It would be satisfying perhaps to think of our collective work as at the
forefront of the development of what will become A Grand Domain of Science,
but I would say the better trend in current science is toward careful
integration between domains rather than toward established grand divisions,
which seems a more a classical approach. Doesn't information play out in
the biological and the social domains? Isn't our most ambitious goal here
to explain scientifically the relationship between information and the
physical domain?

Whether modest or foolhardy as Terry suggests or of some other stature,
Terry's approach addresses the source of the great schism in all academic
and intellectual circles: Physical scientists are appropriately barred from
explaining behavior in terms of the value of information for some
end-directed self about, or representative of anything. But biological and
social scientists can't help but explain behavior in those terms. Focusing,
precisely on possible transitions from the physical domain to the living
and social domains is exactly what a scientific approach demands.

Lacking an explanation for the transition from mechanism to end-directed
behavior (which is inescapably teleological down to its roots in function
or adaptation--behaviors of value to a self about its environment), science
is stuck, siloed into isolated domains without a rationale.

To my mind, this makes the implications of meticulous work at the very
border between mechanism and end-directed behavior anything but modest in
its possible implications. In this I agree with Pedro. With what we now
know about self-organization-- how it is footing on the physical side for a
bridge from mechanism to end-directed behavior but does not itself provide
the bridge,  we are perfectly poised to build the bridge itself, through an
integrated science that explains the ontology of epistemology, providing
solid scientific ground over the absolutely huge gaping hole in the middle
of the broadest reaches of scientific and philosophical  endeavor.

Whether Terry's work or someone else's work bridges that gap, I predict
that, at long last, the gap can and will be finally filled, probably within
the next decade. As ambitious researchers this would be a lousy time for
any of us, Terry included, to stick to our guns in the face of substantial
critique revealing how a theory we embrace merely provides a new, more
clever way way to hide or smear over the gap pretending it isn't there,
which is why I would love to see this discussion refocus on the article's
detailed content. Though the implications of this research at the
borderline may be grand, the research, in the doing, is as Terry implies as
modest any careful scientific work.

Jeremy Sherman

On Sat, Jan 17, 2015 at 5:06 AM, Moisés André Nisenbaum <> wrote:

> Hi, Pedro.
> I didnt receive th image (Figure 1. The Four Great Domains of Science)
> Would you please send it again?
> Thank you.
> Moises
> 2015-01-17 9:00 GMT-02:00 <>:
>> Send Fis mailing list submissions to
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>> than "Re: Contents of Fis digest..."
>> Today's Topics:
>>    1. Re: Beginnings and ends---Steps to a theory of reference &
>>       significance (Pedro C. Marijuan)
>> ---------- Mensagem encaminhada ----------
>> From: "Pedro C. Marijuan" <>
>> To: "'fis'" <>
>> Cc:
>> Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2015 12:43:40 +0100
>> Subject: Re: [Fis] Beginnings and ends---Steps to a theory of reference &
>> significance
>>  Dear Terry and FIS colleagues---and pirates,
>> Just a brief reflection on the below.
>>  (From Terry's last message)...
>> So my goal in this case is quite modest, and yet perhaps also a bit
>> foolhardy. I want to suggest a simplest possible model system to use
>> as the basis for formalizing the link between physical processes and
>> semiotic processes. Perhaps someday after considerably elaborating
>> this analysis it could contribute to issues of the psychology of human
>> interactions. I hope to recruit some interest into pursuing this goal.
>> In my view, any research endeavor is also accompanied by some "ultimate"
>> goals or ends that go beyond the quite explicit disciplinary ones. In this
>> case, say, about the destiny of the constructs that would surround the
>> information concept (or the possibility of framing an informational
>> perspective, or a renewed information science, or whatever), wouldn't it be
>> interesting discussing in extenso what could that ultimate vision?
>> I mean, most of us may agree in quite many points related to the
>> microphysical (& thermodynamic) underpinning of information, as it
>> transpires in the exchanges we are having--but where do we want to arrive
>> finally with the construction activity? I tend to disagree with localist
>> aims, even though at the time being they may look more prudent and
>> parsimonious. Putting it in brief, too briefly!, and borrowing from
>> Rosenbloom (P.S. 2013. On Computing: The Fourth Great Scientific Domain)
>> the idea is that information science, properly developed and linked with
>> computer science and mathematics, should constitute one of the Great
>> Domains of contemporary science. The informational would go together with
>> the physical, the biological, and the social: constituting the four great
>> domains of science. See Figure below. Rather than attempting the
>> construction of another average or standard discipline, information science
>> is about the making out of one of the “great scientific domains” of
>> contemporary knowledge.
>> More cogent arguments could be elaborated on how to cover sceintifically
>> the whole "information world" (human societies, behaving individuals, brain
>> organization, cellular processes, biomolecules) and the problem of
>> interlocking--crisscrossing a myriad of information flows at all levels.
>> But the point is, "ends", although unassailable, may be as much important
>> as "beginnings".
>> Thanks in advance for the patience!
>> ---Pedro
>> *Figure 1. The Four Great Domains of Science*. The graphic shows the
>> network of contemporary disciplines in the background;
>> while the superimposed “four-leaf clover” represents the four great
>> scientific domains.
>> --
>> -------------------------------------------------
>> Pedro C. Marijuán
>> Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
>> Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
>> Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Aragón (CIBA)
>> Avda. San Juan Bosco, 13, planta X
>> 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
>> Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 (& 
>> 6818)pcmarijuan.iacs@aragon.es
>> -------------------------------------------------
>> _______________________________________________
>> Fis mailing list
> --
> Moisés André Nisenbaum
> Doutorando IBICT/UFRJ. Professor. Msc.
> Instituto Federal do Rio de Janeiro - IFRJ
> Campus Maracanã
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> Fis mailing list
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