Volume 2, Issue 2, 2004

Conceptual Spaces as a Framework for Knowledge Representations (pdf)
Peter Gärdenfors, Department of Cognitive Science, Lund University, Sweden

The dominating models of information processes have been based on symbolic representations of information and knowledge. During the last decades, a variety of non-symbolic models have been proposed as superior. The prime examples of models within the non-symbolic approach are neural networks. However, to a large extent they lack a higher-level theory of representation. In this paper, conceptual spaces are suggested as an appropriate framework for non-symbolic models. Conceptual spaces consist of a number of "quality dimensions" that often are derived from perceptual mechanisms. It will be outlined how conceptual spaces can represent various kind of information and how they can be used to describe concept learning. The connections to prototype theory will also be presented.

Incompatible Implementations of Physical Symbol Systems (pdf)
Peter beim Graben, Institute of Linguistics and Interdisciplinary Center for Dynamics of Complex Systems, University of Potsdam, Germany

Classical cognitive science assumes that intelligently behaving systems must be symbol processors that are implemented in physical systems such as brains or digital computers. By contrast, connectionists suppose that symbol manipulating systems could be approximations of neural networks dynamics. Both classicists and connectionists argue that symbolic computation and subsymbolic dynamics are incompatible, though on different grounds. While classicists say that connectionist architectures and symbol processors are either incompatible or the former are mere implementations of the latter, connectionists reply that neural networks might be incompatible with symbol processors because the latter cannot be implementations of the former. In this contribution, the notions of "incompatibility" and "implementation" will be criticized to show that they must be revised in the context of the dynamical system approach to cognitive science. Examples for implementations of symbol processors that are incompatible with respect to contextual topologies will be discussed.

Quantum Theory and the Division of the World  (pdf)
Rudolf Haag, Schliersee, Germany

We discuss an ontological model suggested by quantum physics, in which the notion of events is of central significance. The conventional objects are considered as causal links between events. Localization in space-time refers primarily to events, not to objects. The intrinsic indeterminacy forces us to consider both possibilities and facts, corresponding to the distinction between future and past. In presently existing theories, the definition of individual events and their localization properties depends on asymptotic arguments adapted to prevailing situations. A structural analogy is pointed out between a hermeneutically developed phenomenological description, based on Husserl, of the process of perceptual cognition on the one hand and quantum mechanical measurement on the other hand. In Husserl's analytic phase of the cognition process, the "intentionality-structure" of the subject/object    union prior to predication of a local object is an entangled symmetry-making state, and this entanglement is broken in the synthetic phase when the particular local object is constituted under the influence of an eidos ("inner horizon") and the "facticity" of the local world ("outer horizon"). Replacing "perceptual cognition" by "measurement" and "subject" by "expert subject using a measuring device" the analogy of a formal quantum structure is extended to the conscious structure of all empirical cognition. This is laid out in three theses: about perception, about classical measurement, and about quantum measurement. The results point to the need for research into the quantum structure of the physical embodiment of human cognition.

The Partitioned Quantum Universe: Entanglement and the Emergence of Functionality (pdf)
Günter Mahler, Institute for Theoretical Pysics, University of Stuttgart, Germany

Given that the world as we perceive it appears to be predominantly classical, how can we stabilize quantum effects? Given the fundamental description of our world is quantum mechanical, how do classical phenomena emerge? Answers can be found from the analysis of the scaling properties of modular quantum systems with respect to a given level of description. It is argued that, depending on design, such partitioned quantum systems may support various functions. Despite their local appearance these functions are emergent properties of the system as a whole. With respect to the separation of subject and object such functions of interest are control, simulation, and observation. They are interpreted in close analogy with more basic physical behavior.

Bohr's Complementarity and Goldstein's Holism in Reflective Pragmatism (pdf)
Klaus Michael Meyer-Abich, Hamburg, Germany

Although Niels Bohr's notion of complementarity is usually referred to in the context of quantum mechanics, it is not of physical origin. Bohr derived it from the philosophical idea of a holistic entanglement of knowledge and action. Bohr's complementarity primarily refers to a key element of the pragmatist tradition, the reflective relation between the immediate experience of an object and the awareness of its objectification. Similar relations have been observed by Kurt Goldstein in his studies of brain-injured patients.

Weak Quantum Theory and the Emergence of Time (pdf)
Hartmann Römer, Department of Physics, University of Freiburg, Germany

We present a scenario describing how time emerges in the framework of weak quantum theory. In a process similar to the emergence of time in quantum cosmology, time arises after an epistemic split of an undivided unus mundus as a quality of the individual conscious mind. Synchronization with matter and other mental systems is achieved by entanglement correlations. In the course of its operationalization, time loses its original quality and the time of physics as measured by clocks appears.

Last revision: 6 December 2004