Dear Soren,
What it amounts to is that you and I interpret all this a bit differently.
I am happy with Bateson’s unmarked states and his 
                                                                "All that is 
for the preacher
> The hypnotist, therapist and missionary
> They will come after me
> And use the little that I said
> To bait more traps
> For those who cannot bear
> The lonely
>         Skeleton
>                    of Truth”

> On Apr 2, 2016, at 9:18 PM, Søren Brier <> wrote:
> Dear Lou
> I did red these very nice metalogues, but these are not the philosophy of 
> science conceptual network underlying the real theory:
> For Bateson, mind is a cybernetic phe­nomenon, a sort of mental ecology. The 
> mental ecology relates to an ability to register differen­ces and is an 
> intrin­sic system property. The elementary, cyberne­tic system with its 
> messages in circuits is the simplest mental unit, even when the total system 
> does not include living organ­isms. Every living system has the following 
> charac­teristics that we generally call men­tal:
> 1. The system shall operate with and upon differences.
> 2. The system shall consist of closed loops or networks of path­ways a­long 
> which differ­ences and transforms of dif­fer­ences shall be trans­mitted. 
> (What is transmitted on a neuron is not an impulse; it is news of a 
> difference).
> 3. Many events within the system shall be energized by the respon­ding ­part 
> rather than by impact from the trig­gering part.
> 4. The system shall show self‑corrective­ness in the direc­tion of 
> home­ostasis and/or in the direction of runaway. Self-correc­tiveness implies 
> trial and error.
> (Bateson 1973: 458)
> Mind is synonymous with a cybernetic system that is compri­sed of a total, 
> self-correc­ting unit that prepares infor­mation. Mind is imma­nent in this 
> wholeness. When Bateson says that mind is immanent, he means that the mental 
> is immanent in the entire system, in the complete message circuit. One can 
> therefore say that mind is immanent in the circuits that are complete inside 
> the brain. Mind is also immanent in the greater cir­cuits, which complete the 
> system “brain + body.” Finally, mind is imma­nent in the even greater system 
> “man + environ­ment” or - more generally - “orga­nism + environment,” which 
> is identical to the elementary unit of evo­lution, i.e., the thinking, acting 
> and deciding agent:
> The individual mind is immanent, but not only in the body. It is imma­nent 
> also in pathways and messages outsi­de the body; and there is a larger Mind, 
> of which the individual is only a subsystem. This larger Mind is com­parable 
> to God and is perhaps what some people mean by “God,” but it is still 
> immanent in the total inter-con­nec­ted social system and planetary ecology. 
> Freud­ian psychology expanded the concept of mind inward to in­clude the 
> whole communi­cation system within the body - the auto­nomic, the habitual 
> and the vast range of uncons­cious processes. What I am saying expands mind 
> outward. And both of these changes reduce the scope of the cons­cious self. A 
> certain humility becomes appropri­ate, tem­pered by the dignity or joy of 
> being part of something bigger. A part -- if you will -- of God.
> (Bateson 1973: 436-37).
> Bateson’s cybernetics thus leads towards mind as immanent in both animate and 
> inanimate nature as well as in culture, because mind is essentially the 
> informational and logical pattern that connects everything through its 
> virtual recursive dynamics of differences and logical types. The theory is 
> neither idealistic nor materialistic. It is informational and 
> functionalistic[1] <x-msg://14/#_ftn1>.Norbert Wiener (1965/1948) has an 
> objective information concept, which Bateson develops to be more relational 
> and therefore more ecological. He develops a cybernetic concept of mind that 
> includes humans and culture. Bateson’s worldview seems biological. He sees 
> life and mind as coexisting in an ecological and evolutionary dynamic, 
> integrating the whole biosphere. Bateson clearly sympathizes with the 
> etholo­gists (Brier 1993, 1995) when he resists the positivistic split 
> between the rational and the emotional in lan­guage and thinking that is so 
> important for cognitive science. He acknowledges emotions as an important 
> cognitive process:
> It is the attempt to separate intel­lect from emotion that is mons­trous, and 
> I suggest that it is equally monstrous -- and dangerous -- to attempt to 
> separate the external mind from the internal. Or to separate mind from body. 
