Talk:Conceptual system

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No examples of conceptual systems from the former Wikipedia category Conceptual systems and not from real life[edit]

I have deleted the folowing section from the article, which I have written myselve:

Examples of conceptual systems include classification systems, coordinate systems, economic systems, information systems, legal systems, management systems, notations, organizations, political systems, role-playing game systems, systems of set theory, social systems, software systems, systems of units, time measurement systems, tournament systems, voting systems and writing systems.

The main reason is that these examples of conceptual systems came from the former Wikipedia category Conceptual systems and not from real life.

It's my strong impression that in real life in theory and practice there is hardly any concencus about the meaning of the word conceptual system: not about the definition, not about examples of those, and there is no theory which is build on this concept. Giving such an "exact" list of conceptual systems gives the wrong impression, that such a concesus does exist. - Mdd 13:50, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

these look like a good examples of conceptual systems (CS):
Object-oriented_programming allows CS to be defined in a robust manner.
Entity-relationship_model is a CS
Unified_Modeling_Language is a CS
Metalogic is a CS
Natural_language is a CS
Ratjed 07:00, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
I've also add them to the article... because these seems like a good idea. - Mdd 12:13, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Some ideas[edit]

A current discription[edit]

The current article states:

"In social work, this idea is expanded to mean the values, ideas, and beliefs that make up every persons view of the world. It can be thought of as the mask people use the filter/sift thought the vast amount of information they face every day."

The above quote from the main definition is slightly inaccurate. They haven't expanded anything. What they are referring to here is still just an instance of the general term 'conceptual system'; its not a special case or a different thing. Ratjed 03:00, 24 August 2007 (UTC)RatJed

I believe that:
  • the description refers to "conceptual scheme" and
  • a conceptual scheme not the same as a "conceptual system.
Now I've also seen that:
  • the term conceptual scheme is now redirected to paradigm
  • Wikipedia has also an article about Conceptual framework
  • The statement we are talking was added on 18 October 2006 by an anonymous user, and this was his only contribution.
I herefor think it's for the best to remove this statement. - Mdd 18:55, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

What is a conceptual system?[edit]

A conceptual systems is simply a model. There is no limitations on this kind of model whatsoever except those of human imagination. If there is an experimentally verified correspondence between a conceptual system and a physical system then that conceptual system models the physical system. "values, ideas, and beliefs that make up every persons view of the world": that is a model of the world; a conceptual system that is a model of a physical system (the world). The person who has that model is a physical system. In psychology and social work, when they talk about a conceptual system, they are referring to some person's model of the world, but if they try to understand that model, they end up making a model of that model, which is just a model of the person's behavior. In any case, this is exactly the purpose of the general term "conceptual systems".

The basis of all this is simple: the notion that something exists demands that the thing that exists be addressable. That is to say that there must be some observable or conceivable manifestation of the thing that is said to exist. If the manifestation is observable then the thing is a physical system (or object, it doesn't matter which for physical systems until you get down to indivisible particles). If the thing is not observable but is conceivable its a conceptual system.

More precisely: consider the set of all systems. Implicitly, the set of all objects is a subset of the set of all systems because a systems in an interacting structure of sub-systems and/or objects. The set of all conceptual and the set of all physical systems are both subsets of this set. For higher precision, one may first consider the set of all valid properties, then allow every system to be defined as a binary string which encodes the truth value of every property applied to that object or system. In that way uniqueness is guaranteed and the system is paradox free (due to filtering the set of properties first). In general the set of all conceptual systems is infinite. But it may be built up as a finite structure like a dictionary, only including the conceptual systems that are known, and adding new ones as they arise. Given the boardness of 'conceptual systems', the set of all conceptual systems would be uncountably infinite due to the fact that every real number is a conceptual object.

See the following for more info: [1]

Also, here are a few scholarly papers on the subject: [2] [3]

Ratjed 03:00, 24 August 2007 (UTC)RatJed

These ideas are quit clear, and give a good description of what a conceptual system is. I therefor implemented those ideas in the article itselve. I hope this suits you? - Mdd 18:55, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Time will tell I guess. I am in the process of arguing it with a metaphysics student right now, even though the terminology comes more from psychology and computer science. Also I might be able to find some good quotes. Ratjed 08:52, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
I think the article still needs a lot of work. It's still very abstract. It lacks qoutes and references etc. - Mdd 12:13, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Quote about: Translating between conceptual systems[edit]

I found this which might be of immediate help:

"The problem of translating between conceptual systems is of substantial interest in cognitive science. It asks the following question: given two conceptual systems A and B, each one consisting of some concepts and relations between them, how can correspondences across the systems be established?
A general system for translating between conceptual systems would be valuable in many domains. We would like a method for translating between two individuals who have

been acculturated with different languages or terminologies, between two time-slices of the same individual to track their cognitive development, between two scientific communities committed to fundamentally different theoretical ontologies to determine potential continuities across historical change, between related databases using different XML representations, and between different knowledge structures within the same individual to identify useful analogies for induction."

