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CONTEMPLATIONS ON A KNOWN UNKNOWN: Time

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This essay is a short review of the concept of time as seen from a logical point of view. It refers mainly on the work of the philosopher and logician Gotthard G√ľnther whose oeuvre has hardly been recognized by the mainstream of the scientific community, although his Theory of Polycontexturality (TPC) has to be considered the formal basis of any modern cybernetics or systems theory in which subjectivity becomes a part of scientific investigation. Besides polycontextural logic (PCL), which is a parallel interwoven calculus, TPC also encompasses Keno- and Morphogrammatics and the theory of qualitative or polycontextural numbers. In the present essay, however, the formal theory is not outlined. Instead we try to introduce the idea of polycontexturality in a more semantic way using the well-known concept of a Turing machine (TM) and its principal limitations in modeling mental processes. The concept of a polylogical machine (PLM) will be discussed, which is an ensemble of single TM's where the function of the total ensemble of TM's is no longer a TM. It turns out that within the concept of a PLM it is no longer possible to distinguish between soft- and hardware, since they have to be considered as a dialectical unit, as PLM. Time has usually been considered by logicians to be what is called 'extralogical' matter. I have never shared this opinion. But I have thought that logic had not reached that state of development at which the introduction of temporal modifications of its forms would not result in great confusion (CP 4.523).
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Applied Sciences Dortmund - FB Informatik, Emil Figge Str.42, D-44227 Dortmund ., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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