Ken Warmbrod thinks Quine agrees that translation is determinate if it is determinate what speakers would say in all possible circumstances; that what things would do in merely possible circumstances is determined by what their subvisible constituent mechanisms would dispose them to do on the evidence of what alike actual mechanisms make alike actual things do actually; and that what speakers say is determined by their neural mechanisms. Warmbrod infers that people's neural mechanisms make translation of what people say determinate. (...) I argue that the evidence of what alike actual mechanisms make alike actual things do actually, underdetermines what our neural mechanisms would make us say in merely possible circumstances. So translation is indeterminate. And so too are the dispositions of physical mechanisms. (shrink)
This paper explores a remarkable convergence of ideas and evidence, previously presented in separate places by its authors. That convergence has now become so persuasive that we believe we are working within substantially the same broad framework. Taylor's mathematical papers on neuronal systems involved in consciousness dovetail well with work by Newman and Baars on the thalamocortical system, suggesting a brain mechanism much like the global workspace architecture developed by Baars (see references below). This architecture is relational, in (...) the sense that it continuously mediates the interaction of input with memory. While our approaches overlap in a number of ways, each of us tends to focus on different areas of detail. What is most striking, and we believe significant, is the extent of consensus, which we believe to be consistent with other contemporary approaches by Weiskrantz, Gray, Crick and Koch, Edelman, Gazzaniga, Newell and colleagues, Posner, Baddeley, and a number of others. We suggest that cognitive neuroscience is moving toward a shared understanding of consciousness in the brain. (shrink)
The concept of mechanism in biology has three distinct meanings. It may refer to a philosophical thesis about the nature of life and biology (‘mechanicism’), to the internal workings of a machine-like structure (‘machine mechanism’), or to the causal explanation of a particular phenomenon (‘causal mechanism’). In this paper I trace the conceptual evolution of ‘mechanism’ in the history of biology, and I examine how the three meanings of this term have come to be featured in (...) the philosophy of biology, situating the new ‘mechanismic program’ in this context. I argue that the leading advocates of the mechanismic program (i.e., Craver, Darden, Bechtel, etc.) inadvertently conflate the different senses of ‘mechanism’. Specifically, they all inappropriately endow causal mechanisms with the ontic status of machine mechanisms, and this invariably results in problematic accounts of the role played by mechanism-talk in scientific practice. I suggest that for effective analyses of the concept of mechanism, causal mechanisms need to be distinguished from machine mechanisms, and the new mechanismic program in the philosophy of biology needs to be demarcated from the traditional concerns of mechanistic biology. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to examine the usefulness of the Machamer, Darden, and Craver (2000) mechanism approach to gaining an understanding of explanation in cognitive neuroscience. We argue that although the mechanism approach can capture many aspects of explanation in cognitive neuroscience, it cannot capture everything. In particular, it cannot completely capture all aspects of the content and significance of mental representations or the evaluative features constitutive of psychopathology.
Long-Term Potentiation (LTP) is a kind of synaptic plasticity that many contemporary neuroscientists believe is a component in mechanisms of memory. This essay describes the discovery of LTP and the development of the LTP research program. The story begins in the 1950's with the discovery of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus (a medial temporal lobe structure now associated with memory), and it ends in 1973 with the publication of three papers sketching the future course of the LTP research program. The (...) making of LTP was a protracted affair. Hippocampal synaptic plasticity was initially encountered as an experimental tool, then reported as a curiosity, and finally included in the ontic store of the neurosciences. Early researchers were not investigating the hippocampus in search of a memory mechanism; rather, they saw the hippocampus as a useful experimental model or as a structure implicated in the etiology of epilepsy. The link between hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning or memory was a separate conceptual achievement. That link was formulated in at least three different ways at different times: reductively (claiming that plasticity is identical to learning), analogically (claiming that plasticity is an example or model of learning), and mechanistically (claiming that plasticity is a component in learning or memory mechanisms). The hypothesized link with learning or memory, coupled with developments in experimental techniques and preparations, shaped how researchers understood LTP itself. By 1973, the mechanistic formulation of the link between LTP and memory provided an abstract framework around which findings from multiple perspectives could be integrated into a multifield research program. (shrink)
PROFESSOR LEWIS 1 and Professor Coder 2 criticize my use of GĂ¶del's theorem to refute Mechanism. 3 Their criticisms are valuable. In order to meet them I need to show more clearly both what the tactic of my argument is at one crucial point and the general aim of the whole manoeuvre.
The critique of mechanism in the political philosophy of Herder and German romanticism -- The political function of machine metaphors in Hegel's early writings -- Mechanism in religious practice -- The mechanization of labor and the birth of modern ethicality in Hegel's Jena political writings -- Mechanism and the problem of self-determination in Hegel's logic -- The modern state as absolute mechanism : Hegel's logical insight into the relation of civil society and the state.
Accounts of ontic explanation have often been devised so as to provide an understanding of mechanism and of causation. Ontic accounts differ quite radically in their ontologies, and one of the latest additions to this tradition proposed by Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden and Carl Craver reintroduces the concept of activity. In this paper I ask whether this influential and activity-based account of mechanisms is viable as an ontic account. I focus on polygenic scenarios—scenarios in which the causal truths depend (...) on more than one cause. The importance of polygenic causation was noticed early on by Mill (1893). It has since been shown to be a problem for both causal-law approaches to causation (Cartwright 1983) and accounts of causation cast in terms of capacities (Dupré 1993; Glennan 1997, pp. 605-626). However, whereas mechanistic accounts seem to be attractive precisely because they promise to handle complicated causal scenarios, polygenic causation needs to be examined more thoroughly in the emerging literature on activity-based mechanisms. The activity-based account proposed in Machamer et al. (2000, pp. 1-25) is problematic as an ontic account, I will argue. It seems necessary to ask, of any ontic account, how well it performs in causal situations where—at the explanandum level of mechanism—no activity occurs. In addition, it should be asked how well the activity-based account performs in situations where there are too few activities around to match the polygenic causal origin of the explanandum. The first situation presents an explanandum-problem and the second situation presents an explanans-problem—I will argue—both of which threaten activity-based frameworks. (shrink)
Abduction and metaphor are two significant concepts in cognitive science. It is found that the both mental processes are on the basis of certain similarity. The similarity inspires us to seek the answers to the following two questions: (1) Whether there is a common cognitive mechanism behind abduction and metaphor? And (2) if there is, whether this common mechanism could be interpreted within the unified frame of modern intelligence theory? Centering on these two issues, the paper attempts to (...) characterize and interpret the generation and evolution of scientific metaphors from the perspective of the cognitive mechanism of abductive inference. Then it interprets the common cognitive mechanism behind abduction and metaphor within Hawkins’ frame of intelligence theory. The commonality between abduction and metaphor indicates the potential to further explore human intelligence. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine metaphysical aspects in the neuroeconomics debate. I propose that part of the debate can be better understood by supposing two metaphysical stances, mechanistic and functional. I characterize the two stances, and discuss their relations. I consider two models of framing, in order to illustrate how the features of mechanistic and functional stances figure in the practice of the sciences of individual decision making.
