Raffaela Giovagnoli: Autonomy, Scorekeeping and the Net
Philoweb 2011Autonomy, Scorekeeping and the Net Raffaela Giovagnoli Pontifical Lateran University email@example.com:80/raffagiovagnoli/raffaela-giovagnoli
Societies of Autonomy• The virtual world does not break with physical and social worlds but it is a continuum of our social world, which evolves through the process of communication. Communication can be easily connected with a biological explanation that takes into consideration animal and human functional necessity to belong and then puts the desire for communication at the basis of the development of linguistic procedures (real or virtual), which are peculiar of human language.• Communication can be both real and virtual: what about our standard view of autonomy in philosophy, classically bound to individual rational reflection for achieving objective representations or authenticity? In the presence of a wide range of information, of reasons embedded in many different points of view, how is the process of decentralization thinkable?
Societies of Autonomy• According to the sociologist Manuel Castells (Castells 2007), it emerges a new form of sociality based on the capacity to build personal nets of relationships in Internet and outside Internet, by mobile telephone and by direct physical contact, apart from the moment and the place in which we actually are. It is not a form of negative net-individualism but a personalized system of communication that William Mitchell defines Me++: all begins from me and from the expansion of my ideas and desires.• “As computerized snails we carry the home of our imaginary and our relics, by constantly redefining the environment in which we move according to our mental programs emerging from the deep of ourselves”.
Societies of Autonomy• The capacity to create new forms of relationships involves reflection on a new concept of personal autonomy, which takes into consideration the necessity of cooperation. In this sense, autonomy becomes a social notion.• Castells intends autonomy in the sense of satisfying individual needs, desires and preferences.• This starting point is fundamental to conceive individual freedom, but autonomy must be thought as a capacity for critical reflection that develops in the use of language i.e. in a “social” space of reasons. This shift is implied by the simple observation that we often experience conflicts among competing desires or preferences or beliefs.
Scorekeeping and Autonomy• Autonomy is a social matter, because, as a phenomenon, it emerges only through social “attribution”.• During the process of socialization we do not only acquire concepts by using language, we also acquire a “dialogical competence”, i.e. a net of discursive deontic attitudes which grounds the very possibility of autonomy. For an agent to be autonomous she ought to internalize the normative structure of a “dialogical” rationality.• The model of “scorekeeping” (Brandom 1994) is useful to isolate the fundamental speech acts involved in the process: “refusal”, “challenge” and “query”. The accent on deontic attitudes is necessary to reformulate the notion of autonomy in relationship with real and virtual communication.
Scorekeeping and Autonomy• Once the agent has somehow interiorized the net of attitudes in the process of socialization she is able to play the social role of scorekeeper in dialogical situations; moreover, she can communicate in real or virtual discursive contexts such as the net.• A plausible “relational” scoreboard is “perspectival” because agents have a set of different collateral commitments so that we are forced to realize that different reasons exist and are the source of intrasubjective and intersubjective conflicts necessary to develop autonomy. Conflicts express themselves in the communicative dimension of challenge which starts from the default case i.e. assertion.
Scorekeeping and Autonomy• The speech act of assertion shows the agent playing the role of scorekeeper who undertakes a commitment (responsibility) and attributes the entitlement to that commitment (authority) to the interlocutor or to herself.• Refusal, query and challenge have the same propositional content (structured by material inferential commitments) but different force and deserve to foster critical reflection.• What is important for my personal idea of autonomy is how attitudes work in the reciprocal exchange of reasons. The deontic attitudes of the interlocutors represent a perspective on the deontic states of the entire community.
Scorekeeping and Autonomy• Let’s begin with the intercontent/infrapersonal case.• If, for instance, B asserts “that’s blue ”, B undertakes a doxastc commitment to an object being blue. This commitment ought to be attributed to B by anyone who is in a position to accept or refuse it. The sense of an assertion goes beyond the deontic attitudes of the scorekeepers, because it possesses an inferentially articulated content that is in relationship with other contents.• In this sense, if by virtue of B’s assertion the deontic attitudes of A change, as A attributes to B the commitment to the claim “that’s blue”, then A is obliged to attribute to B also the commitment to “that’s coloured”. A recognizes the correctness of that inference when she becomes a scorekeeper and, therefore, consequentially binds q to p.
