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Evolutionary epistemology versus faith and justified true belief: Does science work and can we know the truth?

This presentation explores the basis for scientific rationality by testing our claims about the world against nature as described by Karl Popper's evolutionary epistemology versus accepting claims based on justified true belief. The presentation is particularly concerned to show the philosophical problems with religious fundamentalism.

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Evolutionary epistemology versus faith and
justified true belief:
―
Does science work and can we know the truth?
William P. Hall
President
Kororoit Institute Proponents and Supporters
Assoc., Inc. - http://kororoit.org
william-hall@bigpond.com
http://www.orgs-evolution-knowledge.net
Atheists Society Lecture: 12 August 2014
Access my research papers from
Google Citations
Introduction
 Epistemology is a lot more than a subject for
philosophical debate
 Humanity faces a range of existential risks, e.g.,
– Anthropogenic global warming & climate change
 Rising sea levels
 Global crop failures (e.g., potato famines)
 Exotic disease pandemics (e.g., ebola)
– Peak oil / minerals
– Global scale catastrophe
 1851-scale electromagnetic storms
 Meteor strike
 How do we know this? What should we do about them:
How do we know what we think we know?
 Who do we trust? Does science provide truth? Or a
suitable basis for rational action?2
Faith and belief do
not provide
effective answers!
9/11 & horrors of the 20th Century
 The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center
 Often suicidally committed perpetrators can
be guided by one or a few charismatic leaders
to commit massive outrages against initially
comparatively peaceful populations
– Hitler, WWII in Europe and the Holocaust
– Japan's warlords and WWII in the Pacific
– Stalin, terrors and gulags
– Mao Tse Tung and the Cultural Revolution
– The multitude of smaller "ethnic cleansings" in the
Balkans/Cambodia/Iraq/Iran/Sudan etc…
4
Some smaller consequences of extreme beliefs
 Historic – some smaller examples self-inflicted death
– Joseph Kibweteere's Catholic-based Movement for the Restoration
of the Ten Commandments of God (2000 – 800-1000 deaths in
Uganda from immolation.). See Venter 2006. Doomsday movements in
Africa: Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God)
– Marshall Herff Applewhite's Heaven's Gate Cult (1997 - 39
poisoned). See Zeller (2003). The euphemization of violence: The
case of Heaven’s Gate”.
– Jim Jones "Jonestown Massacre" (1978 - 913 deaths in Guyana,
mostly from suicide or murder of children (217) by parents). See
Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples Temple
 Current
– Suicide bombers and the Sunni-Shia conflict, murder and
mayhem reported on a daily basis
5
How do individual people become weapons of mass
destruction?
 Contexts:
– Psychotic leaders radiating ultimate conviction
– Followers’ willingness to abdicate thoughtful responsibility
for own actions
 Charismatic leaders who convince others they have special
powers, such as the ability to heal, to speak with God directly, or
know absolute truth
 Willingness to accept on faith (and faith alone) the word of God
as proclaimed by some charismatic leader or some purported holy
document
 Big question:
– What leads seemingly ordinary people to sacrifice their
property and lives to follow charismatic leaders?
– Easier to accept and believe than to think and criticize
6

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Evolutionary epistemology versus faith and justified true belief: Does science work and can we know the truth?

  • 1. Evolutionary epistemology versus faith and justified true belief: ― Does science work and can we know the truth? William P. Hall President Kororoit Institute Proponents and Supporters Assoc., Inc. - http://kororoit.org william-hall@bigpond.com http://www.orgs-evolution-knowledge.net Atheists Society Lecture: 12 August 2014 Access my research papers from Google Citations
  • 2. Introduction  Epistemology is a lot more than a subject for philosophical debate  Humanity faces a range of existential risks, e.g., – Anthropogenic global warming & climate change  Rising sea levels  Global crop failures (e.g., potato famines)  Exotic disease pandemics (e.g., ebola) – Peak oil / minerals – Global scale catastrophe  1851-scale electromagnetic storms  Meteor strike  How do we know this? What should we do about them: How do we know what we think we know?  Who do we trust? Does science provide truth? Or a suitable basis for rational action?2
  • 3. Faith and belief do not provide effective answers!