Source:

I hope that could help with the immediate goal at hand. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ratjed (talkcontribs) 07:49, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

I wikified this quote a little to get an understanding of what this was about. Apparently it is about Translating between conceptual systems. Now we can add all of this in a separate chapter (within the article), with that title... The source can be added both as a reference (with a pagenumber were the qoutes came from) and in the listing of publications (This should be a new chapter under the reference chapter). I will leave this for you to do - Mdd 11:54, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I think you are right, this particular quote is starting a new topic. It's an interesting topic, but I think its more important to strengthen the topic at hand. This particular article is quite complicated but in effect in handles most of the generality of 'conceptual systems'. Even though the article is about translating, they give a rigorous mathematical definition for 'conceptual systems'. My goal is to find verifiability in the usage of 'conceptual system' in cognitive science, computer science, engineering and philosophy, and fist provide a general definition and then show the particular definitions as instance of the general form. Here I found an example of a useable quote which I will work into the "basics" section and cite to the above article (which I believe has an ISBN too).
"Depending on the complexity of the conceptual system, various types of [graph [Graph_%28mathematics%29]] representations can be chosen. First, consider a system with only binary valued relations between the concepts. Such a system can be described by an undirected or directed graph with no explicitly stored labels associated with edges."
This is just one of many notions they present. Others are more mathematically complex and I am working through them. The above quote is interesting because it is also well known that we can represent any mathematical expression as a Graph_(mathematics). By the above definition all of mathematics is already a conceptual system. The main relation in numeric mathematics is the equivalence relation of identity, and the set of concepts for math is the set of operators {+,*,-,/} (other operator sets are possible) and the real numbers (assuming all other number sets are a subsets). Then we can even imagine other "levels" of mathematics: other relations can be added to form a more complex mathematical conceptual systems. Also we can consider the sets of all variables and unknown constants along with real numbers to form still more complex conceptual systems which incorporate algorithms and notions of "solving" equations. I am not suggestion any formulation of mathematics though. That has been done (or at least tried: System ZFC). I would note that the above leads to some circularity if we still allow that graph theory itself is part of mathematics. In that case I think would just say that we are dealing with a meta graph theory. And then we arrive at metalogic and meta mathematics itself. But the beauty of conceptual systems is that they can deal with things like love, greed, leadership, magic, god, souls, and any other concepts. Ratjed 23:28, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

How to improve this article[edit]

I like to take this discussion to a higher level. In your last and previous contributions you try to "imagine" what a conceptual system is, and how it can be used? You are hereby thinking on a conceptual level, trying to define a priory (by pure reflection), trying to make up your mind.

I on the other hand are concerned with the question, how to improve this article. From that perspective I'm wondering how this concept is defined in science (by scientists) and in practice (by specialists). The questions I first ask myselve is where? in what fields by whom?, in what theories? In what context? For me a conceptual systems is something like an imaginairy system... and this concept can have a kinds of meanings. The task of Wikipedia is to represent these meanings: to tell about the use of this concept.

