### Re: [Fis] _ Re: _ Discussion

```
Hi Lou and Colleagues,

On 16 Apr 2016, at 06:57, Louis H Kauffman wrote:

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,
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.

OK. here an interesting happening is that such richness is cheap, as
just a tiny part of arithmetic has already what is needed to have the
references and self-references. Similarly, we get all this from two
simple combinators relation.

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
Goedel’s claim. There are many claims about Goedel that are
inaccurate, but I would not say that the inaccuracies are his!

I agree.

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 ```

### Re: [Fis] _ Re: _ Discussion

```Dear All,

I think that in the context of what Maxine, Lou, Soeren and others
exchanged a little while ago it makes sense to refer to Kalevi Kull’s paper
in the Biosemiotics section V of this collection below which initiated our
discussion:

2015 JPBMB Special Issue on Integral Biomathics: Life Sciences, Mathematics
and Phenomenological Philosophy

Of course, you are welcome to read all papers there.

Best wishes,

Plamen

On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 7:43 AM, Dr. Plamen L. Simeonov <
plamen.l.simeo...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Maxine, Lou, Pedro, Loet, John, Soeren and Colleagues,
>
> first of all I wish to thank Maxine for providing a bit different
> perspective upon the overall subject of the discussion theme, namely
> phenomenology or better said “phenomenological philosophy” (since
> “phenomenology” has acquired different meanings in the sciences in the
> years). Despite that “action", as Pedro said, has been a widely discussed
> topic, I think that Maxine’s note was meaning something else which deserves
> attention and more thought.
>
> On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 6:41 AM, 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.
>>
>>
> That the origins of meaning and purpose can be found in movement and life
> is an interesting thought.
> I think that this is what one could say about the ultimate goal of
> Aristotle’s physics. It began being explained with the equations of Newton
> about inanimate matter and finally landed at its origin ---  a curious loop
> of recursion, reflection and self-reference --- with Schrödinger”s question
> about what is life in the search of the lost purpose on the way to
> explaining all kinds of movements.
>
> All this is to remind us, that there are two kinds of knowledge (and
> meaning): the incremental one with which most of us are accustomed, and
> the“forked” one, similar to Everett’s split universes, providing a new
> options for scrutinising, interpretation and understanding of the world we
> live in. I think that this is the message which Maxine disseminates in this
> forum. Maxine, please correct me if I am wrong. Understanding Husserl,
> Heidegger and Marleau-Ponty is almost that difficult as understanding
> quantum mechanics by non-specialists (as Alex Hankey told me in one of our
> conversations), or Gödel by non-logicians and non-mathematicians. It is
> difficult to follow the reasoning in each one of these domains, without
> investing years of dedicated study, that only a few can afford in a single
> life span. But that’s the reason why we have come together in this forum to
> state opinions, ask questions and clarify remote subjects that are tough to
> grasp alone.
>
>
>
>> 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.
>
>
> These are indeed the concerns that motivated and moved human inquiry in
> the era of the Greek philosophers, when theatre and mathematics were not
> that far from each other. We need to come back to this kind of thinking and
> understanding far-fetched stuff also by utilising our intuition, because
> the roots of both science and the humanities are the same: our human
> nature. Some folks from these remote fields, like Pauli and Jung, were able
> to speak to each other. Others, despite being geniuses in their fields
> remained stuck in them and could not follow a different viewpoint, and yet
> they felt there is something beyond their own ```

### [Fis] _ Re: _ Discussion

```Dear Maxine, Lou, Pedro, Loet, John, Soeren and Colleagues,

first of all I wish to thank Maxine for providing a bit different
perspective upon the overall subject of the discussion theme, namely
phenomenology or better said “phenomenological philosophy” (since
“phenomenology” has acquired different meanings in the sciences in the
years). Despite that “action", as Pedro said, has been a widely discussed
topic, I think that Maxine’s note was meaning something else which deserves
attention and more thought.

On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 6:41 AM, 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.
>
>
That the origins of meaning and purpose can be found in movement and life
is an interesting thought.
I think that this is what one could say about the ultimate goal of
Aristotle’s physics. It began being explained with the equations of Newton
about inanimate matter and finally landed at its origin ---  a curious loop
of recursion, reflection and self-reference --- with Schrödinger”s question
about what is life in the search of the lost purpose on the way to
explaining all kinds of movements.

All this is to remind us, that there are two kinds of knowledge (and
meaning): the incremental one with which most of us are accustomed, and
the“forked” one, similar to Everett’s split universes, providing a new
options for scrutinising, interpretation and understanding of the world we
live in. I think that this is the message which Maxine disseminates in this
forum. Maxine, please correct me if I am wrong. Understanding Husserl,
Heidegger and Marleau-Ponty is almost that difficult as understanding
quantum mechanics by non-specialists (as Alex Hankey told me in one of our
conversations), or Gödel by non-logicians and non-mathematicians. It is
difficult to follow the reasoning in each one of these domains, without
investing years of dedicated study, that only a few can afford in a single
life span. But that’s the reason why we have come together in this forum to
state opinions, ask questions and clarify remote subjects that are tough to
grasp alone.

> 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.

These are indeed the concerns that motivated and moved human inquiry in the
era of the Greek philosophers, when theatre and mathematics were not that
far from each other. We need to come back to this kind of thinking and
understanding far-fetched stuff also by utilising our intuition, because
the roots of both science and the humanities are the same: our human
nature. Some folks from these remote fields, like Pauli and Jung, were able
to speak to each other. Others, despite being geniuses in their fields
remained stuck in them and could not follow a different viewpoint, and yet
they felt there is something beyond their own perspective and were longing
for it.

Anyway, I will stop here thanking Lou for his note on Gödel that reminded
us that this man has spent many years pondering on his theorems before
revealing them to the world. How many people are doing this today in our
publish-or-perish modern world of science?
It is not easy to acquire groundbreaking knowledge. Thanks to the
philosophers for reminding us of Kuhn’s work.

Have a nice week!

Plamen

> If further specifics are wanted or
> if specific articles are wanted, kindly contact m...@uoregon.edu
>
> (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 ```

### Re: [Fis] _ Re: _ Discussion

```Dear Lou and colleagues,

The reasoning is very clear. Thank you.