A widely accepted theory holds that emotional experiences occur mainly in a part of the human brain called the amygdala. A different theory asserts that color sensation is located in a small subpart of the visual cortex called V4. If these theories are correct, or even approximately correct, then they are remarkable advances toward a scientific explanation of human conscious experience. Yet even understanding the claims of such theories—much less evaluating them—raises some puzzles. Conscious experience does not present itself as (...) a brain process. Indeed experience seems entirely unlike neural activity. For example, to some people it seems that an exact physical duplicate of you could have different sensations than you do, or could have no sensations at all. If so, then how is it even possible that sensations could turn out to be brain processes? (shrink)
Can the phenomenal character of perceptual experience be altered by the states of one’s cognitive system, for example, one’s thoughts or beliefs? Ifone thinks that this can happen [at least in certain ways that are identWed in the paper] then one thinks that there can be cognitive penetration of perceptual experience; otherwise, one thinks that perceptual experience is cognitivelv impenetrable. I claim that there is one alleged case ofcognitive penetration that cannot be explained away by the standard strategies one can (...) typicallv use to explain away alleged cases. The case is one in which it seems subjects’ beliefs about the typical colour of objects ajfects their colour experience. I propose a two-step mechanism of indirect cognitive penetration that explains how cognitive penetration may occur. I show that there is independent evidence that each step in this process can occur. I suspect that people who are opposed to the idea that perceptual experience is cognitivelv penetrable will be less opposed to the idea when they come to consider this indirect mechanism and that those who are generallv sympathetic to the idea ofcognitive penetrability will welcome the elucidation ofthis plausible mechanism. (shrink)
Conscience is oft-referred to yet not understood. This text develops a theory of cognition around a model of conscience, the ACTWith model. It represents a synthesis of results from contemporary neuroscience with traditional philosophy, building from Jamesian insights into the emergence of the self to narrative identity, all the while motivated by a single mechanism as represented in the ACTWith model. Emphasis is placed on clarifying historical expressions and demonstrations of conscience - Socrates, Heidegger, Kant, M.L. King - in (...) light of the ACTWith model, while at once turning these resources to developing the basic architecture. In the end, this text aims to enrich moral theory by improving our understanding of moral cognition, while at once providing a useful tool in everyday moral practice and self-development. (shrink)
I distinguish three theses associated with the new mechanistic philosophy – concerning causation, explanation and scientific methodology. Advocates of each thesis are identified and relationships among them are outlined. I then look at some recent work on natural selection and mechanisms. There, attention to different kinds of New Mechanism significantly affects of what is at stake.
The aim of this article is to elucidate the notions of explanation and mechanism, in particular of the social kind. A mechanism is defined as what makes a concrete system tick, and it is argued that to propose an explanation proper is to exhibit a lawful mechanism. The so-called covering law model is shown to exhibit only the logical aspect of explanation: it just subsumes particulars under universals. A full or mechanismic explanation involves mechanismic law statements, not (...) purely descriptive ones such as functional relations and rate equations. Many examples from the natural, biosocial, and social sciences are examined. In particular, macro-micro-micro-macro social relations are shown to explain other wise puzzling macro-macro links. The last part of the article relates the author's progress, over half a century, toward understanding mechanism and explanation. (shrink)
The 16th and 17th centuries marked a period of transition from the vitalistic ontology that had dominated Renaissance natural philosophy to the Early Modern mechanistic paradigm endorsed by, among others, the Cartesians and Newtonians. This paper focuses on how the tensions between vitalism and mechanism played themselves out in the context of 16th and 17th century chemistry and chemical philosophy. The paper argues that, within the fields of chemistry and chemical philosophy, the significant transition that culminated in the 18th (...) century Chemical Revolution was not a transition from vitalism to full-blown mechanism. Rather, chemical philosophy shifted from a vitalistic theory of matter and spirits to a naturalistic, physicalistic, and corpuscularian conception of chemical properties and reactions. Despite being naturalistic, physicalistic, and corpuscularian, however, this theory was not fully mechanistic. Special attention is paid to the contributions made by Paracelsus, Sebastien Basso, Jan Baptista van Helmont, and Robert Boyle to this ontological transition. (shrink)
The World In Your Head: A Gestalt View of the Mechanism of Conscious Experience represents a bold assault on one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in science: the nature of consciousness and the human mind. Rather than examining the brain and nervous system to see what they tell us about the mind, this book begins with an examination of conscious experience to see what it can tell us about the brain. Through this analysis, the first and most obvious observation (...) is that consciousness appears as a volumetric spatial void, containing colored objects and surfaces. This reveals that the representation in the brain takes the form of an explicit volumetric spatial model of external reality. Therefore, the world we see around us is not the real world itself, but merely a miniature virtual-reality replica of that world in an internal representation. In fact, the phenomena of dreams and hallucinations clearly demonstrate the capacity of the brain to construct complete virtual worlds even in the absence of sensory input. Perception is somewhat like a guided hallucination, based on sensory stimulation. This insight allows us to examine the world of visual experience not as scientists exploring the external world, but as perceptual scientists examining a rich and complex internal representation. This unique approach to investigating mental function has implications in a wide variety of related fields, including the nature of language and abstract thought, and motor control and behavior. It also has implications to the world of music, art, and dance, showing how the patterns of regularity and periodicity in space and time--apparent in those aesthetic domains--reflect the periodic basis set of the underlying harmonic resonance representation in the brain. (shrink)
This is an attempt to interpret the history of mechanism vs. vitalism in relation to the changing framework of culture and to show the interrelation between both these views and experimental science. After the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, causal mechanism of classical physics provided the framework for the study of nature. The teleological and holistic properties of life, however, which are incompatible with this theory yielded — as a result both of internal developments within biology and (...) of a general reaction against dogmatic rationalism — to a vitalistic interpretation of life which ascribed a mysterious force to living organisms. It will be shown that both mechanism and vitalism are related to the experimental climate of the time in which they were popular. The controversy has now lost its raison d'être as a result of the development of the theory of systems and of a better understanding of the chemistry and evolution of life. (shrink)
