[Fis] Fw: Five Momenta. Five Itineraries

Joseph Brenner joe.brenner at bluewin.ch
Tue Oct 20 22:20:52 CEST 2015

Dear Pedro, Dear FISers,

Pedro's note conveys very well the intellectual /Angst/ I and probably also 
many of you feel confronted by the complexity of the 'crazy story' which we 
are both tellers of and listeners to. Pedro's division into five domains of 
knowledge (and knowing) is a very useful first step. The second, I suggest, 
just to continue the thinking process, is to look for what underlies or 
might be common to the domains, as a possible part of what Pedro calls a 
multidisciplinary Itinerary. I can think of five candidates, some of which 
have been touched on recently. All of them address change and process in 
some way. None of them is fully adequate by itself, but perhaps a 
combination, with the addition of some others, might be. "Theories of 
Everything" need not apply. Please note that 1) no necessary meaning or 
hierarchical priority should be ascribed to the order used and 2) I have 
written exactly two sentences for each entry.

1. The Tao
This universally valid attempt to conceive of and refer to an underlying 
unity of phenomena seems very relevant to today's problems. A key concept, 
among many others, is that the ambiguity and self-contradiction in language 
is not only accepted as inevitable but considered a necessary way of 
pointing to that unity.

2. Wu Kun's Philosophy of Information
The first step here would be to accept that all of the momenta are 
constituted by information and hence constrained by the dynamics of 
information. In other words, I see the Philosophy of Information also as an 
/Itinerary/ rather than only as part of Momentum 1, part of the solution 
rather than of the problem, joining with Momentum 5.

3. Lupasco's Logic of Energy and Principle of Dynamic Opposition
Action in all the domains listed by Pedro involves the expenditure of energy 
by an agent to effect change against a resistance of some kind, especially 
at the higher cognitive levels of human sociality (Momentum 4). Such 
interactions and antagonisms are the locus of change and the emergence of 
new entities at all the levels of reality of the momenta.

4. Transdisciplinarity (I)
There is a growing general understanding that the boundaries of classical 
disciplines block the development of knowledge, and any methods which 
transcend their limitations will be constructive. This is certainly 
happening in Momentum 2, and Information Science has been clearly recognized 
as transdisciplinary.

5. Transdisciplinarity (II)
The Nicolescu acceptation of Transdisciplinarity as that which lies within, 
between and beyond individual disciplines is even stronger. There is a 
unique tension between the ontological and epistemological aspects of this 
form of Transdisciplinarity that itself points toward a unity of knowledge.

Pedro's call, in his last paragraph, is an instance of application of 
Itinerary 3 above, a proper maintainance of interaction with an excess of 
neither identity nor diversity. My note itself is an instance of Itinerary 5 
(which includes 3 and 4) and suggests that a degree of self-reference is an 
indication of the possible utility of an approach. Self-reference is a key 
principle in art and humor and it may also be a key component of the 
structured coherence in science Pedro and we are seeking.

Thank you,


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Pedro C. Marijuan" <pcmarijuan.iacs en aragon.es>
To: "'fis'" <fis en listas.unizar.es>
Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 5:31 PM
Subject: [Fis] Five Momenta

Dear FISers,

In response to the recent philosophical exchanges, and curiously waiting
to see how Steven solves his final posts (Benjamin Peirce is such an
unjustly forgotten figure, not to speak about his arch-famous son), let
me try some new "tangent" on the ongoing debate... I see but five
different and interrelated "momenta" that should be aligned for the
hypothetical advancement of the common info field.  The first one
corresponds to philosophy, as the critical playground where
dissatisfaction with the existing views should conduce to attempting
more congenial new ways of thinking. Unsolved problems of the sciences,
when they are general and affect several disciplines, easily generate
philosophical debate--which can be helpful to suggest new inroads.
Saying clearly "nope" to some philosophical and para-philosophical
schools is quite valuable although it easily generates irritation and
obfuscation in the concerned parties (that ingredient of "piquancy" also
enlivens the debates).

The second momentum would correspond to the biomolecular (primordials of
life and cellular organization). The third momentum would wrap around
the organismic and the neuronal (the evolutionary outcomes of
multicellular life up to advanced nervous systems). I think they are so
obvious that do not deserve further comment.

The fourth momentum involves the roots of human sociality, up to the
historical development of social complexity. And the fifth momentum
belongs to the contemporary revolution around communication,
information, etc. These two social momenta are being egregiously
forgotten in most of our debates (not any more with the planned
discussion sessions!)

Unfortunately, none of those momenta --even looking too far away-- 
should be left in the dark. Most of our discussions seem to deal with
the instrumental aspect, the math theories, constructs, and other
knowledge bodies that may help to characterize abstractly different
structures and dynamics where some classes of information seem to be
involved. It is not difficult to achieve some interesting results in
those theoretical and para-theoretical realms... but without connecting
with some of those big momenta, trying to ride on their impetus, it
won't be significant.

A new multidisciplinary itinerary is needed--neither the piece meal nor
the continuous entanglement would work to achieve it. Personally I find
that the goal is very difficult. Too many things in too very disperse
realms have to be cohered... So the allure of this crazy story!

All the best--Pedro

Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Aragón (CIBA)
Avda. San Juan Bosco, 13, planta X
50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 (& 6818)
pcmarijuan.iacs en aragon.es

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