We present select examples of how visual phenomena can serve as tools to uncoverbrain mechanisms. Specifically, receptive field organization is proposed as a Gestalt-like neural mechanism of perceptual organization. Appropriate phenomena, such as brightness and orientation contrast, subjective contours, filling-in, and aperture-viewed motion, allow for a quantitative comparison between receptive fields and their psychophysical counterparts, perceptive fields. Phenomenology might thus be extended from the study of perceptual qualities to their transphenomenal substrates, including memory functions. In conclusion, classic issues of Gestalt (...) psychology can now be related to modern. (shrink)
Pessoa et al. provide a valuable taxonomy of perceptual completion phenomena, but it is not yet clear whether these phenomena are mediated by one kind of neural mechanism or more. We suggest three possible neural mechanisms of long-range interaction to stimulate further perceptual and neurophysiological investigation of perceptual completion and filling-in.
The authors undertake a thought experiment the purpose of which is to explore possibilities for understanding moral principles in analogy with cosmic order. The experiment is based on three proposals, which are described in detail: an ontological, a neurological, and a moral proposal. The ontological proposal accepts from the phenomena of quantum physics that there is a nonempirical domain of physical reality that consists not of material things but of what is philosophically conceptualized as a realm of nonmaterial forms. This (...) realm of forms is the realm of potentiality in physical reality that quantum physics posits as an indivisible Wholeness—the One. It is the ultimate reality because everything empirical is the actualization of its forms. The neurological proposal is the hypothesis that the brain is sensitive to the potentiality waves in the cosmic field, as ordinary measuring instruments in physics are sensitive to potentiality waves at the quantum level, so that the cosmic field can communicate with the human brain. The third proposal assumes that the communication with the cosmic field can translate into moral ideas and actions. Even though the three proposals underlying the thought experiment are highly speculative, they lead to definite implications that make sense in their own right and can be applied in a useful way. From the order of reality some simple rules of conduct follow that are identical with traditional moral rules but have the character of rules of well-ness, leading to new aspects of Aristotle's concept of eudaimonia and Kant's concept of the highest good. In analogy with the structure of physical reality, where all empirical phenomena are actualizations of nonempirical forms, it is suggested that the structure of morality, too, is that of a tacit, nonempirical form that actualizes in explicit principles and moral acts through our consciousness. The tacit form is thought to exist in the realm of cosmic potentiality, together with all the other forms that the empirical world actualizes. It can appear spontaneously in our consciousness when needed, offering its guidance to our judgment and free will. Because it does not appear in the form of commandments accompanied by threats, the actions of the tacit moral form define a higher level of morality, similar to that offered by some aspects of the Christian teaching, where one acts not out of fear but on the desire to do things right. (shrink)
I describe characteristic phenomena of quantum physics that suggest that reality appears to us in two domains: the open and well-known domain of empirical, material things—the realm of actuality—and a hidden and invisible domain of nonempirical, non-material forms—the realm of potentiality. The nonempirical forms are part of physical reality because they contain the empirical possibilities of the universe and can manifest themselves in the empirical world. Two classes of nonempirical states are discussed: the superposition states of microphysical entities, which are (...) nonempirical because observation destroys them, and the virtual states of material systems, which are nonempirical because they are empty. The non-empirical part to physical reality represents a predetermined and hidden order that exists before it is empirical, and the visible world is an emanation out of it. I discuss consequences for our understanding of human nature, the origin of life, and human values. Reality is an indivisible wholeness that is aware of its processes, like a Cosmic Spirit, and it reveals its awareness in the mindlike properties of elementary processes as well as in the human consciousness. Thus, one is led to G. W. F. Hegel's thesis that the Cosmic Spirit is thinking in us. (shrink)