Although there has been much recent discussion on mechanisms in philosophy of science and social theory, no shared understanding of the crucial concept itself has emerged. In this paper, a distinction between two core concepts of mechanism is made on the basis that the concepts correspond to two different research strategies: the concept of mechanism as a componential causal system is associated with the heuristic of functional decomposition and spatial localization and the concept of mechanism as an (...) abstract form of interaction is associated with the strategy of abstraction and simple models. The causal facts assumed and the theoretical consequences entailed by an explanation with a given mechanism differ according to which concept of mechanism is in use. Research strategies associated with mechanism concepts also involve characteristic biases that should be taken into account when using them, especially in new areas of application. (shrink)
Explanations in the life sciences frequently involve presenting a model of the mechanism taken to be responsible for a given phenomenon. Such explanations depart in numerous ways from nomological explanations commonly presented in philosophy of science. This paper focuses on three sorts of differences. First, scientists who develop mechanistic explanations are not limited to linguistic representations and logical inference; they frequently employ dia- grams to characterize mechanisms and simulations to reason about them. Thus, the epistemic resources for presenting mechanistic (...) explanations are considerably richer than those suggested by a nomological framework. Second, the fact that mechanisms involve organized systems of component parts and operations provides direction to both the discovery and testing of mech- anistic explanations. Finally, models of mechanisms are developed for specific exemplars and are not represented in terms of universally quantified statements. Generalization involves investigating both the similarity of new exemplars to those already studied and the variations between them. Ó 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Sections 3.16 and 3.23 of Roger Penrose's Shadows of the mind (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994) contain a subtle and intriguing new argument against mechanism, the thesis that the human mind can be accurately modeled by a Turing machine. The argument, based on the incompleteness theorem, is designed to meet standard objections to the original Lucas–Penrose formulations. The new argument, however, seems to invoke an unrestricted truth predicate (and an unrestricted knowability predicate). If so, its premises are inconsistent. The (...) usual ways of restricting the predicates either invalidate Penrose's reasoning or require presuppositions that the mechanist can reject. (shrink)
Current accounts of the relationship between classical genetics and molecular biology favor the ‘explanatory extension’ thesis, according to which molecular biology elucidates aspects of inheritance unexplained by classical genetics. I identify however an unresolved tension between the ‘explanatory extension’ account and examples of ‘explanatory interference’ (cases when the accommodation of data from molecular biology results in a more precise genotyping and more adequate classical explanations). This paper provides a new way of analyzing the relationship between classical genetics and molecular biology (...) capable of resolving this tension. The proposed solution makes use of the properties of mechanism schemas and sketches, which can be completed by elucidating some or all of their remaining ‘black boxes’ and instantiated via the filling-in of phenomenon-specific details. This result has implications for the reductionism -antireductionism debate since it shows that molecular elucidations have a positive impact on classical explanations without entailing the reduction of classical genetics to molecular biology. (shrink)
The prominent place 0f corpuscularizm mechanism in L0ckc`s Essay is nowadays universally acknowledged} Certainly, L0ckc’s discussions 0f the primary/secondary quality distinction and 0f real essences cannot be understood without reference to the corpuscularizm science 0f his day, which held that all macroscopic bodily phenomena should bc explained in terms 0f the motions and impacts 0f submicroscopic particles, 0r corpuscles, each of which can bc fully characterized in terms of 21 strictly limited range 0f (primary) properties: size, shape, motion (or (...) mobility), and, perhaps, solidity 0r impcnctrability.2 Indeed, L0ckc’s lists 0f primary quali-. (shrink)
The rich connections between metaphysics and natural philosophy in the early modern period have been widely acknowledged and productively mined, thanks in no small part to the work of Margaret Wilson, whose book, Descartes, served as an inspirational example for a generation of scholars. The task of this paper is to investigate one particular such connection, namely, the relation between occasionalist metaphysics and strict mechanism. My focus will be on the work of Nicholas Malebranche, the most influential Cartesian philosopher (...) after Descartes himself. I begin with two crucial facts about Malebranche’s philosophy: (1) Malebranche was an occasionalist, that is, he held that God was the only true cause, that all modifications of bodies and of minds can be produced by God alone. (2) Malebranche adhered firmly to strict mechanism. By strict mechanism, I mean the view, found most prominently in Descartes and in Boyle’s more ideological writings, that the qualities of bodies are exhausted by a very short list (size, shape, motion, and perhaps solidity) and that, most importantly, bodies interact only at contact by impact. Another way of describing this “contact action” requirement is as the thesis that the only fundamental laws of physics are laws of inertial motion and laws of the communication of motion at impact. In.. (shrink)
This paper explores the argument structure of the concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking in the electroweak gauge theory of the Standard Model: the so-called Higgs mechanism. As commonly understood, the Higgs argument is designed to introduce the masses of the gauge bosons by a spontaneous breaking of the gauge symmetry of an additional field, the Higgs field. The technical derivation of the Higgs mechanism, however, consists in a mere reshuffling of degrees of freedom by transforming the Higgs Lagrangian (...) in a gauge-invariant manner. This already raises serious doubts about the adequacy of the entire manoeuvre. It will be shown that no straightforward ontic interpretation of the Higgs mechanism is tenable, since gauge transformations possess no real instantiations. In addition, the explanatory value of the Higgs argument will be critically examined. (shrink)
The understanding of the interrelationship between brain and mind remains far from clear. It is well established that the brain's capacity to integrate information from numerous sources forms the basis for cognitive abilities. However, the core unresolved question is how information about the "objective" physical entities of the external world can be integrated, and how unifiedand coherent mental states (or Gestalts) can be established in the internal entities of distributed neuronal systems. The present paper offers a unified methodological and (...) conceptual basis for a possible mechanism of how the transient synchronization of brain operations may construct the unified and relatively stable neural states, which underlie mental states. It was shown that the sequence of metastable spatial EEG mosaics does exist and probably reflects the rapid stabilization periods of the interrelation of large neuron systems. At the EEG level this is reflected in the stabilization of quasi-stationary segments on corresponding channels. Within the introduced framework, physical brain processes and psychological processes are considered as two basic aspects of a single whole informational brain state. The relations between operational process of the brain, mental states and consciousness are discussed. (shrink)
