Talk:Inquiry Driven Systems : Are There Apps For That?

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Note. I'll put some thought into getting a more coherent discussion going. Discussion pages usually work better for that, adding replies down the page and using 4 tildes to sign and date. I may use the article page to accumulate references and summary notes over time. Jon Awbrey (talk) 13:48, 29 September 2013 (PDT)

Opening to Awbrey (27 Jun 2013)

DW: I was looking at your Inquiry Driven Systems : Part 1#1.1.4. Application and thinking about our online data/software combination for a multi-authored book and for courses at Visual Manual.

The problem is for students to figure out results of regression (see Visual Manual, imputation of missing data, controlling for auto-correlation, then looking at networks of variables), mostly functional relationships but not entirely and I'm thinking of a learning process like those of Allan M. Collins. Can your work be of help?

JA: Sue and I kept up fairly well with the Intelligent Tutoring Systems literature through the 1990s as a part of the joint work we were doing at the time.

It was part of the work I was trying to do at Oakland when I went back to grad school there. I seem to remember having a favorable opinion of some work I read by Collins & Stevens (1991) in a volume by Goodyear (ed., 1991) Teaching Knowledge and Intelligent Tutoring, that I can probably still find on my shelves somewhere.

I lost the bib to this essay in a computer changeover — maybe this will finally nudge me to type it back in.

As far as Interdisciplinarity and “AI Applied to Education and Research” goes, the following papers would probably be good conversation pieces:

Final published version:

  • Awbrey, S.M., and Awbrey, J.L. (May 2001), “Conceptual Barriers to Creating Integrative Universities”, Organization : The Interdisciplinary Journal of Organization, Theory, and Society 8(2), Sage Publications, London, UK, pp. 269–284. Abstract.

Earlier conference version:

  • Awbrey, S.M., and Awbrey, J.L. (September 1999), “Organizations of Learning or Learning Organizations : The Challenge of Creating Integrative Universities for the Next Century”, Second International Conference of the Journal ‘Organization’, Re-Organizing Knowledge, Trans-Forming Institutions : Knowing, Knowledge, and the University in the 21st Century, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Online.

The following paper gives an introduction to the Peirce–Dewey background of our work:

  • Awbrey, J.L., and Awbrey, S.M. (Autumn 1995), “Interpretation as Action : The Risk of Inquiry”, Inquiry : Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 15(1), pp. 40–52. Archive. Online.

DW: This does not work — it wastes 20 minutes loading and never prints.

JA: Sorry, I have never actually tried printing that out from there. It's the same as the journal copy except for the correction of one reference — substitute “Gadamer” for “Habermas”.

JA: You might try this copy at ResearchGate to see if it works better, but I fear it may have something to do with the underlying document being in MS Word.

  • Awbrey, S.M., and Awbrey, J.L. (May 1991), “An Architecture for Inquiry : Building Computer Platforms for Discovery”, Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Technology and Education, Toronto, Canada, pp. 874–875. Online.
  • Awbrey, J.L., and Awbrey, S.M. (August 1990), “Exploring Research Data Interactively. Theme One : A Program of Inquiry”, Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Conference on Applications of Artificial Intelligence and CD-ROM in Education and Training, Society for Applied Learning Technology, Washington, DC, pp. 9–15. Online. PDF.

Full reference data for these can be found here.

DW: Many thanks. I also come from pragmatism as an underlying philosophy for social science; started working recently with the son of Richard Rudner (David) in advancing some of the fundamental approaches. David studies meaning, focuses on Dravidian civilization, while I study action, networks, grounded beliefs; empirically. One of my (own) favorite articles is 1977 Douglas R. White, M. Burton, L. Brudner. Entailment Theory and Method: A Cross-Cultural Analysis of the Sexual Division of Labor. Cross-Cultural Research 12:1-24. (formerly Behavior Science Research) based on statistical analysis of role relations. What I liked about Allan Collins' work is that he took up empirically developed theories (based on data) and worked out the epistemic thinking behind them.

JA: Now that's a blast from the past. I knew Joel Aronoff at Michigan State. I was rounding out my 9-year cycle of majors in Justin Morrill College and took a course that he and Glenn Wright taught on “The Waking of Myth in Modern Times”.

The Waking of Myth in Modern Times
Glenn Wright and Joel Aronoff

Winter 1974

This course, the first of a two term sequence, will attempt to examine the origins and structures of mythic beliefs. We will be concerned in particular with the question of what makes a myth credible and how it organizes individual and social life. We will attempt to look at the many forms such mythic beliefs take, extending from the classic Greek and Roman statements to the expressions in contemporary film, drama, fiction and legend. Material from many disciplines will be used to help examine the demands and manifestations of myths.

Spring 1974

This course will be the continuation of the offering of winter term in which we attempted to examine and explore the origins and structures of mythic beliefs. In particular, this term will look at the relationships between 'myth' and 'truth'. How do we know what we know; how do we know that what we know is true?

As before, we will use texts from a number of different disciplines — psychology, philosophy, literature, anthropology — as mediums for our exploration.

Sorry, I've been in a memoir-writing mood the last few years ...

DW: The problem I have with your work overall is that is strength in philosophical long here are no research results. It makes one thinkg of Dissipative structures and What's Wrong with Varela, Prigogine, Dissipative Structures, Poesis as theory that takes metaphors from complexity physics but is not able to obtain results other than formalisms and conundrums in logic and such problems as those you mention in distinguishing myth and ‘truth’.

Relationship between emergent-evolved systems and engineered systems

I am taking a systems-theoretic view of the inquiry process, but I am focused on the kinds of systems we engineer to a specific purpose, for example, computational support for scientific inference. With that aim in mind the kinds of understanding we gain from connectionist, emergent property, genetic algorithm, or self-organizing systems research typically falls short telling us how scientific inquiry can manage to work in the frame of time that human beings have at their command.

When we set about engineering artificial systems to augment our natural capacities — the way we build microscopes and telescopes as extensions of our eyes — our success in doing that naturally depends on how well we understand the natural system we are trying to extend.

One form of understanding is achieved when we draw on principles embodied in a natural system that are general enough to be embodied in very different artificial systems. That is the method of analogical extension, and it turns on the recognition of an abstract principle that can be shared by otherwise diverse systems. Jon Awbrey (talk) 21:28, 6 October 2013 (PDT)