  • 4. 9/11 & horrors of the 20th Century  The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center  Often suicidally committed perpetrators can be guided by one or a few charismatic leaders to commit massive outrages against initially comparatively peaceful populations – Hitler, WWII in Europe and the Holocaust – Japan's warlords and WWII in the Pacific – Stalin, terrors and gulags – Mao Tse Tung and the Cultural Revolution – The multitude of smaller "ethnic cleansings" in the Balkans/Cambodia/Iraq/Iran/Sudan etc… 4
  • 5. Some smaller consequences of extreme beliefs  Historic – some smaller examples self-inflicted death – Joseph Kibweteere's Catholic-based Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God (2000 – 800-1000 deaths in Uganda from immolation.). See Venter 2006. Doomsday movements in Africa: Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God) – Marshall Herff Applewhite's Heaven's Gate Cult (1997 - 39 poisoned). See Zeller (2003). The euphemization of violence: The case of Heaven’s Gate”. – Jim Jones "Jonestown Massacre" (1978 - 913 deaths in Guyana, mostly from suicide or murder of children (217) by parents). See Alternative Considerations of Jonestown & Peoples Temple  Current – Suicide bombers and the Sunni-Shia conflict, murder and mayhem reported on a daily basis 5
  • 6. How do individual people become weapons of mass destruction?  Contexts: – Psychotic leaders radiating ultimate conviction – Followers’ willingness to abdicate thoughtful responsibility for own actions  Charismatic leaders who convince others they have special powers, such as the ability to heal, to speak with God directly, or know absolute truth  Willingness to accept on faith (and faith alone) the word of God as proclaimed by some charismatic leader or some purported holy document  Big question: – What leads seemingly ordinary people to sacrifice their property and lives to follow charismatic leaders? – Easier to accept and believe than to think and criticize 6
  • 7. Cults and the primacy of true belief  Con jobs performed by almost all religions and cults based on faith and belief  Sola fide (by faith alone - see Wikipedia) – God's pardon for guilty sinners is granted to and received through faith, conceived as excluding all "works," alone. – True belief is determined by faith and faith alone  Faith in the guru/leader  Faith in the designated scriptures  Some will claim confirmatory manifestations to justify true belief – Far better to criticize all important claims7
  • 9. Why understanding epistemology became personally important to me (Evolutiononary biology is not a physical science)  PhD Harvard (1973) Chromosome variation, genomics, speciation and evolution in Seceloporus lizards (cty.) Ernest E Williams & Ernst Mayr – One of the largest studies of chromosome variation to then – Novel theories challenging Mayr’s geographical speciation model  Poorly received by my advisors, journals & other critics – Referring to my draft thesis, EEW said, “I don’t like it, do it over! ” [i.e., the thesis, not the research] – [Me] What’s wrong with it? [EEW] “I don’t know.” – The data was so overwhelming he and Mayr still had to pass the work  In 1977-79 while I was a post doc at Univ. Melbourne: – A U. of Mich. PhD student who earlier assisted both in the field and lab claimed “Your work is unscientific” and re-drafted it – He failed to understand the logic of my methodology and argument – Was he correct?  I spent most of postdoc studying history and epistemology of science – Too late for my job prospects as an evolutionary biologist 9
  • 10. Initial learnings from history and philosophy of science (< 1980)  Most philosophers seemed to live in ivory towers, away with the black swans and other figments of imagination  Only two offered practical answers to my problematic (ref Maniglier on Bachelard and the concept of problematic) – Thomas Kuhn (1970), The Structure of Scientific Revolutions  Historical and sociological analysis  Paradigms  Normal vs Revolutionary Science (Kuhn helped my understanding, but not relevant for today’s talk) – Karl Popper  (1959) The Logic of Scientific Discovery  (1963) Conjectures and Refutations: the Growth of Scientific Knowledge  (1972) Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach  (1977 – with J.C. Eccles) The Self and Its Brain: An Argument for Interactionism  (1994) Knowledge and the Body-Mind Problem: In Defence of Interaction 10
