SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES
|March 8, 2014|
At least in the social and behavioral sciences-so delineated respecting the preference from psychology-practitioners and students alike have subscribed to another distinction, that between qualification and quantification. In fact, one might easily get the impression that the latter distinction amounts to a debate, if not outright warfare.
Students arrive to their disciplines largely ignorant of the semiosic underpinnings of their own intellectual experiences and of the semiotic foundations for their elected fields of study. In addition, typically without a broad background in the history and philosophy of the disciplines, students fail to perceive how all of them interlock in a myriad of ways. Being so undisciplined about their disciplines, it is not surprising how students can be so easily recruited. The majority subscribe to a contrast between qualification and quantification, and usually in so doing they privilege the latter, assuming it to be the more "scientific" approach for meaning-making. At the same time, though, the condition of relative innumeracy of young and old, within and beyond any but the most technical fields, has been conceded without a struggle. As a consequence an unhealthy hierarchy is fractured by feelings of inadequacy and/or resentment.
Perhaps with greater engagement in public education in the future, affording younger students trickling up through the ranks a more inquiring interest in the qualia and quanta across the cultural curricula, higher education may enjoy a new lease on intellectual work and play. Meanwhile, the position taken in this paper asserts that both qualification and quantification are cultural practices, and further that "etic" quantification is predicated on prior "emic" qualification (drawing on Kenneth L. Pike). The "cultural" may at the social level include the linguistic and at the individual level include both bodily and cognitive processes.
At the same time, higher education may be able to benefit from
considering approaches aimed at younger audiences. These include
the "Singapore method"; the "Private Eye" approach
to looking and thinking by analogy; the foregrounding of abduction
larding the more recognized induction and deduction; and building
on awareness through movement.
Semiotic dynamics is the field that studies the dynamics associated with the formation, the usage and the evolution of semiotic systems. It grew out of research in artificial intelligence and evolutionary linguistics, and originally was mainly concerned with human (and human- like) languages [6, 4]. However, there is a growing body of evidence that coding and semiosis are fundamental ingredients of all life. This recently lead to a new scientific field called biosemiotics, defined as the study of signs, of communication, and of information in livingorganisms, and claimed to provide a new understanding of life . If semiosis is fundamental to life, then a proper understanding of semiotic dynamics will be crucial in order to fully understand all aspects of macro-evolution, in particular the appearance of new codes and new levels of selection during major transitions [5, 2].
In this talk, I will review some of the basic notions in (coding) biosemiotics and semiotic dynamics and show how, in recent years, researchers from a variety of fields were able to, make significant progress through a combination of multi-agent simulations and mathematical (formal) modeling. I will focus on the notion of language games . These are used in semiotic dynamics as vehicles for the study of evolution through conventionalization, much in the same way as games are used in evolutionary game theory to study evolution through natural selection. In particular, I will focus on the naming game, one of the simplest and currently best understood language games . It will be shown how the naming game dynamics can be analyzed mathematically and can give rise to phase transitions in the coding behavior of individual code users corresponding to an increased state of global coordination. Some possible applications and extensions of the naming game will be discussed and a number of open problems will be identified.
This paper discusses mathematical thinking only insofar as that
thinking provides an unmistakable prime example of anthroposemiosis
in its species-specific difference from all the varieties of zoösemiosis.
Thus, recurring to Euclids triangle as a central example,
my aim is to outline how relation as a mode of being exhibits a
singularity that proves to be the basis for the prior possibility
of semiosis in general, a singularity that mathematical objectivity
makes particularly recognizable even though the feature in question
extends to the full range of semiosis as an action transcending
the contrast between mind-dependent and mind-independent being.
To date, almost all video games designed to help students learn mathematics do little more than present traditional mathematics, represented by standard symbolic expressions, into a video game wrapper. In essence, they regard video games as a new medium on which to pour symbols. But video games provide an entirely new way to represent mathematics. I have spent the past five years investigating how to make use of the natural affordances in video games to do just that.
