the philosophical aspects of clarifying the requirements, architecture, design, implementation and continuous evolution of the Global superbrain and its role in our future.


How did we get here?
I started this section when I thought it would help to explain my ideas about formal logical analysis by relating them to the ideas which preceded them, e.g. logical atomism and logical positivism.
The original idea may be OK, but I am not expecting to progress it much in the near future.


Selected philosophical texts converted to hypertext.
These texts were one of the things I attempted when I first got a web site, since I thought it would be useful and its easier than writing something original. I originally had much more ambitious ideas about what one could do with hypertext, but quickly became more interested in writing on my own account.
I do very little to these texts now. The one which would most benefit from more work is Aristotle's Organon, where I have a set-up which allows me to provide titles for each book and each part which could be helpful to readers who don't want to read through the lot. I have filled in only a small number of these titles, so far.

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