Language and information
Lecture 2. Sublanguages
2.5. The uses of science formulas
[Audio recording—Opens a separate, blank window. Return to this window to read the transcript.]
Now, what seems to be possible with this material? The economical form of the information may make it possible to specify differences between science languages, or between science informations. We may be able to say explicitly wherein near subsciences differ. We've done a little bit of this already. We may be able to see various relations among sciences. For example, which sciences are prior sciences of others. In general, that would be sciences whose sentences are arguments in the sentences of the other one. As an example of this, consider, in pharmacology, the physiology sentence ... the heart beats, was an argument in the pharmacology sentence ... digitalis affects the beating of the heart. Physiology would in this construction be a prior science to pharmacology, which in fact it is.
We certainly can see, in the different levels of the partial order of a sentence—as one can diagram a sentence into a semilattice or a tree or something of this sort, one can see the partial order of all the words, of the actual words in the sentence, in their partial-order relation. In this partial order, one can see the contribution of different sciences, and different aspects of science. Interesting enough, these things occupy different places in the partial order—fixed different places, not just different places in a single one but in general. The metascience material, about the scientists' activity is always at the top. The evidential status of a topic, and the time-space relations, and the like, are at various levels in between. Then come the specific events, the actions, of the objects of the science itself, and below that the objects of the science, which are acted upon by these events, with the material from prior sciences mostly at the bottom.
We may also be able to see how and when a science advances and how it
changes, and this for a specific reason: because change is a recognizable
second-order property of the formulas. One can see when [to enter] this
change and how they change. Overall, science information is thus brought
closer to being an exact system.