Dear Maxine Sheets-Johnstone,
I would like to make a remark on your comment below.

"(4). References made to Gödel’s theorem to uphold certain theses can be 
questioned. The claim that Gödel makes on behalf of his theorem is inaccurate.
Three articles that demonstrate the inaccuracy, one from a phenomenological
perspective, two others from a logical-analytical perspective, warrant 
study. In brief, self-referential statements are vacuous, hence neither true 
nor false.
Moreover the sentences expressing the statements may be used to make two quite
different statements, a fact ignored by Gödel.(See Note #4:  “Self-Reference and
Gödel’s Theorem,” “The Liar Syndrome,” and “Doctor’s Diagnosis Sustained”)”

My remark takes the form of a partially linguistic analysis of reference and it 
will be a bit technical/symbolic.
My point is to show that reference naturally leads to self-reference in domains 
where there is a sufficiently rich structure of reference.
I also have a question for you in that you say that "The claim that Gödel makes 
on behalf of his theorem is inaccurate.”. Can you please articulate your view 
Goedel’s claim. There are many claims about Goedel that are inaccurate, but I 
would not say that the inaccuracies are his!

Now to get to my analysis. First let A——> B denote a reference from A to B. You 
can think of A as the name of B. But it can be just an ordered relationship 
from A to B and in that case 
A and B can be physical entities or symbolic entities. Usually in naming we 
think of A as symbolic and B as physical, but we mix them in our language. For 
example, if I am introduced to you
then I acquire a pointer Maxine ——> SJ where I use SJ to denote the person you 
are. This might be the person sensed visually upon being met. Before we were 
introduced, there was SJ in my sight, but now I know her name.

 This situation shifts almost immediately. I learn to associate the name Maxine 
with SJ the person, and so when I see you next I see you as “SJ - Maxine” and 
it seems that your name comes along with you. I call this shift the Indicative 
Shift and denote it as follows.
A ——> B shifts to
#A ——> BA.
#Maxine is my internally indexed name for that entity SJ-Maxine who is seen 
with a name associated with her.
You could call #Maxine the ‘meta-name’ of SJ-Maxine. Of course in our actual 
language #Maxine is still pronounced and wrote as Maxine.
The indicative shift occurs in all levels of our language and thought. The 
objects of our thought and perception are so laden with the names and symbols 
that have been shifted to them, that their ‘original nature’ is nearly 
invisible. I will not involve this to a discussion of the ding-an-sich or with 
meditation practice, but these are important avenues to pursue.

I am imagining a human being (or another organism) as a very big entity with 
the perceptual and naming capabilities who is endowed with this ability to make 
indicative shifts.

Such a being would notice its own shifting operation.

The being may then engage in a naming process such as M ——> #. 
M would be the being’s name for its own operation (so observed) of shifting 
It does require a certain age for this to occur. 
But then this naming would be shifted and we would go from 
M ——> #
#M ——> #M.
At this point the being has attained linguistic self-reference. The being can 
say “I am the meta-name of my own naming process.”
This nexus or fixed point of self-reference can occur naturally in a being that 
has sufficient ability to distinguish, name and create.

In this way, I convince myself that there is nothing special about 
self-reference. It arises naturally in observing systems. And I convince myself 
that self-reference is central to an organized and reflective cognition. Even 
though it is empty to say that “I am the one who says I.” this emptiness 
becomes though language an organizing center for our explorations of our own 
world and the worlds of others. The beauty of “I am the one who says I.” is 
that it is indeed a vacuous reference. Anyone can take it on. The “I” can refer 
to any observing system sophisticated enough to give it meaning.

My example should be expanded into a discussion of the role and creation of 
meaning in observing systems, but I shall stop here.

I am interested in how Soren Brier will react to these, perhaps seen as 
indirect, remarks on mind and meaning.
I take thought and the realm of discrimination as the start of epistemology and 
I do not regard the immediate apparent objects of our worlds as anything but 
incredibly decorated entities
appearing after a long history of indicative shift. What is their original 
nature? It is empty. Emptiness is form and form is emptiness. The form we take 
to exist arises from framing nothing.

