J.van GIGCH defines metaknowledge as "knowledge about knowledge ". He writes: "We agree with PITRAT (1985) that we must possess metaknowledge in order to be able to evaluate knowledge. Every time that we take objectlevel knowledge through the dialectic process of validating logic or raising abstraction, we produce metaknowledge; PITRAT postulates the existence of knowledge and metaknowledge, but rules out the existence of meta-metaknowledge. We disagree with PITRAT, but argue that our disagreement is probably only a matter of definition…
"The recursivity of the dialectic process ensures that there is always a metalevel to which we can resort to prove the logical and truth validity of statements. The recursive property is only diminished by practical considerations, such as time and cost, and by theoretical limits, as stated in GÖDEL's theorem, a subject that will be avoided here" (1987, p.325).
It must be said that van GIGCH defines truth as meant here as "the meaning of a claim in the context of its knowledge domain".
As to GÖDEL's theorem, it is in any case the foundation of hierarchical levels of knowledge, even if it implies a final doubt about limitless recursivity. (C. FRANÇOIS, 1993, p.57-76)
van GIGCH also explains: "As knowledge is reconceptualized through the interplay of ever higher levels of abstraction, it becomes more complex and hence less liable to modification and change. Therefore we contend that knowledge pertaining to higher conceptualization levels (metaknowledge) is more difficult to change than knowledge from lower conceptualization levels (object level knowledge).
The best reason which we can give of this increase in complexity is that as we change paradigm to explain a new set of facts, the new paradigm must confront the validity of two propositions:
- 1. why the old paradigm cannot explain the new facts;
- 2. why the old paradigm was sufficient to explain the old set of facts.
The new paradigm has a more complex set of propositions to explain than the old one" (1986b, p.97).
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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