Multidimensional scaling of subjective color differences has shown that color stimuli are located on a hypersphere in four-dimensional space. The semantic space of color names is isomorphic with perceptual color space. A spherical four-dimensional space revealed in monkeys and fish suggests the primacy of common neuronal basis.
The breadth and ambiguity of philosophical concepts opens the door to the most diverse interpretations of these concepts and their manifold relations. Often the ideological use of philosophical concepts and ideas descends to the level of everyday meanings in which vagueness and even primitivism become a regular phenomenon of spiritual everyday life. The basic task of professional philosophers is to define clearly the subject of their science. This task is, of course, very difficult, as is evident from the multitude of (...) different definitions of philosophy that have been offered by its many creators and, especially, by its lovers. Without claiming complete originality, the author of this article offers his understanding of this extremely important question. Further, the author considers it an elementary point to seek the answer in the two-thousand-year history of philosophy, which has developed its defining concepts and terms. On the other hand, a reliance on the principal facts of contemporary scientific knowledge of human evolution and our civilization is no less widespread. Thus, a retrospective view of the subject of philosophy through its history coincides with a prospective approach. (shrink)
Luce and Narens (Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 29:1–72, 1985) showed that rank-dependent utility (RDU) is the most general interval scale utility model for binary lotteries. It can be easily established that this result cannot be generalized to lotteries with more than two outcomes. This article suggests several additional conditions to ensure RDU as the only utility model with the desired property of interval scalability in the general case. The related axiomatizations of some special cases of RDU of independent interest (the (...) quantile utility, expected utility, and Yaari’s dual expected utility) are also given. (shrink)
The perceptual circularity demonstrated by R. Shepard with respect to hue turns out to be a sphericity of color perception based on color excitation vectors of neuronal level. The spherical color model implicitly contains information concerning generalization under color learning. Subjective color differences are “computed” in neuronal nets being represented by amplitudes of evoked potentials triggered by color change. [Shepard].
Mikhail Bulgakov's novel The Master and Margarita was written between 1929 and 1940. Although delayed for a quarter of a century, it quickly found a stable place in our life as soon as it was published [for the first publication of the novel see: Moskva, 1966, no. 11; 1967, no. 1]. It is usually classified as a satirical philosophical novel. The satirical element puts it in the same family as such well-known works of the end of the '20s as the (...) novels of I. Il'f and E. Petrov, Twelve Chairs [Dvenadtsat' stul'ev] and The Golden Calf [Zolotoi telenok], but its emphatically philosophical orientation makes it all but a unique phenomenon in the history of Soviet literature. The novel's philosophical aspects have already been examined in a number of essays. Thus, for example, N. P. Utekhin analyzes the reflection of certain general philosophical categories in the novel. G. Chernikova and I. L. Galinskaia have endeavored to determine the concrete literary sources of the novel's philosophy [Chernikova 1971, pp. 213-219; Galinskaia 1986]. (shrink)
One of the most persistent and popular bourgeois myths about Spinoza is that of his unwillingness to participate in any kind of political struggle whatever. This myth is sustained particularly by those non-Marxist historians of philosophy who contend that the essence of Spinozism is the development of a new form of religiosity, free of the limitations of any national religion. Such a conception of the Dutch thinker is partially based on facts related by his first biographers, particularly Lucas. As we (...) know, Lucas, in his Life of Benedict Spinoza, written in French between 1678 and 1688, writes that the philosopher's father, Michael de Spinoza, lacking funds and being unable to establish his son in commerce, chose for him the career of a rabbi, and with this in mind placed the young Spinoza in the Amsterdam kheder, where he gained an excellent knowledge of classical Hebrew and studied to perfection the Old Testament and the considerably more voluminous Talmud. Even during his period of instruction, Spinoza, having found many contradictions in the Bible and Talmud, placed the rabbis who were his teachers in untenable positions and this subsequently led to a conflict between him and the leadership of the Amsterdam Jewish community. This report by Spinoza's first biographer suggests the idea that the young Spinoza had crystallized his ideas as early as his stay in the kheder. This we find stated in many of the non-Marxist studies devoted to him. Soviet writings on Spinoza also usually repeat Lucas' view entirely without criticism . However, certain foreign researches of recent decades, which have given consideration to documents and firsthand reports published in 1932 by the Dutch researcher Vaz Dias and, more recently, certain other documents have necessitated considerable corrections in the biographies both by Lucas and