Dear Soren,
I will respond to your letter by adding comments below.
This will be my last entry in this discussion until next week.
Lou K.

>> Dear Lou
>> You wrote: “ 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.”
>> Answer: Can I deduce that the “we” that takes the form to exist by framing 
>> nothing is also something that arose by framing nothing?
[If I were to be consistent and absolutist about these metaphors, then indeed 
the we also arises by framing nothing. That is consistent with ‘I’ as a fill-in 
or empty nexus.
You can ask who did that? But I say it is ungrammatical to ask the question at 
the inception of a distinction where the distinction and the observer arise 

>> Who did that? How do you get from your self-organizing logical thinking to 
>> experiential consciousness and it’s dynamics of making distinctions from 
>> cybernetics and without stipulating a philosophical framework with an 
>> epistemology an ontology?
[I do not have a story to tell that shows how to get something from nothing. I 
only observe that it is the case.
All creation stories have a gap at the beginning.]

>> And an anthropology?
>> I do see that a theory of form is essential for you as it is for Spencer 
>> Brown and Peirce as well. But Peirce is open enough to infer to a Cosmogony 
>> when he writes:
>> … the immaterial contained in the material. … Now the meaning of a thing is 
>> what it conveys. Thus, when a child burns his finger at the candle, he has 
>> not only excited a disagreeable sensation, but has also learned a lesson in 
>> prudence. Now the mere matter cannot have given him this notion, since 
>> matter has no notions to give. Who originated it then? It must be that this 
>> thought was put into nature at the beginning of the world. It must have been 
>> meant because it was conveyed. Further, what is the necessary condition to 
>> matter’s conveying a notion.  It is that it shall present a sensible and 
>> distinct form. … It must be sensible to be anything to us and it must be 
>> distinct or distinguished to be a form to us…. Thus it is the form of a 
>> thing that carries its meaning. But the same thing conveys different 
>> meanings to different faculties. So there are different orders of meaning in 
>> nature. The poet with his esthetic eye reads the secret of the sea. ... The 
>> man of science with the eye of reason reads the secret of Nature as a 
>> system. (W 1 50)
[Well, he says “this thought was put into Nature at the beginning of the World. 
As I said, all creation stories have a JUMP at the beginning.]

>> When I read your cybernetic arguing I wonder how man can read the secrets of 
>> nature? In CP 5.488 Peirce makes a crucial ontological distinction; namely 
>> that: “all this universe is perfused with signs, if it is not composed 
>> exclusively of signs”. 

[I say the distinguished universe of man is perfused with signs. I find it 
romantic to imagine that this is all there is. I do not know if that is all 
there is. I doubt it. When you wash away all the signs then ….NOTHING IS 

>> Only the latter idea implies Peirce’s thesis that signs are not restricted 
>> to the living world, in the sense that semiosis is also at work already in 
>> the pre-living development of the universe. This is what John Deely calls 
>> physiosemiosis. The idea is not pansemiotic, but that signs develop within 
>> cosmogony, as part of the development of the universe’s reasoning 
>> capability. Thus, it accepts the physical description of the processes in 
>> the early universe before life emerged, but it is not physicalist, as it is 
>> encompassed in a greater semiotic cosmogony. This is not pansemiotics since 
>> it only implies that the possibility of semiosis lies in physics, – but not 
>> that those possibilities are realized in all physical processes. 
>> Physiosemiosis explores the question of exactly where and how the 
>> possibility of semiosis lies in physics. This means that the overall view of 
>> evolution is the connection between man and the universe. The connection 
>> between outer and inner nature was driven by the universal development of 
>> semiotic reasoning in cosmogony (CP 1.615).

[I summarize all of this by saying that every distinction is accompanied by an 
awareness. Every distinction is semiotic.]

