Epilogue, Volume III

EPILOGUE*
These farewell notes are meant to briefly question what roles emotional mental states may play, if any, on your ability to dig deep into the abstract representational world in search for ideas to correlate with the situation being analyzed and identify the best alternatives to choose from. I tried to outline and discuss this issue in the last two chapter of my Volume III. I had been enormously stressed by family problems. My dear ex-wife Judy was not improving after her breast cancer had come back with a vengeance. I was getting ready to donate a kidney to my older son. My youngest daughter was having family problems and my oldest daughter left our house in Deltona to join her in North Carolina. I had to get my mind busy to avoid being mentally crushed by my own emotional feelings. Deep concentration isolates you temporarily from your existential problems. Besides I had been for some time now preparing myself for retirement from academia when I would spend time synthesizing my ideas on reality and consciousness. I thought I could integrate data from inherited genetic DNA memory, perceptual sensory input, acquired memetic memory, conceptual inferential input (based on language processing) and the associated emotional mindstate all into one comprehensive hybrid biopsychosocial (BPS) physical/metaphysical package. It would embrace the physical ontological and the metaphysical epistemological and fuse them together with the quasi-deterministic glue of quantum theory, leaving room for free will and a credible explanation for self consciousness. A big project indeed! I would leave out my Catholic religion because I was convinced I could use same arguments non-believers use to prove my point and be more convincing thereby. Somehow we had to escape the classical dogma that only the human mind sensations and rationality constituted the exclusive cognitive faculty. I had to find out what was in between, things like how the sense-phenomenal perceptual was coded into general neuronal network representations expressing the universality of otherwise direct, singular objects/events immediately present in the environmental niche and also how the conceptual was coded into general neuronal network representations expressing the indirect, mediate, attributions, explanations about their meaning to the body economy in the BPS spectrum. The search for meaning was to be found with the aid of language sentential or symbolic logic representations making possible the co-generation of self-consciousness and the associated emotional mental state corresponding to the particular judgment. That meant the interactivity relation between the sense-phenomenal (internal or external) input, genetic/memetic memory input and their associated emotional mental state. Ideally each input would be dynamically and globally integrated and the resulting package would be dynamically updated and be retrieved from cortical spaces on short notice as our adaptive judgment on a given contingency. Sensibility to the body proper internal and the environmental external, as a bottomsup process would now include not only sense-phenomenal intero, extero and propioreceptors but also quantum electromagnetic energy absorbers. The heads down process of understanding the meaning entailed the possible emergence of self-consciousness with the help of an inner proto language generated as a forerunner of the language processing.
The common denominator behind all these speculations was what, in my opinion, had escaped the imagination of most of my colleagues: the realization that both the perceptual input, bottoms up and the conceptual, heads down processes are severely limited in their capacity of resolution in our human species. Thus, when making judgment about optimal adaptive spatiotemporal responses to important contingencies, we can no longer have certainty about the truth value of our inputs or output content or meaning respectively, we only have probabilities. We have no choice but to satisfy that human innate curiosity about his origins and destiny and make mental representations of that micro subplanckian and macro cosmological invisibilities with the aid of metaphysical epistemological logic tools and cross our fingers. Ergo, the ontology value of an un-aided scientific methodology is complemented/supplemented by epistemology because understanding and sensibility are both subserved by the faculty of modeling with a hybrid epistemontological approach which I had promised myself to develop. Thus, incomplete in the absolute sense as they are, the practical reason that Kant defended must be now reinterpreted to include evolving explanations on the structure/function of the invisible, non-existential reality that includes theological and physicalist faiths. The cognitive processing undertaken by the rational faculty depends on the quality of the bottomsup information to produce the logical inferences underlying our headdown modal judgments -hopefully consistent and coherent- within the context of our biopsychosocial existential reality. And this is necessarily reflected in our evolving legal codes and constitutions. It is clear that the self-conscious affirmation of one’s existence, the “I” actor and observer, is situated at the executive vortex where all relevant perceptual/conceptual representations converge as the synthesis of the several semantic constituents of that cognition into the high order cognitive singularity of a cortical premotor attractor space ready to be consciously chosen to activate the corresponding muscles or glands into action. How these primitive neural representations become further represented in the form of a priori logical constructs and assembled within the existential circumstance and ongoing mental state of the subject and made available for free will access and choice may be outside the reach of rational tools and I anticipated much trouble examining what I consider the most crucial human cognitive faculty, that of making judgments. The most difficulty will no doubt be explaining the induction or cogeneration of self consciousness with the language faculty and understanding the cooperative role between the classical synaptic and the electromagnetic quantum processing.
