A System of Human Knowledge and Practice

ANIL MITRA © MAY 2013—July 2017

© From articles by author since 2005

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Outline

Table of Contents

A System of Human Knowledge and Practice

Supplement I—The Human Knowledge Project

Supplement II—A Detailed Outline of Modern Knowledge Toward a Database

 

Table of Contents

A System of Human Knowledge and Practice

This system is base on the universal metaphysics and its integration with tradition as what is valid in the history of human cultures and is followed by two supplements

The System

Preliminary: tradition

Universe

Artifact

Brief Conventional Outline of Modern Knowledge for Integration with the System of Human Knowledge

Toward a modern encyclopedia

Traditional problems

Information processing and networking solutions

Computer text

Supplement I—The Human Knowledge Project

This supplement is for use in parallel to the system of human knowledge

Knowledge Project

Related sites

Supplement II—A Detailed Outline of Modern Knowledge Toward a Database

This supplement is for integration with the system of human knowledge

Aims

The Database

Reference

Conceptual representation

Automate formulation and reformulation

Generate knowledge

Plans for the Access database

Development of an encyclopedia

Traditional problems

Computer text

Plans for an encyclopedia

The Database

Being and universe

Metaphysics

Being

Universal metaphysics

Logic

Objects

Epistemology

Cosmology

Mathematics

Realism extended

Knowing and being as process

Science

Physical

Earth

Biology

Mind

Society

History

History

Peoples, places, and periods

Artifact

Art

The idea of art

The world of art

The arts

Medicine

Medicine

Psychiatry

Engineering

Fundamentals and methods

Biochemical

Materials

Civil, environmental, and resource

Mechanical, energy and industrial

Electrical and information

Military and peace

Technology

Nature and development

Elements

Fields

Religion and Faith

Concept of religion

Institutions and practices

The religions

 

A System of Human Knowledge and Practice

This system is base on the universal metaphysics and its integration with tradition as what is valid in the history of human cultures and is followed by two supplements

The System

The main system is in the sections universe and artifact.

Note that practice is present in the system.

Preliminary: tradition

0a.

Concept of tradition and analysis of its modes (the primal; the standard two post-primal: secular and trans-secular; inclusive sense of trans-secular; the supra-secular); need, possibility, and fact of another mode—not a true third mode because it arises from misunderstanding rather than misunderstanding of the two.

0b.

Elements of tradition. Science and the sciences (natural; social; symbolic including linguistics, logic, and mathematics… and why and how they are sciences; and metaphysical). Religion and religions (levels: vulgar and metaphysical; kinds: belief vs. knowledge, ideas vs. action and realization). We may identify or distinguish religion and the third mode which is metaphysics and which may splinter rather artificially as logic, science, symbolic systems, art and the humanities. Below symbolic systems are recognized as the abstract sciences and what is here science as the concrete. Since the world contains knowledge, metaphysics includes knowledge of knowledge which we may approximate by the term ‘humanities’. Humanities: knowledge and the world; philosophy and history. Value and its theories (axiology)—independent and different from knowledge, connected and continuous with knowledge; Art and aesthetics; Morals and ethics.

Universe

For some topics, ‘journey in being’ and ‘the way of being’ documents have greater detail.

1a.

Metaphysics (philosophy, epistemology)—being as that which is; metaphysics as knowledge of being; experience as experience of, as relationship, as subject-object included in experience as a field; meaning as a concept—experience—and its objects; linguistic meaning as simple and compound signs associated with concept meaning.

1b.

