• Natural Sciences: Definitions and Attempt at Classification

      Rutgers University; Yury Viktor Kissin; Rutgers, The state University of new Jersey (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2013-12-29)
      The article discusses the formal classification of natural sciences, which is based on several propositions: (a) natural sciences can be separated onto independent and dependent sciences based on the gnosiologic criterion and irreducibility criteria (principal and technical); (b) there are four independent sciences which form a hierarchy: physics ← chemistry ← terrestrial biology ← human psychology; (c) every independent science except for physics has already developed or will develop in the future a set of final paradigms formulated in the terms of the science one step above it in the hierarchy; (d) some paradigms in physics will never become final; (e) each independent natural science has dependent sciences with paradigms already expressed in the terms of the respective independent sciences.  Existing paradigms of independent natural sciences are listed and discussed with respect to the degree of their approach to the final state.
    • Natural-Historical Diagrams: The ‘New Global’ Movement and the Biological Invariant

      Paolo Virno; University of Calabria (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-07-23)
      This article puts forward the thesis that the contemporary global movement against capitalism, and the post-Fordist regime it is responding to, is best understood in terms of the emergence of ‘human nature’ as the crux of political struggle. According to Virno, the biological invariant has become the raw material of social praxis because the capitalist relation of production mobilizes to its advantage, in a historically unprecedented way, the species-specific prerogatives of Homo sapiens. Through the concept of ‘natural-historical diagrams’, the article explores the significance of socio-political states of affairs which directly display key aspects of anthropogenesis, and, making use of Ernesto De Martino’s concept of ‘cultural apocalypses’, considers the different relations that a biological ‘background’ and a socio-political ‘foreground’ entertain in traditional and contemporary societies. The attempt to develop a ‘natural history’ of such diagrams leads Virno to reflecting on the importance of the language faculty, neoteny, non-specialization and the absence of a predetermined natural environment for political action. This reflection on the contemporary importance of political anthropology leads Virno to a set of concluding remarks on the role of ethics and the idea of the ‘good life’ in the practice of the ‘new global’ movement.
    • Natural-Historical Diagrams: The ‘New Global’ Movement and the Biological Invariant

      Paolo Virno; University of Calabria (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-07-23)
      This article puts forward the thesis that the contemporary global movement against capitalism, and the post-Fordist regime it is responding to, is best understood in terms of the emergence of ‘human nature’ as the crux of political struggle. According to Virno, the biological invariant has become the raw material of social praxis because the capitalist relation of production mobilizes to its advantage, in a historically unprecedented way, the species-specific prerogatives of Homo sapiens. Through the concept of ‘natural-historical diagrams’, the article explores the significance of socio-political states of affairs which directly display key aspects of anthropogenesis, and, making use of Ernesto De Martino’s concept of ‘cultural apocalypses’, considers the different relations that a biological ‘background’ and a socio-political ‘foreground’ entertain in traditional and contemporary societies. The attempt to develop a ‘natural history’ of such diagrams leads Virno to reflecting on the importance of the language faculty, neoteny, non-specialization and the absence of a predetermined natural environment for political action. This reflection on the contemporary importance of political anthropology leads Virno to a set of concluding remarks on the role of ethics and the idea of the ‘good life’ in the practice of the ‘new global’ movement.
    • Naturalizing Dasein. Aporias of the Neo-Heideggerian Approach in Cognitive Science

      Jethro Masís; University of Würzburg (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2014-12-15)
      This paper deals with the neo-Heideggerian approach in cognitive science as espoused by Michael Wheeler in his Reconstructing the Cognitive World: The Next Step (2005). According to Wheeler, this next step amounts to incorporating Heideggerian insights bearing on online intelligence: the kind of intelligence which is exhibited by human agents in embedded, embodied coping. However, this phenomenological reception implies also stripping Heideggerian phenomenology of its overt antinaturalistic and transcendental tendencies. The approach is indeed ‘neo-Heideggerian’ inasmuch as tantamount to a naturalization of phenomenological themes. I attempt to put this naturalizing aspiration to the test, and show that the approach remains ‘Heideggerian’ only superficially.   
    • Naturphilosophie Redivivus: on Bruno Latour's 'Political Ecology'