This paper discusses possible correspondences between neuroscientific findings and phenomenologically informed methodologies in the investigation of kinesthetic empathy in watching dance. Interest in phenomenology has recently increased in cognitive science (Gallagher and Zahavi 2008 ) and dance scholars have recently contributed important new insights into the use of phenomenology in dance studies (e.g. Legrand and Ravn (Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8(3):389–408, 2009 ); Parviainen (Dance Research Journal 34(1):11–26, 2002 ); Rothfield (Topoi 24:43–53, 2005 )). In vision research, coherent neural (...) mechanisms for perceptual phenomena were uncovered, thus supporting correlation of phenomenology and neurophysiology Spillmann (Vision Research 49(12):1507–1521, 2009 ). Correspondingly, correlating subjects’ neurophysiological data with qualitative responses has been proposed as a means to research the human brain in the study of consciousness (Gallagher and Zahavi 2008 ), with similar issues in clinical psychology Mishara (Current Opinion in Psychiatry 20(6):559–569, 2007 ) and biology Kosslyn et al. (American Psychologist 57:341–351, 2002 ). Yet the relationship between neuroscience and qualitative research informed by phenomenology remains problematic. How qualitative research normally handles subjective experiences is difficult to reconcile with standard statistical analysis of objective data. Recent technological developments in cognitive neuroscience have inspired a number of researchers to use more naturalistic stimuli, outside the laboratory environment, such as dance, thereby perhaps helping to open up the cognitive sciences to more phenomenologically informed approaches. A question central to our research, addressed here, is how the phenomenal experiences of a dance audience member, as accessed by qualitative research methods, can be related to underlying neurophysiological events. We outline below some methodological challenges encountered in relating audiences’ first-person accounts of watching live dance performance to neurophysiological evidence of their experiences. (shrink)
Since Aristotle it is recognised that a valid syllogism cannot have two particular premises. However, that is not how a lay person sees it; at least as long as the premises read many, most etc, instead of a plain some. The lay people are right if one considers that these syllogisms do not have strict but approximate (Zadeh) validity. Typically there are only particular premises available in everyday life and one is dependent on such syllogisms. – Some rules on the (...) usage of particular premises are given below. (shrink)
Computational approaches to the law have frequently been characterized as being formalistic implementations of the syllogistic model of legal cognition: using insufficient or contradictory data, making analogies, learning through examples and experiences, applying vague and imprecise standards. We argue that, on the contrary, studies on neural networks and fuzzy reasoning show how AI & law research can go beyond syllogism, and, in doing that, can provide substantial contributions to the law.
Modern science is based empirically on data, which are gained, mainly, by means of technical machinery and plants of high complexity. This type of laboratory research is at a distance to the old forms of investigating nature such that it is under suspicion to investigate artefacts rather than nature. - Against this it is argued in the following, that laboratory research has to be acknowledged as true heir of the form of science which Galileo had started. Knowledge of the powers (...) and mechanisms of nature can be gained only by means of pointed interventions into natural processes. The term ,,laboratory", however, designates less the place of experimentation, but, rather, the ,,thoughtstyle" practised by a research group, in which forms of handling experimental setups and (social) structures of cooperation in a team of specialists are integrated. - Scientific facts cannot be separated from the social and cultural conditions comprised in a thoughtstyle, they are dependent on thoughtstyles. Yet, this does not make them mere artefacts of instrumentation. Scientific practices in the laboratories define, rather, the conditions under which nature can present herself. German Die moderne Naturwissenschaft stützt sich auf empirische Daten, die weitgehend in hochkomplizierten technischen Apparaturen und Anlagen gewonnen werden. Von den Formen der alten Naturforschung ist diese Laborforschung so weit entfernt, daß sie den Vorwurf auf sich zog, sie untersuche Artefakte, aber nicht Natur. - Dagegen wird hier argumentiert, daß die Laborforschung als genuine Erbin der mit Galilei begonnenen Form der Naturwissenschaft anzuerkennen sei. Erkenntnis von den Wirkungsweisen der Natur ist nur durch gezieltes Eingreifen in Vorgänge der Natur zu gewinnen. Unter dem ,,Laboratorium haben wir allerdings weniger den Ort des Experimentierens zu verstehen, als vielmehr den in einer Arbeitsgruppe praktizierten ,,Denkstil, in dem die Formen des Forschungshandelns mit den (sozialen) Strukturen der arbeitsteiligen Kooperation verbunden sind. - Wissenschaftliche Tatsachen lassen sich zwar nicht von den Bindungen an einen Denkstil ablösen, sie erweisen sich als denkstilabhängig; das macht sie aber nicht zu Kunstprodukten. Die in einem Labor praktizierten Arbeitsweisen definieren vielmehr die Bedingungen, unter denen Natur sich zeigen kann. (shrink)
