• L. E. J. Brouwer and Karl Popper: Two Perspectives on Mathematics

      Alexander John Naraniecki; School of Humanities, Griffith University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015-08-23)
      This article provides an appraisal of Karl Popper’s criticism of L. E. J. Brouwer’s intuitionist mathematics. Although the discussion presented below concerns primarily the problem of intuition (or rather immediate perception) in relation to mathematics, the problem of such pre-linguistic perceptions discussed here is not limited to this. Both Popper and Brouwer agreed that difficulty of sequential or rational reasoning concerning immediate perceptions is a crucial problem for human knowledge. For Popper, language or sequential rationality distorts our very immediate perceptions. Brouwer on the other hand, viewed a greater private accessibility of such intuitions or immediate perceptions, however language, including mathematical language is incapable of providing the means of communicating them to others. Where Brouwer had the objects of mathematical thought in mind, Popper had in mind the theories of scientists as seen from an evolutionary psycho-linguistic perspective. For Popper, such theories are organically related to all acts of rational problem-solving, and indeed, “in-born” or dispositional pre-cognitive problem solving behaviour. As such the problem of intuition or as Popper preferred “unconscious expectations” and its relationship to knowledge is not restricted to mathematics nor the hard sciences as its implications have reverberations in other fields such as aesthetics and morality.
    • Lacanian Materialism and the Question of the Real

      Tom Eyers; Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2011-10-13)
      This article attempts to explain the ambiguous association of Lacanian psychoanalysis with materialism. Resisting attempts to divide Lacan's work into discrete periods, I argue that, throughout his work, Lacan was concerned with articulating aspects of language and subjectivity that resist incorporation into networks of idealised meaning or sense, and that it is this emphasis on the materiality of language, routed through the concept of the Real, that makes up the particular 'materialism' of Lacanian theory. The emergence of this strain of thinking is located in Lacan's radical reworking of Freud's theses on primary narcissism.
    • Language, the Parent of Thought: Speculating with Hegel

      Lewis & Clark College; Samantha Park Alibrando; Independent Scholar; J. M. Fritzman; Lewis & Clark College; Sarah Marchand Lomas; Independent Scholar; McKenzie Judith Southworth; Independent Scholar (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-01-27)
      We speculate with Hegel about language, critiquing interpretations of Hegel’s views on language given by Jim Vernon, John McCumber, Stephen Houlgate, and Michael N. Forster, as well as defending Sophisticated Radical Whorfianism from the objections of Maria Francisca Reines and Jesse Prinz.  Prior to discussing Forster, we explicate Hegel’s views on mechanical memory.  We conclude by discussing why, although thought grows up, it does not move out.
    • Leonardo da Vinci's World Map

      Christopher Tyler (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-03-26)
      In addition to his better known artistic, scientific and engineering talents, Leonardo da Vinci has an extensive reputation as a cartographer, drawing maps for a wide range of hydro-engineering projects for the rulers of Florence, Milan, Arezzo and the Vatican, amongst others.  However, he is not generally acknowledged as authoring a world map (or mappamundi) spanning the globe, which was the domain of a few specialized cartographers of the era. Nevertheless, there is a world map among his papers in the Royal Library, Windsor, which is one of the very first to name the Americas, and has the correct overall configuration of the continents, including an ocean at the north pole and a continent at the south pole. Moreover, it has a unique cartographic projection onto eight spherical-geometry triangles that provide close to isometric projection throughout the globe. Although the authenticity of this world map has been questioned, there is an obscure page of his notebooks in the Codex Atlanticus containing a sketch of this precise form of global projection, tying him securely to its genesis. Moreover, the same notebook page contains sketches of eight other global projections known at that time (early C16th), from the Roman Ptolomaic conic section projection to Rossellli's [[i]] oval planispheric projection. This paper explores further remarkable aspects of the geometry and history of Da Vinci's unique mappamundi.   References [i] Rosselli F (1508) In: Almagià  R. (1951) On the cartographic work of Francesco Rosselli. Imago Mvndi. International Society for the History of Cartography 8:  27-34.
    • Levinas separates the (hu)man from the non(hu)man, using hunger, enjoyment and anxiety to illuminate their relationship

