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Philosophers

Mortimer Adler
Rogers Albritton
Alexander of Aphrodisias
Samuel Alexander
William Alston
G.E.M.Anscombe
Anselm
Louise Antony
Thomas Aquinas
Aristotle
David Armstrong
Harald Atmanspacher
Robert Audi
Augustine
J.L.Austin
A.J.Ayer
Alexander Bain
Mark Balaguer
Jeffrey Barrett
William Belsham
Henri Bergson
Isaiah Berlin
Bernard Berofsky
Robert Bishop
Max Black
Susanne Bobzien
Emil du Bois-Reymond
Hilary Bok
Laurence BonJour
George Boole
Émile Boutroux
F.H.Bradley
C.D.Broad
Michael Burke
C.A.Campbell
Joseph Keim Campbell
Rudolf Carnap
Carneades
Ernst Cassirer
David Chalmers
Roderick Chisholm
Chrysippus
Cicero
Randolph Clarke
Samuel Clarke
Anthony Collins
Antonella Corradini
Diodorus Cronus
Jonathan Dancy
Donald Davidson
Mario De Caro
Democritus
Daniel Dennett
Jacques Derrida
René Descartes
Richard Double
Fred Dretske
John Dupré
John Earman
Laura Waddell Ekstrom
Epictetus
Epicurus
Herbert Feigl
John Martin Fischer
Owen Flanagan
Luciano Floridi
Philippa Foot
Alfred Fouilleé
Harry Frankfurt
Richard L. Franklin
Michael Frede
Gottlob Frege
Peter Geach
Edmund Gettier
Carl Ginet
Alvin Goldman
Gorgias
Nicholas St. John Green
H.Paul Grice
Ian Hacking
Ishtiyaque Haji
Stuart Hampshire
W.F.R.Hardie
Sam Harris
William Hasker
R.M.Hare
Georg W.F. Hegel
Martin Heidegger
R.E.Hobart
Thomas Hobbes
David Hodgson
Shadsworth Hodgson
Baron d'Holbach
Ted Honderich
Pamela Huby
David Hume
Ferenc Huoranszki
William James
Lord Kames
Robert Kane
Immanuel Kant
Tomis Kapitan
Jaegwon Kim
William King
Hilary Kornblith
Christine Korsgaard
Saul Kripke
Andrea Lavazza
Keith Lehrer
Gottfried Leibniz
Leucippus
Michael Levin
George Henry Lewes
C.I.Lewis
David Lewis
Peter Lipton
John Locke
Michael Lockwood
E. Jonathan Lowe
John R. Lucas
Lucretius
Ruth Barcan Marcus
James Martineau
Storrs McCall
Hugh McCann
Colin McGinn
Michael McKenna
Brian McLaughlin
John McTaggart
Paul E. Meehl
Uwe Meixner
Alfred Mele
Trenton Merricks
John Stuart Mill
Dickinson Miller
G.E.Moore
C. Lloyd Morgan
Thomas Nagel
Friedrich Nietzsche
John Norton
P.H.Nowell-Smith
Robert Nozick
William of Ockham
Timothy O'Connor
David F. Pears
Charles Sanders Peirce
Derk Pereboom
Steven Pinker
Plato
Karl Popper
Porphyry
Huw Price
H.A.Prichard
Hilary Putnam
Willard van Orman Quine
Frank Ramsey
Ayn Rand
Michael Rea
Thomas Reid
Charles Renouvier
Nicholas Rescher
C.W.Rietdijk
Richard Rorty
Josiah Royce
Bertrand Russell
Paul Russell
Gilbert Ryle
Jean-Paul Sartre
Kenneth Sayre
T.M.Scanlon
Moritz Schlick
Arthur Schopenhauer
John Searle
Wilfrid Sellars
Alan Sidelle
Ted Sider
Henry Sidgwick
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
J.J.C.Smart
Saul Smilansky
Michael Smith
Baruch Spinoza
L. Susan Stebbing
George F. Stout
Galen Strawson
Peter Strawson
Eleonore Stump
Francisco Suárez
Richard Taylor
Kevin Timpe
Mark Twain
Peter Unger
Peter van Inwagen
Manuel Vargas
John Venn
Kadri Vihvelin
Voltaire
G.H. von Wright
David Foster Wallace
R. Jay Wallace
W.G.Ward
Ted Warfield
Roy Weatherford
William Whewell
Alfred North Whitehead
David Widerker
David Wiggins
Bernard Williams
Timothy Williamson
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Susan Wolf