Symbols and signs; semiotics—the study of signs and sign behavior; Knowledge—perfect synthetic knowledge; analysis of this vs. other conceptions of metaphysics—analysis of being, experience, meaning, identity, and concepts of science, fact and logic; the senses of perfection—perfectly ‘captured’ aspects of experience: framework, fundamental principle of metaphysics, realism; extension to tradition via perfection as ideal-being-in-the-world and pragmatic-good-enough; the universal metaphysics—metaphysical consequences of the fundamental principle; the ‘one universe one kind’ principle: there are distinctions of practice but at root the elements of the universe show no kinds—i.e. experience and being, knowledge and world, idea (concept) and object are not different kinds; general cosmology—principles and consequences: universe and identity have acute, diffuse, and absent phases and limitless variety and extensivity; the void and proto-void; cosmological varieties; stable cosmologies—principles, the ‘standard’ cosmology: systems like ours—principles and variety; alternative and extreme cosmologies: kinds, possibilities, and reasons for study; epistemology—epistemology and metaphysics as indistinguishable; perfect universal metaphysics as container for incremental science and experience which in that practical capacity are perfect though imprecise and incomplete… and as generator of realism (the potential of fact, science, logic), including value and justice; completion of metaphysics in action.

1c.

Abstract sciences and symbolic systems including language, logic, mathematics, and computer science; meta-disciplines: linguistics etc.

2.

Physical science, nature, behavior of energy and varieties of force and material object including physics, physical cosmology, chemistry, and earth sciences;.

3.

Biology, life—its nature and variety and origins of life and variety; Medicine.

4.

Mind as the study of psyche in its integration and its ‘functions;’ nature of mind.

5.

Society, nature, institutions (groups) and change… and aspects including culture (institution of knowledge,) economics, political science and philosophy (and Law). Civilization—problem and opportunity, see journey in being—detailed version of 2014.

6.

History.

Artifact

7.

Art, its nature and varieties (literature, drama, music, painting, sculpture, architecture…;) note that art is on the border between metaphysics and artifact.

8.

Technology elements: energy, tools and machines… and fields: agriculture, transportation, information, earth and space exploration…; Engineering.

9.

The Humanities and study of systems of knowledge and the tradition(s).

10.

Transformation of Being. The concept of religion as knowledge and negotiation of the entire universe by the entire individual in all its faculties and modes of being (potential, un-named and perhaps un-thought forms). Nature and varieties of religions of the world—hunter gatherer and agriculture based societies, throughout pre-history and history. Ways and varieties of religion and spirituality. Catalytic awareness and transformation—mystic, yogic including vision-quest, nature and culture immersion (including Beyul as nature immersion in quest of self), modern—e.g. dream as inspiration, psychoanalysis as depth analysis, isolation-deprivation-exertion as source of vision, metaphysical insight, immersive approaches to metaphysics, science, economics, and politics.

Brief Conventional Outline of Modern Knowledge for Integration with the System of Human Knowledge