Stuart Glennan, and the team of Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, and Carl Craver have recently provided two accounts of the concept of a mechanism. The main difference between these two versions rests on how the behavior of the parts of the mechanism is conceptualized. Glennan considers mechanisms to be an interaction of parts, where the interaction between parts can be characterized by direct, invariant, change-relating generalizations. Machamer, Darden, and Craver criticize traditional conceptualizations of mechanisms which are based solely (...) on parts interacting and introduce a new conceptactivity. This essay is an attempt at carving out a relationship between these two philosophical interpretations of a mechanism. I will claim that, rather than being in conflict, Glennan's concept of interaction and Machamer, Darden, and Craver's notion of activity actually complement one another, each emphasizing a missing element of the other. (shrink)
The Higgs mechanism is an essential but elusive component of the Standard Model of particle physics. Without it Yang-Mills gauge theories would have been little more than a warm-up exercise in the attempt to quantize gravity rather than serving as the basis for the Standard Model. This article focuses on two problems related to the Higgs mechanism clearly posed in Earman's recent papers (Earman 2003, 2004a, 2004b): what is the gauge-invariant content of the Higgs mechanism, and what (...) does it mean to break a local gauge symmetry? (shrink)
How do people understand questions about cause and prevent? Some theories propose that people affirm that A causes B if A's occurrence makes a difference to B's occurrence in one way or another. Other theories propose that A causes B if some quantity or symbol gets passed in some way from A to B. The aim of our studies is to compare these theories' ability to explain judgements of causation and prevention. We describe six experiments that compare judgements for causal (...) paths that involve a mechanism, i.e. a continuous process of transmission or exchange from cause to effect, against paths that involve no mechanism yet a change in the cause nevertheless brings about a change in the effect. Our results show that people prefer to attribute cause when a mechanism links cause to effect. In contrast, prevention is sensitive both to the presence of an interruption to a causal mechanism and to a change in the outcome in the absence of a mechanism. In this sense, ‘prevent’ means something different than ‘cause not'. We discuss the implications of our results for existing theories of causation. (shrink)
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries marks a period of transition between the vitalistic ontology that had dominated Renaissance natural philosophy and the Early Modern mechanistic paradigm endorsed by, among others, the Cartesians and Newtonians. This paper will focus on how the tensions between vitalism and mechanism played themselves out in the context of sixteenth and seventeenth century chemistry and chemical philosophy, particularly in the works of Paracelsus, Jan Baptista Van Helmont, Robert Fludd, and Robert Boyle. Rather than argue that (...) these natural philosophers each embraced either fully vitalistic or fully mechanistic ontologies, I hope to demonstrate that these thinkers adhered to complicated and nuanced ontologies that cannot be described in either purely vitalistic or purely mechanistic terms. A central feature of my argument is the claim that a corpuscularian theory of matter does not entail a strictly mechanistic and reductionistic account of chemical properties. I also argue that what marks the shift from pre-modern vitalistic chemical philosophy to the modern chemical philosophy that marked the Chemical Revolution is not the victory of mechanism and reductionism in chemistry but, rather, the shift to a physicalistic and naturalistic account of chemical properties and vital spirits. (shrink)
During the scientific revolution reductionism and mechanism were introduced together. These concepts remained intertwined through much of the ensuing history of philosophy and science, resulting in the privileging of approaches to research that focus on the smallest bits of nature. This combination of concepts has been the object of intense feminist criticism, as it encourages biological determinism, narrows researchers’ choices of problems and methods, and allows researchers to ignore the contextual features of the phenomena they investigate. I argue (...) that the historical link between mechanism and reductionism is not a necessary one, that this link should be severed, and in many cases has already been severed. Teasing reductionism away from mechanism allows us to hold onto the mechanistic view that science should explain how things work, without mandating methods and approaches that reduce the objects of scientific investigation to their smallest parts. Mechanism without reductionism decenters reductive methods, and so creates intellectual space for a plurality of methods that may engage the world at a variety of levels of organization. This ensuing pluralism opens the door for a wide variety of approaches to research, including feminist and gender-sensitive science. (shrink)
According to vitalism, living organisms differ from machines and all other inanimate objects by being endowed with an indwelling immaterial directive agency, ‘vital force,’ or entelechy . While support for vitalism fell away in the late nineteenth century many biologists in the early twentieth century embraced a non vitalist philosophy variously termed organicism/holism/emergentism which aimed at replacing the actions of an immaterial spirit with what was seen as an equivalent but perfectly natural agency—the emergent autonomous activity of the whole organism. (...) Organicists hold that organisms unlike machines are ‘more than the sum of their parts’ and predict that the vital properties of living things can never be explained in terms of mechanical analogies and that the reductionist agenda is doomed to failure. Here we review the current status of the mechanist and organicist conceptions of life particularly as they apply to the cell. We argue that despite the advances in biological knowledge over the past six decades since the molecular biological revolution, especially in the fields of genetics and cell biology the unique properties of living cells have still not been simulated in mechanical systems nor yielded to reductionist—analytical explanations. And we conclude that despite the dominance of the mechanistic–reductionist paradigm through most of the past century the possibility of a twentyfirst century organicist revival cannot be easily discounted. (shrink)
Skipper and Millstein (2005) argued that existing conceptions of mechanisms failed to "get at" natural selection, but left open the possibility that a refined conception of mechanisms could resolve the problems that they identified. I respond to Skipper and Millstein, and argue that while many of their points have merit, their objections can be overcome and that natural selection can be characterized as a mechanism. In making this argument, I discuss the role of regularity in mechanisms, and develop an (...) account of stochastic (i.e., probabilistic) mechanisms. Explaining the phenomenon of adaptation through the mechanism of natural selection illustrates the power and flexibility of using mechanistic strategies to explain natural phenomena. (shrink)