Scorekeeping and Autonomy• Again, the incompatibility between “that’s red” and “that’s blue” means that the commitment to the second precludes the entitlement to first.• Then A treats these commitments as incompatible if she is disposed to refuse attributions of entitlement to “that’s red” when A attributes the commitment to “that’s blue”.• In the infracontent/interpersonal case, if A thinks that B is entitled (noninferentially or inferentially) to the claim “that’s blue”, then this can happen because A thinks that C (an agent who listened to the assertion) is entitled to it by testimony.
Scorekeeping and Autonomy• An interesting point is to see how the inferential and incompatibility relations among contents alter the score in conversation.• First, The scorekeeper A must include “that’s blue” in the set of the commitments already attributed to B.• Second, A must include the commitment to whatever claim which is the consequence of “that’s blue” (in committive-inferential terms) in the set of all the claims already attributed to B. This step depends on the available auxiliary hypothesis in relationship to other commitments already attributed to B.• These moves determine the closure of the attributions of A to B by virtue of the commitment-preserving inferences: starting from a prior context with a certain score, the closure is given by whatever committive-inferential role A associates with “that’s blue” as part of its content. Naturally, the resulting attributions of entitlements must not be affected by material incompatibility.
Scorekeeping and Autonomy• Incompatibility limits also the entitlements attributed to B.• A can attribute entitlements to whatever claim is a consequence in permissive-inferential terms of commitments to which B was already entitled.• It can be, however, the case that B is entitled to “that’s blue” because she is a reliable reporter i.e. she correctly applies responsive capacities to environmental stimuli. The correctness of the inference depends here on A’s commitment, namely on the circumstances under which the deontic status was acquired (these conditions must correspond to the ones in which B is a reliable reporter of the content of “that’s blue”).• Moreover, A can attribute the entitlement also by inheritance: reliability of another interlocutor who made the assertion in a prior stage comes into play.
• The scorekeeping model presents other kinds of speech acts related to the assertive praxis that we can consider to go in depth on the competence we research to define autonomous agency.• The “deferrals” have the same content of assertion but different force. A determines the deferral to C about “that’s blue”, while determining, first, B’s entitlement to it and, second, C’s entitlement to inherit it.• In this context, we must consider not only the compatibility between the commitments of C and B, but also the compatibility of the commitment of C with the entitlement of B (that allows the inheritance).
Scorekeeping and Autonomy• It can be the case that the entitlement to B, according to A, depends on the justification of “that’s blue” referring to the claim “that’s turquoise”, whereas A thinks that C and not B is committed to some claim incompatible with “that’s turquoise”.• Or, it can be the case that C and not A is committed to some claim incompatible with one of the conditions that, according to A, is necessary to be entitled to “that’s blue””. For instance:«Thus if C takes it that B is looking through a tinted window, A may take this to preclude C’s inheritance of entitlement to B’s noninferential report of the colour of a piece of cloth, even though A takes it that C is wrong about the conditions of observation» (Making It Explicit, p. 192).
Scorekeeping and Autonomy• The force of a sentence can assume also the direction of “disavowal”. Disavowals have the function of refusing a commitment previously undertaken or to clarify that the commitment is not acknowledged. In this case, A thinks that B’s disavowal of “that’s blue” is successful if A stops to attribute to B the commitment to it and rehabilitates each entitlement already attributed but refused because incompatible with “that’s blue”.• The disavowal can fail if (a) B earns directly the entitlement as performing the assertion “that’s blue” or (b) B acquires indirectly the commitment as consequence of a commitment to “that’s turquoise” in virtue of a commitment-preserving inference. In such situations, the disavowal is successful only if B is disposed to refuse also “that’s turquoise”. But if B insists in asserting “that’s turquoise”, this is incompatible with the disavowal and the disavowal of “that’s blue” cannot rehabilitate the entitlement attributed to claims that A refuse by virtue of the mistake of B’s entitlement corresponding to the commitment to a claim incompatible with it.
