Member # 107
posted 26. March 2002 10:33
It seems that design cannot exist apart from necessity and contingency. The very possibility to write this message draws from my ability to bring about some new and live possibility  together with the causal necessities of physics that allows this message to be transformed and send in digital format across the WWW. DNA governs the growth and development of organisms through the causal laws of nature. All designs, whether real or conventional, involve some form of necessity. In philosophy we have the question of the nature of necessity. In Kantian spirit Kelley Ross divides analytic truths according to kind of necessity they employ:
quote:Of course we should also remember the analytic truths that are based on logical (tautological) necessity, like: "It will rain or it won't rain tomorrow." In this context it occurred to me that it might as well be possible to classify designs according to what kind of necessity they employ.
"All placental mammals give live birth" is thus analytic of the concept "placental mammal," which is a natural kind based in causal necessity, while "All Hobbits are short" is analytic of the concept "Hobbit," which is a fictional artifact of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and so dependent on the mere fact of the convention adopted by the imagination of Tolkien.
Now, design involves laws and laws are species of necessity. Charles Peirce subdivided Kant's category of Necessity into the laws of logical necessity, physical necessity, and intentional or subjective necessity. As forms of necessity they represent the rules and guideposts that constraint possibility (we might call them the definitory rules of design). It follows that there are then three kinds of designs:
1. Logical design: defined by laws of though or logic.
2. Physical design: defined by laws of nature - physical causality.
3. Intentional design: defined by intentional rules between players.
For example, a mathematical proof or a formal logical proof would be a logical design. Physical designs would include most of biology, especially IC-systems, and all technology based on physics - various machines and tools. Game strategies, like chess-strategies, would be examples of intentional designs. Indeed, all "games" whose rules are based on convention, including baseball or even states and policies, would embody intentional design.
As far as I can see, the ID-community has so far consentrated mostly on physical design, but similar principles should also apply to logical and intentional design, allthough they should have important differences, too.
 The modality of possibility involves some philosophical controversy. Treating modality as quantification across possible worlds, as suggested by Saul Kripke presupposes the meaning of "possible" in "possible worlds." Treating the possible worlds as actual worlds, like D. Lewis does, eliminates the modality but introduces a horrific epistemic problems of infinities of worlds.