• Factors for Identifying Non-Anthropic Conscious Systems

      Ryan Castle (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2016-10-14)
      One of the problems of identifying consciousness is defining it in ways that allow for universal application and exploration.  Popular and anthropocentric definitions are problematic due to their inherent bias toward exclusively biological events in a field of study that does not require and is even hindered by this limitation.  A preliminary definition is needed that would encompass known biological consciousness as well as theoretical macro, micro, and intrinsic levels of consciousness.  This paper proposes that the following are a preliminary set of factors for openly exploring what can be considered conscious with no biological or cultural biases. 1.        Communication: Consciousness requires discrete parts of the system to be able to influence one another in a holistic manner.  Whether this is by synaptic firing or gravitic relationships is irrelevant. 2.        Adaptation: Consciousness requires adaptation to its environment.  Note the avoidance of the popular term "awareness," which is an untestable factor on many levels.  Static systems cannot be conscious.  Dynamic systems can be, but are not necessarily conscious. 3.        Complexity: In order to be differentiated from purely physical or chemical dynamic systems, conscious systems must display a sufficient complexity in energy rate density.  This paper proposes a ɸm (erg/second/gram) of a minimum of 103 for any given system to be considered complex enough to display consciousness.  This is equivalent to the simplest lifeforms considered conscious. The first two requirements are easily understood.  The requirement of complexity is the least conventional and requires explication.  Physical complexity is often used as a basic threshold for organization, but this seems to be due to convenience more than logical applicability, especially when informational systems are weighed on their quantitative value.  It does not follow that a greater number of components translates to a higher threshold of complexity, any more than saying a bucket of sand is more physically complex than an iPad because it has more particulates. As Eric Chaisson posits, energy rate density is a more universal and reliable means of organizing complexity.  Energy rate density (ERD) measures the energy flow in ergs per gram per second within a given system.  This qualitative assessment of energy efficiency is more insightful than listing non-adaptive arrangements such as physical interactions or even systems theory.  The dramatic spike in ERD for all known conscious systems makes this an ideal metric for exploring radically different systems about which little else is known.
    • Fanon and Political Will

      Peter Hallward; Kingston University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2011-10-13)
      The categories that defined the immediate context of Fanon's last years and publications – decolonisation, nationalism, redemptive violence – belong primarily to an historical era that ended, in the 1970s, with the last victorious wars of national liberation. The central notion at work in these categories, however, is both much older than this historical sequence and no doubt much 'younger' than its still-limited set of political consequences. Although its opponents had already sought to consign this notion to the dustbin of conceptual history well before Fanon himself came to rework it, its real significance is still oriented towards the future. What is this familiar notion that has become almost unrecognisable in our ultra-capitalist age, an age marked by absolute commodification and 'humanitarian' imperialism? It is the notion of autonomous political will. More precisely, it is the theory and practice of an emancipatory 'will of the people' conceived in terms that enable it to be both decisive and inclusive.
    • Feel the Vibrations: Climate Affects and Bodily Attunement

      Stephanie Erev; Johns Hopkins University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2018-12-12)
      What do you make of the fact that calving events at the base of Greenland’s glaciers radiate vibrations so intense they are felt across the surface of the earth? Do such events, and their vibrant afterlives, make a difference to politics? Or are they better left to scientists studying physical processes of nature? Could it be that the vibrant afterlives of glacier calving penetrate the discursive domains of culture and politics, infecting thought and belief without saying a word? This paper seeks to imagine the effects of these vibrations on the earthly bodies through which they travel, including our own. Doing so figures calving vibrations as affects and allows me to experiment with the idea that large-scale planetary transformations currently under way, often referred to as “climate change,” make a difference to thinking beyond their role as objects of thought. Approaching climate change in terms of affect augments the focus of what we think about climate change with questions of how such planetary transformations might influence the speed, texture, and durability of thought on a more fundamental register. As affects, calving vibrations may influence thinking even when they are not on our minds. And they may smuggle calving and other planetary events into politics even when we reject these events as legitimate objects of belief.
    • Film and the Archive: Nation, Heritage, Resistance

      National Autonomous University of Mexico; David M.J. Wood; National Autonomous University of Mexico (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2010-12-20)
      This article analyses a range of discourses articulated around the figure of the film archive between the late nineteenth and the early twenty-first centuries, accounting for the various possibilities that they open up for considering audiovisual heritage as a potential space either for revolutionary change or for political or textual resistance. Focused mainly on archival discourses in Mexico, the article traces their interaction with both national-historical and anti-imperialist narratives, and the implications of digital and online culture for the encounter between the archiving of film and resistance. It accounts for the position of the archive in negotiations between state and private capital and spaces of artistic autonomy, and for the relationships between the archive, modernity, postmodernity and the notion of posterity.
    • First Person Accounts of Yoga Meditation Yield Clues to the Nature of Information in Experience

