Jon Michael Kavulic | 2 Jan 03:46 2007
Picon

Semiotics & Graduate School

Please forgive me. I'm something of an idiot, but I'm not without intelligence. I have a degree in the Study of Religion from UCLA. I graduated Summa Cum Laude.
 
I've decided to attend graduate school to pursue a subject which has intrigued me for years:  Symbol formation and its relationship to cognition and personal identity. It seems Semiotics would best address my particular interest (though I would most likely need to incorporate elements of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Philosophy (Epistemology), Linguistics and Anthropology into my study to address my focus for the purpose of clarity.)
 
I've been away from school for a while. I did well on my Graduate Records Exams, but I am completely unclear on how I should refine my academic search.
 
I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could offer any information to me regarding Semiotics/Philosophy programs in the United States, especially ones which might best address my particular focus of study.
 
I'm sorry to use this forum for personal use. It's just this subject is something of a passion for me and a friend directed me to this forum hoping I could find advice here.
 
If anyone could offer any direction, I would greatly appreciate it.
 
 
Respectfully,
 
 
Jon Kavulic

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E. Valentine Daniel | 2 Jan 05:39 2007

Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Dear Jon,
I can't speak to your interests in cognitive science or neurobiology, but I may be able to point you in the right direction with respect  to semeiotic/semiotics and anthropology/philosophy/linguistics.  The best way to begin would be to read a sample of the available literature in this field.  Here are a few suggestions: Richard Parmentier.   Signs in Society: Studies in Semiotic Anthropology, 1994; Michael Silverstein.   Talking politics: the substance of style from Abe to "W" (March 1, 2003. Prickly Paradigm Press, Chicago) and  "Indexical Order and the Dialectics of Sociolinguistic Life," Language and Communication. 23(3-4): 193-229: 2003  [Special issue on the work of M. Silverstein and students: Words and Beyond: Linguistic and Semiotic Studies of the Sociocultural Order. ed. P. Manning.]E. Valentine Daniel.  Fluid Signs Being a Person the Tamil Way, U of California Press, 1984 and Charred Lullabies: Chapters in an Anthropography of Violence, Princeton University Press, 1996.

Best,

val daniel

E. Valentine Daniel
Professor of Anthropology
1200 Amsterdam Avenue
Columbia University
New York, NY 10027


On Jan 1, 2007, at 9:46 PM, Jon Michael Kavulic wrote:

Please forgive me. I'm something of an idiot, but I'm not without intelligence. I have a degree in the Study of Religion from UCLA. I graduated Summa Cum Laude.
 
I've decided to attend graduate school to pursue a subject which has intrigued me for years:  Symbol formation and its relationship to cognition and personal identity. It seems Semiotics would best address my particular interest (though I would most likely need to incorporate elements of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Philosophy (Epistemology), Linguistics and Anthropology into my study to address my focus for the purpose of clarity.)
 
I've been away from school for a while. I did well on my Graduate Records Exams, but I am completely unclear on how I should refine my academic search.
 
I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could offer any information to me regarding Semiotics/Philosophy programs in the United States, especially ones which might best address my particular focus of study.
 
I'm sorry to use this forum for personal use. It's just this subject is something of a passion for me and a friend directed me to this forum hoping I could find advice here.
 
If anyone could offer any direction, I would greatly appreciate it.
 
 
Respectfully,
 
 
Jon Kavulic

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Don Steiny | 2 Jan 06:43 2007

Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Jon,

	Check out the book Discourse and Identity.  People are studying how
people negotiate meaning in small groups by combining methods.  It is
very cool stuff.  There is a new journal Research on Language and Social
Interaction" about the same thing.  Very cool.

-Don
> Please forgive me. I'm something of an idiot, but I'm not without
> intelligence. I have a degree in the Study of Religion from UCLA. I
> graduated Summa Cum Laude.
>  
> I've decided to attend graduate school to pursue a subject which has
> intrigued me for years:  Symbol formation and its relationship to
> cognition and personal identity. It seems Semiotics would best address
> my particular interest (though I would most likely need to incorporate
> elements of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Philosophy (Epistemology),
> Linguistics and Anthropology into my study to address my focus for the
> purpose of clarity.)
>  
> I've been away from school for a while. I did well on my Graduate
> Records Exams, but I am completely unclear on how I should refine my
> academic search.
>  
> I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could offer any information to
> me regarding Semiotics/Philosophy programs in the United States,
> especially ones which might best address my particular focus of study.
>  
> I'm sorry to use this forum for personal use. It's just this subject is
> something of a passion for me and a friend directed me to this forum
> hoping I could find advice here.
>  
> If anyone could offer any direction, I would greatly appreciate it.
>  
>  
> Respectfully,
>  
>  
> Jon Kavulic
> 
> __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
> http://mail.yahoo.com ---
> Message from peirce-l forum to subscriber steiny <at> infopoint.com

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gnusystems | 2 Jan 22:44 2007
Picon

Re: Discourse and Identity

Don,

[[ Check out the book Discourse and Identity. ]]

There are currently two books out with that title -- which one are you 
recommending? Who are the editors or authors?

        gary

}Wherever there is life, there is twist and mess. [Annie Dillard]{

gnoxic studies }{ http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/gnoxic.htm

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Drs.W.T.M. Berendsen | 2 Jan 23:40 2007

Re: Discourse and Identity

I would think it is this Discourse and Identity:

 
 Discourse and Identity by Bethan Benwell and Elizabeth Stokoe (Paperback
- 14 Mar 2006)

Is it not?

Got that info from amazon dot co dot uk after searching for Discourse and
Identity. And from what is told in the review i guess it is this one?

Wilfred

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Don Steiny | 3 Jan 00:17 2007

Re: Discourse and Identity

Hi,

	The one I was thinking of is by Anna de Fina, Debora Schiffrin and
Michael Bamberg.  It is from a series called "Studies in Interactional
Sociolinguistics."   The books is essays on empirical work and not a
theoretical book.  It is not about semiotics, but it is cutting edge
about how we create symbols in interaction.  I think it is a very cool book.

-Don
> Don,
> 
> [[ Check out the book Discourse and Identity. ]]
> 
> There are currently two books out with that title -- which one are you 
> recommending? Who are the editors or authors?
> 
>         gary
> 
> }Wherever there is life, there is twist and mess. [Annie Dillard]{
> 
> gnoxic studies }{ http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/gnoxic.htm
>  
> 
> 
> ---
> Message from peirce-l forum to subscriber steiny <at> infopoint.com
> 

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info | 3 Jan 12:08 2007

Re: Discourse and Identity

I great! I like cool stuff

> Hi,
>
> 	The one I was thinking of is by Anna de Fina, Debora Schiffrin and
> Michael Bamberg.  It is from a series called "Studies in Interactional
> Sociolinguistics."   The books is essays on empirical work and not a
> theoretical book.  It is not about semiotics, but it is cutting edge
> about how we create symbols in interaction.  I think it is a very cool
> book.
>
> -Don

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Drs.W.T.M. Berendsen | 2 Jan 10:16 2007

Re: Semiotics & Graduate School


Dear all,

I from what i read think that this book about Discourse and Identity and
this journal might be very interesting. Fact is I myself also kind of
reflected on how people negotiate also...in the ways of just interpreting
conversations as texts...and reflecting on them. Both went to
conversations with this purpose in mind before, but also in the way like
more people do once and a while naturally. Like, as an example, my posting
yesterday here about comparing texts. It did remind me of Tomas Rieses
postings about comparing texts. And now I am wondering whether we meant
the same there. If not, it is interesting. If we did, even more. But know
for sure we can get lots more understandings there. Also about Peircean
semiotics :-). By the way, do not know whether Thomas is still following
but guess so...when he talked about "small differences in sensation"(a
text i did not read that well at that time", he gave some example of a
piano and a fly on it. That you migh not see that then. This is rather
interesting also if you compare it with the text. Or should is say
representamen :-). Oops just can not shut up for a short while still :-)

Would like to hear where to find this Discourse and Identity book and the
journal? I will probably be interested for sure. Will now google for it
but might be I can not find. And any direct links might also be worthwhile
for other people here.

Wilfred

_________

Jon,

Check out the book Discourse and Identity. People are studying how
people negotiate meaning in small groups by combining methods. It is
very cool stuff. There is a new journal Research on Language and Social
Interaction" about the same thing. Very cool.

---
Message from peirce-l forum to subscriber gspp-peirce-l <at> m.gmane.org

gnusystems | 2 Jan 17:12 2007
Picon

Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Jon,

As a backwoods scholar unconnected with any academic institutions, i 
can't suggest any programs that would be down your alley, but i can 
suggest one book that has a Peircean focus and seems to overlap with 
your interests: Floyd Merrell, _Sensing Corporeally_ (2003). He's drawn 
on work of neuropsychologists Antonio Damasio and Oliver Sacks, among 
many others.

My own work in progress also overlaps with this, but so far i have only 
the first two chapters online, they are not academically oriented, and i 
haven't tried to say anything original about Peirce or semiotics there. 
(Of course i may have done so inadvertently, but i'm not expert enough 
in the field to know that!) The second chapter at 
http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/dlg.htm is the most relevant, in case you're 
curious.

        gary F.

}Without the random, there can be no new thing. [G. Bateson]{

gnoxic studies }{ http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/gnoxic.htm

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jon Michael Kavulic" <jkavulic <at> yahoo.com>
To: "Peirce Discussion Forum" <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Monday, January 01, 2007 9:46 PM
Subject: [peirce-l] Semiotics & Graduate School

Please forgive me. I'm something of an idiot, but I'm not without 
intelligence. I have a degree in the Study of Religion from UCLA. I 
graduated Summa Cum Laude.

I've decided to attend graduate school to pursue a subject which has 
intrigued me for years:  Symbol formation and its relationship to 
cognition and personal identity. It seems Semiotics would best address 
my particular interest (though I would most likely need to incorporate 
elements of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Philosophy (Epistemology), 
Linguistics and Anthropology into my study to address my focus for the 
purpose of clarity.)

...

---
Message from peirce-l forum to subscriber gspp-peirce-l <at> m.gmane.org

Jon Michael Kavulic | 2 Jan 17:27 2007
Picon

Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Gary,
 
Thanks. That's just what I was afraid of. I will check out the book, however. I'm grateful that several people from this forum have offered me direction.
 
On a side note, referring to your quote by G. Bateson, do you actually believe in the "random"? Not I. Acceptance of randomness is in itself a fundamental rejection of essential causality. All phenomenon ultimately breakdown into causality and choice. There is no "true randomness", just limits to our perception of causality and choice.
 
Thanks again,
 
Jon Kavulic


----- Original Message ----
From: gnusystems <gnox <at> vianet.ca>
To: Peirce Discussion Forum <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 11:12:26 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Jon,

As a backwoods scholar unconnected with any academic institutions, i
can't suggest any programs that would be down your alley, but i can
suggest one book that has a Peircean focus and seems to overlap with
your interests: Floyd Merrell, _Sensing Corporeally_ (2003). He's drawn
on work of neuropsychologists Antonio Damasio and Oliver Sacks, among
many others.

My own work in progress also overlaps with this, but so far i have only
the first two chapters online, they are not academically oriented, and i
haven't tried to say anything original about Peirce or semiotics there.
(Of course i may have done so inadvertently, but i'm not expert enough
in the field to know that!) The second chapter at
http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/dlg.htm is the most relevant, in case you're
curious.

        gary F.

}Without the random, there can be no new thing. [G. Bateson]{

gnoxic studies }{ http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/gnoxic.htm

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jon Michael Kavulic" <jkavulic <at> yahoo.com>
To: "Peirce Discussion Forum" <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Monday, January 01, 2007 9:46 PM
Subject: [peirce-l] Semiotics & Graduate School


Please forgive me. I'm something of an idiot, but I'm not without
intelligence. I have a degree in the Study of Religion from UCLA. I
graduated Summa Cum Laude.

I've decided to attend graduate school to pursue a subject which has
intrigued me for years:  Symbol formation and its relationship to
cognition and personal identity. It seems Semiotics would best address
my particular interest (though I would most likely need to incorporate
elements of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Philosophy (Epistemology),
Linguistics and Anthropology into my study to address my focus for the
purpose of clarity.)

...


