Dear FIS Colleagues,

I am attaching herein Soeren's presentation. If you have any trouble with the attachment, the file is in fis web pages too:

By clicking on Soeren Brier's session (highlighted in red) you can immediately obtain it.

Nevertheless, below there is a selection of more general ideas from the paper. For those interested in FIS "archeology", Soeren presented in January 2004 a discussion session on Information, Autopoiesis, Life and Semiosis. It can be found by scrolling in the same above link.

Best greetings--Pedro



Søren Brier, CBS

This discussion aims at contributing to the definition of a universal concept of information covering objective as well as subjective experiential and intersubjective meaningful cognition and communication argued in more length in Brier (2015a). My take on the problem is that information is not primarily a technological term but a phenomenon that emerges from intersubjective meaningful sign based cognition and communication in living systems. The purpose of this discussion is to discuss a possible philosophical framework for an integral and more adequate concept of information uniting all isolated disciplines (Brier, 2010, 2011, 2013a+b+c).

The attempts to create /objective concepts/ of information were good for technology (Brilliouin 1962) and the development of AI, but not able to develop theories that could include the /experiential (*subjective*) aspect/ of informing that leads to meaning in the social setting (Brier 2015b). The statistical concept of Shannon (Shannon and Weaver 1963/1948) is the most famous objective concept but it was only a technical invention based on a mathematical concept of entropy, but never intended to encompass meaning.Norbert Wiener (/1963) /combined the mathematics statistical with Boltzmann’s thermodynamically entropy concept and defined information as neg-entropy. Wiener then saw the statistical information’s entropy as a representation for mind and the thermodynamically entropy as representing matter. So he thought he had solved the mind matter problem through his and Schrödinger’s (1944/2012) definition of information as neg-entropy. The idea was developed further into an evolutionary and ecological framework by Gregory Bateson (1972, 1979, 19827) resulting in an ecological cybernetic concept of mind as self-organized differences that made a difference for a cybernetically conceptualized mind (Brier 2008b). But this concepts that could not encompass meaning and experience of embodied living and social systems (Brier 2008a, 2010, 2011).

My main point is that from the present material, energetic or informational ontologies worldview we do not have any idea of how life, feeling, awareness and qualia could emerge from that foundation.

Ever since Russell and Whitehead’s attempt in Principia Mathematica to make a unified mathematical language for all sciences and logical positivism failed (Carnap, 1967 & Cartwright 1996),the strongest paradigm attempting in a new unification is now the info-computational formalism based on the mathematic calculus developed by Gregory Chaitin (2006 and 2007) ). The paradigm is only in its early beginning and is looking for a concept of natural computing (Dodig-Crnkovic, 2012) going beyond the Turing concept of computing. But even that still does not encompass the experiential feeling mind and the meaning orienting aspect of intersubjective communication wither be only sign or also language based.

So far there is no conclusive evidence to make us believe that the core of reality across nature, culture, life and mind is purely absolute mathematical law as Penrose (2004) seems to suggest or purely computational.Meaning is a way of making ‘sense’ of things for the individual in the world perceived. It is a non-mathematical existential feeling aspect of life related to reflection past, present and future of existence in the surrounding environment, in humans enhanced by language, writings, pictures, music through culture. In animals cognition and communication are connected to survival, procreation and pleasure. In humans beings cognition develops into consciousness through subjective experiential and meaning based (self-) reflection of the individual’s role in the external world and becomes an existential aspect.

My conclusion is therefore that a broader foundation is needed in order to understand the basis for information and communication in living systems. Therefore we need to include a phenomenological and hermeneutical ground in order to integrate a theory of interpretative//subjective/ and intersubjective meaning and signification with a theory of /objective/ information, which has a physical grounding (see for instance Plamen, Rosen & Gare 2015). Thus the question is how can we establish an alternative transdisciplinary model of the sciences and the humanities to the logical positivist reductionism on one hand and to postmodernist relativist constructivism on the other in the form of a transdisciplinary concept of Wissenschaft (i.e. “knowledge creation”, implying both subjectivism and objectivism)? The body and its meaning-making processes is a complex multidimensional object of research that necessitates trans-disciplinary theoretical approaches including biological sciences, primarily biosemiotics and bio-cybernetics, cognition and communication sciences, phenomenology, hermeneutics, philosophy of science and philosophical theology (Harney 2015, Davies & Gregersen 2009).

Peirce develops his pragmaticism as a way to unite empirical research, meaning and experience. His ontology is not only materialistic science but does also include meaning through embodied interaction through /experiential living/ bodies and thereby the social as well as the subjective forms of cognition, meaning and interpretation. Thereby he goes further than Popper’s (1978) view of the three worlds. Communication is not only a world of objective knowledge but is intersubjective meaningful information. Peirce’s idea of ‘the world’ is much bigger than what science considers being ‘the world’...


Attachment: FIS Soeren Infobiosemiotics abstract NEW.docx
Description: FIS Soeren Infobiosemiotics abstract NEW.docx

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