When we think about mechanisms, there are two general issues we need to consider. The first is broadly epistemic and has to do with the understanding of nature that identifying and knowing mechanisms yields. The second is broadly metaphysical and has to do with the status of mechanisms as building blocks of nature (and in particular, as fundamental constituents of causation). These two issues can be brought together under a certain assumption, which has had long historical pedigree, namely that nature (...) is fundamentally mechanical. What exactly does it mean to say that nature is mechanical? What is the content of this thesis? This assumption has had no concrete ahistorical conceptual content. Rather, its content has varied according to the dominant conception of nature that has characterised each epoch. Nor has it been the case that the very idea of mechanism has had a fixed and definite content. Even if in the seventeenth century and beyond, the idea of mechanism had something to do with matter in motion subject to mechanical laws, current conceptions of mechanism have only a very loose connection with this. A mechanism, nowadays, is virtually any relatively stable arrangement of entities such that, by engaging in certain interactions, a function is performed or an effect is brought about. To call a structure a mechanism is simply to describe it in a certain way—focusing on the steps or processes through which an effect is brought about. (shrink)
In this paper I examine a cognitive mechanism of incommensurability. Using the frame model of concept representation to capture structural relations within concepts, I reveal an ontological difference between object and event concepts: the former are spatial but the latter temporal. Experiments from cognitive sciences further demonstrate that the mind treats object and event concepts differently. Thus, incommensurability can occur in conceptual change across different ontological categories. I use a historical case to illustrate how the ontological difference between an (...) object and an event concept actually caused incommensurability in the context of nineteenth‐century optics. The cognitive and historical analyses indicate that incommensurability can be a local phenomenon and does not necessarily imply incomparability. (shrink)
In his 1951 Gibbs Lecture Gödel formulates the central implication of the incompleteness theorems as a disjunction: either the human mind infinitely surpasses the powers of any finite machine or there exist absolutely unsolvable diophantine problems (of a certain type). In his later writings in particular Gödel favors the view that the human mind does infinitely surpass the powers of any finite machine and there are no absolutely unsolvable diophantine problems. I consider how one might defend such a view in (...) light of Gödel's remark that one can turn to ideas in Husserlian transcendental phenomenology to show that the human mind ‘contains an element totally different from a finite combinatorial mechanism’. (shrink)
Evolutionary psychologists argue that selective pressures in our ancestral environment yield a highly specialized set of modular cognitive capacities. However, recent papers in developmental psychology and neuroscience claim that evolutionary accounts of modularity are incompatible with the flexibility and plasticity of the developing brain. Instead, they propose cortical and neuronal brain structures are fixed through interactions with our developmental environment. Buller and Gray Hardcastle contend that evolutionary accounts of cognitive development are unacceptably rigid in light of evidence of cortical (...) plasticity. The developing structure of the brain is both too random and too sensitive to external stimuli to be the product of a fixed genetic mechanism. They also claim that the complexity of the human brain cannot be explained in terms of our meager genetic endowment. There simply are not enough genes to program the intricate neuronal structures that are essential to cognition. I argue that neither of these arguments are persuasive. Small numbers of genes can function to determine diverse phenotypical outcomes through evolutionarily selected developmental systems. Similarly, theories of modularity do not rule out the possibility that innate cognitive systems exploit environmental regularities to guide the developing structure of the brain. Consequently, the anti-adaptionist consequences of these positions should be rejected. (shrink)
Treating consciousness as awareness or attention greatly underestimates it, ignoring the temporary levels of organization associated with higher intellectual function (syntax, planning, logic, music). The tasks that require consciousness tend to be the ones that demand a lot of resources. Routine tasks can be handled on the back burner but dealing with ambiguity, groping around offline, generating creative choices, and performing precision movements may temporarily require substantial allocations of neocortex. Here I will attempt to clarify the appropriate levels of explanation (...) (ranging from quantum aspects to association cortex dynamics) and then propose a specific mechanism (consciousness as the current winner of Darwinian copying competitions in cerebral cortex) that seems capable of encompassing the higher intellectual function aspects of consciousness as well as some of the attentional aspects. It includes features such as a coding space appropriate for analogies and a supervisory Darwinian process that can bias the operation of other Darwinian processes. (shrink)
We argue that Löb's Theorem implies a limitation on mechanism. Specifically, we argue, via an application of a generalized version of Löb's Theorem, that any particular device known by an observer to be mechanical cannot be used as an epistemic authority (of a particular type) by that observer: either the belief-set of such an authority is not mechanizable or, if it is, there is no identifiable formal system of which the observer can know (or truly believe) it to be (...) the theorem-set. This gives, we believe, an important and hitherto unnoticed connection between mechanism and the use of authorities by human-like epistemic agents. (shrink)
The claim that conceptual systems change is a platitude. That our conceptual systems are theory-laden is no less platitudinous. Given evolutionary theory, biologists are led to divide up the living world into genes, organisms, species, etc. in a particular way. No theory-neutral individuation of individuals or partitioning of these individuals into natural kinds is possible. Parallel observations should hold for philosophical theories about scientific theories. In this paper I summarize a theory of scientific change which I set out in considerable (...) detail in a book that I shall publish in the near future. Just as few scientists were willing to entertain the view that species evolve in the absence of a mechanism capable of explaining this change, so philosophers should be just as reticent about accepting a parallel view of conceptual systems in science evolving in the absence of a mechanism to explain this evolution. In this paper I set out such a mechanism. One reason that this task has seemed so formidable in the past is that we have all construed conceptual systems inappropriately. If we are to understand the evolution of conceptual systems in science, we must interpret them as forming lineages related by descent. In my theory, the notion of a family resemblance is taken literally, not metaphorically. In my book, I set out data to show that the mechanism which I propose is actually operative. In this paper, such data is assumed. (shrink)
Stuart Glennan, and the team of Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden and Carl Craver have recently provided two accounts of the concept of a mechanism. The main difference between these two versions rests on how the behavior of the parts of the mechanism is conceptualized. Glennan considers mechanisms to be an interaction of parts, where the interaction between parts can be characterized by direct, invariant, change-relating generalizations. Machamer, Darden, and Craver criticize traditional conceptualizations of mechanisms which are based solely (...) on parts interacting and introduce a new concept—activity. This essay is an attempt at carving out a relationship between these two philosophical interpretations of a mechanism. I will claim that, rather than being in conflict, Glennan’s concept of interaction and Machamer, Darden, and Craver’s notion of activity actually complement one another, each emphasizing a missing element of the other. (shrink)