      Adrian Wilding; The Open University, UK (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2010-08-04)
      Bruno Latour’s work is at present having a remarkable influence upon theoretical work in the social sciences, yet in philosophical circles it remains largely unknown. The present paper aims to redress this somewhat, addressing in particular how Latour’s thinking impacts on philosophical accounts of the relation between human subjectivity and the natural world. As part of what he calls his ‘political ecology’, Latour’s work challenges philosophers to rethink conceptions of nature bequeathed by post-Kantian philosophy in fundamental and novel ways. At the same time, as will be argued, Latour’s thinking often unwittingly reworks moves within the tradition of Naturphilosophie, particularly motifs from Schelling’s thought.   Once the elective affinities between Latour’s work and the German philosophical tradition are brought to light, one can see a failure on his part to deal fully with the sophisticated insights of Naturphilosophie – particularly as formulated by Schelling and, more radically, by Hegel – and that this tradition can be drawn upon to expose weaknesses in Latour’s own arguments. Whilst Latour offers a compelling challenge to rethink notions of subject and object, free-will and mechanism, along with the conceptual separation of humans from nature, his thinking often fails to achieve the genuine critique that would be adequate to his own task: of comprehending humanity’s relation to nature in order to find a way out of the our ecological crisis.  
    • Necessity as Illusory Truth: Nietzsche's Deceptive Actualization

      John Mandalios (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2013-12-29)
      Exposing the tension between Nietzsche's supposed naturalism and his inclusion of the will as a spiritual force behind every activity, it is argued that Nietzsche's prime concern was to enhance the height and power of humanity's spirituality.
    • Neural Codes and Fields at the Microscopic, Mesoscopic, Macroscopic and Symbolic Levels

      Sean O Nuallain; Foundations of Mind (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2018-08-26)
      This paper makes two self-confessedly ambitious proposals. One is a theory of mind and world with an inventory of possible relations between the two of such generality that sensorimotor behaviour, potentially conscious cognition, and quantum mechanics fall out s special cases.  The second is that the variety of neural codes is as multifarious as that of the domains in which mind functions; alternatively put, each cognitive "context" can be viewed as a field. Where  cognitive "context" is lacking - a la quantum mechanics - the result is the quantum field theory of researchers like Schwinger. This paper makes  also makes the radical claim that dynamical systems theory provides solutions to problems plaguing neuroscience, rather than simply attractive models. It starts with the microscopic level, that of single neurons. A biologically realistic neuron model as a harmonic oscillator is shown to allow neurons do pseudo-Fourier transforms. While it is already known that spike timing becomes naturally causal in this model, we have also implemented a C++ simulation showing that it can operate on a raw power spectrum, and learning can be formulated as adjustment of delays. In short, the neural code at the microscopic level is, as Karl Pribram thought, the Fourier transform. The mesoscopic and macroscopic (EEG) levels, which are at times connected   in Freeman's writing, cater for the missing piece of "intentionality" ie how mind "intends - points to - things in the world. It is argued that nonequilibrium thermodynamics provides a good model here. The vocabulary of dynamical systems, starting as we already have with the periodic attractor of the harmonic oscillator qua pendulum, is proposed as a first approximation for what we need to do at the mesoscopic level. That will finally bring us to the symbolic level, at which we experience, talk to each other, and do math. It is argued that formalisms that cater for co-ordinate free flows are more appropriate here than any others. Clearly, tensor calculus and lie groups will prove useful. We also consider physicists who have eschewed cognitive neuroscience as a failure and, with some brilliance, argue that physics ideas like pilot waves will prove crucial. While this will be the most speculative part of the paper, this area is developing rapidly and quietly like all successful revolutions.
    • Neurotheology of Islam and Higher Consciousness States

