For the past century, Western thinking has been guided by the physics paradigm: the world is organized around discrete objects which aggregate and have simple relationships. Everything is explainable through rules, laws, and algorithms. The observer is not a part of the observation; the observer is external to the closed systems under consideration.
Despite the successes of the frame of thinking that characterized physics, it has a serious deficiency: How can it be that the actions and behaviors of reflexive anticipatory creatures are best described by rules for non-thinking non-reflexive non-anticipatory objects? How can it be that context is deemed to not matter? And what about complexity? Those relationships which cannot be described by the simple? The physics based frame has no answer and instead discards these issues with the magic words: Ceteris paribus. Ceteris paribus clauses need not be problematic for the physicist, for physics studies closed systems. But we do not live in a closed system; we do not live in a ceteris paribus world. Thus, arises the need for some other frame of thought. Without access to these other frames our tools for understanding are inadequate for the world around us.
In the Science 1 world we label and categorize
via deduction, probabilistic inference, and
induction. Science 1 excludes context dependence
thus when it is forced to deal with the
possibility instead asserts ceteris paribus "all
other things being equal." In the Science
2 world we instead seek to identify
relationships, affordances, and potential
actions. We ask questions rather than seek
to label or categorize. Science 2 explicitly
makes room for the context dependencies which
Science I has excluded. These can be
characterized as emergence, volition, reflexive
anticipation, heterogeneity, and design amongst
The rough-and-ready distinction between Science 1 and Science 2 is epistemic; it may or may not have an ontological correlate. At some point, the epistemic tools of the physicist cease to be helpful. The world can no longer be treated as discrete closed systems, describable solely in terms of simple relationships.
The very notion of what counts as an explanation seems to differ between the worlds of Science 1 and Science 2. Adherents of both worldviews in general agree that a description of mechanism in response to a question of “how?” constitutes an explanation. The disagreements arise over the kinds of answers which are offered in response to questions of “why?”. Why questions in both worldviews tend to arise when an expectation was not met. While the Science 1 worldview inquires why? as a means of revealing “truth” and will keep asking until this criterion is met (an optimization strategy), the Science 2 worldview inquires why? as a foundation for further action (or non-action) and will stop asking when a satisfactory narrative has been offered (a satisficing strategy).
This volume will contend that reconciliation of
these perspectives lies in charting their domain
applicability and accepting their
orthogonality. Neither perspective can
replace the other. Both seem necessary to
describe and explain actions in the world.