La traduction latine des Dialoghi della historia du philosophe néo-platonicien Francesco Patrizi da Cherso est publiée à Bâle en 1570. L’étude de la circulation de ce texte et des choix de traduction permet de mieux comprendre la réception des artes historicae italiennes dans le Nord de l’Europe et les fluctuations ou limites du latin face à la montée en puissance de l’italien vernaculaire comme langue philosophique.
n this text, we revisit part of the analysis of anti-entropy in Bailly and Longo (2009} and develop further theoretical reflections. In particular, we analyze how randomness, an essential component of biological variability, is associated to the growth of biological organization, both in ontogenesis and in evolution. This approach, in particular, focuses on the role of global entropy production and provides a tool for a mathematical understanding of some fundamental observations by Gould on the increasing phenotypic complexity along evolution. Lastly, (...) we analyze the situation in terms of theoretical symmetries, in order to further specify the biological meaning of anti-entropy as well as its strong link with randomness. (shrink)
The human attempts to access, measure and organize physical phenomena have led to a manifold construction of mathematical and physical spaces. We will survey the evolution of geometries from Euclid to the Algebraic Geometry of the 20th century. The role of Persian/Arabic Algebra in this transition and its Western symbolic development is emphasized. In this relation, we will also discuss changes in the ontological attitudes toward mathematics and its applications. Historically, the encounter of geometric and algebraic perspectives enriched the mathematical (...) practices and their foundations. Yet, the collapse of Euclidean certitudes, of over 2300 years, and the crisis in the mathematical analysis of the 19th century, led to the exclusion of “geometric judgments” from the foundations of Mathematics. After the success and the limits of the logico-formal analysis, it is necessary to broaden our foundational tools and re-examine the interactions with natural sciences. In particular, the way the geometric and algebraic approaches organize knowledge is analyzed as a cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural issue and will be examined in Mathematical Physics and Biology. We finally discuss how the current notions of mathematical (phase) “space” should be revisited for the purposes of life sciences. (shrink)
Manufacturing and industry practices are undergoing an unprecedented revolution as a consequence of the convergence of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing, virtual and augmented reality, among others. This fourth industrial revolution is similarly changing the practices and capabilities of operators in their industrial environments. This paper introduces and explores the notion of the Operator 4.0 as well as how this novel way of conceptualizing the human operator necessarily implicates human values in the technologies that constitute it. (...) The design approach known as value sensitive design (VSD) is used to explore how these Operator 4.0 technologies can be designed for human values. Expert elicitation surveys were used to determine the values of industry stakeholders and examples of how the VSD methodology can be adopted by engineers in order to design for these values is illustrated. The results provide preliminary adoption strategies that industrial teams can take to Operator 4.0 technology for human values. (shrink)
Providing people with information is considered an important first step in encouraging them to behave sustainably as it influences their consumption beliefs, attitudes and intentions. However, too much information can also complicate these processes and negatively affect behaviour. This is exacerbated when people have accepted the need to live a more sustainable lifestyle and attempt to enact its principles. Drawing on interview data with people committed to sustainability, we identify the contentious role of knowledge in further disrupting sustainable consumption ideals. (...) Here, knowledge is more than just information; it is familiarity and expertise or how information is acted upon. We find that more knowledge represents a source of dilemma, tension and paralysis. Our data reveal a dark side to people’s knowledge, leading to a ‘self-inflicted sustainable consumption paradox’ in their attempts to lead a sustainable consumption lifestyle. Implications for policy interventions are discussed. (shrink)
Very large databases are a major opportunity for science and data analytics is a remarkable new field of investigation in computer science. The effectiveness of these tools is used to support a “philosophy” against the scientific method as developed throughout history. According to this view, computer-discovered correlations should replace understanding and guide prediction and action. Consequently, there will be no need to give scientific meaning to phenomena, by proposing, say, causal relations, since regularities in very large databases are enough: “with (...) enough data, the numbers speak for themselves”. The “end of science” is proclaimed. Using classical results from ergodic theory, Ramsey theory and algorithmic information theory, we show that this “philosophy” is wrong. For example, we prove that very large databases have to contain arbitrary correlations. These correlations appear only due to the size, not the nature, of data. They can be found in “randomly” generated, large enough databases, which—as we will prove—implies that most correlations are spurious. Too much information tends to behave like very little information. The scientific method can be enriched by computer mining in immense databases, but not replaced by it. (shrink)
Symmetries play a major role in physics, in particular since the work by E. Noether and H. Weyl in the first half of last century. Herein, we briefly review their role by recalling how symmetry changes allow to conceptually move from classical to relativistic and quantum physics. We then introduce our ongoing theoretical analysis in biology and show that symmetries play a radically different role in this discipline, when compared to those in current physics. By this comparison, we stress that (...) symmetries must be understood in relation to conservation and stability properties, as represented in the theories. We posit that the dynamics of biological organisms, in their various levels of organization, are not just processes, but permanent (extended, in our terminology) critical transitions and, thus, symmetry changes. Within the limits of a relative structural stability (or interval of viability), variability is at the core of these transitions. (shrink)
