Philosophy and History: two rules
(the second Copernican revolution continues)

(invisible-university 2.0)


History without philosophy is only a screen
on which to project the shibboleths of our time

           HEGEL             
His Immanence, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

The site as a whole recognizes that the Internet is the techno-cognitive axis
of a praxiological revolution in thought, where the extended mind is fused with
philosophy
as the critical accompaniment to empirical practice


this page is an assemblage of excerpts from philosophical texts

for Deleuze go to Excerpts from Levi R. Bryant, Difference and Givenness:
Deleuze's Transcendental Empiricism and the Ontology of Immanence


the Cassirer inclusion rule

The Cassirer inclusion rule, which itself is a further and more concrete development of the path opened up by Hegel's oft misunderstood concept of the Absolute:

from Ernst Cassirer, The Philosophy of  the Enlightenment

The problem of intellectual “progress” throughout the eighteenth century appears in this light.  Perhaps no other century is so permeated with the idea of intellectual progress as that of the Enlightenment.  But we mistake the essense of this conception, if we understand it merely in a quantitative sense as an extension of knowledge indefinitely.  A qualitative determination always accompanies quantitative expansion; and an increasingly pronounced return to the characteristic center of knowledge corresponds to the extension of inquiry beyond the periphery of knowledge.  One seeks multiplicity in order to be sure of unity; one acepts the breadth of knowledge in the sure anticipation that this breadth does not impede the intellect, but that, on the contrary, it leads the intellect back to, and concetrates it in, itself.  For we see again and again that the divergence of the paths followed by the intellect in its attempt to encompass all of reality is merely apparent.  If these paths viewed objectively seem to diverge, their divergence is, nevertheless, no mere dispersion.  All the various energies of the mind are, rather, held together in a common center of force.  Variety and diversity of shapes are simply the full unfolding of an essentially homogeneous formative power.  When the eighteenth century wants to characterize this power in a single word, it calls it “reason.”

The Cassirer rule is that there is a set of authoritative texts--authoritative in the sense of being highly respected state of the art works, not in the sense of being canonical (i.e., the misuse of the writings of Marx and Lenin)--and that these texts must be taken into account, or good reason given for not doing so. 

An application of the Cassierer Rule: The Quantum Heterogeneity of Dasein: Five Genetic Ontologies (QHD5) is an assemblage of the current status of the disciplines insofar as they bear upon the problem of Dasein. 

In QHD5 I make no assertions as to the vaidity of the research therein assembled because that is not the point. These texts represent state of the art as of the early 21st century.  Read the Margolies and the Brandom-Sellars excerpts below to see how this "idealist" methodology is actually superior to the stance of "positivism".  The operative concept here is Deleuze's plane of immanence (a further development of Hegel's concrete universal).  Levi R. Bryant (above link) provides a very useful account of Deleuze's thought.  Plane of immanence as an organizing principle is evident in The GOP as the Stupid Party and Ressentiment and the Mechanisms of Defense.

An exception to the Cassirer rule is provided by the Margolies exclusion:

the Margolies exclusion rule

Texts that address cultural, psychological, political, historical questions through scientistic reductionism are excluded for the following reasons.

1.  they expel from the field of discourse all of post-Kantian, hermeneutical philosophy

2.  they thereby also exclude literature as a relevant resource for thinking about the human

3.  they exclude the psychoanalytically-inspired textual modalities that, together with literature, provide indespensible resources for comprehending not only depth and complexity, but also the dark side of our existence

4.  in place of all this, the dogma of the Cartesian self

from Joseph Margolis, The Unraveling of Scientism: American Philosophy at the End of the Twentieth Century (Cornell University Press, 2003)

" . . . the record of the last half-century is, philosophically, largely a record of the dawning exhaustion of an impressive vision (scientism) and the incompletely developed, still somewhat inchoate, possibilities of a promising alternative philosophy (pragmatism).  The strength of the latter lies, I think, in being closer to the corrective lessons of the post-Kantan and post-Hegelian world that never lost sight of the inescapable strategy by which to escape the paradoxes of pre-Kantian philosophy.  But, truth to tell, it has never managed to overcome the nagging aporiai of what is now read as Catersianism." p. xii

"For the truth is that Hegel introduces the theme of history and cultural evolution into the debate about cognition in an inexpungeable way, although he does not quite explicitly develop his idea along specifically historicist and collective lines."  p. 13