  • 11.  Popper 1959, 1963 – We can’t prove if we know the truth – There is no such thing as induction – Deductively falsifying a theory is deterministic – Correspondence theory of truth – Make bold hypotheses and try to falsify them – what is left is better than what has been falsified – Falsifiability demarcates science from pseudoscience  Popper (1972 – “Objective Knowledge”) biological approach – Knowledge is a biological phenomenon – Knowledge is solutions to problems of life – All knowledge is cognitively constructed (Popper is a radical constructivist!) – Falsification doesn’t work in the real world; claims can be protected by auxiliary hypotheses (All claims to know must be regarded as fallible) – Three worlds ontology – “Tetradic schema” / “general theory of evolution” to eliminate errors and build knowledge  Many contemporary philosophers misunderstand Objective Knowledge – “Objective knowledge” = knowledge codified into/onto a physical object (DNA, printed paper, pitted CD, magnetic domains) The early Popper vs. the mature Popper on epistemology 11
  • 12. How do you do “science” with complex and often chaotic systems?  Differences between the life and physical sciences – Deterministic vs stochastic (≠ indeterminate) causation – Physical science  Hypothetico-deductive approaches  Theoretical predictions susceptible to near deterministic refutation – Living systems  Causally complex, non-linear, to some degree chaotic  Can explain retrodictively but cannot predict deterministically  Comparative approach – Study “natural experiments”  Shared common ancestry controls most variables  Look for correlations between possible causes and effects – Cycles of speculation, criticism and testing  Extend scope phylogenetically and range of effects – Hall (1983) Modes of speciation and evolution in the sceloporine iguanid lizards. I. Epistemology of the comparative approach and introduction to the problem12
  • 13. 1. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION AND INITIAL SPECULATIONS 2. SELECT APPROPRIATE NATURAL ‘EXPERIMENTS’ AND ‘CONTROLS’ TO ILLUSTRATE PROBLEM 3. COLLECT DATA FROM EXPERIMENTS AND CONTROLS 4. DO CROSS-CORRELATION ANALYSES OF N-DIMENSIONAL MATRICES TO IDENTIFY SIGNIFICANT PHENOMENA 5. GENERATE MODELS THROUGH ANALOGY, INDUCTION, ETC. WHICH PROVIDE CAUSAL EXPLANATIONS FOR SIGNIFICANTLY CORRELATED PHENOMENA ARE CORRELATIONS FOUND ? 6. IS MODEL LOGIC OK? SHOULD MATRICES BE RE- RANKED ? 6a. IS MODEL LOGIC OK? 8. TEST PREDICTIONS: a. SAME PHENOMENA OF NEW CASES b. OTHER PHENOMENA OF ORIGINAL CASES c. OTHER PHENOMENA OF OTHER CASES 3a. COLLECT OTHER NEEDED DATA 4a. FURTHER CROSS CORRELATION ANALYSES WITH NEW DATA 5a. REVISE AND/OR REPLACE MODEL AS INDICATED BY NEW CORRELATION ANALYSES 9. TEST RECONSTRUCTIONS: DO MODELS PLAUSIBLY RECONSTRUCT CASES ACCORDING TO EVIDENCE? 7. TEST ASSMPTIONS: a. DEMONSTRATIONS b. H D EXPERIMENTS c. SIMULATIONS OK ? OK ? OK ? AND 10. A NATURAL PHENOMENON HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AND UNDERSTOOD, BUT THIS UNDERSTANDING SHOULD BE HELD ONLY AS LONG AS IT PROVIDES REALISTIC EXPLANATIONS OF OBSERVATIONS ABOUT NATURE NO NO NO NO NO YES YES YESYES YES YES YES NO NO My answer to the problematic: How to understand complex stochastic systems scientifically? • Build, test & criticize as as many connections as possible between theory and reality 13
  • 14. Scientific thinking in the 20th Century (skipped for today) See extra slides
  • 16. Philosophy, “knowledge”, and “truth”  A-priori assumptions – There is a “real world” with law-like behaviours – The physics of reality causes individual existences – There are no essences beyond the reality of our existences – Solipsistic approaches are self-defeating  A claim to know may truly correspond to reality, but… Truth (or falsity) in the real world cannot be proved – Knowledge of the world is not identical to the real world – Cognition is in the world - it does not mirror it 16
  • 17.  Problems – “Problem of Induction” - any number of confirmations does not prove the next test will not be a refutation (e.g., Gettier) – The biological impossibility to know if a claim to know is true  Vision does not form an image of external reality  The brain does not perceive reality, it constructs a model – Perception and cognition are consequences of propagating action potentials in a neural network. – Action potentials stimulated by physical perturbations to neurons – Perception lags reality (see added slides) Knowledge is constructed Impossible to know whether a claim is true or not 17 Clock, via Wikimedia
  • 18. Popper’s probable sources for biological approach to epistemology 18  Charles Darwin (1859) On the Origin of Species  Konrad Lorenz – 1973 Nobel Prize (animal cognition and knowledge)  Donald T. Campbell cognitive scientist concerned with knowledge growth – (1960) Blind Variation and Selective Retention…. (paper) – (1974) Evolutionary Epistemology (chapter)  Karl Popper ( 1972 – knowledge is solutions to problems of life) – (1974) “The main task of the theory of knowledge is to understand it as continuous with animal knowledge; and … its discontinuity – if any – from animal knowledge” p 1161, “Replies to my Critics” in The Philosophy of Karl Popper