---
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John Collier | 2 Jan 17:53 2007
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Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

At 11:27 AM 1/2/2007, Jon Kavulic wrote:

>On a side note, referring to your quote by G. Bateson, do you 
>actually believe in the "random"? Not I. Acceptance of randomness is 
>in itself a fundamental rejection of essential causality. All 
>phenomenon ultimately breakdown into causality and choice. There is 
>no "true randomness", just limits to our perception of causality and choice.

I think you are confusing determinism with nonrandomness. A world is 
deterministic if and and only if it contains no two possible 
trajectories with a common point (possible trajectories are defined 
by the laws of the world). A trajectory is indistinguishable from a 
random trajectory if and only if the trajectory is not compressible, 
that is, if its mathematical description is such that there are no 
finite methods for finding a convergence on a solution. The last is 
indistinguishable by any effective procedure from being statistically 
random. In any case, the two are not the same.

Cheers,
John

----------
Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
http://www.ukzn.ac.za/undphil/collier/index.html  

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gnusystems | 2 Jan 17:59 2007
Picon

Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Jon,

[[ Thanks. That's just what I was afraid of. ]]

What? Getting a response from a backwoods scholar?  :-)

[[ On a side note, referring to your quote by G. Bateson, do you 
actually believe in the "random"? Not I. Acceptance of randomness is in 
itself a fundamental rejection of essential causality. All phenomenon 
ultimately breakdown into causality and choice. There is no "true 
randomness", just limits to our perception of causality and choice. ]]

I gather then that unperceived choice -- and thus unintentional 
choice? -- is a coherent concept in your book. I have no particular 
problem with calling that "randomness".

I do think Bateson's remark is compatible with Peirce's cosmology, 
specifically with his doctrine of "tychism". As i understand it, the 
point is that if causality were completely and precisely deterministic 
rather than only vaguely so, that would rule out evolution, i.e. any 
real development or change in the state of the universe. So an 
evolutionary cosmology such as Peirce's must include an element of what 
he calls "chance". I read Bateson as saying pretty much the same thing.

        gary F.

}Without the random, there can be no new thing. [G. Bateson]{

gnoxic studies }{ http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/gnoxic.htm

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Wilson, Christopher Barry | 2 Jan 17:33 2007
Picon

RE: Semiotics & Graduate School

Jon,

            I am a graduate student at IUPUI, home of the Peirce Edition Project.  You may have been directed to this list because someone thought Peirce’s semiotics to be of some value to your quest.  I would recommend IUPUI as a graduate school for the study of  semiotics, and Peirce in general, whom I am partial to.

            Semiotics is being offered as a course this coming semester, and I believe the next time it will be available will be in two years.  You might inquirer further at http://www.iupui.edu/~philosop/cdewaal.htm.

            Good Luck.

-Chris

 

 

From: Jon Michael Kavulic [mailto:jkavulic <at> yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, January 01, 2007 9:47 PM
To: Peirce Discussion Forum
Subject: [peirce-l] Semiotics & GraduateSchool

 

Please forgive me. I'm something of an idiot, but I'm not without intelligence. I have a degree in the Study of Religion from UCLA. I graduated Summa Cum Laude.

 

I've decided to attend graduate school to pursue a subject which has intrigued me for years:  Symbol formation and its relationship to cognition and personal identity. It seems Semiotics would best address my particular interest (though I would most likely need to incorporate elements of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Philosophy (Epistemology), Linguistics and Anthropology into my study to address my focus for the purpose of clarity.)

 

I've been away from school for a while. I did well on my Graduate Records Exams, but I am completely unclear on how I should refine my academic search.

 

I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could offer any information to me regarding Semiotics/Philosophy programs in the United States, especially ones which might best address my particular focus of study.

 

I'm sorry to use this forum for personal use. It's just this subject is something of a passion for me and a friend directed me to this forum hoping I could find advice here.

 

If anyone could offer any direction, I would greatly appreciate it.

 

 

Respectfully,

 

 

Jon Kavulic


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Jon Michael Kavulic | 2 Jan 17:39 2007
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Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

E. Valentine Daniel
 
Thank you for the reading list. I appreciate it and I'll check these out.
 
Respectfully,
 
Jon Kavulic

----- Original Message ----
From: E. Valentine Daniel <evd7 <at> columbia.edu>
To: Peirce Discussion Forum <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Monday, January 1, 2007 11:39:00 PM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Dear Jon,
I can't speak to your interests in cognitive science or neurobiology, but I may be able to point you in the right direction with respect  to semeiotic/semiotics and anthropology/philosophy/linguistics.  The best way to begin would be to read a sample of the available literature in this field.  Here are a few suggestions: Richard Parmentier.   Signs in Society: Studies in Semiotic Anthropology, 1994; Michael Silverstein.   Talking politics: the substance of style from Abe to "W" (March 1, 2003. Prickly Paradigm Press, Chicago) and  "Indexical Order and the Dialectics of Sociolinguistic Life," Language and Communication. 23(3-4): 193-229: 2003  [Special issue on the work of M. Silverstein and students: Words and Beyond: Linguistic and Semiotic Studies of the Sociocultural Order. ed. P. Manning.]E. Valentine Daniel.  Fluid Signs Being a Person the Tamil Way, U of California Press, 1984 and Charred Lullabies: Chapters in an Anthropography of Violence, Princeton University Press, 1996.

Best,

val daniel

E. Valentine Daniel
Professor of Anthropology
1200 Amsterdam Avenue
Columbia University
New York, NY 10027


On Jan 1, 2007, at 9:46 PM, Jon Michael Kavulic wrote:

Please forgive me. I'm something of an idiot, but I'm not without intelligence. I have a degree in the Study of Religion from UCLA. I graduated Summa Cum Laude.
 
I've decided to attend graduate school to pursue a subject which has intrigued me for years:  Symbol formation and its relationship to cognition and personal identity. It seems Semiotics would best address my particular interest (though I would most likely need to incorporate elements of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Philosophy (Epistemology), Linguistics and Anthropology into my study to address my focus for the purpose of clarity.)
 
I've been away from school for a while. I did well on my Graduate Records Exams, but I am completely unclear on how I should refine my academic search.
 
I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could offer any information to me regarding Semiotics/Philosophy programs in the United States, especially ones which might best address my particular focus of study.
 
I'm sorry to use this forum for personal use. It's just this subject is something of a passion for me and a friend directed me to this forum hoping I could find advice here.
 
If anyone could offer any direction, I would greatly appreciate it.
 
 
Respectfully,
 
 
Jon Kavulic

__________________________________________________
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Jon Michael Kavulic | 2 Jan 17:38 2007
Picon

Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Wilfred and Don,
 
Thank you for your reference to "Discourse and Identity". I would love to check it out.
 
I'm focused on the process of psychological/perceptual symbol formation because I wrote my 250 page senior thesis on psychological process of personal symbolization of religious experience. (Actually, more technically correct would the symbolization of personal mystical experiences of the spiritual into an intellectualized understanding that ultimately is defined with societal context as "religious").
 
This process I've concluded is rooted in inherent biological, psychological, and socially contextualized limitations. My conclusions strongly affected my whole world view and I've spent years thinking about this process.
 
My advisor at the time told me that my thesis alone could get me a full-ride to Harvard, but I was young and arrogant and wanted to pursue non-academic paths to success.
 
Now, nearly a decade later, I'm convinced I should return to graduate school, earn my doctorate and teach so that I can share my knowledge with others.
 
I'm sure you recognize that the process of symbolization is the essential organizing principle to perception itself, and perception is the very basis through which nearly all of us base our entire existence. It is my passion to understand this process on both a human and universal level.
 
Now I'm just unsure where to begin.
 
It's a little overwhelming, especially after being away from the Ivory Tower for so long.
 
Thanks again for your help. I do appreciate it.
 
Respectfully,
 
Jon Kavulic


----- Original Message ----
From: Drs.W.T.M. Berendsen <info <at> wilvon.com>
To: Peirce Discussion Forum <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 4:16:14 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Dear all,

I from what i read think that this book about Discourse and Identity and
this journal might be very interesting. Fact is I myself also kind of
reflected on how people negotiate also...in the ways of just interpreting
conversations as texts...and reflecting on them. Both went to
conversations with this purpose in mind before, but also in the way like
more people do once and a while naturally. Like, as an example, my posting
yesterday here about comparing texts. It did remind me of Tomas Rieses
postings about comparing texts. And now I am wondering whether we meant
the same there. If not, it is interesting. If we did, even more. But know
for sure we can get lots more understandings there. Also about Peircean
semiotics :-). By the way, do not know whether Thomas is still following
but guess so...when he talked about "small differences in sensation"(a
text i did not read that well at that time", he gave some example of a
piano and a fly on it. That you migh not see that then. This is rather
interesting also if you compare it with the text. Or should is say
representamen :-). Oops just can not shut up for a short while still :-)

Would like to hear where to find this Discourse and Identity book and the
journal? I will probably be interested for sure. Will now google for it
but might be I can not find. And any direct links might also be worthwhile
for other people here.

Wilfred



_________

Jon,

Check out the book Discourse and Identity. People are studying how
people negotiate meaning in small groups by combining methods. It is
very cool stuff. There is a new journal Research on Language and Social
Interaction" about the same thing. Very cool.


---
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Jon Michael Kavulic | 2 Jan 17:41 2007
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RE: Semiotics & Graduate School

Chris,
 
Thank you very much. IUPUI? Very cool.
 
Sincerely,
 
Jon Kavulic


----- Original Message ----
From: "Wilson, Christopher Barry" <cbwilson <at> iupui.edu>
To: Peirce Discussion Forum <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 11:33:51 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] RE: Semiotics & Graduate School

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Jon,

            I am a graduate student at IUPUI, home of the Peirce Edition Project.  You may have been directed to this list because someone thought Peirce’s semiotics to be of some value to your quest.  I would recommend IUPUI as a graduate school for the study of  semiotics, and Peirce in general, whom I am partial to.

            Semiotics is being offered as a course this coming semester, and I believe the next time it will be available will be in two years.  You might inquirer further at http://www.iupui.edu/~philosop/cdewaal.htm.

            Good Luck.

-Chris

 

 

From: Jon Michael Kavulic [mailto:jkavulic <at> yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, January 01, 2007 9:47 PM
To: Peirce Discussion Forum
Subject: [peirce-l] Semiotics & Graduate School

 

Please forgive me. I'm something of an idiot, but I'm not without intelligence. I have a degree in the Study of Religion from UCLA. I graduated Summa Cum Laude.

 

I've decided to attend graduate school to pursue a subject which has intrigued me for years:  Symbol formation and its relationship to cognition and personal identity. It seems Semiotics would best address my particular interest (though I would most likely need to incorporate elements of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Philosophy (Epistemology), Linguistics and Anthropology into my study to address my focus for the purpose of clarity.)

 

I've been away from school for a while. I did well on my Graduate Records Exams, but I am completely unclear on how I should refine my academic search.

 

I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could offer any information to me regarding Semiotics/Philosophy programs in the United States , especially ones which might best address my particular focus of study.

 

I'm sorry to use this forum for personal use. It's just this subject is something of a passion for me and a friend directed me to this forum hoping I could find advice here.

 

If anyone could offer any direction, I would greatly appreciate it.

 

 

Respectfully,

 

 

Jon Kavulic


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Jon Michael Kavulic | 2 Jan 17:51 2007
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Re: Semiotics & Graduate School (Randomness)

Gary,
 
Randomness is simply an imaginary concept no different than the imaginary number i in mathematics. It is an extremely useful concept, but without essential suchness in real phenomenon.
 
That's my stance and I'm sticking to it!
 
Thanks again,
 
Jon Kavulic


----- Original Message ----
From: Jon Michael Kavulic <jkavulic <at> yahoo.com>
To: Peirce Discussion Forum <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 11:27:06 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Gary,
 
Thanks. That's just what I was afraid of. I will check out the book, however. I'm grateful that several people from this forum have offered me direction.
 
On a side note, referring to your quote by G. Bateson, do you actually believe in the "random"? Not I. Acceptance of randomness is in itself a fundamental rejection of essential causality. All phenomenon ultimately breakdown into causality and choice. There is no "true randomness", just limits to our perception of causality and choice.
 
Thanks again,
 
Jon Kavulic


----- Original Message ----
From: gnusystems <gnox <at> vianet.ca>
To: Peirce Discussion Forum <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 11:12:26 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Jon,

As a backwoods scholar unconnected with any academic institutions, i
can't suggest any programs that would be down your alley, but i can
suggest one book that has a Peircean focus and seems to overlap with
your interests: Floyd Merrell, _Sensing Corporeally_ (2003). He's drawn
on work of neuropsychologists Antonio Damasio and Oliver Sacks, among
many others.