"By 'Cartesianism' or 'Cartesian realism' I mean any realism, no matter how defended or qualified, that holds that the world has a determinate structure apart from all constraints of human inquiry and that our cognizing faculties are nevertheless able to discern those independent structures reliably.  'Cartesianism' serves here as a term of art, as not confined to Descartes's own doctrine.  It ranges over pre-Kantan philosophy, Kant's own philosophy (quixotically), and even over the views of such contemporary theorists as Putnam and Davidson.  Twentieth-century analytic philosophy is, in this respect, thoroughly pre-Kantian or Kantan in a way in which Kant himself is pre-Kantian: it is an unabashed continuation of seventeenth and eighteenth-century philosophy threatened in precisely the same way its ancestors originally were. . . .  The main feature of Hegel's strategy, which, in American  philosophy, is preserved (almost without attribution) among the classic pragmatists (particularly Dewey) retires altogether the very idea of reference to a 'noumenal' world or a world the properties of which are seperable from from whatever they are said to appear to be to human inquirers, and reinterprets 'appearances' (Erscheinungen) as  open to the recovery of no more than a 'constructed' realism, that is, a realism shorn of the recuperative use of the 'Cartesian' habit of opposing or disjoining 'appearance' and 'reality' completely.  (If, that is, 'realism' is a proper term for rendering the sense of the Phenomenology's argument.)"  49-50


Raymond Tallis, The Mind in the Mirror: Neuroscience can explain many brain functions, but not the mystery of consciousness (review) WSJ January 8, 2011 {" . . . how little cause we have to privilege what the neuro scientists tell us about what makes us human over the testimony of novelists, poets, social workers or philosophers."}

Raymond Tallis, Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity (


re. Hegel et. al.



from Yirmiyahu Yovel, Commentary in Yovel, Hegel's Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit (Princeton University Press, 2005)

"The key to a fruitful Hegel critique does not lie in piecemeal counterarguments--if necessary, they can come later--but in renouncing in one critical sway the claims to infinity and absolute knowledge.

"This move will open up an abundance of Hegelian ideas by which one can philosophize in a free, semidialectical, and historical way, unburdened by the grand illusions of Hegel and his opponents: on the one hand, the  illusions of positivism (as if reality lies in the immediately given), and of analytical philosophy (as if we have a direct access to a univocal, ahistorical truth, governed by pure logic or some other formal canon); and, on the other hand, the illusion of the religious absolute translated into conceptual philosophy.  The result will be a free, historicized, and semidialectical philosophizing that would depart from Hegel in accepting human finitude and contingency, the lack of final synthesis, the role of irreconcilable difference in producing our never-integral human identities, and more generally, in accepting immanence and finitude without giving up on the logos, while deflating its pure image as an overriding deity." p. 61-2



from Willem A. de Vries, Wilfrid Sellars (McGill-Queens University Press, 2005), p. 7

Philosophy's ultimate aim is practical; a form of know-how.
 
Knowing one's way around is, to use a current distinction, a form of 'knowing how' as contrasted with 'knowing that'.  (PSIM in SPR: 1)

Philosophy is distinct from any special discipline, although it presupposes such disciplines and the truths they reveal.

Philosophy in an important sense has no special subject-matter which stands to it as other subject matters stand to other special disciplines. (PSIM in SPR: 2)

from Robert B. Brandom, Perspectives on Pragmatism: Classical, Recent, and Contemporary (Harvard, 2011), p. 36
But classical American pragmatism can also be seen differently, as a movement of world historical significance--as the announcement, commencement, and first formulation of the fighting faith of a second Enlightenment. p. 36




from Robert B. Brandom, "The Centrality of Sellars's Two-Ply Account of Observations to the Arguments of 'Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind', in Robert B. Brandom, Tales of the Mighty Dead: Historical Essays in the Metaphysics of Intentionality (Harvard University Press, 2002)

"If we strip empiricism down to its core, we might identify it with the insight that knowledge of the empirical world depends essentially on the capacity of knowing organisms to respond differentially to distinct environing stimuli." (349)

" . . . the difference that makes a difference is that candidates for observational knowledge do not just have reliable dispositions to respond differentially to stimuli by making noises, but have reliable dispositions to respond differentialy to those stimuli by applying concepts." (351)

"The observer's response is conceptually contentful just insofar as it occupies a node in a web of inferential relations."(p. 351) [see Imus]

"What the parrot lacks is a conceptual understanding of its response.  That is why it is just making noise.  Its response means nothing to the parrot--though it may mean something to us, who can make inferences from it . . . " (351)

" . . . according to Sellars's view, the difference between theoretical objects and observable objects is methodologcal rather than ontological.  That is, theoretical and observable objects are not different kinds of things.  They differ only in how we come to know about them." (362)


Stephen Houlgate, "Hegel and Brandom on Norms, Concepts and Logical Categories", in Espen Hammer, ed., German Idealism: Contemporary Perspectives (Routledge, 2007)

"Hegel is a particular hero of Brandom's because he recognizes that concepts are not 'fixed or static items' but the changing products of social and historical practices." p. 137
Cognitive developmental change: theories, models and measurement By Andreas Demetriou, Athanassios Raftopoulos (Cambridge University Press, 2004)  (google)