  • 19. Karl Popper's first big idea from Objective Knowledge: “three worlds” ontology 19 Energy flow Thermodynamics Physics Chemistry Biochemistry Cybernetic self-regulation Cognition Consciousness Tacit knowledge Genetic heredity Recorded thought Computer memory Logical artifacts Explicit knowledge Encode/Reproduce Recall/Decode/Instruct World 1 Existence/Reality World 2 World of mental or psychological states and processes, subjective experiences, memory of history Organismic/personal/situational/ subjective/tacit knowledge in world 2 emerges from interactions with world 1 World 3 The world of “objective” knowledge Produced / evaluated by world 2 processes “living knowledge” “codified knowledge” “life”
  • 20. “Epistemic cut” concept clarifies validity and relationships of Popper’s three worlds  Popper did not physically justify his ontological proposal  Howard Pattee 1995 “Artificial life needs a real epistemology” – An “epistemic cut” (also known as “Heisenberg cut”) refers to strict ontological separation in both physical and philosophical senses between: Knowledge of reality from reality itself, e.g., description from construction, simulation from realization, mind from brain [or cognition from physical system]. Selective evolution began with a description-construction cut.... The highly evolved cognitive epistemology of physics requires an epistemic cut between reversible dynamic laws and the irreversible process of measuring [or describing]…. – Different concept from “epistemic gap” separating “phenomenological knowledge” from “physical knowledge” – No evidence Pattee or Popper ever cited the other  One epistemic cut separates the blind physics of world 1 from the cybernetic self-regulation, cognition, and living memory of world 2  A second epistemic cut separates the self-regulating dynamics of living entities from the knowledge encoded in books, computer memories and DNAs and RNAs  See Pattee (2012) Laws, Language and Life. Biosemiotics vol. 7 20
  • 21. Popper’s second big idea: "tetradic schema“ / "evolutionary theory of knowledge" / "general theory of evolution" 21 Pn a real-world problem faced by a living entity TS a tentative solution/theory. Tentative solutions are varied through serial/parallel iteration EE a test or process of error elimination Pn+1 changed problem as faced by an entity incorporating a surviving solution The whole process is iterated  TSs may be embodied in W2 “structure” in the individual entity, or  TSs may be expressed in words as hypotheses in W3, subject to objective criticism; or as genetic codes in DNA, subject to natural selection  Objective expression and criticism lets our theories die in our stead  Through cyclic iteration, sources of errors are found and eliminated  Tested solutions/theories become more reliable, i.e., approach reality  Surviving TSs are the source of all knowledge! Popper (1972), pp. 241-244
  • 22. 22 USAF Col. John Boyd's OODA Loop process wins dogfights and military conflicts  Achieving strategic power depends critically on learning more, better and faster, and reducing decision cycle times compared to competitors.  See Osinga (2005) Science, strategy and war: the strategic theory of John Boyd - http://tinyurl.com/26eqduv
  • 23. 24 Popper's General Theory of Evolution + John Boyd O = Observation of reality; O = Making sense and orienting to observations with solutions to be tested; D = Selection of a solution or making a “decision” A = Application of decision or "Action" on reality The real world is a filter that penalizes/eliminates entities that act on mistaken decisions or errors (i.e., Darwinian selection operates)  Self-criticism eliminates bad ideas  If errors remain, the environment penalizes or eliminates entities acting on the errors – Reality trumps belief TS1 TS2 • • • TSm Pn Pn+1AOn EE EE Self criticism Environmental criticism /filter Reality trumps belief
  • 24. Science as a social processes for formalizing and managing knowledge to make it reliable Vines, R., Hall, W.P. 2011. Exploring the foundations of organizational knowledge. Kororoit Institute Working Papers No. 3. Hall, W.P., Nousala, S. 2010. What is the value of peer review – some sociotechnical considerations. Second International Symposium on Peer Reviewing, ISPR 2010 June 29th - July 2nd, 2010 – Orlando, Florida, USA
  • 25. Vines & Hall (2011) – Building personal and explicit knowledge from real-world experience  Knowledge exists at several levels of organization – Personal tacit (W2)  Personal explicit (W3) – Organizational common (W3)  Organizational Formal (W3) – Formal integrated in organizational structure/dynamics (W2) 26
  • 26. Vines & Hall (2011) Turning individual knowledge into reliable and trustworthy organizational knowledge 27
  • 27. Hall & Nousala (2010) - Constructing formal knowledge 28
