Volume 13, Issue 1, 2015

Quantum-Like Issues at Nature's Ecological Scale (the Scale of Organisms and Their Environments)
Michael T. Turvey, Center for the Ecological Study of Perception and Action, University of Connecticut, Storrs CT, USA and Haskins Laboratories, New Haven CT, USA

A theory of perception for all organisms encounters two quantum- like issues. Issue 1 is the there not here enigma or outness problem. For example, given visual entities here (e.g., in the sensory organ, or in the brain), how are they experientially situated there (in the environment) coordinate with the entities to which they belong? The outness problem's foundation is the principle of local causality: no action at a distance. The problem does not arise under a principle of nonlocality, raising the question of whether there is a conception of action at a distance befitting nature's ecological scale. Issue 2 is the observation problem so labeled by Gomatam and implicit in deliberations of Bohr, Einstein, Bell and others: to identify a quantum-compatible nonclassical conception of everyday objects, one consonant with the principle of superposition. The ecological notion of affordance is an organism-relative perspective on macroscopic objects. Any given object makes possible (affords) different actions for different organisms simultaneously. Affordance raises the question of whether there is a conception of superposition (and, perforce, decoherence) befitting nature's ecological scale. Conceptual steps to addressing the two questions relating to the two issues are presented and the significance of doing so for a theory of perception-action encompassing all organisms is emphasized.

Revisiting Brentano on Consciousness: Striking Correlations with Electrocorticogram Findings about the Action-Perception Cycle and the Emergence of Knowledge and Meaning
Jeffery Jonathan Davis, Department of Mathematical Sciences University of Memphis, USA and Grant Gillett, Department of Bioethics University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand and Robert Kozma, Department of Mathematical Sciences University of Memphis, USA

Recent neurophysiological experiments and corresponding theoretical models demonstrate the significance of cortical space-time singularities in cognitive processing in mammals. These results indicate potential connections between experimental brain dynamics and the analysis of consciousness by philosopher and psychologist Franz Brentano, particularly in the field of perception and intentionality. Our analysis sheds new light on Brentano's understanding of intentionality, following in the tradition of Aquinas and contrasting with the phenomenological understanding of intentionality. We describe some of Brentano's views on perceptual experience and intentionality. We interpret his views in the context of Aquinas' definition of intentionality, which includes the unity of brain, body, and mind, and explore how Freeman's theory of intentional neurodynamics furthers their work by grounding it in contemporary neuroscience. Next we summarize the methodology employed for the analysis of brain signals and illustrate how knowledge and meaning is created in the brain. We touch on the role of the actionperception cycle, whereby a meaningful stimulus is selected by the subject and the cerebral cortex creates the structures and dynamics necessary for intentional behavior and decision-making. The results, we conjecture, provide an intriguing insight into Brentano's account of consciousness, which is in agreement with the contemporary understanding of embodied cognition.

Minds, Brains, and Programs: An Information-Theoretic Approach
Reza Maleeh, School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics University of Queensland, Australia

Adopting the notion of "pragmatic information" as interpreted by Juan G. Roederer and granted that understanding arises from genuine information processing in systems, in this paper I show that Searles Chinese Room Argument in rejecting the thesis of Strong Artificial Intelligence and his responses to the critics viewed from the perspective of pragmatic information are still sound and acceptable. The paper, then, is a safe and secure translation of Searles Chinese Room argument into a language of information. According to the notion of information I adopt, information and information processing are exclusive attributes of biological and artificial systems. However, I will show that information-theoretically, biological brains are fundamentally di.erent from their artificial simulations. I will argue that only biological systems, or their duplicates, are genuine information processing systems and thus capable of "phenomenal consciousness" dealt with which in this paper in the context of Chalmerss thesis of naturalistic dualism.

Bergsonian Theses in a Contemporary (Neuro-) Biological Context
Jakob Korf, Department of Psychiatry University of Groningen, Netherlands

Henri Bergsons philosophy is based heavily on assumptions concerning biological, brain and mental functions. Most significant are his concepts of élan vital (vital impetus, driving force for life, ontology and evolution) and associated intuition and creativity, duration (durée) versus physical time, discreteness versus continuity of space and time, and his stance against association of ideas. This article describes some of Bergsons major assumptions and theses, together with comments thereon. Several general biological and neurobiological principles are introduced and examined whether they are compatible with Bergsons philosophy and if so, how. I consider the following principles: random hazard functions, fast brain transitions, stochastic or random modeling, potential energy, entropy and isoenergicity. Whereas some of Bergsons concepts are well-compatible with biological principles (including atemporal (intra) cerebral mechanisms of memory, consciousness, intuition and instinct), others (creative and vital mechanisms) might be viewed as being indirectly triggered by lifetime-spanning processes such as aging. Modern (neuro)biology tends to incorporate discrete transitions into intuitively perceived continuity of life, as for instance those observed and modeled in stochastic mental and aging processes. Some concepts (e.g. timelessness of ideas, rejection of associationism in memory) are too strictly applied by Bergson, but are compatible with current neurobiology in a broader sense.

Last revision: 6 July 2015