In an article in Mind (Vol. 73, No. 291, July 1964) I tried to show that there is a fundamental difference between primary and secondary qualities. The present analysis of perceived size of an object and its relation to the size of the 'objective' and the 'real' object reveals that my thesis 1 regarding visual primary qualities, viz. size and shape, while true so far as shape is concerned, has to be modified in regard to size. After having criticized the (...) usual view of size constancy, I show by means of a diagram how we may determine the location in physical space of a percept of an object. This diagram reveals at the same time how perceived size decreases gradually with increasing distance of the object from the percipient, but at a much smaller rate than the retinal image of the object. By means of the diagram I show furthermore how the perceived size may in theory vary from person to person. In conclusion a modification of my thesis 1 is suggested. (shrink)
Piercing incisively and deeply into the nature of the overlapping of the material andmental realms. Aage Petersen uncovers the reciprocal relations between quantum physics and theconcepts of metaphysics and epistemology, assessing the extent to which each has influenced theother. The author is eminently qualified to undertake this important work, which grew out of hisclose contact with Neils Bohr and his Copenhagen school during the years 1952-1962.Although themathematical formalism of quantum physics has long since been established, the question of itsphysical (...) interpretation is not yet closed, and the question of its philosophical interpretationremains in a formative state. The most widely accepted physical interpretation of the quantalformalism emerged from discussions between Bohr and Heisenberg in the winter of 1926-1927. ThisCopenhagen Interpretation centers around the relations of indeterminacy around the relations ofindeterminacy and the concept of complementarity, and was refined but not radically altered in theyears following, especially during the famous debate with Einstein on the completeness possible inthe description of events. The philosophical interpretation has proceeded along two principal lines:Bohr's emphasis on complementarity as a unifying concept, and Heisenberg's exploration of therelationship of quantum physics to the traditional categories of philosophy.To Bohr's mind, thecentral feature of human knowledge is the distinction between subject and object. The indeterminacyof the placing of the partition between instrument and system, which played so large a part inquantal description was, Bohr believed, an expression of the general relation between the knower andthe knowable. He thus sought to find relationships of complementarity in areas beyond quantumphysics.Quantum physics and traditional philosophy certainly relate enough to interact--even thoughthe effects of interaction may produce uncertain results. Heisenberg's view also emphasizes thatscience describes, not nature itself, but the interplay between nature and man, nature as affectedby man's method of questioning, thus denying the school of philosophical thought that began withDescartes' sharp separation of the World and the I.The author's investigation leads him as well tobelieve that complementarity is deeply linked to the basis of philosophy, but that the details ofthe relationship are so obscure that some other feature of quantum physics that makes amore directconnection with philosophy should be sought. He is led to choose the idea of correspondence as suchfeature. This idea played a key role in the development of the matrix version of the formalism andof the Copenhagen interpretation.Mathematically, the idea of correspondence was seen to imply thatquantal formalisms should emerge as generalizations of classical entities, that matrix mechanics wasa generalization of classical Hamiltonian mechanics. It is in this possibility of treating thetraditional categories of philosophy as limits of a more general scheme, or as analogies of a deeperorder, that the fruitfulness of the correspondence idea lies. (shrink)
The paper presents a revised view of quantum mechanics centered on the notion (“genuine fortuitousness”) that the click in a counter is a totally lawless event, which comes by itself. A crucial point is the distinction between events on the spacetime scene and the content of the symbolic algorism. A revised conception of matrix variables emerges, by which such a variable, as part of a whole, does not have a value, under any circumstance. This conception is at variance with that (...) of indeterminate variables. A matrix variable not having a value does not enter spacetime and is not a measurable quantity, but manifests itself by a click in a counter with the remarkable property of having an onset, a beginning, from which the click develops. The individual click with its immense complexity is unique and lawless, even beyond probability. The notion of probability only applies to clicks in low resolution, and the completeness of a probabilistic theory is thereby seen in a new perspective. The genuinely fortuitous click is not produced by the impact of a particle, nor caused by an event in the source prior to the click in the counter. Indeed, there are no particles on the spacetime scene. The theory is thereby liberated from notions, which go with particles having indeterminate variables, and which have given to quantum mechanics the image of an unfathomable theory. With no particle as intermediary, the connection between source and detector is non-local, as is the entire theory, which deals exclusively with distributions of clicks. The locality permeating quantum mechanics is a symbolic one. The wave function enters in the sole role of encoding the probability distributions of clicks. The quest to understand the occurrence of the click in terms of the evolution of the wave function loses its meaning. However, click distributions in low resolution can be analyzed in terms of the connection between click distributions for different sets of counters, as given by the wave function. With increasing resolution, the probabilities, and the wave function, gradually lose significance, whereby the onset remains beyond reach. Thus, the downward path from events on the spacetime scene does not extend beyond the onset. The notion that quantum mechanics deals with particles (or fields) is rooted in the historical evolution but appears unable to accomodate genuine fortuitousness. The latter concept is given its due place by fully accepting the abstract nature of the matrix variables. (shrink)
The present article reports on the finding of the principle behind quantum mechanics. The principle, referred to as genuine fortuitousness, implies that the basic event, a click in a counter, comes without any cause and thus as a discontinuity in spacetime. From this principle, the formalism of quantum mechanics emerges with a radically new content, no longer dealing with things to be measured. Instead, quantum mechanics is recognized as the theory of distributions of uncaused clicks that form patterns laid down (...) by spacetime symmetry and is thereby revealed as a subject of unexpected simplicity and beauty. The departure from usual quantum mechanics is strikingly borne out by the absence of Planck's constant from the theory. The elimination of indeterminate particles as cause for the clicks, which the principle of genuine fortuitousness implies, is analogous to the elimination of the ether implied by the principle of relativity. (shrink)
In Transcendence and Sensoriness , scholars of theology, philosophy, art, music, and architecture, discuss questions of transcendence, the human senses, and the arts through case studies considered in a broad theological framework of religious aesthetics of the arts.