It’s a new logical world we are all witnessing. The comfort of the quotidian existence under the Boolean world of truth or falsity and certainty has now evolved into the stressful uncertainty of a probabilistic world where disjunctive and conditional statements always enter the decision making process to preserve the truth-functional structure of logical reasoning. Many of us out there whose hobby is to model reality have to always keep in focus the our most serious brainstorm pronouncements are necessarily inferences on representations and never descriptions of observable reality. In the bottoms-up phase our brains represent inner and outer objects and events inputs for linguistic processing into other types of metaphysical logic representations and the heads-down output are only inferences representing a mediate cognition of that original object/event. Our particular judgment on a given situation, i.e., our opinion, is thereby the resultant of representations of previous representations until one final concept binds many representations and worse, many concepts may comprehend a single representation. Our judgments are far from being objective, they are inferential and subjective. That is the best our species can offer in the matter of cognitive certainty. That fact of life when combined with another fact of life, our innate curiosity about our species origin and destination necessarily makes room for beliefs and faiths, theological or not. I had much difficulty marketing this unpopular idea among non-theists. Not less difficult was my attempt at developing a convincing formulation where I had to settle for the cogeneration of language processing and self consciousness as just a convenient explanation for invisible processes outside my limits of corroboration as to the details.
Marketing these concepts to multidisciplinary audiences is most difficult, especially when dealing with theoretical physicists and mathematicians who would not accept that their physicalist constructs are in themselves ‘beliefs’ not radically different from classical symbolic or sentential logic representations leading to belief-type theological ‘propositions’. These latter type can be as fallible and uncertain as the former and, considering the intended influence in social conviviality, may be considered as subjectively necessary and sufficient defeasible/revokable propositions. Ultimately, they are both the result of unconscious genetic, subconscious memetic processing of bottoms-up inputs (from internal, external objects or events) into neuronal network representations, including their assignment of agreed upon language-related label descriptions or attributions predicated on their size, shape, color, etc. to be followed by conceptual elaborations predicated on those or related previous representations of same objects/events. At this level the functional copula subject-predicate (object/event description or action, e.g., table is red, chair is moving) allows the formation of logical language rules according to which judgments are expressed in a logical syntax and semantic form necessary for communication in a given language. Ergo, both mathematics-induced propositions and theological-induced beliefs are ultimately inferences about an invisible world derived from the use and application of pure laws of logic and expressed in a predication copular format (subject-predicate, modal-conditional). Coetaneous with the modifications leading to the final structuring according to truth-functional value considerations, a self conscious identification with such circumstantial consideration ensues. In this respect I took issue with Chomsky’s syntaxsemantic vector in formulating sentential logic as being the opposite vector based on the primacy of the innate primitive biological self preservation imperative ‘meanings’ (‘intension’) controlling syntax considerations, the details of which depend on the idiosyncrasies of the adopted language structure. Curiously, the actors behind the recent advances in technology have given low priority to issues only capable to be expressed in modal or conditional logic formats especially when the brain’s emotional states, resisting logical formulations, exert a causal influence on the outcome of a decision to act or not. Somehow physical theoreticians seem to conveniently ignore the inexorable presence of real life existentialist component (emotions) in every significant human judgment. Unfortunately, it is not so much about the legitimacy of a rational, truth valued, unified composite of objective, meaningful and relevant parts defining a claim about the ideal world as much as it is about how the lonely leader and his emotional mental state circumstance will translate into the needs of the society he represents vis a vis his own. The logically structured, semantically well arranged, truth valued judgment representing the best legal and moral, biological, psychic and social interests of a collective is only a goal in clear controversy with the biopsychosocial needs of the individualized components of the collective. All propositional ‘facts’ or theological ‘beliefs’ are of necessity inferences about the visible and invisible aspects of existential reality, life inside an epistemontological hybrid reality we cannot escape from. Ergo, existential reality does not equate with objective reality. The former is an acceptable, subjective constraint of reality in se whose absolute truth and meaningful values are only apparent. On the other hand, how accurate and ‘objective’ can the human brain representations of objects/events be? Especially when further constrained by the imposed linguistic compositionality in which it must be expressed in both inner and reported proto-rational syntax/semantic straight jacket. Thus ‘objective judgments’ thus elaborated are not to be confused with the symbolic or sentential logic truth of their representations as materialist physicalists would have us believe, logical consistency is a necessary but insufficient outcome. Symbolic or sentential logic representations