A Preface to a New Theory of Abstraction and Application
What exactly is so appealing in formal science, such that its influence can be seen in numerous disciplines nowadays, for practical purposes like better functionality, performance, and so on—as Pythagoras already famously said in antiquity: “Number is the ruler of forms and ideas and the cause of gods and demons”?This contemporary addiction to practical convenience in formal science has turned a blind eye to its other side, which has impoverished both our knowledge of reality and the well-being of our lifeworld.Contrary to conventional wisdom, the other side of this appealing addiction has yet to be comprehensively understood, nor has the fact that its practical convenience is neither possible nor desirable to the extent that the proponents of formal science would like us to believe. Needless to say, this by no means suggests that formal science should not be used for practical purposes, or that the literature in formal science (and other related fields like computer science, information theory, microeconomics, decision theory, statistics, and linguistics, just to cite a few of them) should be dismissed. Of course, neither of these two extreme views is reasonable either.Instead, this book provides an alternative (better) way to understand the nature of formal science, especially in relation to systems theory for practical convenience—while learning from different approaches in the literature but without favoring any one of them (nor integrating them, since they are not necessarily compatible with each other). In the end, this book offers a new theory to transcend the existing approaches in the literature in a new direction not thought of before. This seminal project is to fundamentally alter the way that we think about formal science, from the combined perspectives of the mind, nature, society, and culture, with enormous implications for the human future and what I originally called its “post-human” fate.