Page 198 - MODES of EXPLANATION

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normal science is performed inside the paradigm. Their scheme needs to be hierarchical so
that we can move between levels of discourse in an orderly fashion. The levels pertain
variously to the four contrasting pairs spelled out above: laws/rules, scale/type,
protocol/observed, and essence/realization. Before the modeling begins, at the highest level
of n+3 (Figure 14.1), the meta-observer makes the original decisions as to the arena of
discourse. In other terms, the meta-observer brings a paradigm.
[insert Figure 1]
Figure 14.1
The level scheme of Zellmer et al. (2006) in terms of the new edition of
Allen and Hoekstra’s
Toward a Unified Ecology
(2015).
Just below the overarching meta-observer, at level n+2 we find what Pattee (1978) calls laws,
the universals in the discourse. Laws operationalize the paradigm. At level n+1 occur Pattee’s
rules and Rosen’s essence. There are two sides to level n+1. One of them is the realm of
observer decisions. That is where models lie, the models that are structured by Pattee’s rules.
The other side of level n+1 is still part of observation, just those parts that arise beyond the
decision of the observer. We choose to study lions and their spatial placement, all under the
observer’s choice. But then the lion appears to move, and that does not come from the
observer’s decisions. It is still part of observation, so we are still in the realm of
epistemology. The technical term coming from post-modern positions for that other part of
observation is called “the other.” That is where observed behavior arises, and where external
considerations give rise to the realized structure that is being observed.
Let us start the process of creating models in this scheme. It starts at level n, where is
an observable that is initially only perceived and experienced. A loop arises linking the
observable structure at n to the model and its rules at level n+1. First, the observer suggests
that something like the observable at n has been seen before as a type. At level n+1 a class of
things seen before is erected. There is equivalence across class members that seems to apply
to the observable at n. A check follows to see whether the entity at n is indeed a member of
the class. There is an iterative checking to see that the observable is generalized by the set,
and checking in the other direction to see if it is a member. The class gives the observable a
name. In the end, the entity at n is asserted as belonging to the set that is the model at the next
level up. That is model building.
As a separate issue, the observable came into existence as a realization on the other
side of the scheme. The process of realization is seen in retrospect to the construction of the
model. We cannot see the process of realization directly. All we see is the realized structure.
That experience starts the modeling, from which the realization is understood. The
observable straddles the realms of observer decision and the other. At level n+1 in the realm
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