My own work in progress also overlaps with this, but so far i have only
the first two chapters online, they are not academically oriented, and i
haven't tried to say anything original about Peirce or semiotics there.
(Of course i may have done so inadvertently, but i'm not expert enough
in the field to know that!) The second chapter at
http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/dlg.htm is the most relevant, in case you're
curious.

        gary F.

}Without the random, there can be no new thing. [G. Bateson]{

gnoxic studies }{ http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/gnoxic.htm

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jon Michael Kavulic" <jkavulic <at> yahoo.com>
To: "Peirce Discussion Forum" <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Monday, January 01, 2007 9:46 PM
Subject: [peirce-l] Semiotics & Graduate School


Please forgive me. I'm something of an idiot, but I'm not without
intelligence. I have a degree in the Study of Religion from UCLA. I
graduated Summa Cum Laude.

I've decided to attend graduate school to pursue a subject which has
intrigued me for years:  Symbol formation and its relationship to
cognition and personal identity. It seems Semiotics would best address
my particular interest (though I would most likely need to incorporate
elements of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Philosophy (Epistemology),
Linguistics and Anthropology into my study to address my focus for the
purpose of clarity.)

...


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Bill Bailey | 2 Jan 23:22 2007
Picon
Picon

Re: Semiotics & Graduate School (Randomness)

Jon,
Randomness may be an imaginary construct, along with everything else, but it is more than extremely useful.  What would quantum theorists do if they believed it had no essential suchness in real phenomena?  They'd spend all their time trying to figure out how this or that particular little hot bit was, in violation of physical law, moving back towards its source.  Without randomness, conceived as having real suchness, we might have to throw out thermodynamics as hogwash.  And as the equivalent intellectual counter to redundancy (structure) in information theory, randomness (entropy) is absolutely essential. Bateson contends that there are two mutually exclusive universes (or theoretical starting points):  the Newtonian universe of objects and the communication universe of information.  (I think that contrast is here:  Bateson, G. (1960). Minimal requirements for a theory of schizophrenia, Archives of Psychiatry, 2, 480.)    Bateson writes from the latter theoretical perspective, where it seems impossible to place a construct of causality--it is a universe of statistical probablility and predictive reliability.  As you seem in your past studies and future plans oriented by the study of information rather than of objects, you might take a look at his work on information theory.  May as well know the face of the Devil if you set up tent in his back yard.  Especially see some of his signed essays in Jurgen Ruesch and Gregory Bateson, Communication:  The Social Matrix of Psychiatry .  The essay on the codification of information alone is worth the trip to the library--and maybe the cost of the book these days. 
Best,
 Bill Bailey 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 9:51 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School (Randomness)

Gary,
 
Randomness is simply an imaginary concept no different than the imaginary number i in mathematics. It is an extremely useful concept, but without essential suchness in real phenomenon.
 
That's my stance and I'm sticking to it!
 
Thanks again,
 
Jon Kavulic


----- Original Message ----
From: Jon Michael Kavulic <jkavulic <at> yahoo.com>
To: Peirce Discussion Forum <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 11:27:06 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Gary,
 
Thanks. That's just what I was afraid of. I will check out the book, however. I'm grateful that several people from this forum have offered me direction.
 
On a side note, referring to your quote by G. Bateson, do you actually believe in the "random"? Not I. Acceptance of randomness is in itself a fundamental rejection of essential causality. All phenomenon ultimately breakdown into causality and choice. There is no "true randomness", just limits to our perception of causality and choice.
 
Thanks again,
 
Jon Kavulic


----- Original Message ----
From: gnusystems <gnox <at> vianet.ca>
To: Peirce Discussion Forum <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 11:12:26 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Jon,

As a backwoods scholar unconnected with any academic institutions, i
can't suggest any programs that would be down your alley, but i can
suggest one book that has a Peircean focus and seems to overlap with
your interests: Floyd Merrell, _Sensing Corporeally_ (2003). He's drawn
on work of neuropsychologists Antonio Damasio and Oliver Sacks, among
many others.

My own work in progress also overlaps with this, but so far i have only
the first two chapters online, they are not academically oriented, and i
haven't tried to say anything original about Peirce or semiotics there.
(Of course i may have done so inadvertently, but i'm not expert enough
in the field to know that!) The second chapter at
http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/dlg.htm is the most relevant, in case you're
curious.

        gary F.

}Without the random, there can be no new thing. [G. Bateson]{

gnoxic studies }{ http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/gnoxic.htm

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jon Michael Kavulic" <jkavulic <at> yahoo.com>
To: "Peirce Discussion Forum" <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Monday, January 01, 2007 9:46 PM
Subject: [peirce-l] Semiotics & Graduate School


Please forgive me. I'm something of an idiot, but I'm not without
intelligence. I have a degree in the Study of Religion from UCLA. I
graduated Summa Cum Laude.

I've decided to attend graduate school to pursue a subject which has
intrigued me for years:  Symbol formation and its relationship to
cognition and personal identity. It seems Semiotics would best address
my particular interest (though I would most likely need to incorporate
elements of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Philosophy (Epistemology),
Linguistics and Anthropology into my study to address my focus for the
purpose of clarity.)

---
Message from peirce-l forum to subscriber gspp-peirce-l <at> m.gmane.org

Jon Michael Kavulic | 3 Jan 01:44 2007
Picon

Re: Semiotics & Graduate School (Randomness)

Bill,
 
"May as well know the face of the Devil if you set up tent in his back yard."
 
What a great statement!
 
Yes, I agree that "randomness" is a useful concept and one crucial to our present understanding of science and phenomenon; however, I do not believe it is the only way to describe the function and interactions of these subjects. I do not believe it is even essential. Like all definitions, with the clarity it brings, it also brings intellectual limitations which distort the truth of things.
 
Quantum physics may love the concept of "randomness" and I believe that their very adhesion to this concept is what is limiting them from putting together the unified field theory.
 
The truth is that no phenomenon exists in a true vacuum. All events, objects, forms, consciousness, etc. are in someway influenced (and influence) all other descrite phenomenon, even if only in the most infintisimal way. When an external consciousness can perceive a dominant, precipitant influence upon the transformation or change in expression of a singularly defined phenomenon, we tend to say that this newly expressed phenomenon was produced from some causality or another. When we cannot identify a singular, dominant, precipitant influence, we call that expression of phenomenon "random" or "spontaneous", when in truth its expression can equally be said to be a result of the subltle interactions of all limitless descrite phenomenon. Since this infinitely complex influence cannot be quantified, we negate its meaning by calling it "randomness"; however, it is instead a quite specific thing, thus the specifc expression of any given phenomenon whether ascribed the title "random" or not.
 
I personally believe that the term "randomness" should be replaced by the term "infinity", as collective infinite interactions of infinite phenomenon seem to produce descrite effects for any given singularity.
 
That's where I'm at right now.
 
Bill,
 
Please forgive me if I come across as arrogant. I have strong passionate opinions about life and perception. However, I am quickly learning that compared to the majority of people in this forum, I am quite academically undisciplined (being away from school for some time) and that my definitions may be rather sloppy at times.
 
I hope to learn from you and others here.
 
I hope you can forgive me if I occasionally voice a loud, passionate opinion about things while using words that may be fumbling and unclear.
 
I'll do my best to improve.
 
Thanks,
 
Jon Kavulic
 


----- Original Message ----
From: Bill Bailey <ozymandias2 <at> cox.net>
To: Peirce Discussion Forum <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 5:22:58 PM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School (Randomness)

DIV { MARGIN:0px;}
Jon,
Randomness may be an imaginary construct, along with everything else, but it is more than extremely useful.  What would quantum theorists do if they believed it had no essential suchness in real phenomena?  They'd spend all their time trying to figure out how this or that particular little hot bit was, in violation of physical law, moving back towards its source.  Without randomness, conceived as having real suchness, we might have to throw out thermodynamics as hogwash.  And as the equivalent intellectual counter to redundancy (structure) in information theory, randomness (entropy) is absolutely essential. Bateson contends that there are two mutually exclusive universes (or theoretical starting points):  the Newtonian universe of objects and the communication universe of information.  (I think that contrast is here:  Bateson, G. (1960). Minimal requirements for a theory of schizophrenia, Archives of Psychiatry, 2, 480.)    Bateson writes from the latter theoretical perspective, where it seems impossible to place a construct of causality--it is a universe of statistical probablility and predictive reliability.  As you seem in your past studies and future plans oriented by the study of information rather than of objects, you might take a look at his work on information theory.  May as well know the face of the Devil if you set up tent in his back yard.  Especially see some of his signed essays in Jurgen Ruesch and Gregory Bateson, Communication:  The Social Matrix of Psychiatry .  The essay on the codification of information alone is worth the trip to the library--and maybe the cost of the book these days. 
Best,
 Bill Bailey 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 9:51 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School (Randomness)

Gary,
 
Randomness is simply an imaginary concept no different than the imaginary number i in mathematics. It is an extremely useful concept, but without essential suchness in real phenomenon.
 
That's my stance and I'm sticking to it!
 
Thanks again,
 
Jon Kavulic


----- Original Message ----
From: Jon Michael Kavulic <jkavulic <at> yahoo.com>
To: Peirce Discussion Forum <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 11:27:06 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Gary,
 
Thanks. That's just what I was afraid of. I will check out the book, however. I'm grateful that several people from this forum have offered me direction.
 
On a side note, referring to your quote by G. Bateson, do you actually believe in the "random"? Not I. Acceptance of randomness is in itself a fundamental rejection of essential causality. All phenomenon ultimately breakdown into causality and choice. There is no "true randomness", just limits to our perception of causality and choice.
 
Thanks again,
 
Jon Kavulic


----- Original Message ----
From: gnusystems <gnox <at> vianet.ca>
To: Peirce Discussion Forum <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 11:12:26 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Jon,

As a backwoods scholar unconnected with any academic institutions, i
can't suggest any programs that would be down your alley, but i can
suggest one book that has a Peircean focus and seems to overlap with
your interests: Floyd Merrell, _Sensing Corporeally_ (2003). He's drawn
on work of neuropsychologists Antonio Damasio and Oliver Sacks, among
many others.

My own work in progress also overlaps with this, but so far i have only
the first two chapters online, they are not academically oriented, and i
haven't tried to say anything original about Peirce or semiotics there.
(Of course i may have done so inadvertently, but i'm not expert enough
in the field to know that!) The second chapter at
http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/dlg.htm is the most relevant, in case you're
curious.

        gary F.

}Without the random, there can be no new thing. [G. Bateson]{

gnoxic studies }{ http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/gnoxic.htm

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jon Michael Kavulic" <jkavulic <at> yahoo.com>
To: "Peirce Discussion Forum" <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Monday, January 01, 2007 9:46 PM
Subject: [peirce-l] Semiotics & Graduate School


Please forgive me. I'm something of an idiot, but I'm not without
intelligence. I have a degree in the Study of Religion from UCLA. I
graduated Summa Cum Laude.

I've decided to attend graduate school to pursue a subject which has
intrigued me for years:  Symbol formation and its relationship to
cognition and personal identity. It seems Semiotics would best address
my particular interest (though I would most likely need to incorporate
elements of Cognitive Science, Neurobiology, Philosophy (Epistemology),
Linguistics and Anthropology into my study to address my focus for the
purpose of clarity.)
---
Message from peirce-l forum to subscriber jkavulic <at> yahoo.com


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Jon Michael Kavulic | 3 Jan 01:58 2007
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Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

gary F.,
 
Let me think about this a bit.
 
I'm not certain if I believe that unperceived choice exists, as consciousness and perception exists on so many levels and for any choice to occur, the question of choice must be involved on some level perceptually.
 
At the same time, freewill exists because at no time do we ever fully perceive the implications and context of our choice, otherwise all existence would be deterministic. If we knew everything, even regarding a given singularity, what choice would we have? We make choices because we don't fully know the outcome of that choice. Thus, "choice" exists due to both perception of choice and a lack of perception of choice.
 
Is not possessing omniscience "randomness"? I don't think so.
 
I'll read up on tychism. Thanks for the direction.
 