      Nicola Luigi Bragazzi; Hicham Khabbache; Ignazio Vecchio; Mariano Martini; Riccardo Zerbetto; Tania Simona Re (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2018-08-26)
      Generally speaking, human life is characterized by an array of experiences, which, both in health and disease, can have a spiritual/religious dimension. In the last decades, spirituality/religiosity has attracted a huge body of research and neurotheology or spiritual neuroscience is emerging as a modern multidisciplinary field aimed at understanding religious experiences and practices, as well its impact on well-being, with a focus on mental health, and its potential therapeutic implications in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. For this purpose, neurotheology combines a variety of approaches and theoretical frameworks, deriving influences from theology, divinities and religious studies, philosophy, sociology, cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology. Available scientific evidences seem to suggest that Islam and Sufism (prayer and meditation) can contribute to the achievement of higher consciousness states.
    • Nietzsche as a Formative Thinker

      John Mandalios (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2014-12-15)
      For much of the twentieth century it was widely assumed that only one sort or type of philosophy was needed. In this paper I argue that different sorts of philosophy may be required against the teleology that insists upon a comprehensive philosophy, and place special emphasis on the importance of formative philosophy. Second, I show Nietzsche to be a thinker of precisely this kind of philosophy whereby metaphilosophical perspectives allow him to develop a distinctly formational philosophia. Hence in the first section an account of formative philosophy is given while in the second section a discussion of Nietzsche will illustrate the reasons why Nietzsche is a formative philosopher.
    • Nihilism as Emancipation

      Gianni Vattimo; Former Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, University of Turin (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-07-23)
      Is the philosophical idea of nihilism compatible with a project of emancipation based on concepts such as autonomy, equality and freedom? This is the question to which Vattimo’s contribution seeks to provide a response. For Vattimo, the notion of nihilism is inseparable from that of hermeneutics, understood as the historically situated character of universal claims. Rather than undermining emancipation, for Vattimo a nihilistic hermeneutics is precisely what frees us from foundations, and should thus be understood as an emancipatory force. The article tries to counter a purely tragic understanding of nihilism with the constructive political horizons opened up by a nihilistic hermeneutics, which allows us to think anew the ideas of freedom and equality.
    • Nihilism, Nature, and the Collapse of the Cosmos

      David Storey (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2011-12-30)
      Though nihilism is a major theme in late modern philosophy from Hegel onward, it is only relatively recently that it has been treated as the subject of monographs and anthologies.  Commentators have offered a number of accounts of the origins and nature of nihilism.  Some see it as a purely historical and predominantly modern phenomenon, a consequence of the social, economic, ecological, political, and/or religious upheavals of modernity.  Others think it stems from human nature itself, and should be seen as a perennial problem.  Still others think that nihilism has ontological significance and issues from the nature of being itself.  In this essay, I survey the most important of these narratives of nihilism to show how commonly the advent and spread of nihilism is linked with changing conceptions of (humanity’s relation to) nature.  At root, nihilism is a problem about humanity’s relation to nature, about a crisis in human freedom and willing after the collapse of the cosmos, the erosion of a hierarchically ordered nature in which humans have a proper place.  Two themes recur in the literature:  first, the collapse of what is commonly called the “great chain of being” or the cosmos generally; and second, the increased importance placed on human will and subjectivity and, correlatively, the significance of human history as opposed to nature. 
    • Non-Evental Novelty: Towards Experimentation as Praxis

      National research foundation (South Africa), Stellenbosch University; Oliver Human; University of Amsterdam (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2013-12-29)
      In this article I explore the possibilities of experimentation as a non-foundational praxis for introducing novel ways of being into existence. Beginning with a discussion, following Bataille, of the excess of any thought, I argue that any action in the world is necessarily uncertain. Using the insights of Derridean deconstruction combined with Badiousian truth procedure I argue that experimentation offers a means for acting from this uncertain position. Experimentation takes advantage of the play and uncertainty of our understanding of the world as a means of moving towards more progressive political positions.
    • Non-Locality as a Fundamental Principle of Reality: Bell's Theorem and Space-Like Interconnectedness

