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Integrative Problem-Solving in a Time of Decadence
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Statistics in Food Science and Nutrition. Are Hugo Pripp. Applied Survival Analysis Using R. Dirk F. Theories of Information, Communication and Knowledge. Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan. The above happen on the surface of the societal domain. But deeper under the surface, widespread cynicism, ruthless utilitarianism, and a prevailing sense of meaninglessness dominate most sectors of the society.
In essence, it is hard to find the environment of intellectual refinement and freedom of thought that could facilitate the emergence of the fertile and inspiring genius of a Michelangelo, an El Greco Domenikos Theotokopoulos , an Immanuel Kant, a Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a Charles Darwin, a Miguel de Cervantes, a Fyodor Dostoevsky, a Henri Poincare, a Niels Bohr, or a Bertrand Russell. This kind of geniuses not only 2 For the scholarly reasons discussed in Barzun the word Man is used throughout the book in the sense of human being s of either sex. This is a generation which, unlike earlier generations Brokaw, , has every reason that many of its actions be forgotten, which is perhaps why it has embraced the ahistorical outlook of postmodernism.
We are in a phase of Decadence that is dispropor- tionately dominated by the former rather than the latter element.
Most people prefer to live comfortably in a material world and to operate mechanically or self- unconsciously within the landscape created by others, letting those others decide about them before them. Experience is mostly sensual, and there is no time for inwardness, and seeing through the minds eye. The commodification of even humans implies that humanity can exist as a mere factor of production measured in monetary terms, which is a societal model that has detracted from authentic well- being and created an amoral or even immoral system.
No doubt, we live in times that try peoples souls. Which means that there are no innocent bystanders. Exempting oneself from the struggle against the forces of Decadence, and pretend- ing that the struggle one witnesses is not really ones concern, is the highest expression of irresponsibility. In view of the above considerations, this book builds its case through integrative discussions of science, mathematics, philosophy, education, epistemology, and the quest for a genuine inquiry process. Thus, the book is concerned with the develop- ment of a framework of integrative problem-solving IPS that encourages andenhances the investigators individual characteristics and differences in the spirit of what may be called non-egocentric individualism.
In non- egocentric individualism one experiences human inquiry in the way one experi- ences Byzantine hymns: As a unique fusion of heavenly melody and intellectual depth. Engaging the higher cerebral fractions for less than a second, the author came up with the term Epibraimatics to denote the use of epistemic ideas and principles Epi from brain sciences brai to develop action-based mathematics -matics forthe solution of real-world problems under conditions of multisourced uncertainty and composite spacetime dependency.
It is then a fundamental premise of Epi- braimatics that an IPS approach, designed to fit neuropsychological functions shaped during many years of evolution, should be more creatively and efficiently implemented by the human brain than conventional approaches that do not account 3 In the words of Thomas L. Friedman this is the generation that has eaten through all that abundance like hungry locusts, so that the next generation of young people has been dubbed Generation Debt. Foreword ix for these functions. Epibraimatics aim, at a minimum, is to lay bare some of the relevant IPS issues that have been hidden by the mainstream answers.
The considerations above express a change of perspective. First, while it is commonly assumed, and justifiably so, that a sound knowledge of physical sciences is a crucial prerequisite for a deeper understanding of the sciences of living organisms, the opposite can be also valid: the understanding of a physical system and the solution of the relevant problems can be affected in a fundamental way by the agents4 knowledge of mental functions and brain activities. Second, Epibraimatics should be distinguished from other scientific inquiries that also study the brains structure and patterns, but with different objectives, such as building intelligence machines or developing computer architectures that are syn- tactic engines rather than semantic ones.
In fact, the prime concern of Epibraimatics is not whether computers think but whether people do. Third, Epibraimatics doesnot seek to copy physical brain activities how neurons interact, cell functions etc.
In other words, while it is surely very important to understand how a brain made purely of material substance somehow gives rise to mental functions characterizing an agents experience, the primary focus of Epibraimatics is the mental functions themselves and how they are involved in IPS, and not how exactly they arose from physical brains. In this sense, Epibrai- matics focuses mainly on the software of the human brain rather than its hardware.
To achieve its goals, Epibraimatics revisits vital concepts and notions of prob- lem-solving, and emphasizes their contextual meaning and implementation in the IPS milieu. It directly introduces basic theoretical considerations in the quantitative study of natural systems physical, biological, social, or cultural. In the process, it raises a number of important questions regarding the term problemsolution and its meaning from different viewpoints: physical, mathematical, philosophical, and psychological.
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