By the way, how are you defining "evolution"? Hopefully not in Darwinian terms. Darwin's theory of evolution is wrong in that it is an incomplete theory. Mutations don't just "randomly" happen, in the sense that environmental conditions will increase or decrease the probability of biological mutations to take place. This is why organisms (and cells) in high stress (or toxic) environments have a higher probability of experiencing genetic mutations than organisms (and cells) in low biological stress environments. Mutation is not just a random reaction to one's environment, it is an incorporated strategy of interaction with one's environment.
 
Anyhow, I digress, but I don't believe that randomness is essential for evolution of any type to take place. Not at all.
 
Thanks for your response,
 
Jon Kavulic

----- Original Message ----
From: gnusystems <gnox <at> vianet.ca>
To: Peirce Discussion Forum <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 11:59:03 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Jon,

[[ Thanks. That's just what I was afraid of. ]]

What? Getting a response from a backwoods scholar?  :-)

[[ On a side note, referring to your quote by G. Bateson, do you
actually believe in the "random"? Not I. Acceptance of randomness is in
itself a fundamental rejection of essential causality. All phenomenon
ultimately breakdown into causality and choice. There is no "true
randomness", just limits to our perception of causality and choice. ]]

I gather then that unperceived choice -- and thus unintentional
choice? -- is a coherent concept in your book. I have no particular
problem with calling that "randomness".

I do think Bateson's remark is compatible with Peirce's cosmology,
specifically with his doctrine of "tychism". As i understand it, the
point is that if causality were completely and precisely deterministic
rather than only vaguely so, that would rule out evolution, i.e. any
real development or change in the state of the universe. So an
evolutionary cosmology such as Peirce's must include an element of what
he calls "chance". I read Bateson as saying pretty much the same thing.

        gary F.

}Without the random, there can be no new thing. [G. Bateson]{

gnoxic studies }{ http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/gnoxic.htm


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gnusystems | 3 Jan 15:33 2007
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Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Jon,

Let me put it this way. My CD changer has a button labeled "random". I 
use it a lot, because it effectively renders the order of play 
unpredictable, and i like it that way. I can't think of a better name 
than "random" for this function; therefore, randomness is real. It would 
perhaps be possible for someone to monitor the state of the machine and 
its algorithms so minutely as to predict the order of play and therefore 
argue that the functioning isn't really random after all. So OK, 
randomness is relative, and proper usage of the term is 
context-sensitive. But that in no way limits its usefulness, in my view.

Peirce wrote quite a lot on the free-will issue (against the 
"necessitarians", as he called them), but frankly i don't see much point 
in discussing the metaphysics of the question. The *psychology* of free 
will is interesting, though; my favorite is _The Illusion of Conscious 
Will_, by Daniel Wegner, which demonstrates empirically that the 
*experience* of conscious will (of being in full conscious control of 
one's actions) is often illusory.

[[ By the way, how are you defining "evolution"? Hopefully not in 
Darwinian terms. ]]

No, not really, and on this point my usage is more in agreement with 
Peirce's. For him, "evolution" is synonymous with "development", the 
whole cosmos is evolving (including the "laws of nature"), and the 
operation of (Aristotelian) final cause is essential to the process. He 
thought Darwin's particular version of evolution too mechanistic, and if 
he could have foreseen how the theory would later be dominated by 
genetics and biochemistry, he might have been even more opposed to it. 
In that field at least, causality was practically reduced to what 
Aristotle called efficient causes. But the recovery of formal and final 
causes is well under way, i think. See for example the works of Salthe, 
Ulanowicz and Rosen listed at 
http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/meanlist.htm#complex .

In short, i fully agree that Darwinism and neo-Darwinism are 
"incomplete" (not wrong); but evolutionary theory is itself evolving 
(see Depew and Weber 1995), and thus it's a moving target for our 
attempts to assess it.

        gary F.

}Wherever there is life, there is twist and mess. [Annie Dillard]{

gnoxic studies }{ http://users.vianet.ca/gnox/gnoxic.htm

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jon Michael Kavulic" <jkavulic <at> yahoo.com>
To: "Peirce Discussion Forum" <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 7:58 PM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

gary F.,

Let me think about this a bit.

I'm not certain if I believe that unperceived choice exists, as 
consciousness and perception exists on so many levels and for any choice 
to occur, the question of choice must be involved on some level 
perceptually.

At the same time, freewill exists because at no time do we ever fully 
perceive the implications and context of our choice, otherwise all 
existence would be deterministic. If we knew everything, even regarding 
a given singularity, what choice would we have? We make choices because 
we don't fully know the outcome of that choice. Thus, "choice" exists 
due to both perception of choice and a lack of perception of choice.

Is not possessing omniscience "randomness"? I don't think so.

I'll read up on tychism. Thanks for the direction.

By the way, how are you defining "evolution"? Hopefully not in Darwinian 
terms. Darwin's theory of evolution is wrong in that it is an incomplete 
theory. Mutations don't just "randomly" happen, in the sense that 
environmental conditions will increase or decrease the probability of 
biological mutations to take place. This is why organisms (and cells) in 
high stress (or toxic) environments have a higher probability of 
experiencing genetic mutations than organisms (and cells) in low 
biological stress environments. Mutation is not just a random reaction 
to one's environment, it is an incorporated strategy of interaction with 
one's environment.

Anyhow, I digress, but I don't believe that randomness is essential for 
evolution of any type to take place. Not at all.

Thanks for your response,

Jon Kavulic

---
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Jon Michael Kavulic | 3 Jan 02:02 2007
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Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

Professor John Collier,
 
You're speaking a bit above my head at the moment, but that's okay.
 
Could you clarify the statement: "A world is
deterministic if and and only if it contains no two possible
trajectories with a common point (possible trajectories are defined
by the laws of the world)."?
 
When you say "no two possible trajectories" I assume you mean "two or more possible trajectories". Am I correct?
 
Thanks for your patience,
 
Jon Kavulic

----- Original Message ----
From: John Collier <collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za>
To: Peirce Discussion Forum <peirce-l <at> lyris.ttu.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 11:53:33 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

At 11:27 AM 1/2/2007, Jon Kavulic wrote:

>On a side note, referring to your quote by G. Bateson, do you
>actually believe in the "random"? Not I. Acceptance of randomness is
>in itself a fundamental rejection of essential causality. All
>phenomenon ultimately breakdown into causality and choice. There is
>no "true randomness", just limits to our perception of causality and choice.

I think you are confusing determinism with nonrandomness. A world is
deterministic if and and only if it contains no two possible
trajectories with a common point (possible trajectories are defined
by the laws of the world). A trajectory is indistinguishable from a
random trajectory if and only if the trajectory is not compressible,
that is, if its mathematical description is such that there are no
finite methods for finding a convergence on a solution. The last is
indistinguishable by any effective procedure from being statistically
random. In any case, the two are not the same.

Cheers,
John


----------
Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
http://www.ukzn.ac.za/undphil/collier/index.html  


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John Collier | 3 Jan 04:04 2007
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Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

At 08:02 PM 1/2/2007, you wrote:

Professor John Collier,
 
You're speaking a bit above my head at the moment, but that's okay.
 
Could you clarify the statement: "A world is
deterministic if and and only if it contains no two possible
trajectories with a common point (possible trajectories are defined
by the laws of the world)."?
 
When you say "no two possible trajectories" I assume you mean "two or more possible trajectories". Am I correct?

"No two" would imply "no two or more". A common point on two trajectories would imply branching, fusing or crossing of trajectories, all of which imply that one point in phase space can belong to different trajectories, which further implies that  there a different trajectories through the same point, so the trajectory us underdetermined, so determinism is violated. The phase space is the set of points that maximally discriminates the evolution of the system for all possible evolutions under the laws of the system.

In the simple case of N non-interacting particles in Newtonian mechanics, the phase space has 6N dimensions (three spatial and three momenta for each particle). A trajectory in this case is the evolution of the point defined in this phase space over time by the rectilinear motion of each particle. It is deterministic in this case. It is also deterministic in the case of elastic colliding bodies. However it is not known in this case if for two or more bodies there are necessarily only nonrandom solutions (random in the sense of equivalence to effective statistical randomness).

In fact I believe the answer is obvious for larger cases, since it is possible to design a universal Turing machine from colliding elastic particles. If that is so, then there will be starting conditions for which the machine will not halt, and therefore the output will not have an effectively decidable pattern. So you don't need to go to Quantum Mechanics or Statistical Mechanics to find examples. In fact I favour deriving the irreducibly statistical elements of these from deterministic versions, though I go against received scientific opinion here. But received scientific opinion on the issue is either inconsistent or else poorly argued (e.g., there are deterministic interpretations of QM, like the Bohm-Hiley interpretation, so QM does not require indeterminism).

I hope this makes things more clear. I have never bothered to write this up in detail, because it seems pretty obvious to me, and not very original. The main point is that mathematically sound definitions of chance don't rule out determinism, or vice versa, and neither does current scientific knowledge (both ways).

Incidentally, I think that Bateson's understanding of the issues was defective, and I have given an information theory based account of causality elsewhere. One can also do the opposite if one likes, but it isn't very interesting, as it has been done numerous times, both implicitly and explicitly. So contrary to what Bill Bailey says, a causal and an informational perspective are not as diverse as one might think. Nonetheless, Bateson is very good to read.

This is a long way from semiotics and Peirce, but if you are interested in what I have done with the connections you might want to look at The Dynamical Basis of Information and the Origins of Semiosis on my web pages at http://www.nu.ac.za/undphil/collier/papers/Dyninf3.pdf But this would lead you astray from your main project, which I find quite interesting.

John

Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
http://www.ukzn.ac.za/undphil/collier/index.html
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Bill Bailey | 3 Jan 09:01 2007
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Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

John,
I agree that Bateson misunderstood some issues (not the least of which was his notion of the role of communication in schizophrenia), though we may differ on what those issues are.  I would note that I'm not all that entranced by the idea of a universe of statistical probabilities and predictive reliability, and for the reason that the theoretical orientation is structuralist--indeterminate structuralism, but structuralist nonetheless.  However, I believe he is correct that if your theoretical starting point is information, and your theory maintains the requisite internal consistency, you can never arrive in your theory at objects, per se, only information of objects.
 
I am oriented toward information processing and communication as principally animate acts, and particularly human acts, and so I am not very receptive to your view of causality as information transmitted, and the analogy to physical energy.  That's not a critique of your theory but a statement of my preoccupation; I think I understand your view of causality and it seems to me to make sense within your theory.  But as with classic information theory, I find little use in trying to understand the effects of a declaration of war in terms of its transmission/reception energies as a message..  Causality is a standard western expression of relationship, and can fit in most western exposition--sometimes tragically.  For example, a witch's spells and incantations were thought to cause bad behavior and even death.  The assumption of causality remains problematic in communication.  Consider, for example, the prosecution of a speaker for incitement.  What is the causal relationship between the utterance of the words of a speech and a rioting audience?  Was the audience necessarily compelled to riot by the speech?  If words have the force to compel bad behavior, why are we not still prosecuting magical practices?  In fact, the empirical evidence consistently points to the conclusion that words do not compel behavior, nor "cause" people to do anything they do not will to do. Consequently, I don't see causality as a construct obviously compatible with or necessary to theories of human communication/information processing.   
Best,
Bill
  
John Collier wrote:  Incidentally, I think that Bateson's understanding of the issues was defective, and I have given an information theory based account of causality elsewhere. One can also do the opposite if one likes, but it isn't very interesting, as it has been done numerous times, both implicitly and explicitly. So contrary to what Bill Bailey says, a causal and an informational perspective are not as diverse as one might think. Nonetheless, Bateson is very good to read.
 
I

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, January 02, 2007 8:04 PM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Semiotics & Graduate School

At 08:02 PM 1/2/2007, you wrote:

Professor John Collier,
 
You're speaking a bit above my head at the moment, but that's okay.
 
Could you clarify the statement: "A world is
deterministic if and and only if it contains no two possible
trajectories with a common point (possible trajectories are defined
by the laws of the world)."?
 
When you say "no two possible trajectories" I assume you mean "two or more possible trajectories". Am I correct?

"No two" would imply "no two or more". A common point on two trajectories would imply branching, fusing or crossing of trajectories, all of which imply that one point in phase space can belong to different trajectories, which further implies that  there a different trajectories through the same point, so the trajectory us underdetermined, so determinism is violated. The phase space is the set of points that maximally discriminates the evolution of the system for all possible evolutions under the laws of the system.