> Blake noted that “A tear is an intellectual thing,” and Pascal asserted that 
> “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows noth­ing.” We need not be 
> put off by the fact that the reasonings of the heart (or of the hypothalamus) 
> are accom­panied by sensa­tions of joy or grief. These computations are 
> con­cerned with matters, which are vital to mammals, namely matters of 
> relation­s­hip, by which I mean love, hate, re­spect, depend­ency, 
> spectatorship, perfor­man­ce, dominance and so on. These are central to the 
> life of any animal, and I see no objection to calling these computa­tions 
> “thought,” though cer­tainly the units of relational computation are 
> dif­ferent from the units which we use to compute about isolable things.
> (Bateson 1973: 438-39)
> It thus seems obvious that Bateson's “pattern that con­nects” includes the 
> phenomeno­logical-emotional dimen­sion in its concept of mind but viewed as 
> computational thoughts of relation, not as first person experiences. 
> Cybernetics does not have a theory of qualia and emotion – not even in 
> Bateson’s theories.
> In my opinion, this cybernetic viewpoint tells a great deal about 
> motivational and emotio­nal functionality as seen through an ecological and 
> evolutionary framework. It avoids physicalistic explanations, but although 
> Bateson developed his theory far in this direction, he never revisited the 
> first-order cybernetic foundation it was built upon. In Mind and Nature 
> (1980:103) Bateson further develops his criteria for a cybernetic definition 
> of mind:
> 1. A mind is an aggregate of inter­acting parts or components.
> 2. The interaction between parts of mind is triggered by difference, and 
> differ­ence is a non-substantial phenom­enon not located in space or time; 
> differ­ence is related to neg-entropy and entropy rather than to energy.
> 3. Mental processes require collateral energy.
> 4. Mental processes require circular (or more complex) chains of 
> deter­mina­tion.
> 5. In mental processes, the effects of differ­ence are to be regarded as 
> trans­forms (i.e., coded versions) of events preced­ing them. The rules of 
> such trans­formation must be com­paratively stable (i.e., more stable than 
> the con­tent) but are them­selves subject to trans­formation.
> 6.   The description and classification of these processes of transfor­mation 
> dis­close a hier­archy of logical types imma­nent in the phe­no­mena.
> (Bateson 1980: 102 and Bateson and Bateson 2005 p.18-19))
> Today these criteria are famous and basic within the cybernetic understanding 
> of mind. My critique concentrates on the foundation of the second criteria: 
> “differ­ence is related to neg-entropy and entropy... .” I find it 
> problematic that Bateson follows Norbert Wie­ner's idea that the concept 
> “infor­mation” and the concept “negative entropy,” are synonymous. He is not 
> only thinking of the statistical concept of entropy that Shannon uses in his 
> theory, since this is not connected to energy. Further, he thinks that this 
> insight unites the natural and the social sciences and finally resolves the 
> problems of teleol­ogy and the body-mind dichotomy (Ruesch and Bateson 1967: 
> 177). Regarding how the mystery of mind is resolved through the relation 
> between the concept “information” and the concept “negative entropy” Ruesch 
> and Bateson typically write:
> Wiener argued that these two concepts are synonymous; and this statement, in 
> the opinion of the writers, marks the greatest single shift in human thinking 
> since the days of Plato and Aristotle, because it unites the natural and the 
> social sciences and finally resolves the problems of teleology and the 
> body-mind dichotomy which Occidental thought has inherited from classical 
> Athens.
> (Ruesch and Bateson 1987/1951: 177)
> This statement characterizes the views of many researchers using this 
> framework within systems, cybernetics, and informatics. To Bateson 
> cybernetics provides a radical new foundation for a theory of mind and 
> communication, as well as cognitive science, with a modern expression that 
> unites the natural and social sciences. Psychology as such is not mentioned.