>> Overall, this gives Peirce the alternative view of Cosmogony expressed in “A 
>> Guess at the Riddle” that might be compatible for both science and religion 
>> if they accept the semiotic pragmaticist framework. He starts in the usual 
>> thycistic way with absolute change with the tendency to take habits. Then he 
>> writes about the development of the universe in a way that is compatible 
>> with the modern theories of multiverses (Carr 2007):
>> Our conceptions of the first stages of the development, before time yet 
>> existed, must be as vague and figurative as the expressions of the first 
>> chapter of Genesis. Out of the womb of indeterminacy we must say that there 
>> would have come something, by the principle of Firstness, which we may call 
>> a flash. Then by the principle of habit there would have been a second 
>> flash. Though time would not yet have been, this second flash was in some 
>> sense after the first, because resulting from it. Then there would have come 
>> other successions ever more and more closely connected, the habits and the 
>> tendency to take them ever strengthening themselves, until the events would 
>> have been bound together into something like a continuous flow. We have no 
>> reason to think that even now time is quite perfectly continuous and uniform 
>> in its flow. The quasi-flow which would result would, however, differ 
>> essentially from time in this respect that it would not necessarily be in a 
>> single stream. Different flashes might start different streams, between 
>> which there should be no relations of contemporaneity or succession. So one 
>> stream might branch into two, or two might coalesce. But the further result 
>> of habit would inevitably be to separate utterly those that were long 
>> separated, and to make those which presented frequent common points coalesce 
>> into perfect union. Those that were completely separated would be so many 
>> different worlds which would know nothing of one another; so that the effect 
>> would be just what we actually observe…
>> Pairs of states will also begin to take habits, and thus each state having 
>> different habits with reference to the different other states will give rise 
>> to bundles of habits, which will be substances. Some of these states will 
>> chance to take habits of persistency, and will get to be less and less 
>> liable to disappear; while those that fail to take such habits will fall out 
>> of existence. Thus, substances will get to be permanent.
>> In fact, habits, from the mode of their formation, necessarily consist in 
>> the permanence of some relation, and therefore, on this theory, each law of 
>> nature would consist in some permanence, such as the permanence of mass, 
>> momentum, and energy. In this respect, the theory suits the facts admirably. 
>> (CP 1.412-15)
>> Adding to this construction of categories and cosmogony, Peirce also 
>> establishes his metaphysical framework based on pure mathematics,[1] 
>> <x-msg://11/#_ftn1> phenomenology, aesthetics, ethics and logic as 
>> semiotics. He writes in his Cambridge Lectures (Peirce 1898): “metaphysics 
>> must draw its principles from logic, … logic must draw its principles ... 
>> from mathematics” (Peirce 1992:123). Since all cognition, thinking and 
>> communication is done with and through signs, and since the processes in the 
>> natural environment (geology and ecology) work dynamically on sign 
>> processes, there is no reason to suppose any limits to our knowledge on one 
>> hand and on the other that we know the whole truth in any precise detail. 
>> Logic is semiotics. Peirce writes:
>> Logic, in its general sense, is, as I believe I have shown, only another 
>> name for semiotic (σημειωτική), the quasi-necessary, or formal, doctrine of 
>> signs. By describing the doctrine as “quasi-necessary”, or formal, I mean 
>> that we observe the characters of such signs as we know, and from such an 
>> observation, by a process which I will not object to naming Abstraction, we 
>> are led to statements, eminently fallible, and therefore in one sense by no 
>> means necessary, as to what must be the characters of all signs used by a 
>> “scientific” intelligence, that is to say, by an intelligence capable of 
>> learning by experience. As to that process of abstraction, it is itself a 
>> sort of observation.         ( CP 2.227)
[You are right that i do not disagree with Peirce, not at all]
>> I do not think you disagree very much with Peirce here Lou, but I think the 
>> cybernetic background you are coming from has skipped important parts of the 
>> philosophical work to put up an adequate metaphysical framework.

[Naw. I am not speaking from cybernetics. What the heck is cybernetics?
I am speaking from contemplating a distinction. You could take me as an 
afficianado of the Peirce Calculus written in Spencer-Brown form and influenced 
by both early and late Wittgenstein. I am skeptical of cosmology. I think we 
make a lot out of very little and indeed our worlds are built from our signing 
and the limits of our signing are the limits of our world.]

>> This is what lead me on to Luhmann and from him to Peirce. I have a short 
>> column in CHK on that 
>> <>
>>     I have discussed this with Maturana now and  then  over the last 20 
>> years and with Heinz von Foerster for whom I wrote a paper analyzing his 
>> theory development to his 70 years festschrift: “The construction of 
>> information and communication: A cybersemiotic reentry into Heinz von 
>> Foerster's metaphysical construction of second-order cybernetics”  it can be 
>> downloaded here 
>> <>
>> There is much more  Peirce stuff on cosmogenesis where he is very close to 
>> Spencer Brow’s conceptions. But this mail is already too long.
>> Best
>>                      Søren
>> Fra: Fis [ 
>> <>] På vegne af Louis H Kauffman
>> Sendt: 16. april 2016 06:58
>> Til: FIS Webinar
>> Cc: Maxine Sheets-Johnstone
>> Emne: [Fis] _ Re: _ Discussion
>> 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 
>> 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”)”
>> 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 of 
>> 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 
>> reference. 
>> It does require a certain age for this to occur. 
>> But then this naming would be shifted and we would go from 
>> M ——> #
>> to 
>> #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 
>> here.
>> I will not reply directly to the discussion for another week or so.
>> Best,
>> 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
>> _______________________________________________
>> Fis mailing list
>> <>
>> <>
>> [1] <x-msg://11/#_ftnref1> Peirce distinguished between formal logic as a 
>> mathematical branch of the science of discovery and pure theoretical 
>> mathematics as the most abstract of all sciences (CP 4.244, 4.263, c.1902) 
>> and he argued that the reasoning of pure mathematics had no need of any 
>> separate theory of logic to reinforce them. “… mathematics is the only 
>> science which can be said to stand in no need of philosophy, excepting, of 
>> course, some branches of philosophy itself.” (CP 1.249)  From his father, 
>> Peirce had the view that mathematics is the discipline that draw necessary 
>> conclusions and is its own logic. He did not see logic as a foundational 
>> science, but as one of the normative sciences like aesthetics and ethics 
>> where logic is the science of correct reasoning, as mentioned above.

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