LAWS, LANGUAGE and LIFE [electronic resource] :Howard Pattee's classic papers on the physics of symbols with contemporary commentary / by Howard Hunt Pattee, Joanna Rączaszek-Leonardi.
Contributor(s): Rączaszek-Leonardi, Joanna [author.] | SpringerLink (Online service).Material type: BookSeries: Biosemiotics: 7Publisher: Dordrecht : Springer Netherlands : Imprint: Springer, 2012Description: XVI, 336 p. online resource.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9789400751613.Subject(s): Life sciences | Epistemology | Language and languages -- Philosophy | Bioinformatics | Physics | Cognitive psychology | Life Sciences | Life Sciences, general | History and Philosophical Foundations of Physics | Cognitive Psychology | Bioinformatics | Philosophy of Language | EpistemologyDDC classification: 570 Online resources: Click Here-Springer eBooks (In-Campus Access) | Click Here-Springer eBooks (Off-Campus Access)
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Preface and Acknowledgments -- Introduction by Howard Pattee -- The Physical Basis of Coding and Reliability in Biological Evolution -- How Does a Molecule Become a Message? -- Physical Problems of Decision-Making Constraints -- Laws and constraints, symbols and languages -- The Physical Basis and Origin of Hierarchical Control -- Postscript: Unsolved Problems and Potential Applications of Hierarchy Theory -- Discrete and Continuous Processes in Computers and Brains -- The complementarity principle in biological and social structures -- Clues from Molecular Symbol Systems -- Cell Psychology: An Evolutionary Approach to the Symbol-Matter Problem -- Universal Principles of Measurement and Language Functions in Evolving Systems -- Instabilities and Information in Biological Self-organization -- Evolving Self-Reference: Matter, Symbols, and Semantic Closure -- Artificial Life Needs a Real Epistemology -- The Problem of Observables in Models of Biological Organizations -- Causation, Control, and the Evolution of Complexity -- The Necessity of Biosemiotics: Matter-Symbol Complementarity -- Afterword by Joanna Rączaszek-Leonardi.
The present volume provides Pattee's in-depth treatment of the physical basis of symbolic functions. Understanding the physical preconditions for the origin of symbols is essential at all levels, from the origin of life to the measurement problem of physics. The entire field of biosemiotics depends on understanding the physical nature of structures that can have a symbolic function. The importance of Pattee's work lies not only in its clarification of biosemiotics' scientific bases, but also by relating symbols to dynamics it becomes relevant to cognitive science, which today acknowledges the importance of embodied cognition in a physical and social environment. Pattee's views forge links between dynamical, continuous processes and symbolic thought that create a basis for a viable third waycombining the purely symbolic, computational models of cognition and purely dynamic, non-representationalist models. It is a step toward showing the unfeasibility of reductionism, achieved without proposing non-material entities. Howard Pattee is still an active, publishing, scientist; however his early fundamental, now classic, papers are difficult to access. They are not present in large databases, nor reprinted in other widely accessible journals or books. The book aims at making those papers available for a wider public with contemporary Introduction by the Author and Afterword by Joanna Rączaszek-Leonardi, which link the original papers to current discourse in biosemiotics and the cognitive sciences.