      Alex Hankey; sVYASA Yoga University in Bangalore; Reshma M. Shetkar (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-01-27)
      Since the millennium, first person accounts of experience have been accepted as philosophically valid, potentially useful sources of information about the nature of mind and self. Several Vedic sciences rely on such first person accounts to discuss experience and consciousness. This paper shows that their insights define the information structure of experience in agreement with a scientific theory of mind fulfilling all presently known philosophical and scientific conditions. Experience has two separate components, its information content, and a separate ‘witness aspect', which can reflect on all forms of experience, and with training be strengthened until its power of reflection identifies it as the innermost aspect of ‘self'. The Vedic sciences, Samkhya, Yoga and Vedanta develop these themes. Samkhya identifies the different aspects of experience, outer and inner; Yoga practices lead the mind to inner states of zero information content (Samadhi) in which the experience of the witness (Sakshi) is strengthened and deepened. Vedanta states the nature of the ‘self' is to know itself directly without intermediary.  All this requires the witness to have a singular loop structure. The information structure of experience therefore has two aspects, information content plus a singular loop endowing it with a subjective sense of ‘Self'.  
    • Follysophy

      Dominique Hecq; Swinburne University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2006-10-27)
    • Force of Consciousness in Mass Charge Interactions

      Wolfgang Baer; Nascent Systems Inc. (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2014-06-08)
      Primitive awareness leading to consciousness can be explained as a manifestation of internal forces between charge and mass. These internal forces, related to the weak and strong forces, balance the external forces of gravity-inertia and electricity-magnetism and thereby accommodate outside influences by adjusting the internal structure of material from which we are composed. Such accommodation is the physical implementation of a model of the external physical world and qualifies as Vitiello's double held inside ourselves. We experience this accommodation as the conscious experience in front of our noses. Neural pulse traffic is interpreted as unconscious signal processing activity happening between this internal accommodation and our external interface of sensors and actuators.
    • Foucault Docet

      Pier Aldo Rovatti; University of Trieste (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-07-23)
      In a wry response to Negri’s article, Pier Aldo Rovatti—one of the key figures behind the pensiero debole (‘weak thought’) movement attacked by Negri in ‘The Italian Difference’—defends the Foucauldian inspiration behind his own understanding of philosophy. He points to the anachronism of the national image of thought put forward by Negri in his article and questions his interpretation of the problem of difference. Rovatti disputes the idea that philosophy can synthesize by fiat different expressions of subjectivity into a unitary political subject, and calls for a reflexive clarification of the tasks of the philosopher, one that would not end up recreating a logic of mastery.
    • Foundations of Mind IV: Quantum Mechanics Meets Neurodynamics

      Sean O Nuallain; stanford (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-03-26)
      This is a description of the aims, agenda and organization of a conference, organized by Foundations of Mind and hosted by the CIIS Centre for Consciousness Studies that took place on 31st January, 2017. Teh proceedings of this conference are published in this special edition. The topic was 'Quantum Mechanics Meets Neurodynamics: An Emerging 21st Century Science of Consciousness'. This the fourth Foundations fo Mind conference. The proceedings of the other three conferences have also been published in Cosmos and History.
    • Foundations of Mind V: Introduction - The New AI Scare

      Sean O Nuallain; stanford (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2018-01-13)
      This is the report on the Foundations of Mind conference forcussed on the new AI scare.
    • ‘Four Paths Five Destinations’: Constructing Imaginaries of Alter-globalization Through Literary Texts

      Cornelia Gräbner; Lancaster University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2010-12-20)
      This article contests the popular assumption that literature is ever less politically relevant. Quite the contrary is the case: literature and literary language becomes increasingly important for the alter-globalization movement and for the notion that ‘another world is possible.’ The work of four authors - Manu Chao, Eduardo Galeano, Subcomandante Marcos, and José Saramago - are comparatively analysed in light of their contribution to an alternative globalism and to an alternative practice of politics. All four authors contribute from different perspectives to the literary articulation of a political project. Their work shares characteristics such as the permeability of genres, the emphasis on the poetical over the narrative, a meandering structure that expresses the search for and step-by-step construction of a cultural and political alternative, and an emphasis on translation and encounter as principles of interaction with difference.
    • Fractal Cognitive Triad: The Theoretical Connection between Subjective Experience and Neural Oscillations