Colerus. In these works — of which the book by the French researcher Madeleine Francés, Spinoza dans les pays Neerlandais de la seconde moitié du XVII siècle, Vol. I, Paris, 1937, and that of the American researcher, Lewis Feuer, Spinoza and the Rise of Liberalism, Boston, 1958, are particularly worthy of mention — serious attempts are made to demonstrate the social roots and essence of Spinozism. The biographical data presented in these works contribute to a clarification of the real reasons for the conflict between the young Spinoza and the leadership of the Jewish community of Amsterdam. According to these writers, Spinoza's father was a wealthy man and, in all probability, did not intend to make a rabbi of his son. There can be no question that the young Spinoza attended the elementary classes of the Jewish school, but his name is not found in the lists of students in its higher grades, from which future rabbis emerged. Beginning approximately at the age of thirteen, Bento helped his father in his commercial and financial operations. However, after his father's death, Baruch himself took charge of these matters during the period 1654-1656 and, as these documents suggest, demonstrated considerable skill in commercial and financial affairs. However, the activities of merchant and financier did not appeal to the young man. The discrepancy between his intellectual interests and the nature of his occupation proved so irreconcilable that the future philosopher, who had established numerous scholarly and personal ties outside the Jewish community, drifted farther and farther both from his business and the community, until finally he was excommunicated, and broke with the community. (shrink)
The depiction of pictures as specified points in a functional space is achieved by vector encoding. Picture-selective neurons are added to the declarative memory in the process of learning. New neurons are recruited from stem cells through their proliferation and differentiation. Electrical stimulation of the temporo-parietal cortex produces subjective scenes of the past similar to imagery.
Edelman suggests that any shape is encoded by an excitation vector with components corresponding to excitations of corresponding neuronal modules. This results in discrimination of stimuli in a shape space of low dimensionality. Similar vector encoding is present in color vision. Red-green, blue-yellow, bright and dark neurons are modules that represent a number of different color stimuli in color space of low dimensionality. Vector encoding allows effective computation of color differences and color similarities. Such a neuronal vector-encoding approach has also (...) been applied to the perception of visual movement, line orientation, and stereopsis. (shrink)
In response to Anderson and Arzyutov’s paper, I argue that ambiguities in the Russian social-scientific concept of “etnos” reveal its place in what I call a “field style” for thinking and doing science. Tolerance for ambiguity is, I suggest, a methodological strength of the field sciences. I support these reflections by also addressing the etnos concept’s origins in the complex history of Ukrainian nationalism.
In the original publication of the article, the authors name were abbreviated as “D. Shkatov” and “C. J. Van Alten”. However it should be “Dmitry Shkatov” and “Clint J. Van Alten”. The original article has been corrected.
Nature's simplest atom and mother of all matter, hydrogen feeds the stars as well as interlaces the molecules of their biological descendants – to whom it ultimately whispers the secrets of quantum reality. Hydrogen’s most prevalent earthly guise lies within the composition of water. A slight electrical disturbance can split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas, resulting in diaphanous bubble clouds slowly rising towards the liquid’s surface. Though the founding fathers of electrochemistry posited that the mass of liberated bubbles is (...) directly proportional to the input voltage, certain modes of electrolysis release more energy than is spent. One such mode involves water’s Janus-faced capacity to react as either an acid or a base. Emanating from an array of electrodes at the bottom of a water-filled chamber, strings and strata of hydrogen bubbles meticulously trace their emergent surroundings. In addition to eddy formations incited by a bubble's rapid growth and subsequent detachment from the electrode surface, acoustic vibrations permeate the two-phase fluid. As the sonic frequency and amplitude rises, the hydrogen bubbles start to coalesce with one another. When the sound field reaches maximum intensity, it can trap bubbles within its antinodes. The vibrations are generated both by transducers and by the bubbles themselves, which emit frequencies ranging from the audible spectrum to as high as 800 kHz. A white laser sheet scans and illuminates the hydrogen bubble trajectories. Each quivering bubble-lens divides the white light into its constituent spectrum of colors. While scanning, the laser sheet also swiftly pulsates and thereby extends the perceivable resolution of micro-momentary bubble dynamics. Before it even begins to map out its vibratory environment, a bubble goes through various stages of spatio-temporal evolution. During the first phase of growth, a bubble nucleus inflates linearly with time. At the second stage, bubble growth is limited by the diffusion of gas within the liquid, causing its size to increase as the square root of time. The final phase before detachment is