Now, I caution you in replying to please read carefully what I have written 
I will not reply directly to the discussion for another week or so.

Lou Kauffman
P.S. The indicative shift is precisely the formalism in back of the workings of 
Goedel’s Theorem.
See “Categorical Pairs and the Indicative Shift”, <>

> On Apr 11, 2016, at 11:41 PM, Maxine Sheets-Johnstone <> 
> wrote:
> To all colleagues,
> I hope I may voice a number of concerns that have arisen in the course
> of the ongoing discussions that are ostensibly about phenomenology and
> the life sciences.
> The concerns begin with a non-recognition of what is surely the ground
> floor of real-life, real-time realities, namely, animation, not in the
> sense of being alive or in opposition to the inanimate, but in the sense
> of motion, movement, kinetics. As Aristotle cogently remarked,
> “Nature is a principle of motion and change. . . . We must therefore see
> that we understand what motion is; for if it were unknown, nature too
> would be unknown” (Physics 200b12-14).
> Through and through--from animate organisms to an ever-changing world--
> movement is foundational to understandings of subject and world, and of
> subject/world relationships, and this whether subject and world are
> examined phenomenologically or scientifically. In short, movement is at
> the core of information and meaning, at the core of mind and consciousness,
> at the core of both gestural and verbal language, at the core of nervous
> system and organic functionings, at the core of molecular transformations,
> at the core of ellipses, electrons, gravity, waves, particles, and so on,
> and further, at the core of time, the concept, measurement, and meaning of
> time.
> I enumerate below specifics with respect to what is essentially the
> foundational dynamic reality. The summary concerns are followed by
> references that document each concern. If further specifics are wanted or
> if specific articles are wanted, kindly contact
> (1). Instincts and/or feelings motivate animate organisms to move.
> Without such instincts or feelings there would be no disposition
> to move. An ‘animate organism’ would in truth be akin to a statue,
> a statue Condillac described two and a half centuries ago as having
> first this sense given to it, then that sense given to it, but that,
> lacking movement, is powerless to gain knowledge of the world. Such
> a movement deficient creature would furthermore lack the biological
> capacity of responsivity, a near universal characteristic of life.
> The startle reflex is a premier example. Can what is evolutionarily
> given be “illogical”? Clearly, feelings are not “illogical,” but move
> through animate bodies, moving them to move. Without feelings of
> curiosity, for example, or awe, or wonder, there would be no exploration
> of the natural world, no investigations, hence no “information.”
> Furthermore, without feelings of movement—initially, from an evolutionary
> perspective, no proprioception, and later, no kinesthesia--there would be
> no near and far, no weak and strong, no straight and curved, and so on,
> hence, no determinations of Nature. In short, there would be no information
> and no meaning. (See Note #1: The Primacy of Movement)
> (2). An excellent lead-in to scientific understandings of movement and
> its inherent dynamics lies in the extensive research and writings of
> J. A. Scott Kelso, Pierre de Fermat Laureate in 2007. Kelso was founder
> of the Center for Brain and Behavioral Studies and its Director for twenty
> years. His rigorous multi-dimensional experimental studies are anchored in
> coordination dynamics, an anchorage that is unconstrained by dogma. The
> breadth of his knowledge and his sense of open inquiry is apparent in the
> literature he cites in conjunction with his articles and books. His recent
> article in Biological Cybernetics that focuses on “Agency” is strikingly
> relevant to the present FIS discussion. It takes experience into account,
> specifically in the form of “positive feedback,” which obviously involves
> kinesthesia in a central way. Moreover his upcoming Opinion piece in Trends
> in Cognitive Science should be essential reading. (See Note #2: “The 
> Coordination
> Dynamics of Mobile Conjugate Reinforcement” and The Complementary Nature)