Stable neuronal assemblies are generally regarded as neural correlates of mental representations. Their temporal sequence corresponds to the experience of a direction of time, sometimes called the psychological time arrow. We show that the stability of particular, biophysically motivated models of neuronal assemblies, called coupled map lattices, is supported by causal interactions among neurons and obstructed by non-causal or anti-causal interactions among neurons. This surprising relation between causality and stability suggests that those neuronal assemblies that are stable (...) due to causal neuronal interactions, and thus correlated with mental representations, generate a psychological time arrow. Yet this impact of causal interactions among neurons on the directed sequence of mental representations does not rule out the possibility of mentally less efficacious non-causal or anti-causal interactions among neurons. (shrink)
James Woodward offers a conception of explanation and mechanism in terms of interventionist counterfactuals. Based on a case from ecology, I show that ecologists’ approach to that case satisfies Woodward’s conditions for explanation and mechanism, but his conception does not fully capture what ecologists view as explanatory. The new mechanistic philosophy likewise aims to describe central aspects of mechanisms, but I show that it is not sufficient to account for ecological mechanisms. I argue that in ecology explanation involves (...) identification of invariant and insensitive causal relationships and descriptions of the mechanistic characteristics that make these relations possible. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469‐1546; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Unlike many of Descartes’s other followers, Pierre-Sylvain Re´gis resists the temptations of occasionalism. By marrying the ontology of mechanism with the causal structure of concurrentism, Re´gis arrives at a novel view that both acknowledges God’s role in natural events and preserves the causal powers of bodies. I set out Re´gis’s position, focusing on his arguments against occasionalism and his responses to Malebranche’s ‘no necessary connection’ and divine concursus arguments.
The papers collected in this volume explore some of the powers and limitations of the concept of mechanism for the scientific understanding of cognitive systems, and aim at bringing together some of the most recent developments in the philosophical understanding of the relation of cognition to neuroscience. Earlier versions of most papers have been presented at a workshop held in Paris on June 19th, 2006, which was organized by Institut Jean Nicod and supported by RESCIF (R seau des sciences (...) cognitives en Ile-de-France). (shrink)
The aim of this article is to present a conceptualization of cultural groups and cultural difference that provides a middle course between the Scylla of essentialism and the Charybdis of reductionism. The method I employ is the social mechanism approach. I argue that cultural groups and cultural difference should be understood as the result of cognitive and social processes of categorization. I describe two such processes in particular: categorization by others and self- categorization. Categorization by others is caused by (...) processes of ascription: the attribution by outsiders of certain characteristics, beliefs, and practices to indi- viduals who share a specific attribute. Self-categorization is caused by processes of inscription and community-building: the adoption of certain beliefs and practices as a result of socialization and enculturation. I therefore shift the focus from groups to categories, and from categories to processes of categorization. I show that this analytical distinction between categorization by others and self-categorization can clarify an ambiguity in dominant debates in contemporary multiculturalism. I conclude by indicating how injustices, commonly associated with multiculturalism, can better be understood as socially generated injustices, and how government should deal with these injustices. (shrink)
States of being conscious (S) can be defined on the basis of temporal information processing. A high-frequency mechanism provides atemporal system states with periods of approximately 30 msec to implement the functional connection of distributed activities allowing the construction of primordial events; a low frequency mechanism characterized by automatic temporal integration sets up temporal windows with approximately 3 seconds duration. This integration mechanism can be used to define S. P-consciousness and A-consciousness as conceived of by Block can (...) be mapped onto these neuronal mechanisms. (shrink)
From form to mechanism Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9455-7 Authors Geoffrey Gorham, Department of Philosophy, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN 55105, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
On the occasion of the recent experimental detection of a Higgs-type particle at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the paper reviews philosophical aspects of the Higgs mechanism as the presently preferred account of the generation of particle masses in the Standard Model of elementary particle physics and its most discussed extensions. The paper serves a twofold purpose: on the one hand, it offers an introduction to the Higgs mechanism and its most interesting philosophical aspects to readers (...) not familiar with it; on the other hand, it clarifies widespread misunderstandings related to the role of gauge symmetries and their breaking in it. (shrink)
I live just off of Bell Road outside of Newburgh, Indiana, a small town of 3,000 people. A mile down the street Bell Road intersects with Telephone Road not as a modern reminder of a technology belonging to bygone days, but as testimony that this technology, now more than a century and a quarter old, is still with us. In an age that prides itself on its digital devices and in which the computer now equals the telephone as a medium (...) of communication, it is easy to forget the debt we owe to an era that industrialized the flow of information, that the light bulb, to pick a singular example, which is useful for upgrading visual information we might otherwise overlook, nonetheless remains the most prevalent of all modern day information technologies. Edison’s light bulb, of course, belongs to a different order of informational devices than the computer, but not so the telephone, not entirely anyway. Alan Turing, best known for his work on the Theory of Computation (1937), the Turing Machine (also 1937) and the Turing Test (1950), is often credited with being the father of computer science and the father of artificial intelligence. Less well-known to the casual reader but equally important is his work in computer engineering. The following lecture on the Automatic Computing Engine, or ACE, shows Turing in this different light, as a mechanist concerned with getting the greatest computational power from minimal hardware resources. Yet Turing’s work on mechanisms is often eclipsed by his thoughts on computability and his other theoretical interests. This is unfortunate for several reasons, one being that it obscures our picture of the historical trajectory of information technology, a second that it emphasizes a false dichotomy between “hardware” and “software” to which Turing himself did not ascribe but which has, nonetheless, confused researchers who study the nature of mind and intelligence for generations.. (shrink)