  • 28. Hall & Nousala (2010) - Growing and formalizing scientific, scholarly and technical knowledge  Building the Body of Formal Scientific Knowledge involves cycles of knowledge building and criticism in four hierarchical levels of cognitive organization: Existential Reality (W1)  1. Personal (“I”): observe (W2)  orient  TTs  (W1) EE  (iterate) … or … (articulate & share) (W2 & W3)  2. Collaboration Group (“We”) :  assimilate (W2)  articulate  express (W3)  EE (W1)   (iterate) … or … (submit) 3. SST Discipline Members (“Them” – mostly via W3):  peer review (EE)   (reject/revise) … or …  (publish) 4. Knowledge Society: use  … or … evolve/retract  Maintain, extend, test society’s Body of Formal Knowledge through use29
  • 29. Hall (unpub) - Creating & managing formal knowledge 30
  • 30. Take Home Vines, R., Hall, W.P. 2011. Exploring the foundations of organizational knowledge. Kororoit Institute Working Papers No. 3. Hall, W.P., Nousala, S. 2010. What is the value of peer review – some sociotechnical considerations. Second International Symposium on Peer Reviewing, ISPR 2010 June 29th - July 2nd, 2010 – Orlando, Florida, USA • All claims to know are fallible • Don’t accept what you are told or read uncritically • Consider sources • Gurus have vested interests • Science works pretty well • Test important claims where you can
  • 32. Fundamentalism  See: American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Fundamentalism Project in the Religious Movements 1998 Homepage section on fundamentalism: http://tinyurl.com/moexo3j)  Fundamentalist sectarianism – Elect or chosen membership – Sharp group boundaries – Charismatic authoritarian leaders – Mandated behavioral requirements – Idealism as basis for personal and communal identity – Stress absolutism and inerrancy in their sources of revelation – Belief that truth is revealed and unified – Arcane so outsiders cannot understand communal truth – Members are part of a cosmic struggle – Reinterpret events in light of this cosmic struggle – Demonization of their opposition; – Selective in what parts of their tradition they stress – Attempt to overturn modern culture and its power. 34
  • 33. Henry Blaskowski on Quora  The central 'faith' of science is that the world exists and is observable. Everything else stems from that. It is a faith in that it is indistinguishable from the "brain in a jar"/Matrix theory of life. No, we can't prove we are not just a brain in a jar, that we are making all this up. So, if we are in that state, science is just false. But if the world exists, then science requires no faith, just observation [and a bit more]. 35
  • 34. 20th Century Epistemology tries to explain the power of science to understand world  Plato’s “justified true belief”, Vienna Circle & Logical Positivism – Truth is knowable  Post WWII – Constructivism and radical constructivism  Knowledge is constructed – does not/cannot “reflect” external reality – The historian  Thomas Kuhn – Anti-Nazi’s  Michael Polanyi  Karl Popper – Popper’s “irrationalist” students  Imre Lakatos  P.K. Feyerabend36
  • 35. Problems with Logical Positivism  Gettier’s Problems – Any number of confirmations does not prove the next test will be a refutation  The biological impossibility to know if a claim to know is true – The brain does not perceive the world  Cognition is a consequence of propagating action potentials in a neural network.  Action potentials stimulated by physical perturbations to neurons – Vision does not form an image of external reality  Photons are not the objects reflecting them  Photons striking retina are converted into neural action potentials in primary photoreceptor cells  Neurons aggregate in the retina respond to lines, brightness, changing contrast, movements  A mental construction is not identical to the external reality37
  • 36. Constructivism  Basic constructivist tenants – World is independent of human minds – “Knowledge” of the world is always a human construct – There is little point to be concerned about external reality because you cannot know what it is  Social constructivism – Social relationships and interactions construct socially held perceptions of reality and knowledge. Truth is what people believe to be true  Radical constructivism – Knowledge cannot be transported from one mind into another – Individual knowledge and understanding depends on personal interpretation of experience, not what "actually" occurs. 38
  • 37. Major scientific advances  19th Century – Darwinian theory of natural selection – Maxwell’s equations / theory of electromagnetism  20th Century – Chromosomal/genetic theory of inheritance – Relativity – Atomic theory – Electrodynamics/unification of forces – Quantum theory – Synthetic theory of evolution – Plate tectonics  All based on theoretical speculation tested in practice  Prior science largely based on natural history observations 39