> Here is Bateson’s poem he wrote after completion of Mind and Nature (Bateson 
> and Bateson 2005/1987:6), which I think makes my point very clear:
> The manuscript
> So there it is in words
> Precise
> And if you read between the lines
> You will find nothing there
> For that is the discipline I ask
> Not more, not less
> Not the world as it is
> Not ought to be –
> Only the precision
> The skeleton of truth
> I do not dabble in emotions
> Hint at implications
> Evoke the ghosts of old forgotten creeds.
> All that is for the preacher
> The hypnotist, therapist and missionary
> They will come after me
> And use the little that I said
> To bait more traps
> For those who cannot bear
> The lonely
>         Skeleton
>                    of Truth
> Best
>                              Søren
> Fra: Louis H Kauffman [ <>] 
> Sendt: 3. april 2016 01:09
> Til: fis
> Cc: Søren Brier
> Dear Soren,
> If you were to read the dialogues with Mary Catherine Bateson (as a child) 
> and Gregory Bateson in “Steps to an Ecology of Mind”, you might change your 
> notion of
> what sort of view of the observer is being studied in cybernetics. It is all, 
> through and through about a feeling for and an awarenss of context.
> This deep awareness of context is what brought so many of us to study the 
> cybernetics of Bateson, von Foerster, Pask, Matrurana and others!
> I feel sorry that you have acquired such a mechanistic view of cybernetics.
>  I have no idea what you could possibly mean by a ‘cybernetic mind built out 
> of circular logical reasoning’! 
> Do you mean what comes from 
> “I am the observed link between myself and observing myself” (HVF)?
> Note that the words 
> observer,
> observed,
> myself,
> I,
> are all undefined here and it is up to the reader of this evocation to fill 
> them in with feeling in the circular round that is but a walk or spiral about 
> the notion of self,
> based on the given that selves can observe ‘themselves’.
> Similarly in your sentence, the words
> cybernetic,
> mind,
> cybernetic mind,
> built,
> are undefined. The most treacherous is the word ‘built’ suggesting as it does 
> that we would perhaps imagine that we can construct, as in building Uinivac, 
> a ‘cybernetic mind.’ I think that i prefer the postitronic brains of Isaac 
> Asimov. 
> Perhaps you are a reader of Stanislaw Lem and his Science Fiction Robots. 
> In taking a concept such as circularity, and emphasizing it, we run the risk 
> of making it sound like a be-all and end-all. It is important to understand 
> that circularity is really always a spiral, and when we return to the first 
> place it has been transformed in the next newness. Feeling emerges in the 
> eternal return to the new and just born. These are the metaphors that we take 
> to heart.
> Very best,
> Lou
> P.S. I am quite conscious that I use an apposite strategy, speaking as 
> poetically as I know how in the face of apparently logical but undefined 
> rhetoric.
> It is easy for us to get lost in our own words.
> On Apr 2, 2016, at 2:28 PM, Søren Brier < 
> <>> wrote:
> Dear Lou
> Thank you for your comments. My critique of Bateson is that his definition of 
> the observer was purely cybernetics and  never included the experiential and 
> therefore the emotional and meaning producing aspect of awareness. This is 
> simply not included in the foundation the transdisciplinary foundation of 
> cybernetics and may I add most of system science. Bateson’s observer is a 
> cybernetic mind build out of circular logical reasoning, like McCulloch’s and 
> von Foerster’s observer and I will include Maturana’s observer too. It is an 
> inherited limitation of the cybernetic paradigm. This is the reason I have 
> tried to integrate it into Peirce’s deep form of transdisciplinarity.
> Luhmann see the lack of a phenomenological foundation in systems science and 
> cybernetics (his system theory attempts to integrate them all including 
> Bateson). Because of this lack he attempts to integrate his model with 
> aspects of Husserl’s phenomenology by including a horizon of expectations but 
> conceptualized in probability mathematics. Luhmann (1990) and Peirce both 
> share the idea of form as the essential component in communication. Peirce 
> writes:
> […] a Sign may be defined as a Medium for the communication of a Form. [...]. 