According to the emerging approach, cognizers do not simply receive input from the environment, store presentations, process them, and output some action.  This picture reflects not the way the mind operates, but the way we employ abstract symbolic structures.  Instead, cognizers form a whole with the environment and dyamically interact with it.  Cogizers and environment form an entangled or intertwined, soft-assembled system.  The problem-space and the opportunites for exploitation it offers become part and parcel of the procesessing procedure, and, in that sense, the mind transcends its biologcal confines and extends itself into the world, which it uses as a tool, to its own benefit.  This means that the sequential order between input, processing and outut relaxes and cedes its place to a kind of 'action loop' ('an intricate and iterated dance in which "pure thought"(Clark 1997, 36)) in which the relation among input, processing, and output becomes much more intricate and interrelated to be adequately described as as serial process.

In this sense, the strategies employed by the mind incorporate operations upon the world 'as an intrinsic part of the problem-solving activity' (Clark 1997, 67).  The world no longer functions as a mnemonic repository in which we store information, but as the space on which we act, build external representations and systematically transform in ways that facilitate the mind in its tasks.  Understanding cognition this way means that one has to abandon the view of the mind as an entity that is isolated from the world that builds and processes internal representations of the world, in favour of a conception of the mind as an entity embedded in the world.  The mind so conceived, continuously and systematically uses external representations, thereby always remaining directly interleaved with the world.

Given the view of the enviroment as an extension of the mind and as an entangled part of the inseparable whole organism-and-environment, the behaviour of an organism can be properly understood only in a specific context.  The context becomes part of the problem-solving activity, and it is not just the space within which problem solving takes place.  This is the contextualist or situated approach to cognition.  According to this aproach, a concept is no longer a static object in the mind, but an 'object' in the extended mind/brain/environment system.  Since what transpires in this system is a loop of mutual actions, it is more proper to view concepts as processes that occur over relatively short tme spans and that involve an interplay between the properties of the organism and the proerties of the context.

If concepts are processes assembled on the basis of organismic and environmental components that form an interactive loop, the concept is necessarily characterized by a certain variation.  Thus, each time a concept is being assembled when the cognizer engages in a problem solving activity within a specific context, the performance of the relevant task is by its nature variable and dependent upon the specific context.  Since time is an intrinsic variable in dynamic phenomena, the context can never be the same, even if the same task is repeated over and over again within the same controlled experimental conditions; repetition by itself makes a difference.  The variability and fluctuation in measurements are not due to extraeous factors that are irrelevant to the task; they are inherent characteristics of the phenomenon.  pp. 3-4
from Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Duke University Press, 2007)

 . . .  the very notion of intentionality needs to be reevaluated.  We are used to thinking that there are determiniate intentional states of mind that exist "somewhere" in people's brains and that if we are clever enoug we can perform some kind of measurement (by using some kind of brain scan, for examplo) that would disclose the intentions (about some determinate something) that exist in a person's mind.  But according to Bohr, we shouldn't rely on the metaphysical presupposions of classical physics (which Bohr claims is the basis for our common-sense percepton of reality); rather, what we need to do is attend to the actual experimental conditions that would enable us to measure and make sense of the notion of intentional states of mind.  In the absence of such conditions, not only is the notion of an "intentional state of mind" meaningless, but there is no coresponding determinate fact of the matter. . . .  the crucal point is not merely that inentional states are inherently unknowable, but that the very natrue of intentionality needs to be rethought.  (Emphasis in original).  p. 21-22

 . . .  attending to the complex material conditions needed to specify 'intentions' in a meaningful way prevents us from assuming that "intentions" are (1) preexisting states of mind, and (2) properly assigned to individuals. 23  

 . . .  the primary ontological unit is not independent objects with independently determinate boundaries and properties but rather what Bohr terms 'phenomena.' . . .  phenomena do not merely mark the epistemological inseperability of observer and observed, or the results of measurement; rather, phenomena are the ontological inseperability of agentially intra-acting components. . . .  phenomena are not mere laboratory creations but basic units of reality.  The shift from a metaphysics of things to phenomena makes an enormous difference in understanding the nature of science and ontological, epistemological, and ethical issues more generally.  33

 . . . the primary ontological units are not 'things' but phenomena--dynamic topological reconfigurings/entanglements/relationalities/(re)articulations of the world.  And the primary semantic units are not 'words' but material-discursive practices through which (ontic and semantic) boundaries are constituted.  This dynamic is agency."  141  

