In the twentieth century Tykocener the father of Zetetics sought to solve the problem of the straight jacket imposed by the Artistotelean model by introducing the concept of areas expanding into the unknown. Using this system validates cross disciplinary studies such as psycholinguistics, social engineering, forensic-microbiology, ergonomics, and bio-engineering just to mention a few. The system has been often used by artists and composers and creative thinkers. Though it is a considerable advance which is somewhat belated after two and a half thousand years it does not I believe really address the dimensionality problem.
This has serious consequences for education systems and learning programs throughout the world. It is interesting to speculate as to how educators can even hope to design and administer education systems without a clear and reasonably comprehensive understanding of the structure of total knowledge. One cannot help but being reminded of the parable of Buddha’s Elephant and the six blind men who went to investigate it and to determine what an elephant was. They all had an element of the reality of an elephant but of what use is it? We have considerable evidence that there are numbers of children who enter the education system and who dislearn when there. I would suggest that we have a major design problem.
Tykociner and Zetetics
The next step in understanding the shapes of Total Knowledge after considering the Who am I?? model is to move to areas of information rather than lines of discipline.In this vein the work of Joseph T. Tykociner is the definitive work. Born in Poland in 1877 he had a remarkable career. An in 1922 joined the staff of the University of Illinois. He retired in 1948 to work on his theory of Zetetics. The definitive work being the Outline of Zetetics.. The dust jacket of his book is shown below which shows the structure he proposed,
His work was based on 3 principles
a. Interdependence (of everything in the universe including knowledge) b. Transformation (all things are in a state of change)
c Controlability of the future.( this may have been a noble intent however I would suggest that there are :
i too many potential variables. The flapping of a butterfly’s wings in China may effect the weather on the other side of the world. A short science fiction story called "The Sound of Thunder" Tells of a traveler in time who accidentally kills a butterfly and changes the who of history is worthy of mention here.
ii assumptions of good will and intent which are unwarranted
iii assumption of knowledge of Long Term effects and consequences e.g. DDT was for some time seen as a good thing and turned out to be an ecological disaster
He divided Knowledge into 12 areas:
Symbolics of Information,
These areas he sees contained within 5 concentric regions
The outer "I" being what he calls the unknowable. Unknowable to humans due to limitations on our perceptual systems and ability to conceptualize. In this I believe he is incorrect. It is possible for sentient beings to transcend those limitations
II As yet unknown knowables
III the known but as yet unsystematized knowledge
IV systematized knowledge (which contains the areas instead of the Aristotlean disciplines which become the small circles
V The innermost which is for knowledge which has been integrated.
This work is I believe magnificent and was a huge step forward
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