This supplement is for integration with the system of human knowledge above

  1. Physical Sciences
    1. Physics and Astronomy
    2. Chemistry
  2. Earth Sciences
    1. The Earth and its Crust
    2. The Atmosphere
    3. The Hydrosphere
  3. Life Sciences
    1. Classification of Living Things
    2. Anatomy and Physiology
    3. Molecular Biology and the Chemistry of Life
    4. Evolution of Life
  4. Sciences of Man
    1. The Human Body
    2. Anthropology: the Origins of Man
    3. The Human Mind
  5. Social Studies and Social Science
    1. Sociology
    2. Economics
    3. Politics
    4. Law
    5. Education
  6. Art
    1. The Arts
      1. Drawing and Painting
      2. Sculpture
      3. Architecture
      4. Photography
    2. Literature
      1. The Nature of Literature
      2. Literatures of the World
        1. English Literature
        2. The Romance Languages
        3. European Literature
        4. Asian Literature
        5. South Asian Literature
        6. African Literature
        7. Mexican, Central and South American Literature
      3. Literature of Native Peoples
    3. The Dramatic Arts
      1. Theatre
      2. Cinema
    4. Music
      1. Voice
      2. Instrumental Music
      3. Classical and Modern Music
  7. Technology
    1. Kinds of Technology
      1. Mechanical Technology
      2. Chemical Technology
      3. Technology of Buildings, Highways and other Civil Structures
      4. Electrical Technology
    2. Technology of the Industries
      1. Manufacturing
      2. Transportation
      3. Chemical
      4. Extraction of Metals
      5. Mining
  8. Religion
    1. The Nature of Religion
    2. Religions of the World
      1. Zoroastrianism
      2. Judaism
      3. Christianity
      4. Islam
      5. Hinduism
      6. Buddhism
    3. Primitive Religion
      1. Shamanism
      2. Healing
  9. History
    1. The Nature of History
    2. Ancient History
    3. History of the World
      1. African History
      2. Asian History
      3. Australian History
      4. European History
      5. North American
      6. South American History
      7. Antarctica
      8. Oceans and Islands
  10. Symbolic Systems and the Study of Knowledge
    1. Language and Languages
      1. Linguistics and Philology
      2. Languages of the World
        1. English
        2. Romance Languages
        3. Africa
        4. Asia
        5. Europe
        6. North and South America
      3. Primitive Languages
      4. Ancient Languages
    2. Logic and Mathematics
      1. Logic
      2. The Branches of Mathematics
        1. Arithmetic
        2. Algebra
        3. Geometry
        4. Analysis
      3. The Abstract Movement in Mathematics
      4. The Nature and Foundations of Mathematics
    3. The Sciences
      1. Physics
      2. Chemistry
      3. Geology
      4. Biology
      5. Psychology
      6. Social Science
      7. Economics
      8. Politics
      9. Law
      10. Science of Education
    4. The Study of History
    5. Philosophy
      1. The Nature of Philosophy
      2. The Problems of Philosophy
        1. The Nature of Matter
        2. The Nature of Mind
        3. The Nature of Being
        4. The Nature of Human Being
      3. Schools of Philosophy
        1. Aristotelianism
        2. Platonism
        3. Materialism
        4. Idealism
      4. Branches of Philosophy
        1. Metaphysics
        2. Logic
        3. Epistemology
        4. Ethics and Axiology
        5. Political Philosophy
      5. Philosophies of the Disciplines
        1. Philosophy of Art
        2. Philosophy of Religion
        3. Philosophy of Mathematics
        4. Philosophy of Science
          1. Philosophy of Physics
          2. Philosophy of Biology
          3. Philosophy of Psychology
          4. Philosophy of Social Sciences

Toward a modern encyclopedia

The central motive to a modern encyclopedia is to take advantage of progress since the great age of encyclopedias without the naïve assumption that the newer modes are the peak of knowledge and that prior understanding has become outmoded (what is required of course is a preliminary analysis and mesh of the old and the new before beginning actual work on the new).

Given the motive as stated above, a modern encyclopedia will (a) address the conceptual problems of older encyclopedias—i.e. the assumption that one conceptual system of knowledge frames knowledge while not assuming, as is commonly done today, that there are no useful systems, (b) address the practical problems of publication and dissemination of older encyclopedias, (c) integrate advances in understanding with prior marginalized but immensely important understanding (d) take advantage of modern information processing and networking technology to address those aspects of the foregoing to which it is exceptionally well suited.

Traditional problems

In the development of an Encyclopedia the following problems may arise:

1.

In depth and authoritative versus up-to-date development.

2.

Logical versus enumerative (e.g. alphabetic) versus associative organization.

3.

Question of relative nature of ‘logical’ schemes. An example is materialism vs. idealism as basis of organization (the analysis of this distinction and its validity was well established from Locke to Whitehead, forgotten, and begun again with the new consciousness studies beginning about the 1970’s)

Information processing and networking solutions

With the capabilities of modern information systems these tradeoffs are not necessary.

1.

There can be both in depth articles with low frequency of revision and up-to-date articles or supplements with higher rate of revision

2.

The associative character of hyper linking has been touted as ‘the way we learn’. It is one way but not the only way of learning or knowledge representation—typical of the way in which experts overreach their skill.

In any case, no choice has to be made because the capabilities of modern networked information systems enable us to have and eat cake.