Neurophenomenology (Varela 1996) is not only philosophical but also empirical and experimental. Our purpose in this article is to illustrate concretely the efficiency of this approach in the field of neuroscience and, more precisely here, in epileptology. A number of recent observations have indicated that epileptic seizures do not arise suddenly simply as the effect of random fluctuations of brain activity, but require a process of pre-seizure changes that start long before. This has been reported at two different levels of (...) description: on the one hand, the epileptic patient often experiences some warning symptoms that precede seizures from several minutes to hours in the form of very specific lived events. On the other hand, the analyses of brain electrical activities have provided strong evidence that it is possible to detect a pre-seizure state in the neuronal dynamics several minutes before the electro-clinical onset of a seizure. We review here some of the ongoing work of our research group concerning seizure anticipation. In particular, we discuss experimental evidence of upward (local-to-global) formation of conscious experience and its neural substrate, but also of the downward (global-to-local) determination of local neuronal activity by situated conscious activity and its substrate large-scale neural assemblies. This causal role of conscious experience may lead to new kinds of therapy for epileptic patients. (shrink)
There is an intuition to the effect that, if human actions are explicable in scientific terms – that is, if mechanism holds – then our lives and actions do not matter. “Mattering” depends on successful intentional explanations of human actions. The intuition springs from an intuitive analogy between manipulation and mechanism: just as a manipulated agent's actions are not successfully explained in intentional terms, neither are the actions of a mechanistic agent. I explore ways to avoid the conclusion (...) of this argument. Some of these ways are more promising than others, but all have non-trivial philosophical consequences. (shrink)
Polygenic effects have more than one cause. They testify to the fact that several causal contributors are sometimes simultaneously involved in causation. The importance of polygenic causation was noticed early on by Mill (1893). It has since been shown to be a problem for causal-law approaches to causation and accounts of causation cast in terms of capacities. However, polygenic causation needs to be examined more thoroughly in the emerging literature on causal mechanisms. In this paper I examine whether an influential (...) theory of mechanisms proposed by Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden and Carl Craver can accommodate polygenic effects and other forms of causal interaction. This theory is problematic, I will argue, because it ascribes a central role to activities. In it, activities are needed not only to constitute mechanisms but also to perform the causal role of mechanisms. Any such mechanism-as-activity will be incompatible with causal situations where either no or merely another kind of activity occurs. But, as I will try to illustrate in this paper, both kinds of situation may be frequent. If I am right, the view that Machamer and colleagues suggest leads to an impoverished conception of mechanism. (shrink)
Temporal binding via 40-Hz synchronization of neuronal discharges in sensory cortices has been hypothesized to be a necessary condition for the rapid selection of perceptually relevant information for further processing in working memory. Binocular rivalry experiments have shown that late stage visual processing associated with the recognition of a stimulus object is highly correlated with discharge rates in inferotemporal cortex. The hippocampus is the primary recipient of inferotemporal outputs and is known to be the substrate for the consolidation of (...) working memories to long-term, episodic memories. The prefrontal cortex, on the other hand, is widely thought to mediate working memory processes, per se. This article reviews accumulated evidence for the role of a subcortical matrix in linking frontal and hippocampal systems to select and ''stream'' conscious episodes across time (hundreds of milliseconds to several seconds). ''Streaming'' is hypothesized to be mediated by the selective gating of reentrant flows of information between these cortical systems and the subcortical matrix. The physiological mechanism proposed for this temporally extended form of binding is synchronous oscillations in the slower EEG spectrum (< 8 Hz). (shrink)
Long-term potentiation (LTP) is a long-lasting increase in synaptic efficacy that many consider the best candidate currently available for a neural mechanism of memory formation and/or storage in the mammalian brain. In our target article, LTP: What's learning got to do with it?, we concluded that there was insufficient data to warrant such a conclusion. In their commentaries, Jeffery and Zhadin raise a number of important issues that we did not raise, both for and against the hypothesis. Although we (...) agree with a number of these issues, we maintain that there remains insufficient evidence that LTP is a memory mechanism. (shrink)
Consciousness is seen as a difficult “binding” problem. Binding, a process where different sensations evoked by an item are associated in the nervous system, can be viewed as a process similar to associative learning. Several reports that consciousness is associated with some form of memory imply that different forms of memories have a common feature contributing to consciousness. Based on a proposed synaptic mechanism capable of explaining different forms of memory, we developed a framework for consciousness. It is based (...) on the formation of semblance of sensory stimulus from (1) synaptic semblances when excitatory postsynaptic potentials arrive at functionally LINKed postsynaptic membranes, and (2) network semblances when these potentials summate to elicit action potential initiating activity in a network of neurons. It is then possible to derive a framework for consciousness as a multi-dimensional semblance. According to this framework, a continuum of semblances formed from background sensory stimuli and oscillating neuronal activities serve to maintain consciousness. Feasibility of this framework to explain various physiological and pathological states of consciousness, its subjective nature and qualia is examined. (shrink)
A new evolutionary concept is presented, based on the principle of biological diversity by organismal adaptation, more specifically the origin of the first variations and the process leading to speciation. The article suggests the mechanism of stimulation as the major promoter of genetic variation, making an overall assessment and accurate to the natural phenomenon responsible for this evolutionary step. Constantly, environmental forces interact with the organism, favoring changes to the organs toward adaptation. Stimulation focuses on this action?reaction between organism (...) and environment, trying to decipher the causes/consequences resulting. The article also addresses possible relationships and constraints with neo-Darwinism. (shrink)
The capacity to stabilize the content of attention over time varies among individuals, and its impairment is a hallmark of several mental illnesses. Impairments in sustained attention in patients with attention disorders have been associated with increased trial-to-trial variability in reaction time and event-related potential deficits during attention tasks. At present, it is unclear whether the ability to sustain attention and its underlying brain circuitry are transformable through training. Here, we show, with dichotic listening task performance and electroencephalography, that training (...) attention, as cultivated by meditation, can improve the ability to sustain atten- tion. Three months of intensive meditation training reduced variability in attentional processing of target tones, as indicated by both enhanced theta-band phase consistency of oscillatory neural responses over anterior brain areas and reduced reaction time variability. Furthermore, those individuals who showed the greatest increase in neural response consistency showed the largest decrease in behav- ioral response variability. Notably, we also observed reduced variability in neural processing, in particular in low-frequency bands, regardless of whether the deviant tone was attended or unattended. Focused attention meditation may thus affect both distracter and target processing, perhaps by enhancing entrainment of neuronal oscillations to sensory input rhythms, a mechanism important for controlling the content of attention. These novel findings highlight the mechanisms underlying focused attention meditation and support the notion that mental training can significantly affect attention and brain function. (shrink)