The dependence on history of both present and future dynamics of life is a common intuition in biology and in humanities. Historicity will be understood in terms of changes of the space of possibilities as well as by the role of diversity in life’s structural stability and of rare events in history formation. We hint to a rigorous analysis of “path dependence” in terms of invariants and invariance preserving transformations, as it may be found also in physics, while departing from (...) the physico-mathematical analyses. The idea is that the invariant traces of the past under organismal or ecosystemic transformations contribute to the understanding of present and future states of affairs. This yields a peculiar form of unpredictability in biology, at the core of novelty formation: the changes of observables and pertinent parameters may depend also on past events. In particular, in relation to the properties of synchronic measurement in physics, the relevance of diachronic measurement in biology is highlighted. This analysis may a fortiori apply to cognitive and historical human dynamics, while allowing to investigate some general properties of historicity in biology. (shrink)
This article proposes an abstract mathematical frame for describing some features of cognitive and biological time. We focus here on the so called “extended present” as a result of protentional and retentional activities (memory and anticipation). Memory, as retention, is treated in some physical theories (relaxation phenomena, which will inspire our approach), while protention (or anticipation) seems outside the scope of physics. We then suggest a simple functional representation of biological protention. This allows us to introduce the abstract notion of (...) “biological inertia”. (shrink)
We are today agents of a peculiar reality, the global network or the system for automated information production. Our condition in the global network is that of agents of the real, since we all contribute to the coproduction of this ever-evolving process. Nevertheless, I will argue, this reality is but the effect of the adoption of a notion of instrumental pragmatic rationality which denies the existence of any other possible reality as the actualization of different determinations of Reason. While following (...) Deleuze s notion of deterritorialization, I ll show that the real philosophical choice does not concern the introduction of new moves that create differentiations within a universal game, but that it is concerned with the possible abolition of the agency which is instantiated within the collective network. (shrink)
Biological evolution is a complex blend of ever changing structural stability, variability and emergence of new phe- notypes, niches, ecosystems. We wish to argue that the evo- lution of life marks the end of a physics world view of law entailed dynamics. Our considerations depend upon dis- cussing the variability of the very ”contexts of life”: the in- teractions between organisms, biological niches and ecosys- tems. These are ever changing, intrinsically indeterminate and even unprestatable: we do not know ahead of (...) time the ”niches” which constitute the boundary conditions on selec- tion. More generally, by the mathematical unprestatability of the ”phase space”, no laws of mo- tion can be formulated for evolution. We call this radical emergence, from life to life. The purpose of this paper is the integration of variation and diversity in a sound concep- tual frame and situate unpredictability at a novel theoretical level, that of the very phase space. Our argument will be carried on in close comparisons with physics and the mathematical constructions of phase spaces in that discipline. The role of symmetries as invariant preserving transformations will allow us to under- stand the nature of physical phase spaces and to stress the differences required for a sound biological theoretizing. In this frame, we discuss the novel notion of ”enablement”. Life lives in a web of enablement and radical emergence. This will restrict causal analyses to differential cases. Mutations or other causal differ- ences will allow us to stress that ”non conservation princi- ples” are at the core of evolution, in contrast to physical dynamics, largely based on conservation principles as sym- metries. Critical transitions, the main locus of symmetry changes in physics, will be discussed, and lead to ”extended criticality” as a conceptual frame for a better understanding of the living state of matter. (shrink)
The physical singularity of life phenomena is analyzed by means of comparison with the driving concepts of theories of the inert. We outline conceptual analogies, transferals of methodologies and theoretical instruments between physics and biology, in addition to indicating significant differences and sometimes logical dualities. In order to make biological phenomenalities intelligible, we introduce theoretical extensions to certain physical theories. In this synthetic paper, we summarize and propose a unified conceptual framework for the main conclusions drawn from work spanning a (...) book and several articles, quoted throughout. (shrink)
This paper proposes an abstract mathematical frame for describing some features of biological time. The key point is that usual physical (linear) representation of time is insufficient, in our view, for the understanding key phenomena of life, such as rhythms, both physical (circadian, seasonal …) and properly biological (heart beating, respiration, metabolic …). In particular, the role of biological rhythms do not seem to have any counterpart in mathematical formalization of physical clocks, which are based on frequencies along the usual (...) (possibly thermodynamical, thus oriented) time. We then suggest a functional representation of biological time by a 2-dimensional manifold as a mathematical frame for accommodating autonomous biological rhythms. The “visual” representation of rhythms so obtained, in particular heart beatings, will provide, by a few examples, hints towards possible applications of our approach to the understanding of interspecific differences or intraspecific pathologies. The 3- dimensional embedding space, needed for purely mathematical reasons, allows to introduce a suitable extra-dimension for “representation time”, with a cognitive significance. (shrink)
We define and investigate Heyting-valued interpretations for Constructive Zermelo–Frankel set theory . These interpretations provide models for CZF that are analogous to Boolean-valued models for ZF and to Heyting-valued models for IZF. Heyting-valued interpretations are defined here using set-generated frames and formal topologies. As applications of Heyting-valued interpretations, we present a relative consistency result and an independence proof.