of the invisibility of the noumenal or cosmological reality can be rationally intelligible yet truth valueless. Truth is a goal to be achieved as we travel the sinuous path along an evanescent asymptotic line. Consequently we can only have opinions on the probable value of our representations of an invisible reality, and that is as close as we can go about knowing the truth of our reality. We can only aim at an isomorphic correspondence between the structure/function of an object/event and the symbolic/sentential logic representation as expressed in a syntax/semantic copula we call an ‘intensional’ explanation or opinion, not a description which we reserve for sense-phenomenal entities. This means that the brain cannot produce absolute truths whether analytical (in differentiating), synthetic (in integrating) representations before the facts (a-priori) or after the empirical facts (a posteriori). For all men and rabbits, all empirically based, synthetic judgments a posteriori are the result of subconscious processings and can, in theory, be programmed in a computer. They relate more to the guarantee of biological survival of the species as they interact with a potentially hostile phenomenological environment with limited necessary resources. At the exclusively human level where psychosocial considerations become part of the human species survival equation we have to resort to brain representations of the chaos of sensations and access an innate language faculty to classify, sort, combine, permute and parse to extract the meaning of an otherwise atemporal, acausal and asymmetric reality ‘in se’. Genetic and memetic memories of past and present provide the bottoms-up input of coded representations to evolve probable alternatives of adaptive responses to future contingencies to be freely chosen by consent from dynamic cortical attractor spaces. In the process both language and self-consciousness are cogenerated. The participation of amygdale, hippocampus, thalamus and limbic system in the formulation and synthesis of the representations (in harmony with natural law) into cortical phase spaces has to be detailed and remains as a great challenge to cage into a credible formulation. The materialist physicalist need not be challenged by a hybrid, epistemontological model of reality because, as Kant admonished, conceptual thoughts without perceptual meaningful content (intensions) are empty just like a pure physical ontology without a metaphysical epistemology is blind. The indelible complementary/supplementary and semantic interactivity of perceptual and conceptual (ontology, epistemology) is of the essence for an existential cognitive act to take place, for neither senses can conceptualize nor rationality sense.
However, all human species limitations in perceptual/conceptual resolution being considered, it is fair to say that there may be conceptual meanings without rational underpinnings (intuitions) or perceptual experiences that resist their expression as logical constructs (revelations). Should they be considered empty, bogus or meaningless and denied cognitive status? Just like quantum theory, nowadays the best ‘scientific methodology’ cannot qualify as objectively valid, it is nonetheless rationally intelligible about the invisibility of a subplanckian reality containing massless ‘objects’! Unlike this case, theological theist experiences cannot be combined with ontological measurements to generate quasi objective valid arguments as is the case also with brain dynamic modeling. But recorded history and human experience of negentropy has validated the anthropo-centered, self-referential nonconceptual intuitions we know as religious beliefs. The Cartesian type of truth preferred by materialists would leave no room for scientific or religious beliefs in that it requires the actual sense-phenomenal verification of the object/event being precisely reduced to symbolic/sentential representations in its physical absence. Beliefs, by and large, are defeasible and subject to evolutionary modifications. Moderation requires that belief be subjectively and objectively sufficient and coherent with sets of other beliefs. In theory propositions may be false yet the believer –theoretical physicist or mystic- can demonstrate that his conviction is operationally justified until revoked in the lab or the social ecosystem niche. The embodied finitude of the human species condition justifies more cognitive flexibility. And this includes a consideration of the inseparability of the human emotional affect at all stages during the elaboration of a final judgment, a very difficult element to include/formulate into the equation. The judging capacities of the existential human being in his circumstantial milieu cannot be ignored by self-serving purists. I hope this emphasis on human existential realities is not construed as a free willing Sartrian type of existentialism. It simply means that the logical format of Fodorian ‘propositional attitudes’ formulations has to emphasize more on sense-phenomenal content at the expense of self serving logical format. But, for the purpose of communication we need to categorize ongoing sense-phenomenal perceptions within the framework of an agreed-upon universal a priori referential for the purpose of providing guiding rules for the evaluation of objective truth content, freed -when possible- from irrelevant modal or affective ‘non sequiturs’, reminiscent of the Kantian ‘Categorical Imperatives’ controlling the participation of fallacies and moral sins in the formulation of propositions. It may be necessary to psychologize modality in the structure of the subject-predicate copula if it helps identifying the semantic content of a judgment. It is difficult to distinguish propositional attitudes from logic modality. A predicate monadic logic concentrating on ‘intensional’ content is valuable but insufficient for our limited purposes of a brain quantum dynamics model and we like to leave open the possibility of an interesting dualistic cooperation mentioned in the last paragraph.
