Closed-form thinking leads to scientism (necessarily), while open-form thinking permits scientific progress. This is a mathematical certainty at a fundamental aspect of language (and meaning), theorizing and philosophizing.
However, it is historically unfortunate that humanity (and our language faculty) prefers, and is inundated by closed-form ideas. Being fundamental, the switch to open-form thinking will have an immense impact throughout academia and beyond, i.e., it affects decisions making everywhere. The open-form thinking project communicates these ideas to everyone aged 12 and up.
The open-form thinking project is similar to the Emergic Approach project. Historically, the Emergic Approach came first and it spawned (and was subsequently informed by) open-form thinking. However, open-form thinking is at the fundamental level of language and how this relates to theorizing (and decision making) power. It also applies beyond academia. The Emergic Approach can be thought of as using open-form thinking for unifying modeling. The Emergic Approach is for a narrow academic audience while open-form thinking is for everyone.
The working title for this forthcoming book (~2017) is tentative.
Feedback is ubiquitous and provides for the emergence of an infinite amount of change and complexity. However, the power to explain change in simple terms requires an open-form language that harnesses feedback, e.g., as used in the “hard science” of Physics. However, the “softer sciences” (and philosophy) continue to apply closed-form thinking – language and meaning that fundamentally disallows feedback – to the problem of change. It is an unfortunate mathematical fact that, at best, closed-form concepts lead to an endless set of local re-descriptions that over time and in hindsight, amount to scientism. Moreover, each closed-form approximation also requires an infinite set of terms to improve local precision. This book highlights the differences between these two epistomologies – languages for theorizing about change – and attempts to harden the soft sciences by converting closed-form thinking to open-form. It amounts to a revolution from the current linguistic turn (which happens to be closed), to an open one.
The “natural” language of continuous change is of a system of interacting open-form expressions that harness feedback. They are epitomized by “dynamics” – the partial differential equations of modern physics – and were critical to overcoming the closed-form limitations of natural language. That, and the search for universal laws, i.e., invariants not relative to local contexts, permitted Physics to become a “hard science“, a unified science.
However, the “softer sciences” (and philosophy) are replete with the closed-form conceptions of natural language. The closed-form problem stems from the dictionary style hierarchically structured definitions of words that does not allow for feedback. These do not have the power to explain change in a unified manner, and can only allow for an endless and infinite variety of local re-descriptions – the hallmark of scientism. Indeed, that is why the search for unification and external validity is given such short thrift in the soft sciences – they are mathematically impossible.
David’s book exposes the linguistic flaw within the soft sciences and philosophy. All the assumptions withing the closed-form linguistic turn are exposed, and this allows the move to the open-form linguistic turn to begin. The hardening of soft sciences demands it. The search for unification can now begin with a firm foundation.