In the simple case of N non-interacting particles in Newtonian mechanics, the phase space has 6N dimensions (three spatial and three momenta for each particle). A trajectory in this case is the evolution of the point defined in this phase space over time by the rectilinear motion of each particle. It is deterministic in this case. It is also deterministic in the case of elastic colliding bodies. However it is not known in this case if for two or more bodies there are necessarily only nonrandom solutions (random in the sense of equivalence to effective statistical randomness).

In fact I believe the answer is obvious for larger cases, since it is possible to design a universal Turing machine from colliding elastic particles. If that is so, then there will be starting conditions for which the machine will not halt, and therefore the output will not have an effectively decidable pattern. So you don't need to go to Quantum Mechanics or Statistical Mechanics to find examples. In fact I favour deriving the irreducibly statistical elements of these from deterministic versions, though I go against received scientific opinion here. But received scientific opinion on the issue is either inconsistent or else poorly argued (e.g., there are deterministic interpretations of QM, like the Bohm-Hiley interpretation, so QM does not require indeterminism).

I hope this makes things more clear. I have never bothered to write this up in detail, because it seems pretty obvious to me, and not very original. The main point is that mathematically sound definitions of chance don't rule out determinism, or vice versa, and neither does current scientific knowledge (both ways).

Incidentally, I think that Bateson's understanding of the issues was defective, and I have given an information theory based account of causality elsewhere. One can also do the opposite if one likes, but it isn't very interesting, as it has been done numerous times, both implicitly and explicitly. So contrary to what Bill Bailey says, a causal and an informational perspective are not as diverse as one might think. Nonetheless, Bateson is very good to read.

This is a long way from semiotics and Peirce, but if you are interested in what I have done with the connections you might want to look at The Dynamical Basis of Information and the Origins of Semiosis on my web pages at http://www.nu.ac.za/undphil/collier/papers/Dyninf3.pdf But this would lead you astray from your main project, which I find quite interesting.

John

Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
http://www.ukzn.ac.za/undphil/collier/index.html

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John Collier | 3 Jan 16:48 2007
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Re: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

At 03:01 AM 1/3/2007, you wrote:

John,
I agree that Bateson misunderstood some issues (not the least of which was his notion of the role of communication in schizophrenia), though we may differ on what those issues are.  I would note that I'm not all that entranced by the idea of a universe of statistical probabilities and predictive reliability, and for the reason that the theoretical orientation is structuralist--indeterminate structuralism, but structuralist nonetheless.  However, I believe he is correct that if your theoretical starting point is information, and your theory maintains the requisite internal consistency, you can never arrive in your theory at objects, per se, only information of objects.


Bill, I agree with this in a certain sense, since I believe there are no objects. Four of us have a book coming out next year with Oxford university Press arguing the case. So I would disagree that we have information of objects. Consequently, I would disagree that we have "only information of objects".

 
I am oriented toward information processing and communication as principally animate acts, and particularly human acts, and so I am not very receptive to your view of causality as information transmitted, and the analogy to physical energy. 

In my opinion that is metaphysically crippling. It also violates the idea that information has to be interpreted to be used, which is where I think the animation comes in. Interpretation is the area you should be interested in, I think. That is the area of full on (thirds) signs. Signs don't need to be full on to carry information. We can have signs of signs of signs if we have an information channel, and only the last needs to interpreted to be used. The rest of the might be just a series of instances. The interpretation process is the important part here for intentionality.

To take an example, the sunflower (I deliberately use a Peircean case) is a sign of the direction of the sun. It carries information about the direction of the sun, I would say. However it is not a sign for the sunflower, but an effect of phototaxis (light produces a hormone that inhibits growth, so the opposite side grows faster; sunflowers grow so fast that the head therefore reliably points to the sun). The trait is not functional for the sunflower or its lineage, but it is still a sign. We can interpret the sign. Whether or not you want to use the word 'information' to refer to only interpreted signs, the issues is still interpretation, and not the sequence of indices that I would call an information channel. I prefer to keep the issues separate because we have a marvelous technology with contemporary information theory, and we have a marvelous technology for dealing with interpretation in semiotics. To conflate the two, it seems to me, ignores the issue of how to properly put them together. In other words it solves by fiat what should be a substantive problem. Surely the technologies are not (at least on the surface) the same. So I agree completely that there is a difference to be respected, I just think that you place it at a misleading location in both the furniture of the world and in our understanding of it.


That's not a critique of your theory but a statement of my preoccupation; I think I understand your view of causality and it seems to me to make sense within your theory.  But as with classic information theory, I find little use in trying to understand the effects of a declaration of war in terms of its transmission/reception energies as a message.. 

But surely that is an issue of interpretation. The message is there whether or not it is interpreted. History is full of examples of misinterpreted information. Sometimes the misinterpretation is intended.

Causality is a standard western expression of relationship, and can fit in most western exposition--sometimes tragically.  For example, a witch's spells and incantations were thought to cause bad behavior and even death.  The assumption of causality remains problematic in communication.  Consider, for example, the prosecution of a speaker for incitement.  What is the causal relationship between the utterance of the words of a speech and a rioting audience?  Was the audience necessarily compelled to riot by the speech?  If words have the force to compel bad behavior, why are we not still prosecuting magical practices?  In fact, the empirical evidence consistently points to the conclusion that words do not compel behavior, nor "cause" people to do anything they do not will to do. Consequently, I don't see causality as a construct obviously compatible with or necessary to theories of human communication/information processing.  

I don't typically equate responsibility with causality. We use the word 'causality' to cover a family resemblance set of concepts. I would say a speaker can be responsible for setting off a riot without being the cause in the sense of determining that it happened. The speaker could be culpable even if the riot might have occurred anyway. The responsibility comes from the speaker's knowing or should have known that his or her words were inflammatory. The person can be culpable in this sense even if there is no riot. So I don't accept your presumed counterexample. I think you need a better reason than that!

John


Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
http://www.ukzn.ac.za/undphil/collier/index.html
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Bill Bailey | 3 Jan 19:14 2007
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savvyRe: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

John,
 
Bill B: my replies
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2007 8:48 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

At 03:01 AM 1/3/2007, you wrote:

John,
I agree that Bateson misunderstood some issues (not the least of which was his notion of the role of communication in schizophrenia), though we may differ on what those issues are.  I would note that I'm not all that entranced by the idea of a universe of statistical probabilities and predictive reliability, and for the reason that the theoretical orientation is structuralist--indeterminate structuralism, but structuralist nonetheless.  However, I believe he is correct that if your theoretical starting point is information, and your theory maintains the requisite internal consistency, you can never arrive in your theory at objects, per se, only information of objects.


Bill, I agree with this in a certain sense, since I believe there are no objects. Four of us have a book coming out next year with Oxford university Press arguing the case. So I would disagree that we have information of objects. Consequently, I would disagree that we have "only information of objects".
 
Bill B:  Okay.  I believe we have information of real, physical things we term objects.  "Object" is obviously an information construct.

I am oriented toward information processing and communication as principally animate acts, and particularly human acts, and so I am not very receptive to your view of causality as information transmitted, and the analogy to physical energy. 

In my opinion that is metaphysically crippling. It also violates the idea that information has to be interpreted to be used, which is where I think the animation comes in. Interpretation is the area you should be interested in, I think. That is the area of full on (thirds) signs. Signs don't need to be full on to carry information. We can have signs of signs of signs if we have an information channel, and only the last needs to interpreted to be used. The rest of the might be just a series of instances. The interpretation process is the important part here for intentionality.
 
Bill B:  I guess "crippling" is relative to the turf you want to cover.  In any case, I would rephrase that notion of interpretation, for myself, not Peirce.  In my view, the use is the interpretation.  I don't know how else to explain what one does with information.  I'd probably start my view of interpretation with when the data arrives to be constructed as information.  In other words, I don't think information is transmitted, but created upon sending and upon arrival.    

To take an example, the sunflower (I deliberately use a Peircean case) is a sign of the direction of the sun. It carries information about the direction of the sun, I would say. However it is not a sign for the sunflower, but an effect of phototaxis (light produces a hormone that inhibits growth, so the opposite side grows faster; sunflowers grow so fast that the head therefore reliably points to the sun). The trait is not functional for the sunflower or its lineage, but it is still a sign. We can interpret the sign. Whether or not you want to use the word 'information' to refer to only interpreted signs, the issues is still interpretation, and not the sequence of indices that I would call an information channel. I prefer to keep the issues separate because we have a marvelous technology with contemporary information theory, and we have a marvelous technology for dealing with interpretation in semiotics. To conflate the two, it seems to me, ignores the issue of how to properly put them together. In other words it solves by fiat what should be a substantive problem. Surely the technologies are not (at least on the surface) the same. So I agree completely that there is a difference to be respected, I just think that you place it at a misleading location in both the furniture of the world and in our understanding of it.
 
Bill B:  I suppose I should ask, just to be consistent with my animated universe, a sign for whom or what?  The view reminds me of the once popular definition of communication offered by S. S. Stevens that communication is present given a discriminable response.  I find the metaphor here troubling.  The sunflower's movement "carries" information?  Where?  What is the locus of this information?  I think it is there only by assignment  by some sentient.  (Irrelevant tangent:  who says maximizing light exposure is not in the interest of the plant?  So far as I can tell from my amateur greenhouse, virtually all plants incline towards greater light intensity.) 

That's not a critique of your theory but a statement of my preoccupation; I think I understand your view of causality and it seems to me to make sense within your theory.  But as with classic information theory, I find little use in trying to understand the effects of a declaration of war in terms of its transmission/reception energies as a message.. 

But surely that is an issue of interpretation. The message is there whether or not it is interpreted. History is full of examples of misinterpreted information. Sometimes the misinterpretation is intended.
 
Well, yes, it is an issue of interpretation.  In my view, you're hung up in the "sender" or "intentional view" of communication.  Let me rephrase you to fit you into a better model of transactional communication:  History is full of both incompetent senders and receivers, and all the possible mixtures of competence and incompetence that result in "mistinterpretation."  In communication, there must necessarily be a transaction of interpretations involving both "sender" and "receiver."  (Those terms are terrible as terms in what actually happens in the process of communication.)  How is there a possibility of misinterpretation?  One perceives what one perceives; that the receiver's response is not what the sender desired doesn't elevate either part of the transaction to having the correct interpretation.
Causality is a standard western expression of relationship, and can fit in most western exposition--sometimes tragically.  For example, a witch's spells and incantations were thought to cause bad behavior and even death.  The assumption of causality remains problematic in communication.  Consider, for example, the prosecution of a speaker for incitement.  What is the causal relationship between the utterance of the words of a speech and a rioting audience?  Was the audience necessarily compelled to riot by the speech?  If words have the force to compel bad behavior, why are we not still prosecuting magical practices?  In fact, the empirical evidence consistently points to the conclusion that words do not compel behavior, nor "cause" people to do anything they do not will to do. Consequently, I don't see causality as a construct obviously compatible with or necessary to theories of human communication/information processing.  

I don't typically equate responsibility with causality. We use the word 'causality' to cover a family resemblance set of concepts. I would say a speaker can be responsible for setting off a riot without being the cause in the sense of determining that it happened. The speaker could be culpable even if the riot might have occurred anyway. The responsibility comes from the speaker's knowing or should have known that his or her words were inflammatory. The person can be culpable in this sense even if there is no riot. So I don't accept your presumed counterexample. I think you need a better reason than that!
 
Bill B:  Well John, you sound exactly like the Supreme Court in Feiner vs. New York, c. 1920, when a crowd became angry at Feiner's ideas and demanded that a policeman make him stop his speech.  He argued the policeman ought to protect his right to speak.  The Court said a speaker could be held accountable for incitement, even if the results were contrary to what he intended.  He ought to know his words ought not be uttered.  Cry havoc and loose the dogs of censorship!   (The Court became much more savvy about audience responsibilities and more tolerant of speakers in the decisions pertaining to hippie and yippie prosecutions of the seventies.)  Really, John:  "should have known that his or her words were inflammatory"?   Next you'll be telling me words have intrinsic meaning qualities! 
Best,
Bill




 
Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
http://www.ukzn.ac.za/undphil/collier/index.html

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John Collier | 3 Jan 21:02 2007
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Re: savvyRe: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

At 01:14 PM 1/3/2007,Bill wrote:

Bill, I think you raise more problems than you solve here in your response. I will indicate.
John,
 
Bill B: my replies
----- Original Message -----
From: John Collier
To: Peirce Discussion Forum
Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2007 8:48 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

At 03:01 AM 1/3/2007, you wrote:

John,
I agree that Bateson misunderstood some issues (not the least of which was his notion of the role of communication in schizophrenia), though we may differ on what those issues are.  I would note that I'm not all that entranced by the idea of a universe of statistical probabilities and predictive reliability, and for the reason that the theoretical orientation is structuralist--indeterminate structuralism, but structuralist nonetheless.  However, I believe he is correct that if your theoretical starting point is information, and your theory maintains the requisite internal consistency, you can never arrive in your theory at objects, per se, only information of objects.