> (3). As pointed out elsewhere, “Certainly words carry no patented meanings,
> but the term ‘phenomenology’ does seem stretched beyond its limits when it
> is used to denote either mere reportorial renderings of perceptible behaviors
> or actions, or any descriptive rendering at all of perceptible behaviors or
> actions. At the least, ‘phenomenology’ should be recognized as a very specific
> mode of epistemological inquiry invariably associated with the name Edmund 
> Husserl. . . . ”
> Phenomenological inquiries are tethered to a very specific methodology, one as
> rigorous as that of science. Phenomenological findings are furthermore open to
> verification by others, precisely as in science. Moreover two forms of
> phenomenological analysis warrant recognition: static and genetic, the former
> being a determination of the essential character of the object of inquiry, the
> second being a determination of how the meaning of that object of inquiry came
> to be constituted, hence an inquiry into sedimentations of meaning, into
> protentions and retentions, into horizons of meaning, and so on. Thus too,
> what warrants recognition is the fact that bracketing is not the beginning and
> end of phenomenological methodology. On the contrary, bracketing is only the 
> beginning.
> Phenomenological reduction follows bracketing and allows the essential 
> character
> of the object of inquiry or the constitution of its meaning to come to light.
> (See Note #3: Animation: Analyses, Elaborations, and Implications”)
> (4). References made to Gödel’s theorem to uphold certain theses can be 
> definitively
> questioned. The claim that Gödel makes on behalf of his theorem is inaccurate.
> Three articles that demonstrate the inaccuracy, one from a phenomenological
> perspective, two others from a logical-analytical perspective, warrant 
> clear-headed
> study. In brief, self-referential statements are vacuous, hence neither true 
> nor false.
> Moreover the sentences expressing the statements may be used to make two quite
> different statements, a fact ignored by Gödel.(See Note #4:  “Self-Reference 
> and
> Gödel’s Theorem,” “The Liar Syndrome,” and “Doctor’s Diagnosis Sustained")
> (5): Information is commonly understood as factual knowledge, thus empirically
> sustained and sustainable knowledge. It is thus a matter of the condition or
> nature or workings, etc., of something out there in the world, including even
> your liver if that is the source of information. Mathematics has its origin in
> arithmetic, the latter having its origins in counting things in the world,
> including if not beginning with one’s fingers, and in shape, including if not
> beginning with differentiating contours and size, thus with linear and 
> amplitudinal
> dimensions of things in the world. As I wrote in my last posting, I hope that
> someone will take up the challenge of doing a phenomenological analysis of 
> information.
> An inquiry into the relationship of meaning to information and of information 
> to
> meaning might then be undertaken. That step, to my mind, would provide solid 
> ground
> for linking informational sciences and phenomenology, linking by way of 
> showing—-
> demonstrating—complementarities, precisely complementarities in the sense that
> Bohr and Kelso specify.
> Note #1: Sheets-Johnstone, Maxine. 2011. The Primacy of Movement, expanded 
> 2nd ed.
> Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing
> Note #2: Kelso, J. A. Scott and Armin Fuchs. 2016. “The Coordination Dynamics 
> of
> Mobile Conjugate Reinforcement,” Biological Cybernetics:  DOI 
> 10.1007/s00422-015-0676-0.
> Kelso, J. A. Scott and David A. Engström. 2006. The Complementary Nature. 
> Cambridge,
> MA: Bradford Book/MIT Press.
> Note #3: Sheets-Johnstone, Maxine. 2015. “Animation: Analyses, Elaborations, 
> and Implications,”
> Husserl Studies, 30/3: 247-268.  DOI 10.1007/s10743-014-9156-y
> Note #4: Johnstone, Albert A. 2002. “Self-Reference and Gödel’s Theorem: A 
> Husserlian Analysis."
> Husserl Studies, 19: 131-151.
> Johnstone, Albert A. 2002. “The Liar Syndrome,” SATS/Nordic Journal of 
> Philosophy, 3/1: 37-55.
> Johnstone, Albert A. 2002. “Doctor’s Diagnosis Sustained,” SATS/Nordic 
> Journal of Philosophy,
> 3/2: 142-153.
> Maxine
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