      Angela Hirst; University of Queensland (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2007-08-17)
      This paper is part of my journey with Emmanuel Levinas on a dystopic path to the ethical encounter. For the journey, I agree to be Levinas#39;s human subject, to encounter his quot;otherquot;. And he agrees to traverse a path through my world, a world of food and eating. To ready me for the encounter, Levinas tells me the story of his ethics, narratively (we #39;journey#39; through it), and so this paper is unavoidably #39;story#39; too. To preface, then: The ethical encounter is a quot;face to facequot; encounter between a quot;humanquot; subject (me) and an quot;otherquot; (Totality and Infinity, 39). In my encountering the other face to face in the world of food, food production and eating, Levinas tells the story of the violences of my existence- of my #39;eating#39; of the world at the expense of the other. Face to face with the other, I cannot avoid my responsibility for the needs and suffering of the other. In quot;proximityquot; with the other, I am guilty for eating; in proximity, I respond by giving the other quot;bread from [my] mouthquot; (Otherwise than Being, 100). In this first part of the journey, I am hungry, and Levinas leads me through scenes replete with food and eating. He shows me how this world can satiate my needs, but how it will, inevitably and inextricably, leave me, a not-yet ethical human subject, vulnerable and exposed.
    • Levinas separates the (hu)man from the non(hu)man, using hunger, enjoyment and anxiety to illuminate their relationship

      Angela Hirst; University of Queensland (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2007-08-17)
      This paper is part of my journey with Emmanuel Levinas on a dystopic path to the ethical encounter. For the journey, I agree to be Levinas#39;s human subject, to encounter his quot;otherquot;. And he agrees to traverse a path through my world, a world of food and eating. To ready me for the encounter, Levinas tells me the story of his ethics, narratively (we #39;journey#39; through it), and so this paper is unavoidably #39;story#39; too. To preface, then: The ethical encounter is a quot;face to facequot; encounter between a quot;humanquot; subject (me) and an quot;otherquot; (Totality and Infinity, 39). In my encountering the other face to face in the world of food, food production and eating, Levinas tells the story of the violences of my existence- of my #39;eating#39; of the world at the expense of the other. Face to face with the other, I cannot avoid my responsibility for the needs and suffering of the other. In quot;proximityquot; with the other, I am guilty for eating; in proximity, I respond by giving the other quot;bread from [my] mouthquot; (Otherwise than Being, 100). In this first part of the journey, I am hungry, and Levinas leads me through scenes replete with food and eating. He shows me how this world can satiate my needs, but how it will, inevitably and inextricably, leave me, a not-yet ethical human subject, vulnerable and exposed.
    • Life and the Homeostatic Organization View of Biological Phenomena

      Robert Arp; Buffalo Univeristy (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-03-14)
      In this paper, I argue that starting with the organelles that constitute a cell – and continuing up the hierarchy of components in processes and subsystems of an organism – there are clear instances of emergent biological phenomena that can be considered “living” entities. These components and their attending processes are living emergent phenomena because of the way in which the components are organized to maintain homeostasis of the organism at the various levels in the hierarchy. I call this view the homeostatic organization view (HOV) of biological phenomena and, as is shown, it comports well with the standard philosophical accounts of nomological (metaphysical) emergence and representational (epistemological) emergence. To proffer HOV, I describe properties of biological entities that include internal-hierarchical data exchange, data selectivity, informational integration, and environmental-organismic information exchange. Further, a distinction is drawn between particularized homeostasis and generalized homeostasis, and I argue that because the various processes and subsystems of an organism are functioning properly in their internal environments (particularized homeostasis), the organism is able to exist as a hierarchically-organized entity in some environment external to it (generalized homeostasis). Stated simply: that components of biological phenomena are organized to perform some function resulting in homeostasis marks them out to be living emergent entities distinguishable, in description and in reality, from the very physico-chemical processes of which they are composed.
    • Life Before Matter, Possible Signification Before Tangible Signs: Towards a Mediating View

      Floyd Merrell; Purdue University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-03-14)
      Life is a creative response to creative nature. This notion heeds Norm Hirstrsquo;s call, by way of Robert Rosen, that life as creativity follows a lsquo;logicrsquo; that is radically distinct from classical logical principles. This alternate lsquo;logicrsquo; of creative life follows differentiating Identity and Included-Middle Principles. Charles S. Peircersquo;s process philosophy and his concept of the sign, offer a sense of the nonlinear, nonmechanistic, creative emergence of signs and life through possibly possible signification and living forms as illustrated by means of amorphous topological variability.
    • Life Is Semiosis