Bill, I agree with this in a certain sense, since I believe there are no objects. Four of us have a book coming out next year with Oxford university Press arguing the case. So I would disagree that we have information of objects. Consequently, I would disagree that we have "only information of objects".
 
Bill B:  Okay.  I believe we have information of real, physical things we term objects.  "Object" is obviously an information construct.

JDC says: I don't believe that objects exist at all. Why do you think they do? I think scientific evidence is that objects don't exist outside of their causal properties, so I drop the talk of objects, and talk of causal properties. I believe that object talk is a very misleading way to talk of the world. Its convenience can be explained by the stability of certain patterns in the causal matrix (same for properties as we often talk of them).


I am oriented toward information processing and communication as principally animate acts, and particularly human acts, and so I am not very receptive to your view of causality as information transmitted, and the analogy to physical energy. 

In my opinion that is metaphysically crippling. It also violates the idea that information has to be interpreted to be used, which is where I think the animation comes in. Interpretation is the area you should be interested in, I think. That is the area of full on (thirds) signs. Signs don't need to be full on to carry information. We can have signs of signs of signs if we have an information channel, and only the last needs to interpreted to be used. The rest of the might be just a series of instances. The interpretation process is the important part here for intentionality.
 
Bill B:  I guess "crippling" is relative to the turf you want to cover.  In any case, I would rephrase that notion of interpretation, for myself, not Peirce.  In my view, the use is the interpretation.  I don't know how else to explain what one does with information.  I'd probably start my view of interpretation with when the data arrives to be constructed as information.  In other words, I don't think information is transmitted, but created upon sending and upon arrival.   

JDC asks: 1) Arrival where? 2) Why do you think that data is not information, or that it can be called data if it can't be called information? This seems very ad hoc to me. I conform to the usages of information theory because they are specific and precise, up to a point, and that point is also clear. 3) Do you mean by data some sort of causal influence of a particular type? If so, what type? Again, the arrival is significant, I think, as part of the story.

Incidentally, I talk in terms of information channels -- senders and receivers imply objects, which I don't believe in. I don't believe in objects, and I don't believe in subjects -- I am a pretty committed Taoist still trying to shake off a Christian cultural upbringing. My preferred metaphysics is what I call dynamical realism, which is similar to ontic structural realism of French and Ladyman and others, but drops the structure where it has no consequences. In fact nothing that isn't dynamical has any consequences, so why bother with things in themselves or whatever? Use is dynamical, of course, and I approve of your move in that direction. But I still don't get why you think that information is created suddenly when data is used, for the reasons 1-3 above.


To take an example, the sunflower (I deliberately use a Peircean case) is a sign of the direction of the sun. It carries information about the direction of the sun, I would say. However it is not a sign for the sunflower, but an effect of phototaxis (light produces a hormone that inhibits growth, so the opposite side grows faster; sunflowers grow so fast that the head therefore reliably points to the sun). The trait is not functional for the sunflower or its lineage, but it is still a sign. We can interpret the sign. Whether or not you want to use the word 'information' to refer to only interpreted signs, the issues is still interpretation, and not the sequence of indices that I would call an information channel. I prefer to keep the issues separate because we have a marvelous technology with contemporary information theory, and we have a marvelous technology for dealing with interpretation in semiotics. To conflate the two, it seems to me, ignores the issue of how to properly put them together. In other words it solves by fiat what should be a substantive problem. Surely the technologies are not (at least on the surface) the same. So I agree completely that there is a difference to be respected, I just think that you place it at a misleading location in both the furniture of the world and in our understanding of it.
 
Bill B:  I suppose I should ask, just to be consistent with my animated universe, a sign for whom or what?  The view reminds me of the once popular definition of communication offered by S. S. Stevens that communication is present given a discriminable response.  I find the metaphor here troubling.  The sunflower's movement "carries" information?  Where?  What is the locus of this information?  I think it is there only by assignment  by some sentient.  (Irrelevant tangent:  who says maximizing light exposure is not in the interest of the plant?  So far as I can tell from my amateur greenhouse, virtually all plants incline towards greater light intensity.) 

The information is in the distributed system of sun and plant and its components, which create an information channel from the sun to the direction of the flower. I mean information channel in the sense of Barwise and Seligman, Information Flow: The Logic of Distributed Systems (Cambridge U P 1997). I don't think the sense is metaphorical in the least. The ontology of Barwise and Seligman involves types, tokens and the classifications they produce, as well as "regularities", which are a bit problematic. Types and tokes are duals on their account, so neither is more fundamental, but there need be no fundamental difference between the two, either. No objects are required. Types and tokens, for example, can be other information channels.

I should have been more clear about the sunflower case. I was talking specifically of the direction of the flower of the sunflower. The science hasn't changed enough from Peirce's time to make a difference. See Peirce The Philosophy of Peirce, Selected Writings, edited by Justus Buchler (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Tubner), p. 100 for the original discussion. See also p. 282 for a discussion of uninterpreted signs. There is no problem with focusing on interpreted signs, but Peirce has a wider scope, and you should know that, or at least take care on this list.



That's not a critique of your theory but a statement of my preoccupation; I think I understand your view of causality and it seems to me to make sense within your theory.  But as with classic information theory, I find little use in trying to understand the effects of a declaration of war in terms of its transmission/reception energies as a message.. 

But surely that is an issue of interpretation. The message is there whether or not it is interpreted. History is full of examples of misinterpreted information. Sometimes the misinterpretation is intended.
 
Well, yes, it is an issue of interpretation.  In my view, you're hung up in the "sender" or "intentional view" of communication.  Let me rephrase you to fit you into a better model of transactional communication:  History is full of both incompetent senders and receivers, and all the possible mixtures of competence and incompetence that result in "mistinterpretation."  In communication, there must necessarily be a transaction of interpretations involving both "sender" and "receiver."  (Those terms are terrible as terms in what actually happens in the process of communication.)  How is there a possibility of misinterpretation?  One perceives what one perceives; that the receiver's response is not what the sender desired doesn't elevate either part of the transaction to having the correct interpretation.

JDC says: this still doesn't address the point behind my remark. The message has an existence independent of what anyone in particular perceives. Incidentally, I would also doubt that one perceives what one perceives, unless you are talking of firsts, which have no relational properties in themselves. I am inclined to agree with Peirce that our perception of our mental states is fallible. See Questions Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed for Man Journal of Speculative Philosophy 2 (1868), pp. 103-114. Of course Peirce may have been wrong, but I think not on this very fundamental issue of pragmatism. Or perhaps you have been reading too much Maturana? Or Varela? The possibilities for the successful use of words depends on past history of use and resulting expectations and their possible satisfaction, which isn't all in the head.

Causality is a standard western expression of relationship, and can fit in most western exposition--sometimes tragically.  For example, a witch's spells and incantations were thought to cause bad behavior and even death.  The assumption of causality remains problematic in communication.  Consider, for example, the prosecution of a speaker for incitement.  What is the causal relationship between the utterance of the words of a speech and a rioting audience?  Was the audience necessarily compelled to riot by the speech?  If words have the force to compel bad behavior, why are we not still prosecuting magical practices?  In fact, the empirical evidence consistently points to the conclusion that words do not compel behavior, nor "cause" people to do anything they do not will to do. Consequently, I don't see causality as a construct obviously compatible with or necessary to theories of human communication/information processing.  

I don't typically equate responsibility with causality. We use the word 'causality' to cover a family resemblance set of concepts. I would say a speaker can be responsible for setting off a riot without being the cause in the sense of determining that it happened. The speaker could be culpable even if the riot might have occurred anyway. The responsibility comes from the speaker's knowing or should have known that his or her words were inflammatory. The person can be culpable in this sense even if there is no riot. So I don't accept your presumed counterexample. I think you need a better reason than that!
 
Bill B:  Well John, you sound exactly like the Supreme Court in Feiner vs. New York, c. 1920, when a crowd became angry at Feiner's ideas and demanded that a policeman make him stop his speech.  He argued the policeman ought to protect his right to speak.  The Court said a speaker could be held accountable for incitement, even if the results were contrary to what he intended.  He ought to know his words ought not be uttered.  Cry havoc and loose the dogs of censorship!   (The Court became much more savvy about audience responsibilities and more tolerant of speakers in the decisions pertaining to hippie and yippie prosecutions of the seventies.)  Really, John:  "should have known that his or her words were inflammatory"?   Next you'll be telling me words have intrinsic meaning qualities!

John says: No, I do not believe that (quite the contrary -- see Pragmatist Pragmatics on my web page), but crying "Fire!" in a crowded theatre is still wrong, no matter what the actual consequences. So my point stands independently of variations in American moral (legal) standards about when and where speech is acceptable. Some usages are wrong and culpable.

Regards,
John

Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
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Bill Bailey | 4 Jan 00:26 2007
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Re: savvyRe: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

John:  You can have the last word on this.  The sniping is initially fun, but gets frustrating as we get further along.  I'll make it as succinct as I can. 
My responses are BB2:
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2007 1:02 PM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: savvyRe: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

At 01:14 PM 1/3/2007,Bill wrote:

Bill, I think you raise more problems than you solve here in your response. I will indicate.
John,
 
Bill B: my replies
----- Original Message -----
From: John Collier
To: Peirce Discussion Forum
Sent: Wednesday, January 03, 2007 8:48 AM
Subject: [peirce-l] Re: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

At 03:01 AM 1/3/2007, you wrote:

John,
I agree that Bateson misunderstood some issues (not the least of which was his notion of the role of communication in schizophrenia), though we may differ on what those issues are.  I would note that I'm not all that entranced by the idea of a universe of statistical probabilities and predictive reliability, and for the reason that the theoretical orientation is structuralist--indeterminate structuralism, but structuralist nonetheless.  However, I believe he is correct that if your theoretical starting point is information, and your theory maintains the requisite internal consistency, you can never arrive in your theory at objects, per se, only information of objects.


Bill, I agree with this in a certain sense, since I believe there are no objects. Four of us have a book coming out next year with Oxford university Press arguing the case. So I would disagree that we have information of objects. Consequently, I would disagree that we have "only information of objects".

  Bill B:  Okay.  I believe we have information of real, physical things we term objects.  "Object" is obviously an information construct.

JDC says: I don't believe that objects exist at all. Why do you think they do? I think scientific evidence is that objects don't exist outside of their causal properties, so I drop the talk of objects, and talk of causal properties. I believe that object talk is a very misleading way to talk of the world. Its convenience can be explained by the stability of certain patterns in the causal matrix (same for properties as we often talk of them).
 
BB2:  I don't see this differs in any significant way from treating "object" as an information construct.

   
                I am oriented toward information processing and communication as principally animate acts, and particularly human acts, and so I am not very                 receptive to your view of causality as information transmitted, and the analogy to physical energy. 

In my opinion that is metaphysically crippling. It also violates the idea that information has to be interpreted to be used, which is where I think the animation comes in. Interpretation is the area you should be interested in, I think. That is the area of full on (thirds) signs. Signs don't need to be full on to carry information. We can have signs of signs of signs if we have an information channel, and only the last needs to interpreted to be used. The rest of the might be just a series of instances. The interpretation process is the important part here for intentionality.

  Bill B:  I guess "crippling" is relative to the turf you want to cover.  In any case, I would rephrase that notion of interpretation, for myself, not Peirce.  In my view, the use is the interpretation.  I don't know how else to explain what one does with information.  I'd probably start my view of interpretation with when the data arrives to be constructed as information.  In other words, I don't think information is transmitted, but created upon sending and upon arrival.   

