There is an interesting conference starting soon: http://www.i2sconference.org/
Check it out – there are a lot of posters available for online viewing. My own posters are #689 and #690 (and many others are excellent!).
The ODNET conference is coming soon (where yours truly is presenting a workshop): https://odnetwork.site-ym.com/?page=ConfReg2013
Please introduce yourself and let’s get some conversation started at:
Here is one conversational focus that I find rather intriguing… a “science of conceptual systems.” I’ve hinted about this in the past and I’m starting to get more concrete in my thinking…
There is a lot of effort spent to study computer systems, physical systems, chemical systems, human systems, organizational systems, ecological systems and so on. Those efforts result in the creation of theories, models, mental models, policies and such. Each of those might be understood as a conceptual system. And, those conceptual systems are used to understand, interpret, and engage the world around us. Strangely, there is very little effort spent in the study of conceptual systems. This leads me to wonder – to what extent might the study of conceptual systems be called a science?
According to the Science Council, a science includes: Objective observation, Evidence, Experiment/observation for testing hypotheses, Induction, Repetition, Critical analysis, critical assessment through peer review. A postmodern view of science might add (among other notions): conversation, intuition, contextualization, history, usefulness of theory, seeking what is not there and appreciating accidents and novelty. These all seem possible within the study of conceptual systems.
There is a science of systems (including those noted above). Nested within the systems science is the scientific study of cognitive systems – our process of thinking, learning, interaction, and action. I suggest that we might place the scientific study of conceptual systems as a sub-discipline within the scientific study of cognitive systems. After all, it seems impossible to have a cognitive system without having some kind of conceptual system.
However, the study of conceptual systems is scattered across the disciplines. It is found in philosophy, logic, management, psychology, policy, program evaluation, decision making, education, computers, agent based modeling, and more. In addition to my own humble efforts at Integrative Propositional Analysis (IPA) there are other approaches including “Integrative Complexity,” “Causal Mapping,” and Bayesian network analysis.
My big question (which I hope you will answer in the FAST Forum: http://projectfast.org/forum/members/ ) is two-fold. First, does it make sense to define the study of conceptual systems as a science? Second, what journals and/or organizations would best serve as a forum to focus the conversation around this emerging science?
Steven E. Wallis, PhD Director, Foundation for the Advancement of Social Theory Adjunct Faculty, Capella University Fulbright Specialist Roster Candidate http://www.cies.org/Specialist/Host-Institutions/