3.

Similarly, modern systems permit multiple logical schemes—which are capable via information processing of using a database to instantly present the system of knowledge according to any scheme, e.g. associative / logical / alpha…

Computer text

There is software to set up text and browsing capabilities. Book emulation is also possible, click here for one beginning.

Supplement I—The Human Knowledge Project

This supplement is for use in parallel to the system of human knowledge

Knowledge Project

…and related links: this project has the following enhancing factors: (1) New conceptions of knowledge and being and the range of knowledge defined by the essay Journey in Being—especially the divisions labeled ‘Theory of being,’ ‘Human world,’ and ‘A system of human knowledge.’ The newer essay Journey in being-detail has much detail. See Home for additional information. (2) A variety of studies of the range of human knowledge, for which also see Home, the Site map, and, e.g., Possibilities for study.

Related sites

It is critical that the knowledge project is about both ideas and action.

The listing begins with three sources selected for the notion that a comprehensive overview of human knowledge and action—and an execution of this idea (these sources may of course be subject to criticism with regard to the general notion of comprehensive overview and the execution; however inclusion is suggestive rather than dogmatic, of in process rather than final systems, and of multiple rather than single systems). The first is System of human knowledge, a representation of human knowledge. It is a modification, based in the universal metaphysics, of the system of the 15th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica. The second is the representation of human knowledge in the Propædia (see Encyclopedias). The third source is the Great Ideas of Mortimer J. Adler.

System of human knowledge

Propædia (system of the Britannica)

Project Gutenberg

humanknowledge.net

Oxford Text Archive

Internet Classics Archive

http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/

Res cogitans

Public Library of Science

Perseus Digital Library for the HumanitiesPerseus 4.0, a new Java-based version

Archelogos Projects—a research tool for specialists in classical philosophy

Supplement II—A Detailed Outline of Modern Knowledge Toward a Database

This supplement is for integration with the system of human knowledge

THE AIMS AND SCOPE OF THE DATABASE

Aims

The Database

Reference

A traditional and ongoing use.

Conceptual representation

As preliminary to the next two goals… and to perhaps learn something about conceptual representation.

Automate formulation and reformulation

Database and other software are in some ways well suited to this. This should be enhanced by intelligent use of the software (reference my much earlier attempt of the late 1990s) and custom software.

Generate knowledge

This is ambitious and perhaps unrealistic. However, the goals are (a) the attempt is important for even if generation is not realized, something may be learned (b) to combine human and computer power (I don’t say software because a software can be written and executed by the human; it is the speed and memory and perhaps architecture of the computer that contributes—perhaps architecture is especially important) and (c) to see what may be realized.

Plans for the Access database

  1. Database designgeneral issues. (1) Use a standard reference (2) What are the main design issues? (3) Some issues are what tables to make; normalization; queries; forms; reports. One criteria for the tables is that it is will be inefficient to have one huge table for topics down to the lowest level of inclusiveness—e.g. simple facts. In fact the first version of the database will not have the lowest levels. However, the design of the database should allow for their entry and update.
  2. Special issues for knowledge databases and encyclopedias. Refer to the next section. Particularly (1) There should be design for all levels of knowledge and information. Design should allow for periodic and as needed updates; and for large scale reorganization. Obviously information will be updated more frequently than the general items which, because it is a knowledge database, will also constitute the organizing principles. Also (2) Since the general items are the organizing principles, automating reformulation—to the extent possible—will go toward automating reorganization.

Development of an encyclopedia

An encyclopedia is of course a database. However, modern database technology and customization may be particularly to automating production and maintenance of an encyclopedia. The technology will be used together with human intelligence.

Traditional problems

In the development of an Encyclopedia the following problems may arise:

  1. In depth and authoritative versus up-to-date development.
  2. Logical versus enumerative (e.g. alphabetic) versus associative organization.
  3. Question of relative nature of ‘logical’ schemes

With the capabilities of modern information systems these tradeoffs are not necessary.