JDC asks: 1) Arrival where? 2) Why do you think that data is not information, or that it can be called data if it can't be called information? This seems very ad hoc to me. I conform to the usages of information theory because they are specific and precise, up to a point, and that point is also clear. 3) Do you mean by data some sort of causal influence of a particular type? If so, what type? Again, the arrival is significant, I think, as part of the story.

Incidentally, I talk in terms of information channels -- senders and receivers imply objects, which I don't believe in. I don't believe in objects, and I don't believe in subjects -- I am a pretty committed Taoist still trying to shake off a Christian cultural upbringing. My preferred metaphysics is what I call dynamical realism, which is similar to ontic structural realism of French and Ladyman and others, but drops the structure where it has no consequences. In fact nothing that isn't dynamical has any consequences, so why bother with things in themselves or whatever? Use is dynamical, of course, and I approve of your move in that direction. But I still don't get why you think that information is created suddenly when data is used, for the reasons 1-3 above.
 
BB2: 1) Arrival at or accessed by a processor.   2)  I was speaking loosely, thinking of data as the raw energy stuff, whether as impinging stimuli energy or sensory activity, that must be processed prior to being informative.  I think one reason you don't understand why I think usage is necessary is the notion of isomorphism in your theory.  I can't find any empirical basis for that supposition either anatomically or informationally.  A second reason may be that you are defining information as energy variance in a channel.  (If you are a committed Taoist, I assume that the channels of which you speak are really sub-paths of an organic whole.  And shouldn't you be speaking not of causality, but of expressions of the state of the whole in locales?)   But in any case, I reject the idea that energy variances are in themselves informational.  They serve, within larger frames, as information media and in that form, when used as signs, they become informational. 
 
To take an example, the sunflower (I deliberately use a Peircean case) is a sign of the direction of the sun. It carries information about the direction of the sun, I would say. However it is not a sign for the sunflower, but an effect of phototaxis (light produces a hormone that inhibits growth, so the opposite side grows faster; sunflowers grow so fast that the head therefore reliably points to the sun). The trait is not functional for the sunflower or its lineage, but it is still a sign. We can interpret the sign. Whether or not you want to use the word 'information' to refer to only interpreted signs, the issues is still interpretation, and not the sequence of indices that I would call an information channel. I prefer to keep the issues separate because we have a marvelous technology with contemporary information theory, and we have a marvelous technology for dealing with interpretation in semiotics. To conflate the two, it seems to me, ignores the issue of how to properly put them together. In other words it solves by fiat what should be a substantive problem. Surely the technologies are not (at least on the surface) the same. So I agree completely that there is a difference to be respected, I just think that you place it at a misleading location in both the furniture of the world and in our understanding of it.
  Bill B:  I suppose I should ask, just to be consistent with my animated universe, a sign for whom or what?  The view reminds me of the once popular definition of communication offered by S. S. Stevens that communication is present given a discriminable response.  I find the metaphor here troubling.  The sunflower's movement "carries" information?  Where?  What is the locus of this information?  I think it is there only by assignment  by some sentient.  (Irrelevant tangent:  who says maximizing light exposure is not in the interest of the plant?  So far as I can tell from my amateur greenhouse, virtually all plants incline towards greater light intensity.) 

The information is in the distributed system of sun and plant and its components, which create an information channel from the sun to the direction of the flower.
 
BB2:  And there is the crux of our difference.  That simple radiance of energy that elicits a response from the plant is, in my view,  no more than what I have said in this sentence, and involves neither information nor communication.  I can well understand Peirce's example of the sunflower head's attitude toward the sun as an index for someone who uses it as such.  When we get to the transcendal, pan-unitive oriental gestalt, I jump ship.  I still appreciate his genius and insights into semiotics.
 
 I mean information channel in the sense of Barwise and Seligman, Information Flow: The Logic of Distributed Systems (Cambridge U P 1997). I don't think the sense is metaphorical in the least. The ontology of Barwise and Seligman involves types, tokens and the classifications they produce, as well as "regularities", which are a bit problematic. Types and tokes are duals on their account, so neither is more fundamental, but there need be no fundamental difference between the two, either. No objects are required. Types and tokens, for example, can be other information channels.

I should have been more clear about the sunflower case. I was talking specifically of the direction of the flower of the sunflower. The science hasn't changed enough from Peirce's time to make a difference. See Peirce The Philosophy of Peirce, Selected Writings, edited by Justus Buchler (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Tubner), p. 100 for the original discussion. See also p. 282 for a discussion of uninterpreted signs. There is no problem with focusing on interpreted signs, but Peirce has a wider scope, and you should know that, or at least take care on this list.

BB2:  I do know that, but I thought this thread was about our differences.  See my response immediately above to the "wider scope."
That's not a critique of your theory but a statement of my preoccupation; I think I understand your view of causality and it seems to me to make sense within your theory.  But as with classic information theory, I find little use in trying to understand the effects of a declaration of war in terms of its transmission/reception energies as a message.. 

But surely that is an issue of interpretation. The message is there whether or not it is interpreted. History is full of examples of misinterpreted information. Sometimes the misinterpretation is intended.

  Well, yes, it is an issue of interpretation.  In my view, you're hung up in the "sender" or "intentional view" of communication.  Let me rephrase you to fit you into a better model of transactional communication:  History is full of both incompetent senders and receivers, and all the possible mixtures of competence and incompetence that result in "mistinterpretation."  In communication, there must necessarily be a transaction of interpretations involving both "sender" and "receiver."  (Those terms are terrible as terms in what actually happens in the process of communication.)  How is there a possibility of misinterpretation?  One perceives what one perceives; that the receiver's response is not what the sender desired doesn't elevate either part of the transaction to having the correct interpretation.

JDC says: this still doesn't address the point behind my remark. The message has an existence independent of what anyone in particular perceives. Incidentally, I would also doubt that one perceives what one perceives, unless you are talking of firsts, which have no relational properties in themselves. I am inclined to agree with Peirce that our perception of our mental states is fallible. See Questions Concerning Certain Faculties Claimed for Man Journal of Speculative Philosophy 2 (1868), pp. 103-114. Of course Peirce may have been wrong, but I think not on this very fundamental issue of pragmatism. Or perhaps you have been reading too much Maturana? Or Varela? The possibilities for the successful use of words depends on past history of use and resulting expectations and their possible satisfaction, which isn't all in the head.
 
BB2 Well, you can assert that the message has an existence independent of what anyone in particular perceives, but can you demonstrate it?  Exactly where is the empirical locus of such a message.  How is it even a message, as opposed to marks on a page, agitations of the air, ions doing their thing?  That perceptions are fallible, that human interpreters vary in competence I've already noted, but it's irrelevant to the issue of message existence independent of interpreters.  Yes, we have history, codifications and so on.  And where does a person who doesn't believe in objects locate those?  From what tangible point do they exert influence?  From within the contexts of interpretations-- usages, no?
Causality is a standard western expression of relationship, and can fit in most western exposition--sometimes tragically.  For example, a witch's spells and incantations were thought to cause bad behavior and even death.  The assumption of causality remains problematic in communication.  Consider, for example, the prosecution of a speaker for incitement.  What is the causal relationship between the utterance of the words of a speech and a rioting audience?  Was the audience necessarily compelled to riot by the speech?  If words have the force to compel bad behavior, why are we not still prosecuting magical practices?  In fact, the empirical evidence consistently points to the conclusion that words do not compel behavior, nor "cause" people to do anything they do not will to do. Consequently, I don't see causality as a construct obviously compatible with or necessary to theories of human communication/information processing.  

I don't typically equate responsibility with causality. We use the word 'causality' to cover a family resemblance set of concepts. I would say a speaker can be responsible for setting off a riot without being the cause in the sense of determining that it happened. The speaker could be culpable even if the riot might have occurred anyway. The responsibility comes from the speaker's knowing or should have known that his or her words were inflammatory. The person can be culpable in this sense even if there is no riot. So I don't accept your presumed counterexample. I think you need a better reason than that!

  Bill B:  Well John, you sound exactly like the Supreme Court in Feiner vs. New York, c. 1920, when a crowd became angry at Feiner's ideas and demanded that a policeman make him stop his speech.  He argued the policeman ought to protect his right to speak.  The Court said a speaker could be held accountable for incitement, even if the results were contrary to what he intended.  He ought to know his words ought not be uttered.  Cry havoc and loose the dogs of censorship!   (The Court became much more savvy about audience responsibilities and more tolerant of speakers in the decisions pertaining to hippie and yippie prosecutions of the seventies.)  Really, John:  "should have known that his or her words were inflammatory"?   Next you'll be telling me words have intrinsic meaning qualities!

John says: No, I do not believe that (quite the contrary -- see Pragmatist Pragmatics on my web page), but crying "Fire!" in a crowded theatre is still wrong, no matter what the actual consequences. So my point stands independently of variations in American moral (legal) standards about when and where speech is acceptable. Some usages are wrong and culpable.
 
BB2:  I know you don't believe that.  I'm also sure you don't believe that crying fire in a crowded theatre is inevitably wrong.  What if there is a fire?  And, returning to the issue, I don't know what you mean "wrong no matter what the actual consequences" unless you are simply asserting a moral principle.  Oliver Wendell Holmes crafted the metaphor as parallel to the German propagandists about which the country was in a panic.  You can find the fire metaphor running through variously authored decisions of the period.  The defining criteria of propaganda was that it was false, and in citation Holmes' passage is usually shorn of that criterial feature:  it was falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater that he deemed legally wrong.  In any case, it has little relevance to the expression of political and other ideas.  However I'm glad to hear you speak of usages.  Now if you will accept that the auditors chose to misbehave, and carry their own responsibility for being "incited,"  we'll have you up to speed as a civil libertarian.  :=)
Thanks, and best,
Bill
 
Regards,
John

Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
http://www.ukzn.ac.za/undphil/collier/index.html

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John Collier | 4 Jan 02:44 2007
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Re: savvyRe: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

At 06:26 PM 1/3/2007, Bill wrote:

John:  You can have the last word on this.  The sniping is initially fun, but gets frustrating as we get further along.  I'll make it as succinct as I can. 

Mostly I see we are using the word 'information' differently. So be it. I'll just tidy up my reasons a bit.

As for your sceptical point on the locus of information, all I can say is that my approach includes yours, and doesn't have ragged edges, like the supposed processor boundary. Barring solipsism of the present moment (if that has any content at all), what information is accessible is always open to doubt of some sort. We don't typically have reason to doubt the interpretation of our mental states, but with the right drugs we can have such reason. I agree with Peirce that we have no special access to the meaning of our mental states other than being well acquainted with them. So we have the same sceptical problem, if it is a problem; in both cases we rely on signs.

Of course causation is an expression of a whole. That is in our forthcoming book against objects. And yes, information channels are a part of a matrix of such. But no, energy variances are not sufficient, since the same energy variances can have different boundary conditions; also some phenomena involve no variances in energy and energetic boundary conditions, but still have variances in form (the Aharanov-Bohm effect is one). The world doesn't divide up neatly into informational and energetic, but perhaps it is close enough for your purposes.

Of course I was talking about the fire case in the context of Holmes' use. I had already said that that I don't think words have intrinsic meanings (in the same paragraph). In fact I've written a rather controversial paper arguing that. My point is that some uses are wrong because of their likely effects. Actual causation is not required. So one can be culpable without necessarily being a cause. I almost said that you had changed the topic there earlier, but I erased that part before I sent the message. I now assert it.

The whole point about using information in a structural way is so that we can have the same sort of thing "in our heads" as well as in the world. One doesn't have to call it information in either case. In any case, the nice thing about our account is that the isomorphism you talk about is a result of there being information channels, sensu Barwise and Seligman. Whatever you call them, they are a good explanation of how we are able to navigate the world reliably, and it makes the mind an integral part of the world working with the same sort of basic 'stuff'.

John



Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
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Inna Semetsky | 4 Jan 05:53 2007
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Re: savvyRe: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

John and List

i am not quite sure how you define information, John, but say it is tied to organization and order, for argument sake. I wonder what you think of what Lee Smolin writes with regard  to information channels--especially considering that his cosmology and evolutionary approach to the laws of nature are in some way inspired by Peirce.

inna


At 20:44 3/01/2007 -0500, John Collier wrote:
At 06:26 PM 1/3/2007, Bill wrote:

John:  You can have the last word on this.  The sniping is initially fun, but gets frustrating as we get further along.  I'll make it as succinct as I can. 

Mostly I see we are using the word 'information' differently. So be it. I'll just tidy up my reasons a bit.

