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Authors: Bradley, James
Keywords: Computer Science
Issue Date: 1-Dec-1998
Abstract: Every low-level concept denotes or subsumes a set of instances in the physical world that can be differentiated from other instances. At the highest level we have the concept of an existent, or anything that exists. In an object database the object types correspond to low level concepts and object instances to instances of existents. The Law of Identity states that any instance is what it is, that is, has an intrinsic nature that can be discovered by scientific research, enabling discovery of attributes of existent instances. A concept can normally be explained in terms of other concepts, except when it is an irreducible primary concept. However, the Law of Identity enables discovery of attributes of instances denoted by irreducible primary concepts, permitting them to be used to construct useful machines. There are two types of awareness, namely response-capability awareness and experiential awareness. Response-capability awareness occurs in a robot, or in a database system employing integrity constraints, and is the capability of responding to the environment; it can be explained using computer systems principles, and is thus not an irreducible primary. Experiential awareness is the ability to both respond to and experience the environment, and is an irreducible primary. Because experiential awareness occurs in nature it is an existent, so that the Law of Identity applies. This means that it must be possible to discover what the attributes of experiential awareness are, and make use of that knowledge to build experiential machines and systems.
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