      Marcello Barbieri (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-03-14)
      The idea that life is based on signs and codes, i.e., that “Life is semiosis”, has been strongly suggested by the discovery of the genetic code, but so far it has made little impact, and is largely regarded as philosophy rather than science. The main reason for this is that there are at least three basic concepts in modern biology that keep semiosis squarely out of organic life. (1) The first is the classical model that describes the cell as a biological computer made of genotype and phenotype. A computer contains codes but is not a semiotic system, and this makes it possible to say that the cell too can have a genetic code without being a semiotic system. (2) The second idea is physicalism, the doctrine that everything in life must ultimately be accounted for by physical quantities. This amounts to saying that signs and codes do not exist at the molecular level and are but linguistic metaphors that biologists use simply because they are convenient. (3) The third concept is the idea that all biological novelties have been brought into existence by natural selection, an idea which implies that semiotic processes did not have any creative role in evolution. These arguments have effectively ruled out the existence of semiosis in the organic world, thus depriving the discovery of the genetic code of all its revolutionary potential, but here it will be shown that there are experimental facts against all of them. More precisely, it will be shown that the cell is a true semiotic system, and that the genetic code has been the first of a long series of organic codes that have shaped the whole history of life on our planet. Biological semiosis, in other words, is a scientific reality because the organic codes are experimental realities. This paper intends to underline precisely the scientific nature of biosemiotics and argues that the time has come to acknowledge that semiosis not only is a fact of life but is ‘the’ fact that allowed life to emerge from inanimate matter.
    • Life Questioning Itself: By Way of an Introduction

      Arran Gare; Swinburne University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-03-14)
      This is the general introduction to the special edition of Cosmos & History devoted to the question What is Life?
    • Life, Thought, and Morality: Or, Does Matter Really Matter?

      Murray Code; University of Guelph (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-03-14)
      Modern, science-centered naturalisms can be charged with a certain moral laxity, according to S. T. Coleridge. This fault reflectsnbsp; a devitalizing, materialistic metaphysics informed by a narrow and self-serving conception of reason. Thus seeking a remedy that can bring justice to the spiritual as well as the physical aspects of experience, Coleridge envisages a lsquo;true naturalismrsquo; that will not only address the question lsquo;What is Life?rsquo; but also frame a lsquo;true realismrsquo; that includes what might be called a lsquo;true moralismrsquo;. This calls, however, for a Heraclitean metaphysics capable of linking lsquo;goodnessrsquo; in both thinking and acting to a *Logos*mdash;that is, an essentially nonmodern theory of actuality that can do justice at once to the quicknesses and the uniformities of both Life and Thought. Coleridgersquo;s thus presents an outline of how one might respond to a challenge that can be best met, I argue, with the help of certain insights of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, A. N. Whitehead, Gilles Deleuze, and C. S. Peirce. By enlisting Hannah Arendtrsquo;s individual-centered conception of morality, which ties ethics to public concerns, it is also possible to sketch a metaphysically grounded response to Friedrich Nietzschersquo;s call for a lsquo;healthy moralityrsquo; capable of overturning the nihilistic values entrenched in modern thought. br /
    • Life, Thought, and Morality: Or, Does Matter Really Matter?

      Murray Code; University of Guelph (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-03-14)
      Modern, science-centered naturalisms can be charged with a certain moral laxity, according to S. T. Coleridge. This fault reflects a devitalizing, materialistic metaphysics informed by a narrow and self-serving conception of reason. Thus seeking a remedy that can bring justice to the spiritual as well as the physical aspects of experience, Coleridge envisages a 'true naturalism' that will not only address the question 'What is Life?' but also frame a 'true realism' that includes what might be called a 'true moralism'. This calls, however, for a Heraclitean metaphysics capable of linking 'goodness' in both thinking and acting to a *Logos* - that is, an essentially nonmodern theory of actuality that can do justice at once to the quicknesses and the uniformities of both Life and Thought. Coleridge thus presents an outline of how one might respond to a challenge that can be best met, I argue, with the help of certain insights of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, A. N. Whitehead, Gilles Deleuze, and C. S. Peirce. By enlisting Hannah Arendt's  individual-centered conception of morality, which ties ethics to public concerns, it is also possible to sketch a metaphysically grounded response to Friedrich Nietzsche's call for a healthy morality capable of overturning the nihilistic values entrenched in modern thought.
    • Life’s Hidden Resources for Learning: Conversations with a Radical Idea