This authored monograph introduces a genuinely theoretical approach to biology. Starting point is the investigation of empirical biological scaling including their variability, which is found in the literature, e.g. allometric relationships, fractals, etc. The book then analyzes two different aspects of biological time: first, a supplementary temporal dimension to accommodate proper biological rhythms; secondly, the concepts of protension and retention as a means of local organization of time in living organisms. Moreover, the book investigates the role of symmetry in biology, (...) in view of its ubiquitous importance in physics. In relation with the notion of extended critical transitions, the book proposes that organisms and their evolution can be characterized by continued symmetry changes, which accounts for the irreducibility of their historicity and variability. The authors also introduce the concept of anti-entropy as a measure for the potential of variability, being equally understood as alterations in symmetry. By this, the book provides a mathematical account of Gould's analysis of phenotypic complexity with respect to biological evolution. The target audience primarily comprises researchers interested in new theoretical approaches to biology, from physical, biological or philosophical backgrounds, but the book may also be beneficial for graduate students who want to enter this field. (shrink)
We experience our own body through both touch and vision. We further see that others’ bodies are similar to our own body, but we have no direct experience of touch on others’ bodies. Therefore, relations between vision and touch are important for the sense of self and for mental representation of one’s own body. For example, seeing the hand improves tactile acuity on the hand, compared to seeing a non-hand object. While several studies have demonstrated this visual enhancement of touch (...) effect, its relation to the ‘bodily self’, or mental representation of one’s own body remains unclear. We examined whether VET is an effect of seeing a hand, or of seeing my hand, using the rubber hand illusion. In this illusion, a prosthetic hand which is brushed synchronously—but not asynchronously—with one’s own hand is felt to actually be one’s hand. Thus, we manipulated whether or not participants felt like they were looking directly at their hand, while holding the actual stimulus they viewed constant. Tactile acuity was measured by having participants judge the orientation of square-wave gratings. Two characteristic effects of VET were observed: cross-modal enhancement from seeing the hand was inversely related to overall tactile acuity, and participants near sensory threshold showed significant improvement following synchronous stroking, compared to asynchronous stroking or no stroking at all. These results demonstrate a clear functional relation between the bodily self and basic tactile perception. (shrink)
This personal, yet scientific, letter to Alan Turing, reflects on Turing's personality in order to better understand his scientific quest. It then focuses on the impact of his work today. By joining human attitude and particular scientific method, Turing is able to “immerse himself” into the phenomena on which he works. This peculiar blend justifies the epistolary style. Turing makes himself a “human computer”, he lives the dramatic quest for an undetectable imitation of a man, a woman, a machine. He (...) makes us see the continuous deformations of a material action/reaction/diffusion dynamics of hardware with no software. Each of these investigations opens the way to new scientific paths with major consequences for contemporary live and for knowledge. The uses and the effects of these investigations will be discussed: the passage from classical AI to today's neural nets, the relevance of non-linearity in biological dynamics, but also their abuses, such as the myth of a computational world, from a Turing-machine like universe to an encoded homunculus in the DNA. It is shown that these latter ideas, which are sometimes even made in Turing's name, contradict his views. (shrink)
We present a generalisation of the type-theoretic interpretation of constructive set theory into Martin-Löf type theory. The original interpretation treated logic in Martin-Löf type theory via the propositions-as-types interpretation. The generalisation involves replacing Martin-Löf type theory with a new type theory in which logic is treated as primitive. The primitive treatment of logic in type theories allows us to study reinterpretations of logic, such as the double-negation translation.