1. Semiotics and mathematics are highly incompatible - likewise poetry and logic, or life and automaton.
2. There exists a long and rich tradition of modelling of some semiosic objects, as well as a search for proper mathematical tools for thier modelling, e.g., of organisms and languages. Yet, mathematical biology and mathematical linguistics (also mathematical sociology, mathematical psychology, etc.) have challenged the problem of limitedness of mathematization of their theoretical core. In its general form, this is the problem of mathematical description (modelling) of semiosis. It will be instructive to review some examples about the searches for mathematical description (formalization) of semiosis (e.g., of Robert Rosen, of computational semiotics, of algebraic semiotics, etc.).
3. A feature that is in the focus of modelling of semiosis has to be the feature that natural languages possess and the formal languages (and formal logic) do not. If this feature resists formalization, then how is it possible that mathematics can describe the physical world, whereas it (as if) cannot describe the non-mathematical or natural language from which it is a derivative?
4. Modelling of semiosis appears to be particularly a problem for biosemiotics. Because if to accept Sebeok's thesis that semiosis is the criterion of life, then a model of sign is simultaneously a model of life. Thus the problem of distinction between natural and formal languages goes beyond languages. If languages are defined as systems that use symbols, then there exist many semiosic systems that are not languages, i.e. which include merely non-symbolic semiosis (usually called non-human life forms). This is, in other words, an old question whether it is possible to distinguish between living and non-living system, i.e. between informal (or natural) and formal sign systems on the basis of their formal (mathematical) descriptions.
5. Formal sign systems are derivatives from natural sign systems - similarly to artefacts and dead languages. What makes them formal is the lack of the very feature the modelling of semiosis is addressing - the semiosity, the life itself. The existence of codes is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for semiosis, because constructions of non-living machines (i.e., certain artefacts) also include codes.
6. The sciences that are dealing with everything that can be described in an unambiguous (formal) way can be called phi-sciences (physical sciences), whereas the sciences that can deal with equivocal (polysemous, like natural language, poetry and life itself) descriptions can be called sigma-sciences (semiotic sciences).
1. The nature of mathematical cognition is controversial.
Mathematics and mathematical concepts appear in the print(books,
newspapers, magazines, other publications, text-based objects) andnon-print
(television and cinema) media with some frequency. This paperexamines
selectively these popular cultural manifestations of mathematics
withspecial attention to those exemplars that incorporate reasonably
accurateversions of mathematics. A limited number of copies of the
text of the paperwill be available for the audience.
The semiotic literature tends to take signs as given. Even in constructivist and embodiment accounts of cognition, the sign, such as a gesture that exhibits some linear relation or trend, is merely the enactment of a pre-existing schema the enactment of which results in the production of a sign. Yet empirical evidence shows that the human sign form, as thing that stands for another thing, does not constitute the beginning children do not make a distinction between the thing and its name. To understand signs, we therefore need to take a genetic perspective. In this paper, I present a material phenomenological account of how signs and thoughts emerge in ongoing activity. I provide a very detailed description of a lecture excerpt, essential features of which cannot be explained by presupposing signs, thoughts, or mental schema. The approach I offer provides explanations for some of the difficult problems in education, psychology, and cognitive science.
In this paper I first set out to demonstrate how the etymologically-trained
mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (better known as Lewis Carroll)
uses ambiguity as he confuses and abuses words and their meanings
in his "Nonsense" works. I then trace the etymological
links between the words "name," "number," and
"numismatic," and how Carroll creatively used and confused
them. I then go on to provide several example of name/number/coining
word-play in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Hunting of the
Snark, and Through the Looking-Glass. I finish off the talk by presenting
a partial etymological answer to Carroll's famous "Why is a
raven like a writing-desk" riddle.
Among various dyadic and triadic models, the discussion here centers
on the correspondence between the triadic sign model proposed by
Peirce and the dyadic sign model proposed by Saussure. Traditionally,
it has been thought that Peirce's interpretant corresponds to Saussure's
signified, and that Saussure's model lacks Peirce's object. Analysis
of the two most widely used computer programming paradigms, however,
suggests that Peirce's object formally corresponds to Saussure's
signified, and that Saussure's sign model is obtained when Peirce's
interpretant is located outside his model in the programming language
system. Further, I suggest how this distinction may dissolve when
signs are introduced through self-reference.