Scientists

Michael Arbib
Bernard Baars
Gregory Bateson
John S. Bell
Charles Bennett
Ludwig von Bertalanffy
Susan Blackmore
Margaret Boden
David Bohm
Niels Bohr
Ludwig Boltzmann
Emile Borel
Max Born
Satyendra Nath Bose
Walther Bothe
Hans Briegel
Leon Brillouin
Stephen Brush
Henry Thomas Buckle
S. H. Burbury
Donald Campbell
Anthony Cashmore
Eric Chaisson
Jean-Pierre Changeux
Arthur Holly Compton
John Conway
John Cramer
E. P. Culverwell
Charles Darwin
Terrence Deacon
Louis de Broglie
Max Delbrück
Abraham de Moivre
Paul Dirac
Hans Driesch
John Eccles
Arthur Stanley Eddington
Paul Ehrenfest
Albert Einstein
Hugh Everett, III
Franz Exner
Richard Feynman
R. A. Fisher
Joseph Fourier
Lila Gatlin
Michael Gazzaniga
GianCarlo Ghirardi
J. Willard Gibbs
Nicolas Gisin
Paul Glimcher
Thomas Gold
A.O.Gomes
Brian Goodwin
Joshua Greene
Jacques Hadamard
Patrick Haggard
Stuart Hameroff
Augustin Hamon
Sam Harris
Hyman Hartman
John-Dylan Haynes
Martin Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg
John Herschel
Jesper Hoffmeyer
E. T. Jaynes
William Stanley Jevons
Roman Jakobson
Pascual Jordan
Ruth E. Kastner
Stuart Kauffman
Simon Kochen
Stephen Kosslyn
Ladislav Kovàč
Rolf Landauer
Alfred Landé
Pierre-Simon Laplace
David Layzer
Benjamin Libet
Seth Lloyd
Hendrik Lorentz
Josef Loschmidt
Ernst Mach
Donald MacKay
Henry Margenau
James Clerk Maxwell
Ernst Mayr
Ulrich Mohrhoff
Jacques Monod
Emmy Noether
Howard Pattee
Wolfgang Pauli
Massimo Pauri
Roger Penrose
Steven Pinker
Colin Pittendrigh
Max Planck
Susan Pockett
Henri Poincaré
Daniel Pollen
Ilya Prigogine
Hans Primas
Adolphe Quételet
Juan Roederer
Jerome Rothstein
David Ruelle
Erwin Schrödinger
Aaron Schurger
Claude Shannon
David Shiang
Herbert Simon
Dean Keith Simonton
B. F. Skinner
Roger Sperry
Henry Stapp
Tom Stonier
Antoine Suarez
Leo Szilard
William Thomson (Kelvin)
Peter Tse
Heinz von Foerster
John von Neumann
John B. Watson
Daniel Wegner
Steven Weinberg
Paul A. Weiss
John Wheeler
Wilhelm Wien
Norbert Wiener
Eugene Wigner
E. O. Wilson
H. Dieter Zeh
Ernst Zermelo
Wojciech Zurek

Presentations

Biosemiotics
Free Will
Mental Causation
James Symposium
 
Gregory Bateson
Gregory Bateson was an anthropologist who applied cybernetics to the social sciences. He was an early attendee of the famous Macy Conferences on cybernetics and they were a lifelong influence.