limited by the kinetics of dissolved gas production, causing the bubble to grow as the cube root of time.1 Beyond macroscopically observable bubbles, an expanse of nanobubbles hides within the water’s internal architecture. Some researchers presume that these nanobubbles of dissolved gas are the carriers of water’s magnetic ‘memory’, enabling electromagnetic fields to saturate its innards for hours and even days after their initial appearance. In the seas and oceans, the lingering presence of electromagnetic fields photonically imparted by sunlight, triggers the electrolysis responsible for most of the Earth’s hydrogen. An essential form of photosynthesis, solar water splitting is the cleanest and most efficient means imaginable for generating and storing energy. —Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand *** Animals and plants are formed in earth and in water because there is water in earth, and there is pneuma in water, and there is soul heat in all pneuma ; so that in a way all things are full of soul. Hence plants and animals quickly form once this gets enclosed; and when this enclosing happens, when the corporeal liquids get heated, a sort of frothy bubble is formed. Now the difference between the various creatures which are produced in this way are due to the stuff which makes up the envelope around the soul-source.2 Throwing light into this pneumatic spray of perdurances, which would otherwise swarm below the threshold of human visibility, Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand’s Hydrogeny saturates the viewer’s sensorial space with the nano-architectures of froth. Straddling the cell wall between scientific enquiry and artistic praxis, Hydrogeny , beckons a recasting of Lucretius' clinamen in tune with the technologies of the modern observer. For Lucretius it was the indeterminate swerving of an atomistic layer of reality which accounted for the unpredictability of change and the existence of free will. Taken up by Harold Bloom to describe the swerving of cultural production from that which has already been made, the idea has since been textually redressed by Lacan, Derrida, Serres, Deleuze, Nancy, and Badiou. Here we have been given a kaleidoscopic technique for refining and expanding awareness of our enmeshment with so many nested, atomistic layers of object-bubbles—of things—as Aristotle might say,“full of soul.” The gravitational pull of Hydrogeny ushers a de-centered human spectatorship to the ever more intimate recesses of what media philosopher N. Katherine Hayles calls our capacity for “deep attention.”3 Vaporous attention suspended and re-oriented. Microscopic as these diaphanous waves are, the calling they produce is anything but inconsequential. Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand are two-thirds of the Amsterdam-based Art–Science Labratory, Optofonica , an atelier initiated by the Italian interdisciplinary artist TeZ in 2006. Follow more of their work at www.portablepalace.com —Isaac Linder NOTES (1) cf. Brandon, Kelsall, Levine, & Smith. “Interfacial Electrical Properties of Electrogenerated Bubbles.” Journal of Applied Electrochemistry 15 (1985):485-493. (2)Aristotle, On the Generation of Animals, 762a18, tr. A. L. Peck (Cambridge, MA: Loeb Classical Library, 1942). (3)“ My article on hyper and deep attention ,” N. Katherine Hayles, accessed on September 14, 2011. (shrink)
_A revisionist account of Zionist history, challenging the inevitability of a one-state solution, from a bold, path-breaking young scholar_ The Jewish nation-state has often been thought of as Zionism’s end goal. In this bracing history of the idea of the Jewish state in modern Zionism, from its beginnings in the late nineteenth century until the establishment of the state of Israel, Dmitry Shumsky challenges this deeply rooted assumption. In doing so, he complicates the narrative of the Zionist quest for (...) full sovereignty, provocatively showing how and why the leaders of the prestate Zionist movement imagined, articulated, and promoted theories of self-determination in Palestine either as part of a multinational Ottoman state, or in the framework of multinational democracy. In particular, Shumsky focuses on the writings and policies of five key Zionist leaders from the Habsburg and Russian empires in central and eastern Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—Leon Pinsker, Theodor Herzl, Ahad Ha’am, Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and David Ben-Gurion—to offer a very pointed critique of Zionist historiography. (shrink)
The development and use of large and dynamic health data repositories designed to support research pose challenges to traditional informed consent models. We used semi-structured interviewing to elicit diverse research stakeholders' views of a model of consent appropriate to participation in initiatives that entail collection, long-term storage, and undetermined future research use of multiple types of health data. We demonstrate that, when considering health data repositories, research stakeholders replace a concept of consent as informed with one in which consent is (...) engaged. In engaged consent, a participant's ongoing relationship with a repository serves as a substitute or adjunct to information exchange at enrollment. We detail research stakeholders' views of the risks of engaged consent and suggest questions for further study about engagement and consent procedures in initiatives that aim to store data for future unspecified research purposes. (shrink)