"Bohr called into question two fundamental assumptions that support the notion of measurement transparency in Newtonian physics: (1) that the world is composed of individual objects with individually determinate boundaries and properties whose well-defind values can be represented by abstract universal concepts that have determinate meanings independent of the specifics of the experimental practice; and (2) that measurements involve continuous determiniable interactions such that the values of the properties obtained can be properly assigned to the premeasurement properties of objects as seperate from the agaencies of observation.  In other words, the assumptions entail a belief in representationalism (the independently determinate existence of words and things), the metaphysics of individualism (that the world is composed of individal entities with individually determinate boundaries and properties), and the intrinsic inseperability of knower and known (that measurements reveal the preexisting values of the properties of independently existing objects as seperate from the measuring agencies). 107

 . . . I suggest that Bohr's notion of a phenomenon be understood ontologically.  In particular, I take the primary ontologicial unit to be phenomena, rather than independent objects with inherent boundaries and properties. . . .  Phenomena are the basis for a new ontology."  333  

Challenging the notion of the humanist subject as radically free and constituted through self-determination and transparent access to its own consiousness, structuralists argue that the subject is a product of structures--whether of kinship, language, the unconscious, cognitive structures of the mind, or economic, social, and political structures of society--and hence must be understood as an effect rather than a cause.  Structuralist accounts of the determination of the subject have been further challenged by poststructuralist approaches, which trouble the idea that there are unitary structures that exist outside, and are determining of, the subject.  Rejecting both poles, that subjectivity is either internally generated or exernally imposed, poststructuralists eschew not only the very terms of the debates over agency versus structure and free will versus determinism but also the geometric conception of subjectivity, which would validate 'internality' and 'externality' as meaningful terms in the debate.  45-6

Representationalism and Newtonian physics have roots in the seventeenth century.  The assumption that language is a transparent medium that transmits a homologous picture of reality to the knowing mind finds its parallel in a scientific theory that takes observation to be the benign facilitator of discovery, a transparent lens passively gazing at the world.  Just as words provide descriptions or representations of a preexisting reality, observations reveal preexisting properties of an observation-independent reality.  In the twentieth century, both the representational or mimetic status of language and the inconsequentiality of the observational process have been called into question.  97

Discourse is not a synonym for language.  Discourse does not refer to lingusitic or signifying systems, grammars, speech acts, or conversations.  To think of discourse as mere spoken or written words forming descriptive statements is to enact the mistake of representationalist thinking.  Discoure is not what is said;  it is that which constrains and enables that which can be said.  Discursive practices define what counts as meaningful statements. Statements are not the mere utterances of the originating consciousness of a unified subject; rather, statements and subjects emerge from a field of possibilities.  This field of possibilities is not static or singular but rather is a dynamic and contingent multiplicity.  146-7

Agential Realism (Barad)

Model-based Realism (Hawking)
from Stephen Jay Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (Harvard University Press, 2002).  p. 281-2 

A prevalent myth of our time proclaims that broad and interdisciplinary visions, though held in disrepute today, were once valued in a more ecumenical age that celebrated the "Renaissance man."  But the motto that "a cobler should stick to his last" dates from the 4th century BC, and people who wandered outside their primarly field have always attract   ed suspicion or ridicule.  In 1831, near the end of a long life, a poet [Goethe] who had ventured into science deplored his failure to obtain a fair hearing, but defended his foray as internally necessary for a broad and searching intellect:

The public was taken aback, for inasmuch as it wishes to be served well and uniformly, it demands that every man remain in his own field.  This demand is well grounded, for a man who wishes to achieve excellence, which is infinite in its scope, ought not to venture on the very paths that God and nature do.  For this reason it is expected that a person who has distinguished himself in one field, whose manner and style are generally recognized and esteemed, will not leave his field, much less venture into one entirely unrelated. . .   But a man of lively intellect feels that he exists not for the public's sake, but for his own.  He does not care to tire himself out and wear himself down by doing the same thing over and over again.  Moreover, every energetic man of talent has something universal in him, causing him to cast about here and there to select his field of activity according to his own desire (1831 essay, in Mueller and Engard, 1952, p. 169)
from  A different universe : reinventing physics from the bottom down, Robert B. Laughlin.  Basic Books, 2005

 . . . a defining moment in which physical science stepped firmly out of the age of reductionism into the age of emergence.  This shift is usallly described in the popular press as the transition from the age of physics to the age of biology, but that is not quite right.  What we are seeing is a transformation of worldview in which the objective of understanding nature by breaking it  down into ever smaller parts is supplanted by the objective of understanding how nature organizes itself. (76)

Thinking through these effects seriously moves one to ask which law is th more ultimate, the details from which ev eything flows or the transcendent, emergent laws they generate.  The question is semantic and thus has no absolute answer, but it is clearly a primitive version of the moral conundrum raised by the alleged subordination of the laws of living to the laws of chemistry  and physics. . . .  (207)

