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Applied Interdisciplinary Peirce Studies


Edited By Elize Bisanz

The volume focuses on the application of Peirce’s semeiotic as a methodological tool to establish a common field for interdisciplinary research. Contributors from the fields of biology, architecture, logic, esthetics and neuroscience, among others, work on diverse research problems, unified by the idea of transcending the dyadic limitations of disciplinary restrictions and applying Peirce’s triadic method, and the structure and process of sign relations of the particular problem that has to be solved. The result is an invigorating example of methodological plasticity wherein the reader acquires an understanding of scientific observation within the complex universe of semeiosis relations.

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Toward Understanding the “Biology of Mind” Hypothesis (Interdisciplinary Seminar on Peirce)


Interdisciplinary Seminar on Peirce1

Toward Understanding the “Biology of Mind” Hypothesis

Abstract: Research in neuroscience continues to expand and progress (for example, Kandel 2006), but the prevailing notions used to describe neuroscientific findings—in the context of biology of mind—lack logical precision. A more formal relational system is needed to translate these laboratory findings about neural interactions into cognitive aspects of mind. As developed by C. S. Peirce, Semeiotic—a scientific study of natural processes known as Semeioses—is an analytical tool that provides for such translations by avoiding gaps in reasoning that may obscure our understanding of the neural processes underlying cognition.

For example, in neuroscience we have the “binding” process, wherein the input and output of many neurons is said to “come together,” “merge,” “computationally combine,” or “converge.” But it is not made clear how/where/when this “binding” comes to pass—hence The Binding Problem. In contrast to such descriptions, Semeiotic, as expressed with Betagraphic (hereafter ß, a diagrammatic version of relational first-order predicate calculus), is a formal system that provides a more precise means of dealing with the numerous relations of neurons and how they may (via the presence of activatable but latent variables) combine to produce “emergent” mind processes like thought. In this approach, descriptions are available for neuron interactions that display connective processes that are primarily two-place or dyadic in nature. However, other neural processes can also be described, especially those that are “emergent,” which display additional connective relations that...

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