      Phil Henshaw; HDS (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-03-14)
      One of the great mysteries of life is that science canrsquo;t find anything mysterious about it. This exploration approaches the question of lsquo;what is lifersquo; from looking at the blinders that science and other kinds of formal representational thinking have built into them which serve to hide the life.nbsp; Science teaches us to lsquo;make sensersquo; of things, using self-consistent models with no independent parts. We could use the same models to see the life in what departs from the models, pointing directly to the life of independent whole communities and organisms from which the emergent eventfulness of life seems to come. We donrsquo;t though. Not seeing the independent parts except as definitions gives us confusing lsquo;functional fixationsrsquo; and large mistakes. Any exploration begins with some accumulation of small steps, after stumbling around a bit to find a productive direction. Hopefully this will offer some productive stumbling around, and some places from which to begin an accumulation of small steps toward a whole new way of thinking about life. Scientific methods for exploring a living world are mentioned.
    • Liking What's Good for You: Evolution, Subjectivity and Purpose

      Justin Dominic Gaudry; Independent Researcher (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2018-12-12)
      The evolutionary argument for the causal efficacy of consciousness of William James contends that an implication of the theory of evolution by natural selection is that subjective states have physical effects. This paper explores the contemporary relevance of James’ argument. The argument will be examined and some objections to it briefly discussed. Following this, the implications of the argument for the foundations of science and for evolutionary theory will be addressed. Consideration will then be given to how extensively subjective purpose may occur in living nature in view of James’ argument. It is argued that the evolutionary argument lends support to Whiteheadian metaphysics and has significant implications for the world-view of scientific materialism.
    • Limits of Naturalism: Plasticity, Finitude and the Imagination

      Gregory C. Melleuish; University of Wollongong; Susanna G. Rizzo; Campion College (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2015-08-23)
      This paper argues that the two primary features defining human beings are their finitude and plasticity and that this is the consequence that human beings live in a world which is constantly changing, hence historical.  This means that the relationship between humans and their world is constantly changing and hence that relationship cannot be understood in a simple naturalistic fashion.  Not only is there no ‘innocence of language', but humanity relates to the world in a variety of ways ranging from prose to poetry to art and music.  It is the continuous creation of this multiplicity of approaches to the world as the product of historical dynamism which constitutes the real meaning of naturalism.
    • Living and Knowing: How Nature Makes Knowledge Possible

      Michael Dix; Swinburne University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2013-07-08)
      Traditionally, epistemologies have been human-centred, while typically presenting themselves as objective “views from nowhere” applicable to all knowers.  One consequence of this is that the question, ‘How is knowledge possible?’, has been either implausibly answered or ignored – except by naturalistic epistemologies, and in particular, evolutionary, biosemiotic, and autopoeitic approaches.  These approaches, recognizing that humans are not the only knowers, perceivers, cognizers and rememberers in nature, ask instead, ‘How does nature make knowledge possible?’ thereby reconceiving epistemology as study of the cognition and experience of living, embodied, interacting and inter-signifying natural beings.  Nonetheless, their insights into how nature makes knowledge (and other epistemological achievements) possible, while instructive, typically are incomplete – in most cases because key aspects of the peculiar physical/causal dynamics of cognitive processes and their causal/functional roles in the lives of organisms, are insufficiently considered.  This paper seeks to redress this situation, to provide a clearer understanding of how nature makes knowledge (and other epistemological processes and achievements) possible. The argument draws upon insights of the approaches mentioned, and upon studies of biological hierarchy, natural emergence, complex causal dynamics and hierarchically structured causal processes, to show that nature’s “inventions” of non-linear causation and cybernetic process-modulation led to the emergence of novel systems whose sensitivity to ultra-low-energy signals (for example, just a few molecules of a chemical compound) radically enhances their viability by producing a non-linear hierarchically ordered cascade of adaptive activity peculiarly associated with the signal type.  This is biosemiosis.  It is argued that the unique causal character of biosemiotic processes is not only their physical “signature”, but is essential to subsequently emergent cognitive processes and achievements and their functions, and indeed to the biological functions of the organic processes that make life possible.  This is a further reason (if further reason were needed) for holding biosemiosis to be, ontologically, a natural kind.  Indeed, an understanding of the distinctive causal/functional character of biosemiosis is the key to understanding how nature makes possible not only knowledge (and all other epistemological processes and achievements) but also, by those semiotic means, life itself. 
    • Logic(s) of the Value Form - Marx with Badiou