We all intuitively know what a diagram is, and still it is surprisingly difficult to describe it as a semiotic function or type. In this article, we present four groups of hypotheses in view of a clarification. We hypothesize: That diagrams are signs of a distinct type, unknown to classical semiotics; That the elementary graphs of a diagram are all derived from lines and points in topological mental spaces. The mind applies these diagrammatic spaces to referential spaces in many ways, (...) but basically through conceptual integration. The mind blends topology and reference, which makes the topology unnoticeable; That elementary diagrammatic graphs constitute a natural, phenomenological, spatiotemporal, figurative and dynamic but informal geometry in the embodied, thinking mind; That diagrammatic signs are the active components of the abstract mental figuration in working memory that accompany perception and deliver the schematizing ideas which invest and connect our categories and construe proper descriptive, narrative, patterns of inferential thought and programs of sensorimotor and social action. (shrink)
Cognitive semio-linguistics studies the relations between signs and language, between semiological and linguistic structures, as expressions of, and as causes of, the cognitive activities involved in thinking, here called epistemic activities. This short essay displays a leveled analysis of the relations holding between semio-linguistic and epistemic structures active in the human mind.
Certains penseurs médiévaux jugeaient la philosophie incapable de juger et d'interpréter la parole révélée donc supérieure. Pour d'autres, elle gardait son prestige antique et pouvait les mener à la perfection et à la félicité. Ces contributions étudient non pas la philosophie du Moyen âge dans son ensemble, ce qui n'est pas possible, mais des personnalités particulières, dont des théologiens.
Une part substantielle de la réflexion philosophique est née et s'est développée aux confins de la science. Depuis l'aube de la philosophie, on ne peut faire l'économie des mathématiques, de l'astronomie, de l'optique... si l'on veut comprendre les voies empruntées par les philosophes et les modèles qu'ils ont élaborés. Cette étude examine quelques-uns de ces liens jusqu'à l'âge moderne.
Per Aage Brandt, commenting on a passage from Merlin Donald, suggests that there is ‘a narrative aesthetics built into our mind.’ In Donald, one can find an evolutionary account of this narrative aesthetics. If there is something like an innate narrative disposition, it is also surely the case that there is a process of development involved in narrative practice. In this paper I will assume something closer to the developmental account provided by Jerome Bruner in various works, and Dan (...) Hutto's account of how we learn narrative practices, and I'll refer to this narrative aesthetics as a narrative competency that we come to have through a developmental process. I will take narrative in a wide sense, to include oral and written communications and self-reports on experience. In this regard narrative is more basic than story, and not necessarily characterized by the formal plot structure of a story. A story may be told in many different ways, but always via narrative discourse. Also, having narrative competency includes not just abilities for understanding narratives, but also for narrative understanding, which allows us to form narratives about things, events and other people. To be capable of narrative understanding means to be capable of seeing events in a narrative framework. (shrink)
For decades, presidents of the Association of American Geographers have written insightful columns in the AAG Newsletter. One of the most popular sections of the newsletter, these columns illustrate the changes and consistencies of geography over the past thirty-four years. They offer an insight into the past of the geography discipline and a broader perspective on the future. Previously inaccessible even to most professional geographers, the Presidential Columns will now be available in Presidential Musings from the Meridian: Reflections of the (...) Nature of Geography. (shrink)
Presidents of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) have frequently used their addresses to discuss major changes facing the USA and the world and the responsibilities of geographers. I investigate those addresses that raised questions about social relevance facing the scholarly community and society during times of economic depression, military conflict, and major social changes. Moral and ethical issues were also integral in some statements.