The conflict between these two concptions of the ultimate--the laws of the parts or the laws of the collective--is very ancient and not resoslvable in a few minutes reflection or a causal converwsation.  One might sasy it reprstns the tnsion bwetwen two pole of thought, which drives the process of understanding the world the way the tsnsion between the tonic and dominant drives a classical sonata. (207-8)

Much as I dislike the idea of ages, I think a good case can be made that science has now moved from an Age of Reductionism to an Age of Emergence, a time when the search for the ultimate cause of things shifts from the behavior of∫ parts to the behavior of the collective. (208)


from Ricard V. Solé and Brian Goodwin, Signs of life: how complexity pervades biology (Basic Books, 2002) 

A remarkable burst of creativity in science is transforming traditional disciplines at an extraordinary rate, catalyzing movements whereby old boundaries are dissolving and newly integrated territories are being defined.  The new vision comes from the world of complexity, chaos, and emergent order.  This started in physics and mathematics  but is now moving rapidly into the life sciences, where it is revealing new signatures of the creative process that underlie the evolution of organisms.  A distinctive sign of life is the emergence of new order out of the complexities of its material foundations.  The concept of emergence, once regarded by many biologists as a vague and mystical concept with dangerous vitalist connotations, is now the central focus of the sciences of complexity.  Here the question is, How can systems made up of components whose properties we understand well give rise to phenomena that are quite unexpected?  Life is the most dramatic manifestation of this process, the domain of emergence par excellence.  But the new sciences united biology with physics in a manner that allows us to see the creative fabric of natural process as a single dynamic unfolding. (ix-x)


from Byron Hawk, A Counter History of Composition: toward methodologies of complexity (U. of Pittsburgh Press, 2007)

The fundamental question that cuts across all vitalisms is "What is life?"  Each episteme, period or pardigm answers the question of life differently according to its own situation and within its own discourse, but they are all trying to come to grips with what drives self-organization and development in the world.  Historically, the general answers have ranged from an animistic, abstract, or mystical power that exists outside of and operates on the world, to an evolutionary and physio-chemical process that operates in the world, to a complex combination of material, biological, historical, social, linguistic, and ultimately technological processes that produce emergence.  Life is situated in the relationships among these bodies and their forces.  Rather than seeing life as an autonomous force, or as caused by physico-chemical or purely biological processes, this latter view situates life within complex, ecological interactions.  I see in each of these answers two key assumptions: that life is fundamentally complex (and complexity must be acounted for or addressed) and that life is a fundamentally generative force (force, energy, will, power, or desire is  central to this complexity). (4-5)

By the end of the twentieth century, the emphasis on events rather than substance was inflected outward from cells to ecological systems as whole organizations.  Life had become an emergent property produced by the complex interactivity among cells, organs, bodies, and envirnments. (140)

The death of man is not anti-human but the collapse of an isolated, substantive image of the subject and the emergence of viewing humans in the complex context of nature, technology, and language. (141)

If vitalism writ large was an attempt to study and theorize self-organizing or self-motivating systems, then the majority of this work in the mid- to late twentieth century was done in systems theory and complexity theory, which, along with Bergson, set the stage for Deleuze's philosophical vitalism. (152)
from John Marks, Gilles Deleuze: Vitalism and Multiplicity (Pluto Press, 1998)

The rhizome is a figure borrowed from biology, opposed to the principle of foundation and origin which is embedded in the figure of the tree.  The model of the tree is hierarchical and centralized, wheas the rhizome is proliferating and serial, functioning by means of the principle of connection and heterogeneity.

Deleuze and Guatarri argue that the book has been linked traditionally to the model of the tree, in that the book has been seen as an organic unit, which is both hermetically sealed, but also a reflection of the world.  In contrast, the rhizome is neither mimetic nor organic.  It only ever maps the real, since the act of mapping is a method of experimenting with the real: and it is always an open system, with multiple exits and entrances.  In short, the rhizome is an 'acentred' system; the map of a mode of thought which is always 'in the middle'. (45)


from Mark C. Taylor, The Moment of Complexity: Emerging Network Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2001)

"As contemporary physicist and cosmologist Lee Smolin points out, 'the movement from the Newtonian world to the modern one is a transition from a universe in which life is impossible to one in which life has a place.'  It is precisely this transition that Hegel attempts to negotiate in his dialectical analysis of mechanical systems.  Life, he concludes, presuposes an alternative logic, which creates a diferent kind of system." (84)
from Terry Pinkard, German Philosophy, 1760-1860: the Legacy of Idealism (Cambridge University Press, 2002), p. 39

Kant's own "schematicism" of the "pure concepts of the undersanding" only underwrote his more general theory of mentality.  To have a mind is not to be made of any kind of "stuff"; it is to be able to perform certain kinds of activities that involve norms (or "rules" in his terminology). 