Now you are saying: My goal is to find verifiability in the usage of 'conceptual system' in cognitive science, computer science, engineering and philosophy, and fist provide a general definition and then show the particular definitions as instance of the general form. You want to find verifiability in the usage of 'conceptual system'? Why not first try to find the usage of 'conceptual system'? and represent this? Mdd 21:43, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, there were somethings I didn't understand about wikipedia polices at first. I know I can find more sources but it takes a while. I am having to quit one of my jobs because I have so much work these days. But what about this usage from http://www.gwu.edu/~umpleby/Conceptual_Systems.txt, "A paper prepared for the Institute for Advanced Studies":
Ideas: One feature of complex social systems is that different individuals and groups are "playing different games." They not only have different goals, they live in different conceptual worlds. One way to compare the different ways that individuals or groups think is to list the key beliefs, assumptions or values which make up one or more "conceptual systems" in a table. As an example, see Table 1. Presenting beliefs and values in this way assumes that individually constructed "realities" can be described in the form of linguistic statements and that similarities and differences can be identified in these statements. Comparing ideas through the medium of language entails "objectifying" ideas, but temporarily "objectifying" ideas in language does not alter either the biological or the social nature of knowledge.
We also use similar terminology when developing and engineering software. The client comes to us knowing what they want, but only with respect to their conceptual system. We as programmers have a common conceptual system similar to mathematicians, etc (although at this point my degree is in math and I am still working on a comp.sci. degree). So for us in software engineering a huge goal is simply translating between these two conceptual systems.
It's true that saying 'math' is a 'conceptual system' takes it out to another layer of abstraction in a way. But at the same time individual sentiments may vary regarding what it really means that say 5 + 5 = 10 for instance, but math is such that regardless of our conceptual system we agree in that the statement 5 + 5 = 10 is true. Just like we agree that two red things are both red without knowing what red looks like to another person. If we really think about it, saying that "math" is a conceptual system is more saying that 'math as we know it' is a conceptual system. Because if we really understand math then we know it is not bound to any particular representation or formulation and in that sense may not be a conceptual system at all, it may be some special ultimate absolute in the universe.
By the way, if you want me to delete all the other stuff above so we can start fresh under this header "How to improve this article" I can do that. I imagine it might be almost painful to look at by now. Twiki has a nice plugin to do collapsible portions of text. - Ratjed 23:49, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm busy the next days but I'll get back to you on this. - Mdd 23:58, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Ok here we go. There are a view thinks I like to comment to your initiatives first:

  1. The quote about translating between conceptual systems: I still think that you can implement that text in the article itselve.
  2. I wonder what you didn't understand about wikipedia policies?
  3. The article about The cybernetics of conceptual systems: The article you found Stuart A. Umpleby (1994), The cybernetics of conceptual systems, Paper prepared for the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria. is very interesting and offers some interesting opportunities. I doubt however that your quote here on its own is very usefull (for the article).
  4. Your still trying to make up your mind, comparing theory to your own praxis as a software developer. I noticed that hereby you call different things a conceptual system. For example: The client ... is knowing ... with respect to their conceptual system. I my study systems engineering in the 1980s we didn't use the world conceptual system but "Real Life Systems": a term for a state of mind. Next you call math a conceptual system with is definitely not the state of mind, more a state of theory.
  5. If you start wondering what 5+5 means or their trues, you enter the realms of semantics, logic and knowledge theorie. And I don't know if I want to go their.
  6. And last but not least: In Wikipedia you normally don't delete the discussion, you file it in a archive. But since the (same) discussion is still going on, so I see no reason to do this.

Now back to my quesition how to improve this article. On way is to find sources. An other is figure out, how this article itselve should look like in an improved way: For example by looking at similar articles? Now maybe I should first take a break, to leave you some time to respond. - Mdd 14:52, 3 October 2007 (UTC)


I think taking some time off would be good for me. I am getting more and more intertwined with computer scientists who specialize in AI research and I plan to run a few things by them, and psychologists I know. Also as I mentioned in an earlier post, there is a 500 page book on "conceptual systems" which I still have to check our. It was written recently and there is hardly any info about it online.
But just to briefly try to address some of your questions above in a superficial (for the time being) manner. I think maybe calling mathematics itself a conceptual system is maybe a misuse of words. The statement is not precisely worded. A good way to word it is what I lack at the moment, but what I could say is the following: the way I do and/or think about math is without a doubt part of my personal conceptual system. That is more or less the first mainstream usage of the term. I think a good example of this sort of thing came about in physics when Eisenstein finally "exported" his conceptual system in a way. In that sense, we could view all of physics and mathematics as being a union of subsets of various peoples conceptual systems. In the case rigorous systems such as mathematics in general it may make more sense to call them theoretical systems at that point, but the therm "theoretical system" seems to be equally as ambiguous. My first inclination would be to call them "formal conceptual systems" but I have never seen that term used anywhere at all. Ratjed 05:06, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

This article should really get some more references to professional sources, see WP:CITE. I have made some small adjustments to the references to begin with. - Mdd 19:24, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Copy-paste registration[edit]

-- Mdd (talk) 21:13, 8 November 2009 (UTC)