In his commentary on Plato’sCratylus, Proclus interprets the dialogue not as a mere work on logic or linguistics, but as having a full psychological and theological import.Late ancient Platonists had already proposed a similar reading for another Platonic dialogue,i.e.theParmenides. In that case too they rejected the logical interpretation, and aimed to find in the text the description of the hierarchy of reality, particularly of the highest beings. As a result, theParmenideswas seen as the accomplished expression of Plato’s theology.Proclus too draws (...) a comparison between theCratylusand theParmenidesin order to stress their theological significance. He also contrasts Plato’s dialectic with Aristotle’s dialectic. Proclus’ interpretation of dialectic is best understood if it is compared to the doctrines of his master Syrianus and of one of his co-disciples,i.e.Hermeias, at the Platonic school of Athens in the 5th centuryad.Contrary to what is sometimes assumed, in this milieu Platonists were not always committed to the task of reconciling the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle. As it happens, they could strongly disagree with and even attack Aristotle, and side with Plato. In particular, they greatly valued Plato’s dialectic, which they viewed as the correct form of reasoning and at the same time as a theory of the utmost theological significance. On the other hand, Aristotle’s dialectic was considered as “bare” logic,i.e.as a mere set of logical rules and arguments with no specific contents.On the basis of a problematicCratylus’passage Proclus defends a theory of truth according to which not only propositions, but also names can be true or false. This allows him to view names as substitutes of propositions. This is particularly the case in the application of the four dialectical methods of definition, division, demonstration and analysis. Proclus’ approach arguably provides a basis—to pagan as well as Christian tradition—for the study of divine names as a part of theology, for the name of a god is held to reveal its attributes. (shrink)
Plasticity of body representation fundamentally underpins human tool use. Recent studies have demonstrated remarkably complex plasticity of body representation in humans, showing that such plasticity (1) occurs flexibly across multiple time scales and (2) involves multiple body representations responding differently to tool use. Such findings reveal remarkable sophistication of body plasticity in humans, suggesting that Vaesen may overestimate the similarity of such mechanisms in humans and non-human primates.
A meta-analysis and an experiment show that the degree of compression of the in-depth dimension of visual space relative to the frontal dimension increases quickly as a function of the distance between the stimulus and the observer at first, but the rate of change slows beyond 7 m from the observer, reaching an apparent asymptote of about 50 %. In addition, the compression of visual space is greater for monocular and reduced cue conditions. The pattern of compression of the in-depth (...) dimension as a function of distance is similar to the ratio of in-depth to frontal visual angles of stimuli, but is not as extreme as this ratio would suggest, implying that observers are incapable of fully ignoring size information provided by cues to depth. Size and distance judgments may be described by an Affine transformation of physical space; however, the compression parameter in this model changes as a function of distance from the observer and other experimental conditions. (shrink)
The foundation of Mathematics is both a logico-formal issue and an epistemological one. By the first, we mean the explicitation and analysis of formal proof principles, which, largely a posteriori, ground proof on general deduction rules and schemata. By the second, we mean the investigation of the constitutive genesis of concepts and structures, the aim of this paper. This “genealogy of concepts”, so dear to Riemann, Poincaré and Enriques among others, is necessary both in order to enrich the foundational analysis (...) with an often disregarded aspect (the cognitive and historical constitution of mathematical structures) and because of the provable incompleteness of proof principles also in the analysis of deduction. For the purposes of our investigation, we will hint here to a philosophical frame as well as to some recent experimental studies on numerical cognition that support our claim on the cognitive origin and the constitutive role of mathematical intuition. (shrink)
The “DNA is a program” metaphor is still widely used in Molecular Biology and its popularization. There are good historical reasons for the use of such a metaphor or theoretical model. Yet we argue that both the metaphor and the model are essentially inadequate also from the point of view of Physics and Computer Science. Relevant work has already been done, in Biology, criticizing the programming paradigm. We will refer to empirical evidence and theoretical writings in Biology, although our arguments (...) will be mostly based on a comparison with the use of differential methods (in Molecular Biology: a mutation or alike is observed or induced and its phenotypic consequences are observed) as applied in Computer Science and in Physics, where this fundamental tool for empirical investigation originated and acquired a well-justified status. In particular, as we will argue, the programming paradigm is not theoretically sound as a causal(as in Physics) or deductive(as in Programming) framework for relating the genome to the phenotype, in contrast to the physicalist and computational grounds that this paradigm claims to propose. (shrink)