from Friederich Nietzsche, Geneology of Morals, II, 12

 The democratic idiosyncracy which opposes [the will to power] has permeated the realm of the spirit and disguised itself in the most spiritual forms to such a degree that today it has forced its way, has acquired the right to force its way into the strictest, apparently most objective sciences;  indeed, it  . . . has robbed life of a fundamental concept, that of activity.  Under the influence of the above metioned idosyncracy, one places instead "adaptation" in the foreground, that is to say,  an activity of the second rank, a mere reactivity; indeed, life itself has been defined as a more and more efficient inner adaptation to external conditons (Herbert Spencer).  Thus, the essence of life, its will to power, is ignored; one overlooks the essential priority of the spontaneous, aggressive, expansive, form-giving forces that give new interpretations and directions, although 'adaptation' follows only after this; the dominant role of the highest functionaries within the organism iself in which the will to life appears active and form-giving is denied.


from McDonough, Richard M., 1950, "Wittgenstein, German Organicism, Chaos, and the Center of Life"
Journal of the History of Philosophy, Volume 42, Number 3, July 2004, pp. 297-326

"Despite Wittgenstein’s well known opposition to metaphysics, 2 Z §608 clearly endorses a doctrine of emergence, the view, that the order in our language and thought “arises” out of “chaos” or “nothing.”"


from Stuart Kauffman, Answering Descartes: Beyond Turing, a chapter in S. Barry Cooper and Andrew Hodges (editors): The Once and Future Turing: Computing the World, Cambridge University Press, to appear 2012.


More the mind-brain system may be not only a vast non-algorithmic, non- determinate system, in contrast to classical physics in general, but also a non random Trans-Turing System. More broadly, classical physics is state determined. The mind brain system may be partially open quantum and Poised Realm, hence, via decoherence to classicality FAPP, or via quantum measurement, the mind-brain system may not be a state determined system.

Due to the causal closure of classical physics, we have remained frozen with the Cartesian problem for 350 years. Mind has nothing to do and no way to do it. I believe that open quantum systems and the mind-brain system as one or trillions of interlocked Trans-Turing systems may afford an answer to Cartesian dualism, for it breaks the causal closure of classical physics. Decoherence is an acausal process.  Thus if the mind brain system lies in the poised realm, decoherence  of “mind” to classicality FAPP allows “mind” to have acausal consequences for brain, without acting causally on brain. We have indeed escaped the causal closure of classical physics.

Philosopher of mind Jerry Foder quipped that “Not only have we no idea what consciousness “is”, we have no idea what it would be like to have an idea what consciousness “is” (42).

I have argued that classical physics Turing machines as models of the mind are possible, but leave us at best with no free will, and an epiphenomenal consciousness. I believe that we can begin to go beyond Turing, to create non-algorithmic, non-determinate, and non- randomly behaving Trans-Turing systems, living in the Poised Realm, perhaps in self reproducing protocells, perhaps as nano-devices, both open to evolution or co-evolution to achieve useful ends. I propose tentative answers to Descartes about mind and body. Many of the ideas in the Chapter are new science or even radical.  They may portend transformations in quantum physics, quantum chemistry, a new Poised Realm behavior of biomolecules hovering between quantum and classical behaviors, a new approach to neurobiology, the philosophy of mind, and the radical possibility of Res potentia with consciousness a participation in The Possible, qualia as irreducible and associated with quantum measurement which also may be irreducible, and entanglement and quantum measurement to achieve a unity of consciousness. I hope these concepts point the way forward for us all.




Extended Mind



from Robert K. Logan, The Extended Mind: The Emergence of Language, the Human Mind, and Culture (University of Toronto Press, 2007)

"The computer and the Internet are the most recent techniques for organizing human thought in a long series of techniques and technologies, beginning with speech, for communicating, storing, retrieving, organizing, and processing information.  The series includes spoken language, pictures, tallies, clay tokens, picture writing, logographic (pictographic or ideographic) writing, syllabaries, the alphabet, abstract numbers, numerals, mathematical sigs (+, −, ×, =), the concept of zero, geometry, mathematics, logic, abstract science, maps, graphs, charts, libraries, the printing press, encyclopedia, dictionaries, bookkeeping techniques, the scientific method, photography, the telegraph, the telephone, cinema, radio, audio recording, television, video recording, optical disks, computers, control theory, cyberntics, and the Internet.

"Computing and the Internet, however, are more than just new technologies.  They represent new forms of language, if we accept that language is defined as a system for both communications and informatics.  Computing and the Internet, which encompasses the World Wide Web, are part of an evolutionary chain of languages, which also incudes speech, writing, mathematics, and science."








Transcendental Empiricism

from Truth and genesis : philosophy as differential ontology / Miguel de Beistegui. Indiana University Press, c2004.

