2016-04-02 Thread Louis H Kauffman
Dear Soren,
I want to make a further comment on 

"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.”

There is a reason why I read Bateson as I do. I take difference to mean 
distinction in the sense of GSB (Spencer-Brown). This means that 
I take seriously GSB’s statement that “We now see that the observer and the 
mark are in the form identical.” That is, I see a distinction as arising with 
both a difference and an awareness of that difference. I am not very happy with 
the notion of a ‘first person experience’ but could take most distinctions for 
an observer to be just that: ‘first person experiences’. Then, agreed we are 
not here giving a theory of how such experiences arise. 

We are not delimiting how a distinction can arise. But the arising of a 
distinction is the arising of an awareness that is inextricably associated with 
that difference. The difference is one that has awareness. This is not yet at 
the level of a perceived difference except as that difference perceives (is 
aware of) itself. The awareness associated with a distinction is in the first 
place coallaesced with it. For the awareness to become aware of itself is yet 
another distinction and it is at this point that we have a difference that 
makes a difference. It may be that what I preach is not Bateson at all,but an 
amalgam of Bateson and GSB. Bateson wanted to keep the theory of types. GSB 
understands in the coalescence of awareness and distinction, that there is no 
need for the theory of types. My cybernetics begins with GSB. 

One more sally. You write in the form “Cybernetics does not …” as though there 
were one cybernetics. And there is. And no one has yet expressed it. Here we 
are indeed herding cats. Each person in that field called (second order) 
cybernetics comes to an awareness and a distinction of cybernetics that is his 
or her own. Our latest fad is to point to cybernetics as a ‘science of 
context’. This is not wrong, not even wrong, but it can work as a conversation 
starter. Cybernetics is, has been, and I submit always will be in process of 
finding something about 
itself. So it is NOT FAIR to point fingers at Cybernetics. Feel free to 
criticize the theories of various fallibles like Bateson and the rest. They do 
their best.

Oh. And now this ‘computational thoughts’. Oy. What the heck is a computational 
thought? A thought is not a thought without awareness.
There are computations. They are patterns that can be viewed by an awareness 
and can be appreciated, generalized, understood, thrown in the wastebasket, 
whatever. But to imagine that mechanical computation (that is the metaphor you 
promote by your language) can give rise to  or be equivalent to mind, that is 
absurd. People like Penrose try to prove that it is absurd, but it is just 
absurd. We carefully separated the mechanical from the thought-suffused part 
and then suggested that the part of this distinction that has no thought can 
give rise to thought!

Absurd? Of course not. Any thing is identical to what it is not. The widest 
extension of the mechanical fully delineates what is not mechanical. We will 
come fully upon the mind by going to the limits of mechanism. But this does not 
say that mind arises from mechanism.
Nor does it say that mechanism arises from mind. There is a marvelous pair 
mind/mechanism and that should be investigated to the hilt.

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 


2016-04-02 Thread Louis H Kauffman
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 
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 
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,
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 

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,

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 
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 


2016-04-02 Thread Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic

Dear colleagues,
In my understanding, both Loet and Søren are right. Loet about how sciences 
look like today and Sören about the need of integrative processes in the future.

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).

The organization of bodies of knowledge in the sciences takes place at another 
level than the integration of cognition in the body of an individual. One 
cannot reduce the one level to the other, in my opinion. Which research program 
of these two has priority? How do they relate – potentially differently – to 

On all levels, knowledge is a result of two opposed processes – integration and 
differentiation of information. Here data can be seen as atoms of information. 
I take it to be self-evident that knowledge is produced by all living 
organisms, individually and in groups, from bacteria or single cells in a 
multicellular organism up. So yes, knowledge is not only what individuals have 
in their bodies as saved data/ information/ knowledge (Here I think of the 
process of formation ever more complex structures from data to information to 
knowledge to wisdom (Tom Stonier). Knowledge is shared by communities of 

Interestingly, there is already today a body of knowledge about integrative 
research projects, especially developed in applied research such as one aiming 
at solving wicked, ill-defined, real-world problems such as problems of 
environment and sustainable development. Also, medicine is a field where more 
and more transdisciplinary approaches can be found such as in cancer research 
where models are made ranging from molecular up to macroscopic social 
structures, where all disparate research fields such as molecular biology and 
epidemiology contribute to build a complex, multi-faceted knowledge of the 
phenomenon. As an illustration, have a look at: 

Two handbooks are also of interest:

Hadorn, G.H. et al., 2008. Handbook of transdisciplinary research, Springer 

Frodeman, R., Klein, J.T. & Mitcham, C. eds., 2010. The Oxford Handbook of 
Interdisciplinarity, OUP Oxford.

How does information enter this process of integration of knowledge from 
diverse research domains?

