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Title: Structure, subject, and experiment: first forays of interdisciplinary philosophical investigations
Authors: Tessaro, Lucas WE
Issue Date: 21-Feb-2020
Abstract: The present dissertation aims to incorporate inter-disciplinarily features of philosophical inquiry, scientific exploration, and subjective reflection on the epistemology of knowledge. The work begins with an extensive literature review on the topics of MODERN PHYSICS AND PHILOSOPHY, in particular exploring in depth the PHILOSOPHY OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE of Sir Arthur Eddington and synthesizes it with works of CLASSICAL PHILOSOPHERS, namely Aristotle, Plato, and to a smaller extent Heraclitus. It borrows heavily from the early movers of QUANTUM MECHANICS – Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schrodinger – and demonstrates their own familiarity with the aforementioned Classical Thinkers, finally emphasizing their still necessary and continued relevance in MODERN PHILOSOPHY OF PHYSICS. The work focusses on the nature of knowledge – EPISTEMOLOGY – under two particular facets; that of subjectivity and the role of experimenter/observer in creating knowledge, and that of structuralism as defined by Eddington as the metaphysical “structure” created by the objects of inquiry, the methods used to observe them, and the observer themselves. The introductory chapters conclude with a Treatise on the Nature of Interdisciplinary research, emphasizing INTERDISCIPLINARITY as a naturally-occurring process of the human mind, and thereby illustrating its omnipresence throughout the entirety of Homo sapiens – from pre-history to CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY to the modern official conceptualization of the term in ACADEMIA. The work proceeds with three experimental chapters designed to explore and illustrate these above features. The first demonstrates the communication of bacteria using photons of particular periodicities, emphasizing the notion of structure. The second explores the most destructive of human activities, war, through the resolution of potentially sub-conscious patterns and periodicities within this aggressive behaviour, demonstrating its governance by Lunar cycles. The third and final experiment investigates a fundamental behaviour of our species, language, by comparing the quantitative shifts in frequencies and formants resultant from holding facial expressions that encapsulate neutral, happy, and sad affective states; the phenomenon arises from the subjective expression and reception of vocalizations altered in periodic ways. The dissertation closes with a brief exploration of dogmatic approaches to knowledge production. There are a number of objectives for the present dissertation. First, it has an overarching aim of continuing the traditional field of what was NATURAL PHILOSOPHY – the highly integratory science in which the barriers between disciplines had not yet been firmly entrenched. In doing so, it is a work of interdisciplinary science, cobbling together diverse fields as biology, biophysics, experimental psychology, linguistics, with a particular emphasis on philosophy. It is arguably a work of EXPERIMENTAL PHILOSOPHY, only instead of focusing on moralist issues it explores the PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE through experimentation. Second, it enquires to what extent a particular tool is applicable in multiple scenarios from epistemological and ontological perspectives; it questions to what extent emergent phenomena are capable of describing the states of the biological systems. Whether recording biophotons from bacteria, observing patterns of human warfare, or measuring the vocalizations of psychology students, the dissertation hopes to demonstrate signals of those systems are equivalent epistemologically; in that breaking the signal down into its components is sufficient and justifiable for discerning knowledge of the system that produced it. In so doing, it is possible to argue they are ontologically related as signal phenomenon – although their precise natures of being differ, as signals they represent a particular class of being; a messenger. Finally, the document hopes to illustrate in a general sense the continued importance of including to some extent philosophical considerations and perspectives within science. It desires to be a demonstration of the “BIG PICTURE” approach to devising methodologies and comparing results for seemingly varied fields of study, promoting the act of interdisciplinarity without ascribing to any the nuances of particular interdisciplinary theory. In short, it emphasizes that “science can be destroyed by having the disciplines too thin, because there is no integration.” 1
Appears in Collections:Doctoral Theses

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