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VIROLOGICAL EPISTEMOLOGY: FIVE PRINCIPLES OF KNOWLEDGE-VIRUS

I. Belonogov, V. Budanov
Thursday 8 November 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

This paper focuses on the virological epistemology principles that form the basis for viral idea translation in terms of the world of knowledge (“Third World”, as defined by Karl Popper). Within this framework, five principles can be identified, specifically, dependence on the knowledge holder, infecting, spreading, networking and self-organization. For the evolutionary epistemology, with the modern evolutionary synthesis being its metaphorical resource, such transfer is quite traditional. Two constituents of the modern evolutionary synthesis, namely, the “natural selection” and genetics, have been generally used as a metaphor when analyzing the process of change and establishment of scientific theories. On the one side, we have the knowledge evolution and the “natural selection” of theories, while on the other – the genetic code inheritance. It is the second constituent that is associated with the emphasis on the recorded knowledge, since it is written records that are inherited from one generation to another in the scientific world. The virological epistemology has to do with knowledge development and change, and in that aspect it inherits from the evolutionary epistemology of Karl Popper and Stephen Toulmin. However, its subject field is far wider. The virological epistemology concept allows the researchers to focus as well on the mode of existence of the knowledge and language that depend on the knowledge holder and spread like an infection. This vision is based on the “word-virus” theory of William Burroughs, as well as on the Terrence Deacon’s concept of co-evolution of the language and the brain. Burroughs identifies the distributive properties such as knowledge transmission and spread by way of infection, while Deacon considers the system properties of the language as a self-developing network that is relatively independent on the knowledge holder. At the same time, treatment of a written record as a readable text is possible solely through a contact with a knowledge holder, as reflected by distinction between the “word-virus” and “knowledge-virus” notions, as it is only through an intrusion into an individual [knowledge holder] that a word is given an opportunity to become a knowledge. From this perspective, the written record can be equalized with the verbal communication. Based on this vision of “Third World” as an entity functioning like a viral network, it is possible to build a more realistic idea about its mode of existence, thus opening a great new room for future research in the area of epistemology.

Keywords: Philosophy of science, evolutionary epistemology, language, communication," third world " by K. Popper, virological epistemology, epigenetics, the genetic code inheritance


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