      Justin M. Riddle; University of California at Berkeley (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015-11-29)
      It has long been appreciated that the brain is oscillatory1. Early measurements of brain electrophysiology revealed rhythmic synchronization unifying large swaths of the brain. The study of neural oscillation has enveloped cognitive neuroscience and neural systems. The traditional belief that oscillations are epiphenomenal of neuron spiking is being challenged by intracellular oscillations and the theoretical backing that oscillatory activity is fundamental to physics. Subjective experience oscillates at three particular frequency bands in a cognitive triad: perception at 5 Hz (exogenous), action at 2 Hz (endogenous), and attention at 0.1 Hz (cognitive). This triad functions as a means of information flow across scales of magnitude in a biological fractal. The Homunculus Solution is proposed in which mental experience occurs at fixed scales of biology. The mind is composed of minds, perceived as "the voices in your head." Each voice has voices inside its head to increasingly microscopic scales, forming an interactive fractal of subjective experience.
    • Freedom Giving Birth to Order: Philosophical Reflections on Peirce's Evolutionary Cosmology and its Contemporary Resurrections

      Zeyad Sameh El Nabolsy; Cornell University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
      The first part of this paper will discuss Peirce's evolutionary cosmology, which is centered around the thesis that the laws of nature evolve, and his motivations for it. The second part of this paper will discuss the contemporary resurrection, by Lee Smolin and Roberto Unger, of Peirce's thesis. The discussion will revolve around the philosophical implications of this thesis, especially with regard to the need to rethink the nature of causation in order to make sense of this thesis, and the need to recognize (and perhaps abandon) the metaphorical nature of the way that we talk about laws as being "obeyed" by systems, or as "governing" systems. I will be focusing on three aspects of this evolutionary (and revolutionary) approach to the laws of nature. First, the idea (advanced explicitly by Smolin and Unger) that causal relations and processes are primary and that laws, understood as representations of a special case of causation taking the form of repetition and having a determinate structure, are derivative. I will argue that this approach, which purports to provide an account of causation in terms of powers and dispositions, runs into difficulties about the identity of the entities whose causal powers are taken to behave in a non-lawlike manner. I will then attempt to show how these difficulties can be mitigated by drawing on discourses of identity and individuation from early Chinese metaphysics. Second, I will engage with Smolin's claim that an evolutionary cosmology requires a preferred global time. I will argue that the relativity of simultaneity does not preclude the existence of a determinate order of succession between causally related events, and hence, if a preferred global time is being introduced in order to guarantee the existence of a determinate order of succession between causally related universes (i.e., a 'parent universe' and its progeny) then it is superfluous (assuming that we can independently establish that the universes in question are causally related). Third, I will argue that emphasizing the primacy of becoming over being has wider implications for the axiology of the sciences, i.e., the way in which we traditionally rank different sciences with physics at the top, then chemistry, then biology, then the human sciences on successively lower rungs
    • From 'Sustainable Development' to 'Ecological Civilization': Winning the War for Survival

      Arran Gare; Swinburne University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-11-11)
      The central place accorded the notion of ‘sustainable development' among those attempting to overcome ecological problems could be one of the main reasons for their failure. ‘Ecological civilization' is proposed and defended as an alternative. ‘Ecological civilization' has behind it a significant proportion of the leadership of China who would be empowered if this notion were taken up in the West. It carries with it the potential to fundamentally rethink the basic goals of life and to provide an alternative image of the future. It could both inspire people and provide the cultural foundations for the cultural, social and economic transformations necessary to create a new world order, a world order in which humans augment rather than undermine the ecosystems of which they are part. This paper explicates these implications.
    • From Being to Maybeing: On Meillassoux's Interpretation of Mallarmé

      Martin Orensanz (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
      In After Finitude as well as in Potentiality and Virtuality, Meillassoux conceives chance in a mathematical way. In The number and the Siren, he argues that Mallarmé had a philosophical conception of chance, specifically a dialectical one. Here we explore Meillassoux’s interpretation of Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem Un Coupe de dés. What we consider to be crucial about that interpretation is the Mallarmean concept of Chance, which we think is the precursor to Meillassoux’s concept of contingency. Additionally, we suggest that Meillassoux recuperates the Mallarmean “Perhaps”, which may called “Maybeing”, as that which replaces Being. We then explain what the concept of “Maybeing” is. Roughly speaking, it is a fusion of two English expressions: “may be” (modal verb) and “maybe” (adverb). Finally, we indicate how the concept of Maybeing can be used in order to solve the problem posed by the correlational circle, as well as some comments on Meillassoux's ideas about meaningless signs.
    • From Kant to Schelling and Process Metaphysics: On The Way to Ecological Civilization

