LAWS, LANGUAGE and LIFE: Howard Pattee’s classic papers on the physics of symbols with contemporary commentary (Biosemiotics)

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9789400751606: LAWS, LANGUAGE and LIFE: Howard Pattee’s classic papers on the physics of symbols with contemporary commentary (Biosemiotics)
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Howard Pattee is a physicist who for many years has taken his own path in studying the physics of symbols, which is now a foundation for biosemiotics. By extending von Neumann’s logical requirements for self-replication, to the physical requirements of symbolic instruction at the molecular level, he concludes that a form of quantum measurement is necessary for life. He explains why all non-dynamic symbolic and informational controls act as special (allosteric) constraints on dynamical systems. Pattee also points out that symbols do not exist in isolation but in coordinated symbol systems we call languages. Such insights turn out to be necessary to situate biosemiotics as an objective scientific endeavor. By proposing a way to relate quiescent symbolic constraints to dynamics, Pattee’s work builds a bridge between physical, biological, and psychological models that are based on dynamical systems theory. Pattee’s work awakes new interest in cognitive scientists, where his recognition of the necessary separation―the epistemic cut―between the subject and object provides a basis for a complementary third way of relating the purely symbolic, computational models of cognition and the purely dynamic, non-representational models. This selection of Pattee’s papers also addresses several other fields, including hierarchy theory, artificial life, self-organization, complexity theory, and the complementary epistemologies of the physical and biological sciences.

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The present volume provides Pattee’s in-depth treatment of the physical basis of symbolic functions. Understanding the physical preconditions for the origin of symbols is essential at all levels, from the origin of life to the measurement problem of physics. The entire field of biosemiotics depends on understanding the physical nature of structures that can have a symbolic function.

The importance of Pattee’s work lies not only in its clarification of biosemiotics’ scientific bases, but also by relating symbols to dynamics it becomes relevant to cognitive science, which today acknowledges the importance of embodied cognition in a physical and social environment. Pattee’s views forge links between dynamical, continuous processes and symbolic thought that create a basis for a viable third way­combining the purely symbolic, computational models of cognition and purely dynamic, non-representationalist models. It is a step toward showing the unfeasibility of reductionism, achieved without proposing non-material entities.

Howard Pattee is still an active, publishing, scientist; however his early fundamental, now classic, papers are difficult to access. They are not present in large databases, nor reprinted in other widely accessible journals or books. The book aims at making those papers available for a wider public with contemporary Introduction by the Author and Afterword by Joanna Rączaszek-Leonardi, which link the original papers to current discourse in biosemiotics and the cognitive sciences.

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Book Description Springer, Netherlands, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. 2013 ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Howard Pattee is a physicist who for many years has taken his own path in studying the physics of symbols, which is now a foundation for biosemiotics. By extending von Neumann s logical requirements for self-replication, to the physical requirements of symbolic instruction at the molecular level, he concludes that a form of quantum measurement is necessary for life. He explains why all non-dynamic symbolic and informational controls act as special (allosteric) constraints on dynamical systems. Pattee also points out that symbols do not exist in isolation but in coordinated symbol systems we call languages. Such insights turn out to be necessary to situate biosemiotics as an objective scientific endeavor. By proposing a way to relate quiescent symbolic constraints to dynamics, Pattee s work builds a bridge between physical, biological, and psychological models that are based on dynamical systems theory. Pattee s work awakes new interest in cognitive scientists, where his recognition of the necessary separation-the epistemic cut-between the subject and object provides a basis for a complementary third way of relating the purely symbolic, computational models of cognition and the purely dynamic, non-representational models. This selection of Pattee s papers also addresses several other fields, including hierarchy theory, artificial life, self-organization, complexity theory, and the complementary epistemologies of the physical and biological sciences. Seller Inventory # LIB9789400751606

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