The transcendental in Deleuze's sense amounts to a double twisting free, therefore: first, from transcendance, whether of God, of being, of the subject (of consciousness), or the object; second, from the problematic regarding the conditions of possibility of experience and knowledge in general, irreducibly complicit with the logic of resemblance.  Deleuze replaces the classical problematic of the transcendental as involving transcendance and possibility with that of immanence and genesis.  Transcendental empiricism is concerned with isolating the genetic and immanent conditions of existence of the real. And metaphysics is the sole instrument available for understanding what is real within the real, the only access to its inner movement, rife with novelty. (244)

But where does this leave us?  If, in moving from macroscopic objects to microscopic ones, we do not move simply in the order of size, we do not move simply toward the infinitesimally small, but in such a way that we end up calling into question our assumpitons of what makes a natural object what it is; if, in other words,  what is decisive in the discovery of the world of subatomic particles is not so much the size of the objects, but their ontological status qua objects, then we need a whole set of new concepts in order to describe them. (202)

 . . .  contemporary physics, particularly in relation to quantum theory and thermodynamics,  enacts a twisting free of the metaphysics of substance and subject inherited from classical ontology . . . Where metaphysics thought essenses, contemporary physics thinks events.  Where metaphysics thought permanence, contemporary physics thinks evolution.  Where metaphysics thought substances as self-identical substrata onto which accidents were added, from the outside as it were, physics celebrates the reversibility of substance and accidents, and thus the end of substantialism.  In this context "thinking" means thinking by way of mathematics: movement, contingency, chance, chaos are concepts that are no longer simply ontological, no longer simply integrated within a pre-mathematical physics, but entirely and completely mathematical. (189)



from Bruce Baugh,  "Transcendental empiricism: Deleuze's response to Hegel," Man and World 25- 133-148, 1992

1.  Introduction

The empiricism of Gilles Deleuze is no a dogma about the essence of mind, nature, or reality, or "the docrine according to which the intelligible 'comes' from the sensible."(1)  It is rather a concern for "the concrete richness of the sensible" (D 54), for contingency, difference and incommensurability, and a resistance to universalizing abstractions through emphasis on the particularity of situated, historical practices (see D 112).  But it also wants to be a metaphysics, a transcendental empiricism: "transcendental" in the sense of "necessary condition," but not in the sense of providing foundations for knowledge claims; empiricism, because it searches for real conditions of actual experience, not because it bases all knowledge on generalizations from experience.  It is meant to be an empiricism that would be immune to Hegel's critique of empiricism as the poorest and most empty kind of knowledge, or a post-Hegeliam empiricist metaphysics.(2)


from Claire Colebrook, Gilles Deleuze (Routledge, 2002)

 . . . one of the most important event in Deleuze's thought was the advent of modern cinema, where images were freed from the human eye and from organizing perspectives and narrative.  It is the cinema's power to 'see' in an inhuman and multiple way that gives us . . . a whole new way of thinking.  Colebrook, 6-7

We should not seek to uncover what a philosophy or text means.  We should look at what the philosophy does, or how it transforms the problems that in turn transform our thinking."  Colebrook, 64

Empiricism is a commitment to beginning from singular, partial or 'molecular' experiences, which are organized and extended into 'molar' formations. . . .  (82)

For Deleuze empiricism is an ethics precisely because it takes any social formation, even one as general as 'humanism' and shows its emergence.  We do not begin from an idea, such as human culture, and then use the idea to explain life.  We chart the emergence of the idea from particular bodies and connections.  Colebrook,  p. 82

It is the error of transcendence to think that there is a world that we need to represesent through a seperate order of signs.  For empiricism, all life is a flow of signs; each perception is a sign of what lies beyond, and there is no ultimate referent or 'signified' that lies behind the world of signs.p. 86

In a reversal of Platonism we do away with the foundation of being, acknowledging the immanence of becoming (becoming as all there is without ground or foundation).  This does not just mean valuing becoming over being.  It means doing away with the opposition altogether.  The supposed real world that would lie behind the flux of becoming is not, Deleuze insists, a stable world of being; there 'is' nothing other than the flow of becoming.  All 'beings' are just relatively stable moments in the flow of becoming-life. p. 125


from Robert B. Brandom, "The Centrality of Sellars's Two-Ply Account of Observations to the Arguments of 'Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind', in Robert B. Brandom, Tales of the Mighty Dead: Historical Essays in the Metaphysics of Intentionality (Harvard University Press, 2002)

If we strip empiricism down to its core, we might identify it with the insight that knowledge of the empirical world depends essentially on the capacity of knowing organisms to respond differentially to distinct environing stimuli. (349)

 . . . the difference that makes a difference is that candidates for observational knowledge do not just have reliable dispositions to respond differentially to stimuli by making noises, but have reliable dispositions to respond differentialy to those stimuli by applying concepts. (351)