      Arran Gare; Swinburne University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2011-12-30)
      The post-Kantians were inspired by Kant’s Critique of Judgment to forge a new synthesis of natural philosophy, art and history that would overcome the dualisms and gulfs within Kant’s philosophy. Focusing on biology and showing how Schelling reworked and transformed Kant’s insights, it is argued that Schelling was largely successful in laying the foundations for this synthesis, although he was not always consistent in building on these foundations. To appreciate this achievement, it is argued that Schelling should not be interpreted as an idealist but as a process metaphysician; as he claimed, overcoming the oppositions between idealism and realism, spiritualism and materialism. It is also argued that as a process metaphysician, Schelling not merely defended an organic view of nature but developed a theory of emergence and a new conception of life relevant to current theoretical and philosophical biology. This interpretation provides a defense of process metaphysics as the logical successor to Kant’s critical philosophy and thereby as the most defensible tradition of philosophy up to the present. It provides the foundations for post-reductionist science, reconciling the sciences, the arts and the humanities, and provides the basis for a more satisfactory ethics and political philosophy. Most importantly, it overcomes the nihilism of European civilization, providing the foundations for a global ecological civilization.
    • From Scripture to Fantasy: Adrian Johnston and the Problem of Continental Fundamentalism

      Richard Scott Bakker; Independant Scholar (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-01-27)
      Abstract: Only the rise of science allowed us to identify scriptural ontologies as fantastic conceits, as anthropomorphizations of an indifferent universe. Now that science is beginning to genuinely disenchant the human soul, history suggests that traditional humanistic discourses are about to be rendered fantastic as well. Via a critical reading of Adrian Johnston’s ‘transcendental materialism,’ I attempt to show both the shape and the dimensions of the sociocognitive dilemma presently facing Continental philosophers as they appear to their outgroup detractors. Trusting speculative a priori claims regarding the nature of processes and entities under scientific investigation already excludes Continental philosophers from serious discussion. Using such claims, as Johnston does, to assert the fundamentally intentional nature of the universe amounts to anthropomorphism. Continental philosophy needs to honestly appraise the nature of its relation to the scientific civilization it purports to decode and guide, lest it become mere fantasy, or worse yet, conceptual religion.
    • Fundamental Mathematics of Consciousness

      Menas Kafatos; Chapman University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015-11-29)
      We explore a mathematical formalism that ties together the observer with the observed in the view that Consciousness is primary, operating through three principles which apply at all levels, the essence of qualia of experience. The formalism is a simplified version of Hilbert space mathematics encountered in quantum mechanics. It does, however, go beyond specific interpretations of quantum mechanics and has strong philosophical foundations in Western philosophy as well as monistic systems of the East. The implications are explored and steps for the full development of this axiomatic mathematical approach to Consciousness are discussed.
    • Fundamental Pattern and Consciousness

      Jerry Gin; Foundation for Mind-Being Research (FMBR) (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2016-10-14)
      In the new physics and in the new field of cosmometry,1 it is the fundamental pattern that results in the motion (Bohm's holomovement) from which all is created.  Everything starts with the point of infinite potential.  The tetrahedron at the point gives birth to the cuboctahedron (Vector Equilibrium); its motion and structure result in the creation of the torus structure.  The torus structure is self-referencing on a moment by moment basis since all must pass through the center.  But isn't self-referencing the basis for consciousness?  It is said that all of creation has awareness, but at different levels.  We know plants are aware of threats and of death to other living creatures by the work of Cleve Backster.  We know we influence random number generators from the PEAR studies at Princeton.  We know baby chicks will influence the movement of robots programed to do a random walk from the work of Rene Peoc'h.  Quantum physics has embraced geometry with the work in the equations which explain the Feynman diagrams where particles come in and out of existence; those equations form a structure called the Amplituhedron - which is a quarter of a star tetrahedron. We also know that the tetrahedron can form the star tetrahedron and that each point of the star tetrahedron can form its own star tetrahedron, which can go on infinitely.  That is, there is infinity in the finite.  As in the fractal and holographic universe, each point or tetrahedron is connected to every other point.  If each point has awareness due to formation of the torus, then Hermes teaching of "As above, as below" has meaning in the torus structure. If the torus is the fundamental unit of self-reference, is that the fundamental unit from which consciousness arises?  The torus or double torus appears to be fundamental to all of creation - from galaxies to planets to atoms to photons.
    • Gathering and Dispersing: The Absolute Spirit in Hegel’s Philosophy

      George Vassilacopoulos; La Trobe University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2007-12-28)
      This paper explores the meaning and being of the absolute spirit in Hegelrsquo;s thought by reflecting through the idea that spirit is the activity and being of gathering through dispersal. In Hegelrsquo;s thought gathering and dispersing are the primary movements through which spirit engages in the processes of its absolute self-cognition, the processes, that is, that underpin the eternal becoming of communal being. Gathering and dispersing thus define the pulsating movement of the absolute spirit in all its facets