      Elizabeth A. Rauscher; Tecnic Research Laboratory (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-03-26)
      Two very significant principles with vast ramifications discovered in the 20th century are the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the Nonlocality Principles of the Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen (EPR) paradox. These aspects of quantum theory have major physical and philosophical implications. The fundamental bases of nonlocality in quantum theory lie in the EPR paradox, as well as other experiments that demand a nonlocal explanation for the phenomenon they display. The fundamental basis of nonlocality in the universe is fundamental to the properties of consciousness. We examined both micro and macroscopic nonlocality.
    • Nonidentity, Materialism and Truth in Adorno's Negative Dialectics

      Terrence Thomson (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-01-27)
      The primary concern of the present paper is to answer the question, ‘What is the relation between non-identity and truth in Adorno’s Negative Dialectics?’ It employs Adorno’s articulation of the ‘outside’ of philosophy (á la Aristotle’s first matter), which underpins the need for conceptual constellations if we are to mimetically examine the non-conceptual thing. Following this a further question presents itself: how do these engagements inflict a critical mark on the Hegelian method of totalization – the dialectic of truth? The essay ends with an analysis of two films, Metropolis and Primal Fear, aimed at separating out Hegelian conceptions of truth from Adornian unresolved truth; the former aimed at a universal, the latter indicative of a non-identical aporia. We must conclude with the possibility that to leave the unresolved nature of non-identity unresolved for truth is the ontological challenge par excellence that presented itself to Adorno’s negative dialectics as it presents itself to post-Kantian continental philosophy today.
    • Notes from the Existential Underground: The Universe as a Complex Emergent System

      Michelle Kathryn McGee (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2016-10-14)
      As academics navigate the existential tangle between speculation and experimental fact, the prospect of synergy between complex emergent systems wisdom and useful aspects of physics has never been better. One way to stimulate a new phase is to look outside of academia. The complementarity and contributions of two underground theories, one cosmological and one metaphysical, are discussed herein, with a focus on conceptual barriers to their comprehensive assessment and adoption.
    • Nothngness and Science (A Propadeutic)

      Michael Christian Cifone; University of San Francisco (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2014-06-08)
      We characterize science in terms of nihilism: the nihilism of science is something faced not in what science implies, but as the very essence of science as such. The nihilism of science is the birth of the truth of Nietzsche's announcement "God is dead" from within science as it must now face its repressed subjective core. But in truth, as the Psychoanalytic tradition has determined, it is subjectivity itself that is a bottomless searching-the subject is itself born from nothing. In this way it becomes clear that the nihilism of science is in fact the birth of a nothingness as the essence of science insofar as it embraces the nothingness of its own (repressed) subjectivity. Therefore, we show that the proper determination of the crisis of science is not made via phenomenology, as Husserl attempted in the early 20th century, but can only be made properly in a philosophical-psychoanalytic register. This nihilism is encoded within science in its very modality of thought (which also indicates its existential condition as a whole), as Heidegger well understood: science thinks by means of "representation", and it is this "representational thinking" which prevents the expression of the repressed core of subjectivity. Therefore, by overcoming representation, it is seen that science will no longer be in despair to determine itself as a self, but come to see that this self, grounded in nothingness, in fact becomes its greatest and final expression, that is, as a self rooted not in an unending yearning (desire) for the transcendent certainty of a ground, but in a productive desire (a "groundless" becoming)-self as will-to-create, will-to-power (to return to Nietzsche). This transition from the self as rooted in Desire qua lack to a self as determined by an infinitely productive desire is shown to be, in fact, the transition from Lacan to Deleuze. Once this transition is accomplished, it becomes clear that the anti-representational mode of thinking, accompanied by the productive self as will-to-power, determines science not from a transcendent metaphysic (i.e., as a metaphysically "grounded" praxis), but as an aesthetically determined modality of pure creativity-i.e., as an art. We then conclude by speculating on the proper form of art that this new science should take. We see that anti-representational thinking, rooted in the self as infinite creativity (as will-to-create), is determined not by concepts, but by play ("agon") or performances (performance as concept). Perhaps, then, we should consider music as determining the proper artistic form of this new kind of science? In this way we finally come to see the possibility for the first time of music as a new kind of science.
    • Numbers: Harmonic Ratios and Beauty in Augustinian Musical Cosmology