The observer's response is conceptually contentful just insofar as it occupies a node in a web of inferential relations.(p. 351) [see Imus]

What the parrot lacks is a conceptual understanding of its response.  That is why it is just making noise.  Its response means nothing to the parrot--though it may mean something to us, who can make inferences from it . . .  (351)

 . . . according to Sellars's view, the difference between theoretical objects and observable objects is methodologcal rather than ontological.  That is, theoretical and observable objects are not different kinds of things.  They differ only in how we come to know about them. (362)
The Present as History: Everyday Life and Transcendental Empiricism


Harry Harootunian, History's Disquiet: Modernity, Cultural Practice, and the Question of Everyday Life (Columbia University Press, 2000)

 "The now of everydayness would stand in a dialectical relationship to the past that it would construct." p. 3

" . . . an entirely different kind of history that inverted the emphasis on a fixed past and its promise to yield historical knowledge for one that privleged the present and experience as a condition of constructing the past." p. 13

"What has been absent in the practice of history devoted to reconstructing the past of a present is the present, what is given as the historical present and how it shows itself." p. 18

the present as ". . . the space where the 'riddle of recurrence intercepts the theory of becoming.'" (Lefebvre in Harootunian, p. 55)  



Inka Mülder-Bach, "Introduction" to Siegfried Kracauer, The Salaried Masses: Duty amd Distraction in Weimar Germany (Verso, 1998), p. 15.

" . . . now theory forfeits its hierarchically privileged position in relation to empirical material.  It infiltrates the surface, so to speak, manifesting itself in the way the tessera of the 'mosaic' are cut and in the interstices left between them. . . .  this conceptual language misses precisely what matters crucially to Kracauer: the details of the situations, their complexity, the perspectives of their agents . . .  His investigation, therefore, refrains from formulating its insight in a conceptual language removed from its material. . .  Knowledge of the material's significance becomes the principle of its textual representation, so that the representation itself articulates the theory.


Myth of the Subject/Myth of the Given

from Michel Foucault, Remarks on Marx : conversations with Duccio Trombadori, translated by R. James Goldstein and James Cascaito (Semiotext(e), 1991)

"It was a matter of calling the theme of the subject into question once again, that great, fundamental postulate which French philosophy,  from Descartes until our own time, had never abandoned.  Setting out with psychoanalysis, Lacan discovered, or brought out into the open, the fact that the theory of the unconscious is incompatible with a theory of the subject (in the Cartesian sense of the term as well as the phenomenological one). . .  Indeed, Lacan concluded that is was precisely the philosophy of the subject which had to be abandoned on account of this incompatibiity, and that the point of departure should be an analysis of the mechanisms of the unconscious." p. 56-7


from Episteme (Wikipedia)

Foucault's epistemes are something like the 'epistemological unconscious' of an era; the configuration of knowledge in a particular episteme is based on a set of fundamental assumptions that are so basic to that episteme so as to be invisible to people operating within it.




LOOSE ENDS



Trade and the American dream: a social history of postwar trade policy By Susan A. Aaronson re citizens committee HISS LIST




To this extent moral judgment is never to be taken literally: as such it never contains anything but nonsense.  But as semiotics it remains of incalculable value: it reveals, to the informed man at least the most precious realities of cultures and inner worlds* (*see Rothschild) which did no know enough to ‘understand’ themselves.. Morality is merely sign-language, merely symptomatology . . ..
Nietzsche, Twilight, p. 55  emph added
A thermodynamic concept of entropy is more than mere metaphor; it is directly applicable to history in regard to conflict between order and decay; in this case, the conflict beween organization (both as mind and as capital) and appetite.  Latter may by the signal event of the 21st century--not only the obvious effects (obesity) but also the most complex and elusive yet decisive effects on cognitive development and personality formation--those instantiations of order and discipline that are the sine qua non for society to exist at all.  While more attention is devoted to the externals of discipline--the state, the factory and office, the community and family--it is the fragile emergence of higher order ccogntive functions chacteristic of modern and advanced captalism (Shulameth Firestone, Reich) that is the problemtic of today.

but this makes history a part of modern cosmology, where physics, cosmology, and biology come together in addressing fundamental questions (complexity theorists do this now) about origins and nature of life.  Is complexty "built in" as a fundamental property and developmental dynamic of the cosmos so that life is a necessary effect of the big bang? (Sante Fe Inst)

THIS IS FUNDAMENTAL HISTORY OF BEING

entropy and mind
entropy and the state
entropy and regimes of rage
entropy and regimes of appetite and desire

Brandom
experience: p. 7
vulgar pragmatism: p. 18
understanding and explanation: p. 36-7
III.  Pragmatism and Romanticism: p. 40-41