  1. There can be both in depth articles with low frequency of revision and up-to-date articles or supplements with higher rate of revision
  2. The associative character of hyper linking has been touted as ‘the way we learn’. Yes, of course that is one way of learning but it is certainly not the only way of learning or knowledge representation—the case is typical of the way in which naïve experts overreach their area of competence.

In any case, no choice has to be made because the capabilities of modern networked information systems enable us to have and eat cake.

  1. Similarly, modern systems permit multiple logical schemes.

Computer text

There is software to set up text and browsing capabilities. Book emulation is also possible, click here for one beginning. This is an interesting project. The goal is to emulate the conveniences of other media—primarily text—while maintaining the advantages of computer text (which include all the above—reorganization, linking… and networked information sources).

Plans for an encyclopedia

  1. This is a project to be taken up later.
  2. Identify and decide parameters for the encyclopedia
  3. Identify and decide contributors (Wikipedia vs. Britannica)
  4. Implement considerations from items (1), (2), and previous sections.

The Database

Being and universe

Metaphysics

Being

Being, Experience, Meaning, Symbols, and Language

Being
Being
The concept of metaphysics

Generality and precision go hand in hand

The epistemology of the pure metaphysics is immanent

Experience

Experience

Inseparability of Being and Experience—resolution of Being into levels of Experience

Meaning

Signs (at the present level of organization, semiotics is not given a separate section)

Meaning and language

Percept as concept. Resolution of concept-object into levels of concept

Meaning as concept and object. Grammar, logic

Word, symbol, language, descriptive grammar, logic, science, symbol systems

Knowledge: pure and applied metaphysics

… or philosophy, logic, and science

Pure metaphysics (as philosophy), applied metaphysics (as logic, science including the religious-spiritual impulse to overcome positivism and materialism) are not fundamentally different

Identical in main objective, seeking conceptual cohesion, and experiential approach (no ultimate a priori)

Different in emphasis, degree of generality, and criteria of precision

As a result of the immanent epistemology of the pure metaphysics interpretations of the applied can be given in which epistemology is immanent

Universal metaphysics

Nature and limitlessness of Being and Identity

In the metaphysics so far and in what follows, system is neither sought nor avoided. Specifically it is not imposed. What system there is, is immanent in—stems from—its givens. The magnitude of the system was not expected a priori but may be understood a posteriori

Logic

Old logic as conceptual realism. Mesh of logic and science as Logic or Realism

New Realism as boundary for knowledge. New Realism (Logic) as experimental—open—with regard to variety. Old logic and science as approximation to Logic

Objects

Epistemology

Metaphysics

Pure knowledge

Doubt

Pure and practical knowledge

Metaphysics and science and their complementary nature is already addressed

Science

Nature of science—local fact vs. universal projection

Process or method. Historical and practical concerns. Modification from universal metaphysics

Methods in particular sciences

Faith

Cosmology

I.e., general cosmology

Identity
Extensive and intensive variables
Pre-extensive realm of absent to limited identity
Identity and variable
Extensive and intensive variables
Intensive variables and quality

Quality not essentially non-quantitative

Extensive variables

Argument that space and time exhaust the extensive variables—but attitude of openness

Immanent quality of spatial and temporal extension

Non-standard space and time—differentiation and measure, dimensionality

Space-time and being
Descriptive cosmology
Cosmology of identity

Ultimate

Variety of experience

Physical cosmology

Mathematics

Mathematics

Study of form

The disciplines
Data representation, processing, and sharing

Computation and networking

Realism extended

Value—morals-ethics and aesthetics

Civil law

Knowing and being as process

Philosophy and the boundary of the known
Humanities
Study and significance of history
Metaphysics, being, action, and faith

Science

Physical

Nature, behavior of energy and varieties of force and material object including physics, physical cosmology, and chemistry