Mechanism and modernity Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9443-y Authors Jutta Schickore, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Evolutionary biology teaches that all biological complexity is the result of material mechanisms. These include principally the Darwinian mechanism of natural selection and random variation, but also include other mechanisms (symbiosis, gene transfer, genetic drift, the action of regulatory genes in development, self-organizational processes, etc.). These mechanisms are just that: mindless material mechanisms that do what they do irrespective of intelligence. To be sure, mechanisms can be programmed by an intelligence. But any such intelligent programming of evolutionary mechanisms is (...) not properly part of evolutionary biology. (shrink)
Colonization of public education—the process by which schools are overwhelmed and penetrated by non-educational imperatives—is usually believed to be caused by capitalism and the hegemonic ideological structures it produces. In this paper I argue that in the case of the United States an additional mechanism produces strong colonizing effects: the institution of local control. In the context of contemporary institutional conditions, local control is the lynch-pin for the production of socio-economic segregation, cumulative disadvantages, and the mythology of popular control (...) disguising the growing control of public schooling through unaccountable bureaucracies and private corporations. (shrink)
Many philosophers and medical scientists assume thatdisease categories or entities used to classify concrete cases ofdisease, are often defined by disease mechanisms or causalprocesses. Others suggest that diseases should always be definedin this manner. This paper discusses these standpoints criticallyand concludes that they are untenable, not only when `diseasemechanism' refers to an objective mechanism, but also when`mechanism' refers to a pragmatically demarcated part of thetotal ``objective'' causal structure of diseases. As an alternativeto principles that use the concept of (...) disease mechanism oranalogous concepts, a pragmatic approach is suggested anddescribed. This approach has been suggested before, but inproblematic or inadequate versions. This paper proposes a versioncompiled of two ``pragmatic principles'' and shows that they aremuch more adequate than the principle of disease mechanism. Withreference to a case study of a still ongoing internationaldiscussion of various candidates for a classification system formalignant lymphomas, including REAL (Revised European–AmericanClassification of Lymphoid Neoplasms) in which the concept ofdisease mechanism or analogous concepts plays a very small part,it is shown just how pivotal these two pragmatic principles canbe in actual discussions of definitions of diseases. Finally, itis pointed out that with regard to modern philosophy of languageit may, at least in some cases, be problematic to distinguishbetween the two pragmatic principles as they stand. (shrink)
manganese (Mn2+) enhanced MRI (MEMRI) to study neuronal connectivity in vivo opens the possibility to these studies. However, several drawbacks exist that challenge its applicability. High Mn2+ concentrations produce cytotoxic effects that can perturb the circuits under study. In the other hand, the MR signal is..
The aim of our commentary is to strengthen Cowan's proposal for an inherent capacity limitation in STM by suggesting a neurobiological mechanism based on competitive networks and nonlinear oscillations that avoids some of the shortcomings of the scheme discussed in the target article (Lisman & Idiart 1995).
In this article, I argue that genomic programs are not substitutes for multi-causal molecular mechanistic explanations of inheritance, but abstract representations of the same sort as mechanism schemas already described in the philosophical literature. On this account, the program analogy is not reductionistic and does not ignore or underestimate the active contribution of epigenetic elements to phenotypes and development. Rather, genomic program representations specifically highlight the genomic determinants of inheritance and their organizational features at work in the wider context (...) of the mechanisms of genome expression. (shrink)
The theory of evolution is supported by the theory of genetics, which provides a single causal mechanism to explain the activities of replicators and interactors. A common misrepresentation of the theory of evolution, however, is that interaction (involving interactors), and transmission (involving replicators), are distinct causal processes. Sandra Mitchell (1987) is misled by this. I discuss why only a single causal mechanism is working in evolution and why it is sufficient. Further, I argue that Mitchell's mistaken view of (...) the causal mechanism in evolution prevents her from resolving the conflict between Dawkins and Brandon. I conclude that the unit-of-selection question remains very much alive. (shrink)
The framework within which Tsuda proposes his solution for transitory dynamics between attractor states is flawed from a neurological perspective. We present a more genuine framework and discuss the roles that external input and synaptic modulations play in the evolution of the dynamics of neuronal systems. Chaotic itinerancy, it is argued, is not necessary for transitory dynamics.
In this paper the common association between ontological reductionism and a methodological position called 'Mechanism' is discussed. Three major points are argued for: (1) Mechanism is not to be identified with reductionism in any of its forms; in fact, mechanism leads to a non-reductionist ontology. (2) Biological methodology is thoroughly mechanistic. (3) Mechanism is compatible with at least one form of teleology. Along the way the nature and value of scientific explanations, some recent controversies in biology (...) and why reductionism has proven to be such an attractive position are discussed. (shrink)
The “somatic marker mechanism” (SMM; Damasio 1994) is proposed as the cognitive and neural basis of the theory of mind mechanism. The SMM evolved for evaluating the intentions, dispositions, and relationships of conspecifics; hence, it is adaptive in the social domain. It is predicted that chimpanzees will indeed have theory of mind (ToM) ability, but that this will be socially domain-specific. Domain-general ToM will be found only in primates with abstract, symbolic language (adult humans). Putative ToM tests require (...) revision in the light of these distinctions. (shrink)
Rethinking the meaning of mechanism in antiquity Content Type Journal Article Category Essay Review Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9599-0 Authors Jean De Groot, School of Philosophy, Catholic University of America, 420 Michigan Ave., NE, Washington, DC 20064, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Clahsen has added to the body of evidence that, on average, regular and irregular inflected words behave differently. However, the dual-mechanism account he supports predicts a crisp distinction; the empirical data instead suggest a fuzzy one, more in line with single-mechanism connectionist models.
A new working hypothesis of sleep-wake cycle mechanisms is proposed, based on ontogeny and functional/anatomic compression of two stochastic neuronal models of information coding that complement each other in a key/lock fashion: the axonal arbor patterns (AAP – “hardware”) and the neuronal spike interval inequality patterns (SIIP – “software”). [Hobson et al.; Nielsen; Revonsuo; Solms; Vertes & Eastman].