  • 38. Human knowledge/dominance of the world appears to grow through time  Pragmatic observation – human power over nature has grown through time  Thomas Kuhn – The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1960) – Key ideas  Paradigms – World views – Disciplinary matrices – Incommensurable usages of same words  Normal science  Revolutions  This is constructivist historical interpretation not epistemology 40
  • 39. Time-lines for constructing knowledge from reality (animated slides explained by references below) Martin, C.P., Philp, W., Hall, W.P. 2009. Temporal convergence for knowledge management. Australasian Journal of Information Systems 15(2), 133-148. Hall, W.P., Else, S., Martin, C., Philp, W. 2011. Time-based frameworks for valuing knowledge: maintaining strategic knowledge. Kororoit Institute Working Papers No. 1: 1-28. (OASIS Seminar Presentation, Department of Information Systems, University of Melbourne, 27 July 2007)
  • 40. Slide 42 Information transformations in the living entity through time World 1 Living system Cell Multicellular organism Social organisation State Perturbations Observations (data) Classification Meaning An "attractor basin" Related information Memory of history Semantic processing to form knowledge Predict, propose Intelligence World 2 Hall, W.P., Else, S., Martin, C., Philp, W. 2011. Time-based frameworks for valuing knowledge: maintaining strategic knowledge. Kororoit Institute Working Papers No. 1: 1-28. (OASIS Seminar Presentation, Department of Information Systems, University of Melbourne, 27 July 2007)
  • 41. Slide 43 Processing Paradigm (may include W3) Another view Decision Medium/ Environment Autopoietic system World State 1 Perturbation Transduction Observation Memory Classification Evaluation Synthesis Assemble Response Internal changes Effect action Effect Time World State 2 Iterate Observed internal changes World 1 World 2 World 3
  • 42. Time-based cognitive processes in observing the world to reach a goal Based on Boyd’s OODA Loop
  • 44. immutable past the world t1 t1 – time of observation t2 t2 – orientation & sensemaking t4 – effect action calendar time “now” as it inexorably progresses through time intended future × × × divergen t divergen t divergent futures × stochastic future convergent future OODA t4 t3 – planning & decision t3 Anticipating and controlling the future from now Animated slide Click to advance
  • 45. immutable past the world t1 t2 calendar time intended future × × × divergent futures divergent futures divergent futures × stochastic future convergent future OODA t4 t3 Perceivable world Cognitive edge journey thus far chart: received and constructed world view that remains extant and authoritative for a single OODA cycle. perceivable world: the world that the entity can observe at t1 in relationship to the chart. This is the external reality (W1) the entity can observe and understand in W2 (i.e., within its "cognitive edge" journey thus far: the memory of history at t2 as constructed in W2. Memories tend to focus on prospective and retrospective associations with events (event-relative time) and can also be chronological in nature (calendar time) chart “now” as it inexorably progresses through time recent past: recent sensory data in calendar time concerning the perceivable world at t1 (i.e., observations) the entity can project forward to construct a concept of the present situation (i.e., at t3), or some future situation. Recent past is constructed in W2 based on what existed in W1 leading up to t1. recent past Present: calendar time: when an action is executed. • perceived present: the entity's constructed understanding in W2 of its situation in the world at time t3; • actual present: the entity's instantaneous situation in W1 at time t4. perceived present Proximal future: the entity's anticipated future situation in the world (W2) at t4 as a consequence of its actions at t1+j, where j is a time-step unit—typically on completing the next OODA cycle. This anticipation is based on observed recent past, perceived present and forecasting of the future up to t4. OODA t1+j proximal future Intended future: the entity's intended goal or situation in the world farther in the future (at tgs, where gs is a goal- state and tgs is the moment when that goal is realised). Intentions are not necessarily time specific but are always associated with an event or goal-state (i.e., the arrival of a set point in calendar time can also be considered to be an event). tgs • convergent future: the entity’s mapping of the proximal future against an intended future in which tgs can be specified. t1 and t1+j can also be mapped to tgs and then tgs+1 forecasted in the form of some subsequent goal. • divergent future: a world state where the entity’s actions in the proximal future (t1+j) failed to achieve the world state of the intended future at tgs. Animated slide Click to advance