Science, The Virtual and the Actual: A Real Standoff

By Marvin E. Kirsh.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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The World Wide Web is a source of social encounter occurring over undefined distances. If physical parameters of social encounter are considered uncontrollable for studies in a natural setting, the internet world, when dissected philosophically with respect to physical witnessibility of engaged identities, provides a model in which distance is absent. Upon comparison of meaning in science method and theory as it is necessarily rooted to common perceptional experience, it is proposed that established criteria of virtual, real, and actual employed for description in internet studies not only constitute ‘world’, but ‘universe’ in which the gap between the actual and virtual has a physical meaning. Philosophical analogy is made from a proposed universal model to theory proposed by Albert Einstein, Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn and applied in an attempt to bridge conceptually the social and natural sciences. A release of identity-funding inhibition to the extension of the range of witness beyond the immediate environment, associated with cognitive generalization of phenomenon involving a null hypothesis, seen universally to singularly account for cognitive and behavioral trends towards modern times, is proposed to be the consequence of physical factors that are external to cultures. A universal ‘paradox of the injuring concept’ is rendered in terms of a physical divide between the virtual and the actual.

Keywords: Real Virtual and Actual, Thomas Kuhn, Karl Popper, Albert Einstein, Universe, World View, Mind and Matter, Paradox, The Concept, Distance, Identity

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.159-170. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 773.305KB).

Dr. Marvin E. Kirsh

Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology, California State University Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA

I received a B.A in Natural Science from Johns Hopkins University (1972) and a PhD in Biochemistry from the City University of New York (1986) and am currently a graduate student in Anthropology at California State University Los Angeles (2006-present). I became interested in the nature of the world from a professor of genetics’ comment, during my graduate school years studying the biological sciences, that DNA was unique in the physical world. I have since decided that the world itself is not only a special case of a general case that does not exist, but can be elaborated totally in physical terms without “out of this world” imagined parts. I have recently produced peer reviewed publications in Anthropology and Philosophy, a collection of poems and a book discussing science, society, number, uniqueness and emergence.