Scorekeeping and Autonomy• Another kind of speech act is the “query” that is parasitic on the acts of acknowledgment or refusal.• Finally, we introduce the “challenge” that appears in case of performance of incompatible claims. A thinks that the challenge of C about the claim “that’s blue” of B is successful if A answers with a refusal of the attribution of the entitlement to B and with a suspension of the justification of B (inferentially or by inheritance).• Consequently, the assertion is not available for other interlocutors who could otherwise inherit by testimony from B the entitlement to commitments with the same content.
A Formal Schema SK = Scorekeeper c = commitment e = entitlement = incompatibility = entailment & = conjunction = negation
A Formal SchemaASSERTION:c (“This is Rafa Nadal”, Bob)JUDGMENT:c (“This is Rafa Nadal”, SK)c ( “This is the ‘number two’ of the international tennis ranking”, SK)c (“This is Roger Federer”) e (“This is Rafa Nadal”), SK
A Formal SchemaINHERITANCE:c (“This is Rafa Nadal”, Bob) e (“This is Rafa Nadal”, John), SKDEFERRAL:e (“This is Rafa Nadal”, Bob) & e (“This is Rafa Nadal”, John), SKDEFERRAL = 0:[c (“This is Roger Federer” , John) c (“This is the ‘number two’ of the international tennis ranking”, John)] e (“This is Rafa Nadal”, Bob), SK…e (“This is Rafa Nadal”, John), SK
A Formal SchemaREFUSAL: c (“This is Rafa Nadal”, Bob) & e (“This is Roger Federer”, Bob), SKREFUSAL=0c (“This is Rafa Nadal”, Bob)c (“This Rafa Nadal”, Bob) c (This is the ‘number two’ of the international tennis ranking)QUERY:? c (“This is Rafa Nadal”, Bob), SKCHALLENGE: e (“This is Rafa Nadal”, Bob) & …e (“This is Rafa Nadal”, Bob), SK
A connection to the WebDistributed Semantic Web Knowledge Representation and Inferencing (Boley 2011)
Introduction Interdisciplinary approach: Information Management, e-Business, Social Semantic Web, ... Knowledge Information Data22 29-Sep-11
Three Levels of Knowledge: Visual and Symbolic Representations visual symbolic predicate Knowledge formal graph theory logic construction controlled semi- standardized as gradual formal graphics natural language formali- zation hand natural informal drawing language23 29-Sep-11
Three Levels of Knowledge: Described by Formal Metadata Formal visual symbolic knowledge can act as predicate metadata formal graph theory logic to describe knowledge controlled semi- standardized of all three natural formal graphics levels for language retrieval and inferencing hand natural informal drawing language with high24 accuracy 29-Sep-11
Rule Responder: Reference Architecture for Distributed Query Engines • Enables expert finding and query-based knowledge discovery in distributed virtual organizations • Queries and answers exchanged in RuleML/XML • Supported rule engines (int’l collaboration): Prova, OO jDREW, Euler, and DR-Device • Based on the Mule Enterprise Service Bus • Instantiated, e.g., in deployed SymposiumPlanner and prototyped WellnessRules2 / PatientSupporter • Foundation for projects Radiation Exposure Monitoring and OntoHealth at NRC. Also used in PhD projects in Fredericton, Berlin, Vienna, and Thessaloniki25 29-Sep-11
References• Harold Boley (2011), Distributed Semantic Web. Knowledge representation and inferencing, http://www.cs.unb.ca/~boley/talks/DistriSemWeb.ppt• R. Brandom (1994), Making It Explicit, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.• R. Brandom (2008), Between Saying and Doing. Toward an Analytic Pragmatism, Oxford University Press, Oxford.• M. Castells (2007), Società dell’autonomia, in «Internazionale», n. 713.• R. Giovagnoli (2007), Autonomy. A Matter of Content, Firenze University Press, Firenze.• R. Giovagnoli (2007), Brief Remarks on Swindler’s “Bootstrapping Autonomy from Individual to Sociality”, forthcoming in R. Dottori ed. (2008) Proceedings of the V Meeting of Italian-American Philosophy Autonomy of Reason?, Lit Verlag, München.• S. Miller (2002), Social Institution and Individual Autonomy, contribution to the IV Conference on “Collective Intentionality”, Rotterdam.• J. Swindler (2008), Normativity: From Individual to Collective, «The Journal of Social Philosophy», vol. 39 (1), pp. 116-130.