(…)

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.

It seems to me that as language arises from interhuman interactions, it takes
over as the agent of change. One is called by a name which is then codified by
that name.

This distinction is important because languages can be further differentiated
and codified. Thomas Kuhn, for example, gives the example of “atom” having a
meaning codified in some area of physics differently from physical chemistry.
While we tend to call you “Lou”, the bureaucracy will call you “Louis”, and
your wife may call you with yet another variant. These different names may
enable you to enrich your “I”, without loosing a self-reference. I would call
this self-reference with the additional degree of freedom for calling itself
consciousness. Without consciousness, the name is only a semiotic “actant”.
(Perhaps, a dog is a good example.)

The issue is important because once constructed, the codes guide the meaning
(e.g., “atom”) at the supra-individual level. The control at individual level
is only consciousness, including one’s own (idiosyncratic) degree of
meta-reflexive freedom. From the perspective of communication, the latter
provides the variation; in scholarly discourse, for example, knowledge claims
are submitted. In other words, the epistemological grounding is to be found in
the “inter” of inter-subjectivity. This goes against our (neo-liberal and
enlightenment) intuition that agency grounds existence. The priority of
understanding the communication tends to move the order among the sciences to a
post-enlightenment one: a sociological epistemology becomes the center with the
option to be operationalized in a sociology of scientific communication.

The additional degree of freedom in consciousness moreover enables us to
participate selectively in the different domains. Latour called this
“infra-reflexivity”. The selections shape our identity. The sciences are
infra-reflexive to the extent that one can intervene across disciplinary
language games; i.e., in other jargon.

Best.

#Loet

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.

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”,
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.2048.pdf

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 ```

### [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
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.

here.
I will not reply directly to the discussion for another week or so.

Best,
Lou Kauffman
P.S. ```

### [Fis] _ RE: _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS

```

Dear Soren,
Thanks for these details on the Peircean approach.
You write that ‘the concept of experience and meaning does not exist in the
vocabulary of the theoretical framework of natural sciences'.
Would you consider the modeling of meaning generation (MGS in previous post)
and the linking of intentionality to meaning generation (2015 Gatherings
presentation http://philpapers.org/rec/MENBAM-2) as introducing such a
framework ?

[http://philpapers.org/assets/raw/philpapers-plus250.jpg]

Christophe Menant, Biosemiotics, Aboutness, Meaning and
...
philpapers.org
The management of meaningful information by biological entities is at the core
of biosemiotics [Hoffmeyer 2010]. Intentionality, the ‘aboutness’ of mental
states ...

Looking at another part of your presentation, you write.

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/subjective and 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).

I’m not sure that introducing ‘the basis for information and communication in
living systems’ should be done by referring to complex notions like
phenomenology, hermeneutics, inter-subjectivity or philosophical theology.
The relations of most animals with their environment can be addressed in quite
simple terms. A paramecium avoiding a drop of acid or a mouse escaping a cat
can be modeled quite simply (see previous post). Of course it is pretty obvious
that an elaborated philosophical vocabulary comes as a needed tool for the
human living system where complex characteristics like self-consciousness and
free will are to be considered. But using such a vocabulary for basic life may
run against an evolutionary framework which looks to me as mandatory when
addressing information and communication in living systems.
Animals and humans are at different levels of living complexity. They should be
differentiated in terms of meaning generation as they are not submitted to the
same constraints. And an evolutionary thread looks as naturally introducing
such a differentiation in terms of increasing complexity.
But perhaps you want to include such a differentiation in your approach.
Pls let us know
Best
Christophe

De : Søren Brier
Envoyé : samedi 2 avril 2016 00:43
À : 'Christophe'
Cc : fis@listas.unizar.es
Objet : SV: [Fis] _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS

Dear Christophe

I agree in your argument that where we should rather focus  on the natures of
life and of consciousness.

This is also where I have been going with my research on Peircean biosemiotics
and the development of Cybersemiotics. Let me make a first introduction to how
Peirce formulate a different approach. If you then want I can go into further
detail. References can be  found in the long version of my target article.

Many analytical philosophers of science might argue that meaning and experience
are not central notions while truth, objectivity, scientific method,
observation, theory, etc are (Carnap 1967, Bar-Hillel and Carnap’ s (1953) and
Bar-Hillel (1964)). In the view of many researchers this is seen as due to a
lack of accept of phenomenology and hermeneutics (for instance Plamen, Rosen &
Gare 2015 and Brier 2010). Husserl’s early phenomenology had a problem with
getting out to the outer world (Harney 2015), where Peirce develops his
pragmaticism as a way to unite empirical research, meaning and experience
(Ransdell,1989). His phaneroscopy makes it clear that his ontology is not only
materialistic science using only mechanistic explanatory models 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 (Brier 2015 a+b).

Thereby Peirce goes further than Popper’s (1978) view of the ```

### [Fis] _ _ Re: _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS

```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
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.
Best,
Lou

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  > 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 ```

### [Fis] _ Re: _ 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  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 ```

### Re: [Fis] _ Re: _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS

```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.
Francesco.

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: _ 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 ```