> As a medium, the Sign is essentially in a triadic relation, to its Object 
> which determines it, and to its Interpretant which it determines. [...]. That 
> which is communicated from the Object through the Sign to the Interpretant is 
> a Form; that is to say, it is nothing like an existent, but is a power, is 
> the fact that something would happen under certain conditions.  (MS: 793:1-3)
> In Peirce’s dynamic process semiotics, a form is something that is embodied 
> in an object as a habit. Thus, form acts as a constraining factor on 
> interpretative behavior or what he calls a real possibility in the form of a 
> ‘would-be’. The form is embodied in the object as a sort of disposition to 
> act (Nöth 2012). This is based on Peirce’s metaphysics of Tychism, which is 
> close to the spontaneity found in the vacuum fields of quantum filed theory, 
> except that Peirce’s view of substance differs from modern physics in that he 
> is a hylozoist like Aristotle, but now in an evolutionary process ontology.
> I did meet Penrose many years ago and discussed his three world scenario with 
> him and it is correct that on p.17-21 in The road to reality he give one of 
> his most deep discussion of the model. But I do not recognize you far 
> reaching and subtle interpretation there. For me the important ontological 
> assumption is the independent mathematical platonic world, which is why the 
> book’s subtitle is A complete guide to the laws of the Universe, which is 
> connected to his prejudice that “the entire physical world is depicted as 
> being governed according to mathematical laws” (p.18). Like Popper he 
> operates with a mental world, but never gives a phenomenological or otherwise 
> definition of the experiential world of experience, feelings and meaning, 
> which is a place Popper also avoids and therefore never goers into a 
> discussion of the qualitative “sciences”. In his development of his basic 
> three world model in Fig.1.3 Penrose in figure 1.4 does believe that  “there 
> might be mentality that is not rooted in physical structure”(p.20) and there 
> is “the possibility of physical action beyond the scope of mathematical 
> control” (p.20). On p. 21 he write about the mystery of “how it is that 
> mentality – most particularly conscious awareness –can come about in 
> association with appropriate physical structures...” and like in his work 
> with Hameroff he believes that this understanding has to come from “..  major 
> revolutions in our physical understanding”. They want to go deeper in quantum 
> theory to transgress the type of physical worldview science is working from 
> now. I am puzzled by how his views here are consistent with his view in the 
> Emperor’s new mind and Shadows of mind where he argues against AI having the 
> same qualities as the human mind.
> Thanks
>                     Søren
> Fra: Louis H Kauffman [ <>] 
> Sendt: 2. april 2016 05:46
> Til: <>
> Cc: Pedro C. Marijuan; Søren Brier
> Dear Soren and Folks,
> I have included some comments inside Soren’s introduction.
> Best,
> Lou K.
> Infobiosemiotics
> 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). 
> [It seems to me that Bateson is well aware of the neccesity of being 
> meaningful and thoughtful in relation to information and that his ‘difference 
> that makes a difference’ is often the difference that is understood by an 
> aware observer. Thus for him it is often the case that information arises 
> within awareness and is not just 
> a matter of channel capacities as in the Shannon approach. The whole reason 
> one is take by Bateson and can find much to think about there is that he has 
> a sensitive and thoughtful approach to this area of problems. It is too harsh 
> to just say that “the idea was developed further …”. 
> 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. 
> [Yes.]
> 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), 
> [Personally, I do not regard the incompleteness results of Godel as an 
> indication of failure! They show for the first time the true role of 
> formalism in mathematics and in intellectual endeavor in general. We cannot 
> rely on formalism only for our search, but it is through examining the limits 
> of given formalisms that the search can be carried further. I do not say this 
> is the only way forward, but we are no longer stuck with idea of a perfect 
> mechanism that can in principle generate all mathematical 
> truths. This has failed and we are happy at that.]
