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Theory of Knowledge and Theory of Mind (ToK and ToM)

How do we know what’s true? How do we know what’s real and what’s illusion? How can we be confident that what we believe forms a sound basis for living our lives? What is the self and what is the relationship between ourself and others? What is our identity and makes us feel we belong?


Without a coherent and consistent set of beliefs we have no basis for orientating ourselves in the world or controlling either our own or other people’s destinies.

These postings look at the deep, and sometimes metaphysical questions, on which we base, not only our own decisions, but also what we believe about other people.

It’s like this
‘It’s like this’ introduces the idea that reality is not what it seems. There are ‘unknown unknowns’ and those with most confidence are often the people we can least trust. How do we come to believe what we believe? How does our experience shape the way we see the world? Stories make the world understandable but that doesn’t make them true.

Representations of Reality Enable Control – Part 1
‘The Representation of Reality Enables Control – Part 1’ looks at language and thought, mental models and computational approaches to how the mind represents what it knows about the world (and itself).

Representations of Reality Enable Control – Part 2
‘Representations of Reality Enable Control’ shows how different levels of description can be used to represent the knowledge that enables us to meet our needs and deal with the unexpected.

Are we free?
‘Are we free?’ looks at the philosophical, neurological and psychological arguments about whether and in what sense we might be free to make decisions and choices.

Can we trust blockchain in an era of post-truth?
‘Can we trust blockchain in an era of post-truth?’ considers whether there are technological solutions to the problem of trustworthiness. Is there any way in which ‘truth’ can be guaranteed in a world of ‘alternative facts’.

The story of your life
‘The story of your life’ returns to the idea that ‘stories’ are containers for belief systems. The past is not fixed but can be re-interpreted to suit whatever needs are in the present. Much of the way you see the world is a social construction – simply an ‘agreement’ to interpret the world a particular way. Much of our individual understanding is no more than a pragmatic set of hypotheses that ‘appear’ to make sense, but nothing is certain.

Human Operating System 4 – Ways of Knowing
How do we know what we know? ‘Human Operating System 4 – Ways of Knowing’ considers the ways in which we come to believe what we think we know, the many issues with the validation of our beliefs, and the implications for building artificial intelligence and robots based on the human operating system.

What’s your position?
Positioning theory illuminates our understanding of rights, duties, expectations and vulnerabilities. It addresses the dynamics of power and control and is a potent tool for understanding the self, the individual in the context of others, relationships, and social institutions. It even transcends the distinction between people and objects and has profound implications for the development of artificial intelligence.