It is important to realize that, because human existential reality is in the brain, an understanding of its dynamics must start with the raw data of sense-phenomenal impressions, in the style of empiricist philosophy. But these sensory impressions are limited in conveying information about the structure/function of existential reality. So to compensate for ontological deficiencies in resolution we need to complement/supplement the paucity of facts with an epistemological rationalist approach based on credible metasensorial, probable but defeasible / revokable facts as found in metaphysical logic propositional representations. After all, not all cognitions arise from sensory data but also from innate genetic memory, acquired memetic memories or a combination thereof. The epistemological component of the ‘hybrid’ approach I am suggesting will accommodate whatever logical procedure there is available that brings you the closest to an original sense-phenomenal description. This may take the cognitive format of substituting the invisible ‘form’ for its visible ‘effects’. This transition from a sensory ‘description’ (what) to an inferred ‘explanation’ (how) as an acceptable identification has two modes in their order of reliability: logical and natural supervenience between the invisible object/event X and the credible manifestation of its inferred presence by logical induction or a measurable effect Y. How does invisible X relates/determines Y? Ideally one can isolate X logically but not in nature. X will have a strict causal determination of Y iff X features are necessary and sufficient to generate Y features such that changes (form or semantic content) in Y will cause a corresponding change in X. In brain dynamic studies we have only a limited number of ways of establishing the relationship between the X variable of interest (e.g., anger, interest, inhibition/activation, etc.) and Y a measured (increased circulation, metabolism, electrical activity, etc.) or behavioral effect (crying, laughing, etc.) as a function of a controlled input (sensory/environmental or spoken/semantic) by the investigator. When these a-posteriori cognitive responses are elicited in the absence of sensory impressions we suspect they respond to innate or an unidentified a-priori input. So long as mathematics is a valuable language tool to represent objects/events in their absence or other representations, semantic judgments, a-priori or not, depend on their original tangible content and not on the language tool. It should also be noticed that sensory modalities are neutral and only the circumstantial reality of the actor makes them meaningful or not, as registered in the output/behavior.
I had previously been warned about the technological explosion of the post computer, late 20th century age, and the cognitive strangle hold theoretical particle physicists had on controlling science/natural philosophy evolution into the 21st century. I always like to stand on solid firm grounds before my mind soars into the virtual domain of open ended abstractions. In real life a good car mechanic may be more important than the physics prof. specialized in automotive mechanics when it comes to fixing my damaged real car. In the study of consciousness we have many problems to solve in the brain even before we understand how it works. But theorizing about how the mind processes sensory input and executes an adaptive solution transcends the immediate and sets the strategy for solving ALL putative and related problems that may arise. But you still require hands on knowledge about the structure/function of the car/brain the way a mechanic/professional does. When, upon retirement you work alone and when this is translated into mind/body relationships neither the bright logic mathematician nor the skilled neurosurgeon will do in a satisfactory way unless you go multidisciplinary and constantly fear spreading yourself too thin. But it was better than knowing everything about the computer formulations applicable to brain dynamics by studying more and more about less and less until asymptotically you knew everything about nothing! It would be hard work but I needed to escape my emotional pain and chose the multidisciplinary way. This decision required choosing the logical foundations of my ‘existential’ approach. My conclusions would hopefully be falsifiable in the laboratory measurements and/or verifiable on the metaphysical logic desk. Ideally my judgments on self consciousness would be of the synthetic a-posteriori variety leaving to mathematicians the analytic a –priori computer processing of their symbolic/sentential logic representations which did not require their familiarity with structural/functional aspects of e.g., the amygdala, hippocampus or cortical columns. Likewise, knowing about them and not knowing what to do with them other than excising them of injecting some specific medication when injured was not the solution either. We had to develop a hybrid approach combining their respective contributions into one whole unit, the epistemontological unit. We needed a synthetic a-posteriori modus operandi to be based principally on empirical or contingent results of varying degrees of generality. Our species sense-phenomenal resolution limits underdetermines sensory impressions as to their truth value and semantic content. Consequently, the resulting judgments are based on empirical, not a-priori, intuitions. The logical truths of analytic judgments includes those possible worlds in which human experience in those noumenal worlds is impossible. Their semantic content is conceptually, not sensory based.