Dodig-Crnkovic G., Physical Computation as Dynamics of Form that Glues 
Everything Together,
(doi:10.3390/info3020204) Special Issue 
on Information: Its Different Modes and Its Relation to 
 R. Logan Ed., 2012 3(2), 204-218


Gordana Dodig Crnkovic, Professor of Computer Science
Vice Dean of Graduate Education
Department of Applied IT
Chalmers University of Technology & University of Gothenburg, Sweden
School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Mälardalen University

From: Fis > 
on behalf of Loet Leydesdorff 
Organization: University of Amsterdam
Reply-To: "l...@leydesdorff.net" 
Date: Saturday 2 April 2016 at 13:04
To: "'Pedro C. Marijuan'" 

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 


2016-04-02 Thread Francesco Rizzo
Caro Louis e Cari Tutti,
tutta la mia più che cinquantennale ricerca si basa proprio
sull'informazione semiotica unita all'informazione naturale o
termodinamica, genetica e matematica. Anzi ho incontrato e conosciuto
Pedro, se non ricordo male, il 17-22 setmbre 2002 ad Acireale (Catania) si
è svolto un convegno sul tema "Energy and information transfer in
biological systems", al quale invia "Valore e valutazioni. La scienza
dell'economia o l'economia della scienza" (FrancoAngeli, Milano, 1999) che,
fra l'altro, comprende uno specifico capitolo. di "Semiotica economica" e
l'intera Terza Parte (9 capitoli) dedicati alla teoria del valore intesa
come combinazione creativa di energia e informazione. Inoltre il 1 aprile
2016 ho pubblicato "La scienza non può non essere umana, civile, sociale,
ECONOMI(C)A, enigmatica, nobile, profetica" in cui la problematica appena
rievocata e  ripresa nella  Fis è affrontata con una certa sistematica ed
organica consistenza o dimensione. Per non parlare di "Nuova economia"
(Aracne editrice, Roma, 2013) che spiega perché e come ho rivoluzionato la
scienza economica.
Quindi sono grato a Louis per avere compendiato un introduzione assai utile
e significativa, se non si vogliono scambiare lucciole per lanterne o
focacce per pane.
Grazie ancora.
Un abbraccio augurale e ancora pasquale a Tutti, ai quali voglio bene anche
se talvolta non ricambiato.

2016-04-02 5:46 GMT+02:00 Louis H Kauffman :

> 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 

[Fis] _ Re: Fis Digest, Vol 25, Issue 3

2016-04-02 Thread Dr. Plamen L. Simeonov
Dear Rukhsan,

thank you for your kind message. Please leave the polite qualification
“Dr.’ We are all Drs here ;-)
Our minds are entangled. I just sent you and Lou a message privately,
because I think that the open FIS discussion on math was closed and we
should let the forum discuss the next topic on biosemiotics. Therefore here
only some final remarks to you and everyone who wishes to discuss these
issues: please feel free to contact me.

On Sat, Apr 2, 2016 at 10:23 AM, Rukhsanulhaq 

> Dear Dr Plamen
> I find many common themes in your work and my approach
> to the foundational questions of physics mathematics and biology.
> I find integral biomaths approach very appealing and it fits very well
> with my understanding from quantum field theory approach to
> quantum matter.

That”s right. it is a good starting point and I am glad that there are some
voices defending QFT.
But they should know that physics and science are still in crisis today
(cf. Lee Smolin, for instance).

> I would like to know about the biologists who use Grassmann algebra.
> As regards your criticism about the quantum approach to biology my reply
> is that quantum theory shares the categorical structure with biology.

That’s right. But since we speak of mathematics, category theory is the
foundation for both and not the QT.

> In other
> words to see how quantum theory is related to biology we must realize
> that both quantum theory and biology have category theoretical formulations
> and hence both share the similar algebraic structures and hence the
> underlying
> philosophy is Whiteheadean process philosophy which has been discussed
> by authors like Henry Stapp.

I absolutely agree with this! That’s the right approach to the issue.

> I emphasize that one fundamental difference between classical mechanics
> and quantum
> mechanics is that the latter has scope of accommodating life and mind
> which is because
> of the reason that logical foundations of quantum theory are entirely
> different.

Yes, and it is not an accident that we are also trying to involve quantum
logic in addressing biological phenomena.
We can use the toolbox of QM, but we should not leave it there where it was
50 years ago.
I think we all agree that we need to develop our mathematical apparatus,
but this time from the viewpoint of the biological phenomena. Otherwise we
will stay puzzling at paradoxes like APR and don’t dare stepping beyond

> I resonate
> here with Robert Rosen who has worked out the logic of biology and I find
> striking similarities
> between his work and quantum theory.

Yes. This is a good beginning, but he was also not perfect. Nobody is.
We need to develop such formalisms, but I also agree with Lou and others
that there is always some delta of the real world that is unformalisable.
Dealing with impredicativity is not the only issue we have to do in
biology. We learn this from the very moment we face real problems like
those in cancer research which I will try to address in my session.

> So it opens up a field of research where we
> need to use category theory to bring biology under the umbrella of quantum
> theory.

 I am not sure that QT is the ultimate theory of all things, but I think
the effort is worth doing it, since we hardly have anything else to step on

I invite all those interested in this endeavor to join the hands!
> PLease refer me to the works about Grassmann algebra in biology.

It was a suggestion by a colleague and supporter, Edwin Brezina, who is no
more under us now, but I will do my best to find out what he was meaning.

Good luck to us all.

All the best.


> Rukhsan
> On Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 7:41 PM,  wrote:
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>>1. _ Re: Postface on math:  Fis Digest, Vol 24, Issue 46
>>   (Dr. Plamen L. Simeonov)
>> --
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2016 16:11:03 +0200
>> From: "Dr. Plamen L. Simeonov" 
>> To: Rukhsanulhaq 
>> Cc: fis , Louis H Kauffman 
>> Subject: [Fis] _ Re: Postface on math:  Fis Digest, Vol 24, Issue 46
>> Message-ID:
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>> Dear All,
>> I was about to close this