Physics, physical cosmology and astronomy
Chemistry

Earth

The following can be studied according to origins, composition, and dynamics

Geology and geophysics
The hydrosphere
The atmosphere

Biology

Life—its nature and variety and origins of life and variety; Medicine

The idea of life
Functional biology
Divisions of life
Evolutionary biology
Ecology
Anthropology
Disease

Medicine and psychiatry have a separate entry

Mind

Nature of mind

Foundation in experience

Matter, life, and mind
Mind and consciousness
Psyche

Its integration and its ‘functions;’ nature of mind

Disorder

Medicine and psychiatry have a separate entry

Society

Nature, institutions (groups) and change… and aspects including culture (institution of knowledge,) economics, political science and philosophy (and Law)

Culture

Cultures, institutions, language and communication, languages, political regions

Organization and change

Structure and dynamics, groups (collective behavior, family and kinship, populations (urban, rural)

Major institutions and dynamics

Economics; politics and international relations; law; generation, preservation, and transmission of culture and academic knowledge; religion and fulfillment

Economics
Politics
International relations
Law
Knowledge and culture

Generation, preservation, and transmission—or, research, archival including library and information storage and retrieval, and education

Religion and fulfillment

History

This division is ‘descriptive’ (influenced, of course, by perspective and significance)

For method and significance, see Epistemology

History can be studied according to

History

Synoptic view

Universe, earth, life
Human race

Peoples, places, and periods

The following does not show divisions according to people and period

Origins and prehistory
Pre-agricultural
Early history
Mediaeval
Modern and recent

Artifact

Signs and symbols are on the border between being-universe and artifact. In the end, however, the distinction between artifact and nature is artificial.

Art

Nature and varieties (literature, music, painting, sculpture, architecture…;)

The idea of art

The concept of art
Art, religion, and technology
Functional and pure art
Appreciation and practice

The world of art

Origins
Folk art
Arts of various cultures

The arts

Literature
Theater
Film
Music
Dance
Architecture, landscape, and urban
Sculpture
Drawing and painting
Printmaking and photography
Decoration and functional design

Medicine

Medicine

Psychiatry

Engineering

Fundamentals and methods

Fundamentals
Sciences
Mathematics
Computation
Engineering sciences

There is a range of specialties pertaining to the divisions below

Engineering mathematics

Foundations and advanced mathematics used in engineering

Experiment, model building, and computer modeling
Design, systems, and operations research

Biochemical

Agricultural
Biomedical
Chemical
Food

Materials

These are usually associated with their sciences

General materials engineering
Composites
Metals
Polymers
Textiles

Civil, environmental, and resource

Architectural
Civil
Environmental
Geological
Mining
Petroleum
Geotechnical
Structural
Transportation
Water resources
Regional, urban and rural planning

Mechanical, energy and industrial

Mechanical
Industrial and management
Thermal and energy
Nuclear
Ocean and naval
Technology management and public policy

Electrical and information

Electrophysics and devices
Power and light
Communication
Information
Data processing and networking

Military and peace

Technology

Nature and development

Scope and history
Organization of work

Elements

Exploration, extraction, and conversion: raw materials
Exploration, extraction, and conversion: energy
Tools and machines
Measurement, observation, and control
Industry and production

Fields

Agriculture, transportation, information, earth and space exploration…

Agriculture and food
Major industries
Construction
Transportation
Information processing, communication and networking
Urban
Military
Earth and space exploration

Religion and Faith

Literal and nature and varieties of non literal meaning and non meaning functions; religion, its nature and varieties: religions of the world—hunter gatherer and agriculture based societies, throughout pre-history and history. The concept of religion as knowledge and negotiation of the entire universe by the entire individual in all its faculties and modes of being. The relation of this concept to possible and potential realizations of as yet unnamed and un-thought ideational form

Concept of religion

Concepts of religion
Contribution of the universal metaphysics
Role of faith
Dialog—criticism and response—modern, local and universal perspective

Institutions and practices

Concept into practice
Institutions

The religions

Prehistoric
Ancient
The major religions