Knowledge Continuum

Notes and Thoughts

An experiment to spark conversations


Autobiographical wholes and the issue of knowledge

If entity A consists of sub-entities(or parts) B and C, where both the sub-entities are recognized as intelligent and creative enough to write a biography of entity A, can these be then termed as autobiographies of the entity A, given that it is written by the parts of A?

Note that I am making many assumptions here, starting from the fact that biographies will be different owing to the differences in the creative aspect influenced by perspective, experience, sense-data, encodings(genetic or otherwise), etc, to the fact that being a sub-entity(or a part of a whole) bestows upon you the same level of authority as the whole itself.

This question is of interest to me because an answer to that would (at least partially) answer one of the most important questions that I have been thinking about, which is "Is knowledge creation, first and foremost, an activity of selecting between representations or reconciling different representations?.

Let me explain. Knowledge creation, in general, is perceived as an abstraction-sensitive activity, that is, only entities at a particular level of emergence(creative beings) can create knowledge. But I want to understand what disambiguates the (qualitative) value of this knowledge when there are multiple representations, which I feel is often the case. Take, for example, the idea of knowledge creation as an act of selection or syncretization. It would mean that we as creative beings only have the ability to select among different representations or reconcile different representations, which is to say that our cognition is incapable of 'touching' the world so to speak, all we have access to cognitively is (abstract?)representations. I realize that I am making assumptions regarding interactions here, but it seems to me that theorizing is a game that can only be played cognitively and only on the realm of (abstract?) representations; to say that these representations are not being plucked out of the tree of abstractions, but are being created in a literal sense does not make sense to me. And if we give a nod to this, we will also have to accept that in a certain sense there is a fungibility quotient that is attached to these representations.

With 100% replaceability, everything would be everything in disguise. But the interesting aspect is at different levels of emergence, there seems to be different amount of fungibleness between representations. For eg. If we considered us trying to reason about life, the universe, and everything as universe trying to write its autobiography, would the presence of an advanced alien civilization somewhere far away in some distant galaxy trying to demystify the universe using the (abstract?) representations that they were able to discover change the dynamics of the situation?

Now take it to the next level, if we were to never meet this civilization then would the idea of humans(i.e., sub-entities) writing the autobiography of the universe be justified? Maybe not:

1.The Selection Problem: Are there two autobiographies?

2.The Syncretization Problem: Should these attempts be considered as just biographies that need to be fused together to form a comprehensive autobiography?

Note that I am just conjecturing here, for I am not really sure if there are other ways of "creating" knowledge apart from what I like to call "cognitive correspondences". If I am wrong and if it is true that we can indeed create knowledge in a literal sense, no problemo. But if there is even a tiniest sliver of possibility that I am right about creation being a matter of selection/syncretization, is it justified that we go so far with (w)holism at the expense of the level of emergence at which the representation is to be evaluated?

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