HIs goal was an overarching cybernetical systems theory embracing all the world from an ecological perspective.

In each component system, he saw feedback mechanisms maintaining homeostasis, and semiotic messaging systems traveling in pathways between all the subsystems. His supreme cybernetic system includes all the smaller systems, including all individuals. He variously identified this system as Mind or God. The supreme system he thought was a whole, not divisible into parts.

For Bateson, Western science was arrogant, committed to what he thought was an unacceptable Cartesian division of mind from matter, and asserting an autocratic rule over the cybernetic systems. Following Charles Sanders Peirce's concept of a universal Mind, Bateson adopted Peirce's triad of deduction, induction, and especially abduction as the best scientific method. He saw abduction as the study of patterns.

Abstract immaterial information in the formal or ideal "map" is isomorphic to (refers to) structural information in the (material) territory. But note that in order to be (pragmatically) useful, the map too must be embodied (matter) or communicated (energy).
In his 1972 book, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Bateson developed his idea of a "difference that makes a difference" in his talk to Alfred Korzybski's Institute of General Semantics. The talk was entitled "Form, Substance, and Difference." Form and substance referred to the famous Korzybski maxim "the map is not the territory."

Bateson saw "differences" as the key features that become parts of the "map." In the substantial world, effects are caused by the push and pull of physical forces. But in the formal world of patterns, the cybernetic world of communications, he says

when you enter the world of communication, organization, etc., you leave behind that whole world in which effects are brought about by forces and impacts and energy exchange. You enter a world in which "effects"— and I am not sure one should still use the same word—are brought about by differences. That is, they are brought about by the sort of "thing" that gets onto the map from the territory. This is difference.

Herbert Feigl in 1949 may have been the origin of Bateson's famous "difference that makes a difference."
What Bateson is really talking about as the Korzybski "map" is the abstract information that mind uses to communicate in the cybernetic system. What is communicated, he says, is a difference. A "difference which makes a difference" he identifies with information or negative entropy.
In fact, what we mean by information—the elementary unit of information—is a difference which makes a difference, and it is able to make a difference because the neural pathways along which it travels and is continually transformed are themselves provided with energy.

The Bateson and Korzybski "map" is similar to our third world of ideas, the sum of human knowledge.
I have said that what gets from territory to map is transforms of difference and that these (somehow selected) differences are elementary ideas.

I suggest to you, now, that the word "idea," in its most elementary sense, is synonymous with "difference."

The cybernetic epistemology which I have offered you would suggest a new approach. The individual mind is immanent but not only in the body. It is immanent also in pathways and messages outside the body; and there is a larger Mind of which the individual mind is only a subsystem. This larger Mind is comparable to God and is perhaps what some people mean by "God," but it is still immanent in the total interconnected social system and planetary ecology...

The information philosopher sum of human knowledge is distinctly not a product of mental determinism
In sum, what has been said amounts to this: that in addition to (and always in conformity with) the familiar physical determinism which characterises our universe, there is a mental deterrminism. This mental determinism is in no sense supernatural. Rather it is of the very nature of the macroscopic* world that it exhibit mental characteristics. * The mental determinism is not transcendent but immanent and is especially complex and evident in those sections of the universe which are alive or which include living things.
In his 1972 book, Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity, Bateson defined his panpsychic and monist view:
  • Mind is an aggregate of interacting parts or components. (his supreme cybernetic system)

  • The interaction between parts of mind is triggered by difference. (messaging depends on differences > information)

  • Mental process requires collateral energy. (Bateson appreciated free energy, with negative entropy)

  • Mental process requires circular (or more complex) chains of determination. (Bateson was a determinist)

  • In mental process the effects of difference are to be regarded as transforms (that is, coded versions) of the difference which preceded them. (he describes causal chains)

  • The description and classification of these processes of transformation discloses a hierarchy of logical types immanent in the phenomena.

Reference
Form, Substance, Difference

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