It is important that we learn more about brain dynamics, about how we humans make decisions on important and relevant biopsychosocial (BPS) issues that control the quality of our quotidian and intellectual lives because human rationality is essentially oriented towards making continuous adjustments to optimize the outcomes of our interactivity with changing environmental influences beyond our control. Because of the self evident biological imperative for the human species survival, as witnessed by the spontaneous, unconscious servo controlled adjustments, our efforts are biased towards an anthropocentric focus sustained primarily by meaningful and trustworthy empirical/referential data inputs. Thus the emphasis on formulating our judgments based on synthetic a-posteriori propositions especially when analyzing the relevant psychosocial aspects of existence where the results may not necessarily be applicable in all possible worlds. This is not meant to stop the search for universal synthetic a-priori truths as a goal when budgetary priorities are assigned. If nothing else, we unavoidably come to the conclusion that beyond sensory phenomena there ‘exists’ a complex structured reality that resists being reduced to logical representations, an entity all languages explain as being caused by an ‘intelligent design’ without being committed to a tempo spatial description. While natural philosophies are systematically built up on propositions whose bottoms-up inputs originate from directly referential sensory attributions perceptual data, or their conceptualized representations, our innate self conscious faculties generate a higher order unity that requires the consideration of an ‘intelligent design’ as history and negentropic order testifies to. Is there a non-rational or proto-rational consciousness that transcends existential reality? Quare.
One often wonders why would anyone insist on continuing to spend precious family time trying to explain things like life, consciousness, language acquisition and processing, brain neuronal representations of information and their translation into inner and reportable language, etc. Is it not better to spend your unpaid time during retirement in sports and entertainment or at the bar? Why this almost obsessive compulsive search for explanations about an invisible world at both ends of a quasi infinite spectrum? Does the mind hallucinate when burdened with an oversupply of gray matter? I mean also hallucinations on messianic ambitions or on controlling minds for universal or self serving benefit. I never paid much attention to this slow but unrelenting drive to analyze, scrutinize and forever find a reason or explanation for anything and everything that moves or not. This is enough to drive anyone normal out of their minds to witness on a daily basis. If not, ask my pretty wife Suzi. Always moving around solving problems in perpetual motion along the fast track of existence. All of which makes me think about what proportion of doers and thinkers society needs for survival. Can Volusia County survive without auto mechanics…..? No! Can it survive without experts in classical mechanics theory…? Definitely yes! Should people be free to choose their hobbies after retirement? Some choose bar hopping, playing golf, stamp collection, bed hopping, writing, lawn landscaping, reading, cooking, playing music or travelling. What could be wrong with marrying your computer in a joint search for invisible objects to be arbitrarily represented with letters, numbers or words so you can now play with them using also arbitrary and convenient rules of play? Should that be considered a hobby or psychopathological behavior? Should we be saved from psychic self destruction………?
Finally, we anticipate that future conceptual developments will consider abandoning the frustrating efforts of reconciliation/harmonization between the physical brain and metaphysical mind domains, declare them instead “..independent, non-interacting worlds and just consider how cooperatively we can synchronize their independent ‘activities’ such that, epistemologically, by becoming ‘entangled’ we can formulate an algorithm explaining how we transform the non-linear physical world into the linear sequence of events our senses functionally experience reality. Enter a conceptual ‘time’, this time as an ‘emergent’ phenomenon. We do this by manipulating tensor space mathematics to cancel the effects of the temporal asymmetry nature tries to impose on us. We leave out the mathematical elaboration of the possible formulations for future discussions.”
Dr. Angell O. de la Sierra, Esq. Deltona, Florida Winter 2009

About Dr.d

See CV, family & publications at: http://delaSierra-Sheffer.net/
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