[Fis] New Perspectives. Reply to Stan

Joseph Brenner joe.brenner at bluewin.ch
Wed Jun 12 16:40:19 CEST 2019



Thank you for your question. I reply with a modified excerpt from an article
in Philosophies. The full article is Open Access. I am indebted to Rafael
Capurro for part of this formulation. Comments welcome.


Best wishes,




Natural Philosophy: Excerpt from Brenner, J. 2018. The Naturalization of
Natural Philosophy. Philosophies 2018 3, 41.

Natural Philosophy deals with the question of nature as a whole stated by
beings (ourselves) that find themselves in nature without having the
possibility of a holistic view, being ourselves in nature and not beyond it.
The fact that we are able to ask this question means that we have some kind
of pre-knowledge about nature as a whole while at the same time this
pre-knowledge is problematic, otherwise we would not ask the question and
would not be able to become natural philosophers.

The question then changes to the difference between nature and reality as a
whole, including fictions, non-verifiable beliefs and intangible objects of
thought. Since the idea that classical Natural Philosophy evolved into
science  seems  correct,  we  are  left,  for  the  domain  of  Natural
Philosophy, with only a speculative interpretation of nature viewed in its
entirety. This interpretation is, ipso facto, at a lower ontological level
than the science which has largely replaced it. Much of the 20th Century
linguistic turn, expressed in both analytical and phenomenological and
residual transcendental traditions, is well visible in contemporary

The reaction to this unsatisfactory state of affairs has been the
reinstatement of realisms and materialisms of various kinds, associated
today with the names of Derrida, Badiou, Zizek, and others. The ‘ontological
turn’ in philosophy is a term of art that designates dissatisfaction with
descriptions of reality based on analytical, semantic criteria of truth.
Starting with Heidegger’s critique of hermeneutics and the basing of
philosophy on human life, the ontological turn is a challenge to neo-Kantian
epistemologies, and looks to what the structure of the world might be like
to enable scientific, that is, non-absolute knowledge. Unfortunately,
ontological theories have been hobbled by the retention of static terms
whose characteristics are determined by bivalent logic. In 2002, Priest
suggested that such an ontological turn in philosophy was taking place, away
from language in the direction of an contradictorial view of reality. Priest
proposed paraconsistent logic as appropriate to this turn, but his system
suffers from the epistemological limitations of paraconsistency. Lupasco, on
the other hand, anticipated the ontological turn by some 60 years. (In the
complete article, I show that his logical system can be used to
differentiate between Natural Philosophy and Philosophy tout court.)

The most important point for me is that Natural Philosophy tells us
something real about the world that is consistent with our best science,
physical, biological and cognitive. Speculative philosophy can always
re-illuminate ‘eternal’ questions such as what it means to be a thinking
being in a non-thinking environment. This non-Natural Philosophy, to repeat,
exists for ‘natural’ reasons: it is a natural necessity for human beings to
create it, by a natural process, but it is not part of nature qua content. 




From: Fis [mailto:fis-bounces at listas.unizar.es] On Behalf Of Stanley N
Sent: mardi, 11 juin 2019 21:09
To: fis
Subject: Re: [Fis] New Perspectives


Joseph -- Would you like to write how you define Natural Philosophy?




On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 12:03 PM Joseph Brenner <joe.brenner at bluewin.ch>

Dear Pedro and All,


Many thanks are due to you, Pedro, for this new and valuable formulation of
the – daunting - task at hand. The task is logical and philosophical, as
well as scientific. Philosophy here, exemplified by the Philosophy of
Information, does not mean standard discussions of ‘where did we come from’
and ‘does a transcendent deity exist’, which are as sterile in their way as
the excesses of the IT and AI ideologists. Natural Philosophy can be a
‘vehicle’ for interaction between people of good will, the collaboration
that you point to that may help to advance IS4SI. Some of you who may not
have been at the Conference in San Francisco (Berkeley) may wish to look at
abstracts of papers from the Philosophy of Information sub-conferences at
the 2015, 2017 and 2019 Summit conferences on Information.


To revitalize the list is indeed a key first step. But it starts, in my
opinion, with some self-examination, examination of whether one’s own
theories are just ‘pet’ theories. Applying this criterion to my own Logic in
Reality, about which I have written on several occasions, I claim that it is
not just a pet theory. It is a new perspective on how information, logic and
thought operate as real processes, following laws within the laws of
physics, without loss of a human, ethical dimension. However, LIR makes many
demands on one. It requires an understanding and acceptance of what is /not/
Natural Philosophy, which may include some of the ideas that have appeared
in this list.   


Again, accepting my own criterion of interactive non-separability, I do not
call for any exclusions or limitations on the list. I only wish that
everyone makes the necessary effort to position his or her own views in
relation to the overriding need for furthering the Common Good. The sum of
all such honest self-referential (or second-order recursive) opinions of
people about their own work would itself be a useful creative effort, I


Thank you and best wishes,








-----Original Message-----
From: Fis [mailto:fis-bounces at listas.unizar.es] On Behalf Of Pedro C.
Sent: mardi, 11 juin 2019 13:05
To: 'fis'
Subject: [Fis] New Perspectives


Dear FIS Colleagues,


A few days ago took place the IS4SI Meeting, in SFco, with one of the 

parallel sessions devoted to FIS and other sessions also with presence 

of veteran parties of this list. Relevant speakers in the plenary 

sessions covered the main topic of the conference, expressed as: Where 

is the I in Artificial Intelligence and the Meaning in Information? From 

Tristan Harris to Melanie Mitchell, to Paul Verschure, etc.


In my view the perspectives in these IT fields are changing 

significantly. The tremendous hype in AI, Deep Learning, IOT, etc. keeps 

unabated, but critical voices are being heard, not just from a few 

Academia corners as usual, but now by leading technologists and 

researchers of big companies in these very fields. "Dissent" on the 

contents, methodologies, and consequences of social applications is growing.


The industrial development of this IT sector --notwithstanding the 

inflated proclamations and all the hype of the gurus-- does not mean the 

arrival of some great singularity, or the symbiosis with machines, or 

widespread menace of robots & cyborgs... these are slogans coming from 

the industrialists to maintain social/ideological preeminence for their 

whole sector. Rather I think they are starting to feel the consequences 

of their social overstretching in different ways.


The fundamental point, in my opinion, is that our solitary, isolated 

efforts from a few Academia places (Sciences & Humanities) in the quest 

for new perspectives in Information Science, and not just AI 

development, should not isolated any more. We can now establish an 

interesting dialog and partnership with those new "dissenters" of the 

technology in its concepts, methods, and social applications. It is upon 

us to improve the discussion procedures, the collaborations, the 

organization, etc. so that this opportunity might materialize 

progressively. Do not ask me how... In any case I pointed out three 

future directions for IS4SI advancement: community building, attracting 

scientific/technological avantgarde, and organizational improvement.


Revitalizing this discussion list--shouldn't it be one of the first steps?


Best greetings to all,





Pedro C. Marijuán

Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group


pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es






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