Computing Reality

D.M. Hutton (Norbert Wiener Institute)

Kybernetes

ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 11 April 2008

45

Keywords

Citation

Hutton, D.M. (2008), "Computing Reality", Kybernetes, Vol. 37 No. 3/4, pp. 563-564. https://doi.org/10.1108/03684920810863570

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


This is an advance review of Drs Choudhury and Hossain's book which is published as a piece of original research in the area of unity of knowledge as the epistemology of neurocybernetics and system theory that explains relationally unified socio‐scientific world systems. Its publication was made possible by the Aoishima Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan. It was this early agreement that inspired the authors to initiate the important research project that culminated in this book.

The authors aimed at producing a well‐thought out study, in the moral and ethical contexts of socio‐scientific issues. To this end they wished to formally investigate them using the methodology of unity of knowledge. They write that:

A great extant of analytical philosophical examination between, the Occidental world ‐system and the precept of unity of the divine laws is undertaken to bring out the unique, universal and extensive application of the latter to all issues.

Choudhury and Hossain believe that in establishing and formalising such a methodology of unity of knowledge, espistemological, ontological and ontic “evidential” premises should be used. In consequence the methodology turns out to be analytical and often mathematical in nature. In reading the book it was found to be a great advantage to have most of this mathematical coverage collected together in the technical appendices. The authors say that some sections do contain mathematical formalism because it was felt that the “deeply methodological nature” of the project of unity of knowledge as neurocybernetics and system theory as a study of unification between soul, mind and matter requires such formal treatment.

To meet these aspirations a structured text has been presented with a very necessary introduction since many readers in the fields covered by this journal may well be unfamiliar with the unique approach chosen. A useful overview is provided in the introduction which to some extent explains the chapter structure planned to develop the theme. This was followed by the chapters headed:

  • Review of the literature: cybernetics in socio‐scientific systems.

  • A computerized model of computing reality: a case of assessing system risk caused by flooding.

  • Contrasting meanings of reality in systems framework (includes a technical appendix)

  • Phenomenology as consciousness in learning systems

  • Neurocybernetics and unity of knowledge according to the scholastic thinker. Abu Hamid Al‐Ghazali (1053‐1111: includes technical appendix)

  • Worldwideview as universal paradigm in unity of knowledge (includes a technical appendix).

This was followed by a surprisingly short conclusion. Each chapter had appropriate references, which certainly helped in the understanding and relevance of these new ideas. A very necessary subject index is also provided and for many readers an essential glossary of Arabic terms.

Figures (Black and white only) were included for Chapter 3 and were very necessary for understanding the computerised model of computing reality in the descriptions of the case of assessing system risk by flooding.

There is no doubt that this is a book that is well worth reading if only for the range of new concepts discussed. Perhaps its main attraction was that it was not dogmatic in the development of its main stem thesis. Undoubtedly informative it also provoked the reader to query the authors' writings to the extent of wishing for a “face‐to‐face” exchange of views. To that extent the authors have surely stimulated the reader and encouraged further interest and activity in future related researches.

A further analytical review of this book is planned and will be published in Vol. 37 of this journal.

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