The article investigates the interplay of moral rules in computer simulation. The investigation is based on two situations which are well-known to game theory: the prisoner''s dilemma and the game of Chicken. The prisoner''s dilemma can be taken to represent contractual situations, the game of Chicken represents a competitive situation on the one hand and the provision for a common good on the other. Unlike the rules usually used in game theory, each player knows the other''s strategy. In that way, (...) ever higher levels of reflection are reached reciprocally. Such strategies can be interpreted as moral rules.Artificial morality is related to the discipline of Artificial Life. As in artificial life, the use of genetic algorithms suggests itself. Rules of behaviour split and reunite as chromosome strings do. (shrink)
This paper addresses the conceptual as well as social origins of Mendeleev’s discovery of the periodic law and its reception by the chemical community by taking account of three factors: Mendeleev’s early research and its relevance to the discovery; his concepts of chemistry, especially that of the chemical elements; and the social context of the discovery and the reception in the chemical community. Mendeleev's clear distinction between abstract elements and simple bodies was a departure from Lavoisier’s famous definition of elements (...) as an endpoint of analysis and originated from his research in indefinite compounds. As a comparison, the paper also analyzes LotharMeyer’s approach to the classification of the elements. Mendeleev’s new concept of chemical elements and the existence of an audience in the form of the newly established Russian Chemical Society, and his ``German connection'', helped Mendeleev in his discovery and its reception. (shrink)
Zusammenfassung Der nichtdistributive, orthokomplementÃ¤re Verband der Projektionsoperatoren in der Quantenmechanik hat AnlaÃ zu mancherlei Interpretationen gegeben, so z. B. als eine von der klassischen Logik abweichende Quantenlogik, oder man deutete die Projektionsoperatoren als Eigenschaften von Mikroobjekten. Wir glauben, mit dieser Arbeit ein wesentliches Argument fÃ¼r die letztere Interpretation liefern zu kÃ¶nnen.
The article argues for a shift of perspective in identity management (IDM) research and development. Accessibility and usability issues affect identity management to such an extent that they demand a reframing and reformulation of basic designs and requirements of modern identity management systems. The rationale for the traditional design of identity management systems and mechanisms has been security concerns as defined in the field of security engineering. By default the highest security level has been recommended and implemented, often without taking (...) end-user needs and accessibility issues into serious consideration. The article provides a conceptual framework for inclusive IDM, a brief overview of the regulatory status of inclusive IDM and a taxonomy of inclusive identity management methods. Several widespread IDM approaches, methods and techniques are analyzed and discussed from the perspective of inclusive design. Several important challenges are identified and some ideas for solutions addressing the challenges are proposed and discussed. (shrink)
Zusammenfassung âDie Kritik ist nicht die Wissenschaft. Zu diesem Ergebnis fÃ¼hrt eine Besinnung auf den Begriff der ObjektivitÃ¤t in der kunstwissenschaftlichen Forschung. Die aktuelle Situation, die durch wissenschaftstheoretische und methodologische Ãberlegungen bestimmt ist, verlangt neue Zielsetzungen und Aufgaben. Das zentrale Problem â die BegrÃ¼ndung der Ãsthetik als selbstÃ¤ndige, moderne Wissenschaft â steht und fÃ¤llt mit der Frage, ob die Kunst Gegenstand einer generellen, empirisch prÃ¼fbaren Theorie sein kann. Der zeitgenÃ¶ssische Strukturalismus glaubt diese Frage positiv beantworten zu kÃ¶nnen. Er versucht, die (...) Ã¤sthetischen Gebilde nicht nur (wie die Kritik) als registrierbare EinzelfÃ¤lle zu erklÃ¤ren und zu bewerten, sondern auf allgemeinere GesetzmÃ¤Ãigkeiten zurÃ¼ckzufÃ¼hren. (shrink)
The historiography of life, work and visions of Jakob von Uexküll (1864–1944) has grew up during the last years. But up to now lifes of his important followers in science are still unknown. This article ist devoted to life and work of Lothar Gottlieb Tirala (1886–1974), who studied psychology and medicine in Vienna and started cooperation with Uexküll in 1914. They stayed in contact during the following decades, although Tirala began a career in race hygiene and neo-darwinistic scientific thought. (...) He organised the contact between Uexküll and Houston Stewart Chamberlain and got support from the Wagner-family in 1933 to become professor for race biology in Munich. After his booting out in 1936 because of massive faults in teaching Tirala changed his scientific interests and began to stretch Uexkülls “Reflexlehre” into healing of blood pressure diseases in men. He became a favourite researcher in German natural cure community after 1945. Even today his studies are integrated in efforts to fight hypertonia. (shrink)