On 27 Oct 2017 at 3:09 AM, Loet Leydesdorff wrote:


the cogitatum which transcends us is intersubjectivity. It is not physical. The 
physical is res extensa, whereas this remains res cogitans.


   Loet, let me hope this will not merely be a quibble about the terms. We may 
say that the physical is for res extensa in classical physics. However, we are 
not sure whether the same would apply to quantum physics supporting the 
infrastructure of our material world. Some philosophers sympathetic to quantum 
physics are in favor of contrasting res potentia a la Werner Heisenberg with 
res extensa. Once we are determined to face res potentia, that is for those 
individuals as the concrete vehicles carrying uncountable counter-factual 
conditionals. Thus, the inter-individual relationship mediated by emitting and 
absorbing the quantum particles, whether big or small, is in charge of 
revealing the factual conditionals through the measurement internal to the 
participating individuals. One advantage of focusing on internal measurement 
may be the likelihood for approaching persistence or duration as the quality 
directly retrievable from the underlying individual events. The additional 
ontological commitment required here is kept to a bare minimum such as allowing 
for res potentia for the individuals.  


Koichiro Matsuno




From: Fis [mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] On Behalf Of Loet Leydesdorff
Sent: Friday, October 27, 2017 3:09 AM
To: Terrence W. DEACON <dea...@berkeley.edu>; Foundation of Information Science 
Subject: Re: [Fis] The two very important operations of Infos


Dear Terry and colleagues, 


(...) , there cannot be interminable regress of this displacement to establish 
these norms. At some point normativity requires ontological grounding where the 
grounded normative relation is the preservation of the systemic physical 
properties that produce the norm-preserving dynamic. 

I have problems with the words "ontological" and "physical" here, whereas I 
agree with the need of grounding the normative. Among human beings, this 
grounding of subjective normativity can be found in intersubjectivity. Whereas 
the subjective remains cogitans (in doubt), the intersubjective can be 
considered as cogitatum (the thing about which one remains in doubt). 


For Descartes this cogitatum is the Other of the Cogito. The Cogito knows 
itself to be incomplete, and to be distinguished from what transcends it, the 
Transcendental or, in Descartes' terminology, God. (This is the ontological 
proof of God's presence. Kant showed that this proof does not hold: God cannot 
be proven to exist.) Husserl (1929) steps in on this point in the Cartesian 
Meditations: the cogitatum which transcends us is intersubjectivity. It is not 
physical. The physical is res extensa, whereas this remains res cogitans. It 
cannot be retrieved, but one has reflexive access to it.


Interestingly, this philosophy provides Luhmann's point of departure. The 
intersubjective can be operationalized as (interhuman) communication. The codes 
in the communication can relatively be stabilized. One can use the metaphor of 
eigenvectors of a communication matrix. They remain our constructs, but they 
guide the communication. (Luhmann uses "eigenvalues", but that is a 
misunderstanding.) Using Parsons' idea of symbolic generalization of the codes 
of communication, one can continue this metaphor and consider other than the 
first eigenvector as "functional differentiations" which enable the 
communication to process more complexity. The model is derived from the Trias 
Politica: problems can be solved in one of the branches or the other. The 
normativity of the judiciary is different from the normativity of the 
legislative branch, but they both ground the normativity that guides us.


The sciences are then a way of communication; namely, scholarly communication 
about rationalized expectations. Scholarly communication is different from, for 
example, political communication. An agent ("consciousness" in Luhmann's 
terminology) recombines reflexively and has to integrate because of one's 
contingency. The transcendental grounding is in the communication; it remains 
uncertain. Fortunately, because this implies that it can be reconstructed (by 
us albeit not as individuals). 


A non-human does not know oneself to be contingent. Lots of things follow from 
this; for example, that the non-human does not have access to our 
intersubjectivity as systems of expectations.






Loet Leydesdorff 

Professor emeritus, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)

 <mailto:l...@leydesdorff.net> l...@leydesdorff.net ;  
<http://www.leydesdorff.net/> http://www.leydesdorff.net/ 
Associate Faculty,  <http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/> SPRU, University of Sussex; 

Guest Professor  <http://www.zju.edu.cn/english/> Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou; 
Visiting Professor,  <http://www.istic.ac.cn/Eng/brief_en.html> ISTIC, Beijing;

Visiting Fellow,  <http://www.bbk.ac.uk/> Birkbeck, University of London; 






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