      Uros Kranjc; Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2018-12-12)
      Alain Badiou has grounded the axiom of materialist dialectic on the following proposition: the Three supplements the reality of the Two. Consequently, if we are to call Badiou's ouvre a truly dialectical body of philosophy, it should be capable of congruence with its forerunning counterparts: Hegel's and Marx's dialectics. The paper aims to provide a proof by analogy between Badiou's materialist or affirmative dialectic and Marx's dialectics of the value form using rudimentary category theory. In order to sustain the converging pathway, the paper presupposes a synthesis of specific conceptions in the two strands of contemporary Marxian thought. Namely, structuralism of Louis Althusser, with a particular reference to Jacques Rancière's contribution in Reading Capital, and secondly, German »Neue Marx Lektüre«, new reading of Marx, initiated by Adorno's students Hans Georg Backhaus, Helmut Reichelt and Alfred Schmidt. The paper implicitly reintroduces the concepts of »structural causality« and »absent cause« as a specific algebraic property in the structure of social exchange, intertwined with the topological adherence of object-moments of money commodity - an analogous category-theory approach to the one developed by Alain Badiou in his work Logics of Worlds.
    • Making Public Policy Matter: The Hermeneutic Dimension

      Paul Healy; Swinburne University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2014-12-15)
      The present paper seeks to show how recourse to the hermeneutic dimension is needed to correct for problems that beset Bent Flyvbjerg’s vindication of the “dialogical ideal” in Making Social Science Matter. It achieves this outcome both by elucidating the conditions needed to advance the dialogical ideal and by providing these with the requisite philosophical grounding. More theoretical benefits aside, this is intended to help further the praxically-oriented mission that Flyvbjerg assigns phronetic researchers, namely, to “contribute to establishing the conditions for dialogue where such conditions are not already present.” Moreover, through thus vindicating the merits of the hermeneutic approach as a needed complement to the phronetic, this paper also helps clarify how Gadamerian hermeneutics can contribute to the deliberative democracy debate, with which the present topic has strong affinities, a theme that has so far remained relatively underdeveloped in the literature.
    • Mapping The Whole in EveryOne An Essay on: Non-Existence as the Engine and Axis of Existence

      Sperry Andrews; Human Connection Institute; Steven Salka; UC Berkeley (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2014-06-08)
      It is argued that an effective way to view consciousness is as a "superposition" of existence and nonexistence, producing an indivisible experience of "nonlocal being", plus who and what we perceive ourselves to be (local observers). This relationship between an observer-based localization and the nonlocal whole is examined. Using ideas from general relativity and quantum mechanics (QM), we suggest how a space-time continuum (GR)-including QM probability and uncertainty, as properties of consciousness-may have arisen as dynamic complementarities. Opportunities to contemplate the origins of existence are investigated, and corresponding experimental studies are suggested
    • Marx: The Historical Necessity of Slavery & Agriculture

      Dana Francisco Miranda (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-01-27)
      According to a Marxist code of evaluation, slavery seems to be an institution existing as an outdated anachronism, an economic remnant from a past phase in the historical development of man, as yet still present in modern economics as a defect.  Upon further readings, Karl Marx clearly articulates that slavery is an integral part of the existent economic model, i.e. capitalism, both in industry and in agriculture.  The separation of town and country according to a Marxist conception of history however leads to two distinct types of labor being present in capitalism; in agriculture slavery is blatant and honest in appearance, while in industry slavery is now disguised as ‘free’ labor.  More importantly, by looking at Marx’s criticism of direct slavery we are better able to understand his criticisms of free labor, indirect slavery. The primary question of Marxism then becomes: What material condition precipitates the transition of direct slavery to that of indirect ‘metaphorical’ slavery or free labor?  Why did chattel slavery as an economic institution end, and what were the material historical conditions that necessitated the transition from Wall Street to Wall Street? I want to know the fundamental relationship between slavery and capital. This paper then is more fundamentally an exploratory examination on whether or not Marx gives a compelling account for the material end of slavery as well as slavery’s relation to capital.  I thus examined how and why the division of town/country and industry/agriculture marked the differences between these kinds of slavery, and how this material condition then led to direct slavery’s ending as an economic model in agriculture. By navigating the implications of slavery upon agriculture and the development of capital a much deeper analysis begins with questioning the ‘necessity’ of historical developments and the creation of ‘historical necessity’.  In the interstices of history, cause and effect, agricultural slavery and capitalism, are much cloudier then Marx would have us believe.