      Junxiao Bai; Tilburg University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2017-11-11)
      This article explains how, according to the Pythagorean concept of the first four numbers (1-2-3-4), Augustine develops his own musical cosmology in Christian theological context. Augustine agrees with the Pythagorean cosmology that numbers as the essence of the cosmos have been measured and arranged in a harmonic order and the sequence of the first four numbers perfectly illustrates the harmonic order. Based on the unchangeable nature of numbers, Augustine argues that the ratios of the first four numbers (1/1, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4) are not only the fundamental of harmonic law, but also the highest Modus, by which God created all beauties/forms.
    • Objects in manifold times: Deleuze and the speculative philosophy of objects as processes

      The University of Dundee; James Williams; University of Dundee (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2011-10-13)
      This essay shows how real objects must be processes for Gilles Deleuze. These processes are determined by his account of time as a nine-fold manifold of processes deduced from Deleuze’s account of three interconnected syntheses of time in his Difference and Repetition (Différence et repetition, henceforth DR). It will also be argued that Deleuze’s philosophy of time is speculative in a broad sense and that Deleuze’s account of the real is opposed to forms of abstraction which associate objects with conceptual, perceptual or transcendental identity. In order to demonstrate the radical and systematic nature of Deleuze’s account of process, there is a discussion of a basic process underlying his manifold of time. This process is opposed to Markov chains, in order to set up an opposition to interpretations of Deleuze’s philosophy that deny its metaphysical and speculative approach in favour of scientific realism.
    • Observations: The Building Blocks of the World

      Vipul Arora; Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Kanpur, India; Laxmidhar Behera (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2018-01-13)
      Physics aims at building mathematical models of the underlying nature for explaining and predicting our observations. Based on the experimental data, mathematical quantities and concepts are formulated, and physical theories are constructed, from which we derive our ontological understanding of the underlying building blocks of nature. However, at times, certain phenomena, unnoticed before, fail to agree to the predictions made by those theories. This forces us to give up the old theories and construct new ones. In this paper, we argue that we can very effectively avoid this problem by constructing physical theories with observations as the basic building blocks, or the primary properties, and the mathematical constructs as the emergent properties. We provide an outline of the mathematical framework of our approach, and use it to analyze various concepts in physics, e.g., Newton's laws of motion, conservation of energy, wave-particle duality, etc., in terms of relationships between the observations made by different detectors. This approach not only provides a new robust way to do physics, but also leads to an ontological understanding of nature that goes beyond many of the present problems and paradoxes.
    • Of Mice Moths and Men Machines

      Susan Schuppli; Goldsmiths (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2009-03-14)
      In 1947, Grace Murray Hopper a pioneer in early computing made an unusual entry into her daily logbook: ‘Relay #70 Panel F (moth) in relay. First actual case of bug being found.’ Accompanying this entry is an actual celluloid tape encrusted bug, or more specifically a moth, fastened to the page of the logbook. According to Hopper, one of the technicians in her team solved a glitch in the Harvard Mark II computer by pulling an actual insect out from between the contacts of one of its relays. Word soon went out that they had ‘debugged the machine’ and the phrase quickly entered our lexicon. After languishing for years this mythic moth was eventually transported to the Smithsonian where it now lies in archival state. The moth’s dynamic vitality had introduced a kind of surplus or aberrant code into the machine, which in effect pushed the machine towards a state of chaos and breakdown. Its failure to act as desired, to perform the coding sequences of its programmed history suggests that even a seemingly inert or lifeless machine can become ‘more and other than its history’. (Elizabeth Grosz, 2005) Hopper’s bug is thus a material witness to the creative co-evolution of the machine with the living matter of the moth. Moreover, as a cipher for machinic defect the bug reminds us that mutations are in fact necessary for systems to change and evolve. The crisis introduced into a biological system or machine through the virulence of the bug is terminal only to the extent that it becomes the source for another kind of order, another kind of interaction. This is used as a case study to argue that chaos is not only an animating force in the constitution of new systems but is necessary for the evolution of difference.