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-----Original Message----- From: Louis H Kauffman <kauff...@uic.edu> Sender: Fis <fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es> Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2016 00:18:08 To: fis<email@example.com> Cc: Søren Brier<sb....@cbs.dk> Subject: [Fis] _ Re: _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS Dear Soren, Excellent! 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” Best, Lou > On Apr 2, 2016, at 9:18 PM, Søren Brier <sb....@cbs.dk> 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 <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 [mailto:kauff...@uic.edu <mailto:kauff...@uic.edu>] > Sendt: 3. april 2016 01:09 > Til: fis > Cc: Søren Brier > Emne: Re: [Fis] _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS > > 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 <sb....@cbs.dk > <mailto:sb....@cbs.dk>> 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 [mailto:kauff...@uic.edu <mailto:kauff...@uic.edu>] > Sendt: 2. april 2016 05:46 > Til: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> > Cc: Pedro C. Marijuan; Søren Brier > Emne: Re: [Fis] _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS > > 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 et.al. 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 > Fis@listas.unizar.es <mailto:Fis@listas.unizar.es> > http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis > <http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis> > > >  <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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