> 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 ‘mathematical calculus’ of Chaitin iis very stimulating and it is based 
> on the same incompleteness arguments as Goedel. Chaitin defines ‘random’ 
> relative to a given formal system L. A sequence is random if there is no 
> algorithm in L simpler than THE SEQUENCE ITSELF that can generate the 
> sequence. Complexity of algorithms can be examined from this point of view. 
> What we do not see in Chaitin is that same thing we do not see in Shannon. We 
> do not see a role for judgement or phenomenolgy. I am interested in your 
> notion that Chaitin has done more than this. Please say more.]
> 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.
> [Here I think you say the same as I just said above. It does not go far 
> enough.]
> 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
> [Penrose says more. He is a particular sort of Platonist and he speaks of 
> Three Worlds: World of Mind, Platonic Ideal World, Physical World.
> He has a triplicate circular relationship of these three worlds. The subtle 
> part of Mind is included in the Platonic. The subtle part of the Platonic is 
> included in the 
> deep mathematical structure of the physical. The subtle part of the physical 
> is included in the Mind. These are all proper inclusions. Mind is greater 
> than the subtle physical. The Platonic is greater than the subtle mind. The 
> Physical is greater than its subtle mathematical core. You can find all this 
> in the introduction to Penrose’s
> book “The Road to Reality”. ]
> or purely computational. 
> [In his books Penrose argues again and again against the notion that we are 
> purely computational and he does not believe that the Universe is purely 
> computational.]
> Meaning is a way of making ‘sense’ of things for the individual in the world 
> perceived.
> [I think it would help to raise (once again) the question of the meaning of 
> meaning. It is too easy to say that meaning is a ‘making sense of’ or that it 
> is non-mathematical. The problem with saying non-mathematical is that one has 
> to raise (once again) the question of what it means (sic) to be mathematical.
> And when all is said and done it will become clear that one has to 
> differentiate between mathematical meaning calculational and mathematical 
> meaning 
> conceptual (the number two is the concept of pair). When one asks how comes 
> about a concept then one is thrown fully into the relationship of 
> thought,percept and concept. I say that this is where meaning comes about. 
> And indeed ‘feeling’ is important in this domain, as feeling is what 
> intermediates thought,percept and concept.
> There is a strong need for very careful and sensitive phenomenological 
> discussion of this issue.]
> 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.
> [Here you discuss exacty that arena of though, concept and percept.]
> 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/subjectiveand 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’... 
> [Thank you for this fine introduction to your thinking!]
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> <FIS Soeren Infobiosemiotics abstract 
> NEW.docx>_______________________________________________
> Fis mailing list
> <>
> <>
> [1] <x-msg://14/#_ftnref1> Functionalism is a philosophical view of mind, 
> according to which mental processes are characterized in terms of their 
> abstract functional or even computational relationships to one another, and 
> to sensory inputs and motor outputs. The mind should be explained in terms of 
> the function of the human body within a given environment.  Bateson expands 
> this idea further into the environment. Its core idea is that mental states 
> can be accounted for without taking into account the underlying physical 
> medium such as the brain. In the computational view the mind is seen as the 
> software and the brain as the hardware. As these processes are not limited to 
> a particular physical state or physical medium, they can be realized in 
> multiple ways. Some call it a non-reductive materialism others the 
> information processing paradigm. It is probably the dominant theory of mental 
> states in modern philosophy (Brier 1992 and 1999). I know that many 
> researchers using Bateson’s work do not share this understanding and find it 
> provoking and unfair to their interpretation of Bateson’s paradigm. But I 
> find my interpretation clearly supported by the two first chapters in the 
> posthumous published book Angels Fear (2005/1987), which Mary Catherine 
> Bateson participated in and finished after her fathers dead, and it is also 
> supported by Hayles (1999) interpretation of cybernetics and in the way 
> Luhmann (1995) uses Bateson in his theory:  The view is further developed in 
> this article.

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