Toward an Enlargement of the Role of Natural Languages in Information Processing, Decision and Control
It is a deep-seated tradition in science to view the use of natural languages in scientific theories as a manifestation of mathematical immaturity. The rationale for this tradition is that natural languages are lacking in precision. However, what is not recognized to the extent that it should, is that adherence to this tradition carries a steep price. In particular, a direct consequence is that existing scientific theories do not have the capability to operate on perception-based information exemplified by “Most Finns are honest.” Such information is usually described in a natural language and is intrinsically imprecise, reflecting a fundamental limitation on the cognitive ability of humans to resolve detail and store information. Because of their imprecision, perceptions do not lend themselves to meaning-representation through the use of precise methods based on predicate logic. This is the principal reason why existing scientific theories do not have the capability to operate on perception-based information.