As for your sceptical point on the locus of information, all I can say is that my approach includes yours, and doesn't have ragged edges, like the supposed processor boundary. Barring solipsism of the present moment (if that has any content at all), what information is accessible is always open to doubt of some sort. We don't typically have reason to doubt the interpretation of our mental states, but with the right drugs we can have such reason. I agree with Peirce that we have no special access to the meaning of our mental states other than being well acquainted with them. So we have the same sceptical problem, if it is a problem; in both cases we rely on signs.

Of course causation is an expression of a whole. That is in our forthcoming book against objects. And yes, information channels are a part of a matrix of such. But no, energy variances are not sufficient, since the same energy variances can have different boundary conditions; also some phenomena involve no variances in energy and energetic boundary conditions, but still have variances in form (the Aharanov-Bohm effect is one). The world doesn't divide up neatly into informational and energetic, but perhaps it is close enough for your purposes.

Of course I was talking about the fire case in the context of Holmes' use. I had already said that that I don't think words have intrinsic meanings (in the same paragraph). In fact I've written a rather controversial paper arguing that. My point is that some uses are wrong because of their likely effects. Actual causation is not required. So one can be culpable without necessarily being a cause. I almost said that you had changed the topic there earlier, but I erased that part before I sent the message. I now assert it.

The whole point about using information in a structural way is so that we can have the same sort of thing "in our heads" as well as in the world. One doesn't have to call it information in either case. In any case, the nice thing about our account is that the isomorphism you talk about is a result of there being information channels, sensu Barwise and Seligman. Whatever you call them, they are a good explanation of how we are able to navigate the world reliably, and it makes the mind an integral part of the world working with the same sort of basic 'stuff'.

John



Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
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John Collier | 4 Jan 18:57 2007
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Re: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

At 11:53 PM 1/3/2007, Inna wrote:

John and List

i am not quite sure how you define information, John, but say it is tied to organization and order, for argument sake. I wonder what you think of what Lee Smolin writes with regard  to information channels--especially considering that his cosmology and evolutionary approach to the laws of nature are in some way inspired by Peirce.

Hi Inna,

Smolin is one of our major influences on the forthcoming book, Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalised, OUP. Peirce is a major influence, but the book deviates from Peirce's views and my own at several points, so I am listed as 'with' rather than as an author. The information theory part is mine, as well as a few other details. I must confess that I have not studied Smolin's views on information closely. I should. If you have an especially good reference, I would be grateful. My definition of information, insofar as it is possible to give a definition, is due to MacKay: Information is a distinction that makes a difference. I assume that distinction is as in Spencer Brown's logic of distinctions, which is extensionally equivalent to the propositional calculus. I assume the definition applies to anything for which the terms are well-defined. The source of the distinction and the source of the difference are what needs to be filled in on a case-by-case basis. That fits my general view that philosophers should limit their work to making clear the logic, and leave the rest to science. That is also the (intended, of course) guideline for the book. One major point is that we don't see any fundamental role in a naturalized metaphysics for metaphysical objects or properties.

You can find a fairly good, but rather old summary of my views at http://www.nu.ac.za/undphil/collier/information/information.html

I must get off to the airport to fly back to Durban.

Cheers,
John

Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
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Inna Semetsky | 5 Jan 10:45 2007
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Re: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

John

similar to you, Smolin rejects objects and accepts only more or less speedy processes or events, the relationship between events is causal--analogous to a story, a narrative. If an event A did not happen, then event B could not have happened--this constitutes a history of processes, a transfer of information. Again like a story. Smolin writes about it in Three Roads to Quantum Gravity. But the seemingly analog (continuous) story is still composed of discrete (discontinuous) events, which i assume are like bits of information. This means that the universe is fundamentally informational--which I believe is equivalent to saying --as Peirce did --that the Universe is composed exclusively of signs

inna


At 12:57 4/01/2007 -0500, John Collier wrote:
At 11:53 PM 1/3/2007, Inna wrote:

John and List

i am not quite sure how you define information, John, but say it is tied to organization and order, for argument sake. I wonder what you think of what Lee Smolin writes with regard  to information channels--especially considering that his cosmology and evolutionary approach to the laws of nature are in some way inspired by Peirce.

Hi Inna,

Smolin is one of our major influences on the forthcoming book, Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalised, OUP. Peirce is a major influence, but the book deviates from Peirce's views and my own at several points, so I am listed as 'with' rather than as an author. The information theory part is mine, as well as a few other details. I must confess that I have not studied Smolin's views on information closely. I should. If you have an especially good reference, I would be grateful. My definition of information, insofar as it is possible to give a definition, is due to MacKay: Information is a distinction that makes a difference. I assume that distinction is as in Spencer Brown's logic of distinctions, which is extensionally equivalent to the propositional calculus. I assume the definition applies to anything for which the terms are well-defined. The source of the distinction and the source of the difference are what needs to be filled in on a case-by-case basis. That fits my general view that philosophers should limit their work to making clear the logic, and leave the rest to science. That is also the (intended, of course) guideline for the book. One major point is that we don't see any fundamental role in a naturalized metaphysics for metaphysical objects or properties.

You can find a fairly good, but rather old summary of my views at http://www.nu.ac.za/undphil/collier/information/information.html

I must get off to the airport to fly back to Durban.

Cheers,
John

Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
http://www.ukzn.ac.za/undphil/collier/index.html
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Clark Goble | 5 Jan 22:02 2007

Re: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]


On Jan 5, 2007, at 2:45 AM, Inna Semetsky wrote:

similar to you, Smolin rejects objects and accepts only more or less speedy processes or events, the relationship between events is causal--analogous to a story, a narrative. If an event A did not happen, then event B could not have happened--this constitutes a history of processes, a transfer of information. Again like a story. Smolin writes about it in Three Roads to Quantum Gravity. But the seemingly analog (continuous) story is still composed of discrete (discontinuous) events, which i assume are like bits of information. This means that the universe is fundamentally informational--which I believe is equivalent to saying --as Peirce did --that the Universe is composed exclusively of signs 

Although the possible quibble between Peirce and Smolin (and perhaps most physicists) is over Peirce's embrace of a through-going continuity.  Perhaps the idea that these are processes and thus perhaps always divisible into further processes avoids this.  It's an interesting question.  The problem is that if elements of process are truly discontinuous then Peirce's argument of a mediation between them fails.

Clark




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John Collier | 7 Jan 20:31 2007
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Re: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

At 11:45 AM 2007/01/05, you wrote:
>John
>
>similar to you, Smolin rejects objects and accepts only more or less 
>speedy processes or events, the relationship between events is 
>causal--analogous to a story, a narrative. If an event A did not 
>happen, then event B could not have happened--this constitutes a 
>history of processes, a transfer of information. Again like a story. 
>Smolin writes about it in Three Roads to Quantum Gravity. But the 
>seemingly analog (continuous) story is still composed of discrete 
>(discontinuous) events, which i assume are like bits of information. 
>This means that the universe is fundamentally informational--which I 
>believe is equivalent to saying --as Peirce did --that the Universe 
>is composed exclusively of signs

Yes, I would never have been able to convince my colleagues of that, 
though we use the Smolin book heavily. There is not much of thirdness 
in the final story, which is one of the reasons I am a 'with' rather 
than a 'by' among the authors of our book.

John

----------
Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
http://www.ukzn.ac.za/undphil/collier/index.html  

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John Collier | 7 Jan 22:08 2007
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Re: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

At 11:45 AM 2007/01/05, Inna wrote:
>John
>
>similar to you, Smolin rejects objects and accepts only more or less 
>speedy processes or events, the relationship between events is 
>causal--analogous to a story, a narrative. If an event A did not 
>happen, then event B could not have happened--this constitutes a 
>history of processes, a transfer of information. Again like a story. 
>Smolin writes about it in Three Roads to Quantum Gravity. But the 
>seemingly analog (continuous) story is still composed of discrete 
>(discontinuous) events, which i assume are like bits of information. 
>This means that the universe is fundamentally informational--which I 
>believe is equivalent to saying --as Peirce did --that the Universe 
>is composed exclusively of signs

Inna,

I should have mentioned in my last answer that information channels 
do not require discreteness of events. In the Barwise-Seligman 
account channels require that tokens fall into types. That requires 
discretion of kinds, but not of tokens. Even the kinds can be vague, 
as long as the result of the classification process is some sort of 
bifurcation. I am still working on how this works, but I am pretty 
sure the proof will not be too hard.

John

----------
Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
http://www.ukzn.ac.za/undphil/collier/index.html  

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Inna Semetsky | 8 Jan 02:24 2007
Picon

Re: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

John this very interesting.

it reminds me of Emmche-Hoffmeyer code-duality concept in bio-semiotics. 
Although I am not sure of how exactly to understand token-type distinction 
in your email, i feel the truth of it.

I sent an abstract to Helsinki for IASS meeting, in fact two abstracts, one 
on Peirce and another on Fodor's language of thought hypothesis, which as 
you perhaps know is heavily debated now by connectivism and the dynamic 
approach in general. But the point of my paper is that we shoudl take 
Fodor's project seriously... But Smolin presents networks as fundamental, 
yet they form discrete units (i think; this is from his cosmology, have to 
check on it), so i wonder how you relate your concepts to his 
networks--tokens? types? etc??

I think you were supposed to be at the biosemiotic conf in Salzburg in 
2006?????--i was there at the Whitehead conference at the same time and 
dropped in to see biosemiotic people.

inna

At 23:08 7/01/2007 +0200, John Collier wrote:
>At 11:45 AM 2007/01/05, Inna wrote:
>>John
>>
>>similar to you, Smolin rejects objects and accepts only more or less 
>>speedy processes or events, the relationship between events is 
>>causal--analogous to a story, a narrative. If an event A did not happen, 
>>then event B could not have happened--this constitutes a history of 
>>processes, a transfer of information. Again like a story. Smolin writes 
>>about it in Three Roads to Quantum Gravity. But the seemingly analog 
>>(continuous) story is still composed of discrete (discontinuous) events, 
>>which i assume are like bits of information. This means that the universe 
>>is fundamentally informational--which I believe is equivalent to saying 
>>--as Peirce did --that the Universe is composed exclusively of signs
>
>Inna,
>
>I should have mentioned in my last answer that information channels do not 
>require discreteness of events. In the Barwise-Seligman account channels 
>require that tokens fall into types. That requires discretion of kinds, 
>but not of tokens. Even the kinds can be vague, as long as the result of 
>the classification process is some sort of bifurcation. I am still working 
>on how this works, but I am pretty sure the proof will not be too hard.
>
>John
>
>
>----------
>Professor John Collier                                     collierj <at> ukzn.ac.za
>Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
>T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292       F: +27 (31) 260 3031
>http://www.ukzn.ac.za/undphil/collier/index.html
>
>
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>
>
>
>--
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>Checked by AVG Free Edition.
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>6:29 PM

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info | 8 Jan 09:41 2007

Re: Re: Information [Semiotics & Graduate School]

Ina and John,

To me this message below is saying really nothing. But I would be very
interested to know more about biosemiotics. Can you please tell, well
explain, in some clear and normal words (no biosemiotical or semiotical
terms and/or too difficult notions) what kinds of views are taken by this
Emmche-Hoffmeyer and Smolin? and maybe this Fodor Project and language of
thought hypothesis?

I would also be interested in some sources on the net. Although i got bit
of disinterested when i read about code-dualities. But well i might be
wrong, just do not understand much from the message below.

Kind regards,

Wilfred

> John this very interesting.
>
> it reminds me of Emmche-Hoffmeyer code-duality concept in bio-semiotics.
> Although I am not sure of how exactly to understand token-type distinction
> in your email, i feel the truth of it.
>
> I sent an abstract to Helsinki for IASS meeting, in fact two abstracts,
> one
> on Peirce and another on Fodor's language of thought hypothesis, which as
> you perhaps know is heavily debated now by connectivism and the dynamic
> approach in general. But the point of my paper is that we shoudl take
> Fodor's project seriously... But Smolin presents networks as fundamental,
> yet they form discrete units (i think; this is from his cosmology, have to
> check on it), so i wonder how you relate your concepts to his
> networks--tokens? types? etc??
>
> I think you were supposed to be at the biosemiotic conf in Salzburg in
> 2006?????--i was there at the Whitehead conference at the same time and
> dropped in to see biosemiotic people.
>
> inna

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