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Abstract. Informational Structural Realism, ISR (Floridi 2008) describes the reality as a complex informational structure for an epistemic agent interacting with the universe by the exchange of data as constraining affordances. In conjunction with Naturalist Computationalism - the view that the dynamics of the nature can be understood as computation - Floridi’s Informational Structural Realism presents a basis for constructing of the unified framework of Infocomputationalism. In this framework the fundamental mechanism of all natural computation is morphological computation, expressed as a process of information self-organization, with information structure understood in the sense of Floridi’s ISR. Recently, in robotics, morphological computing has been used for decentralized embodied control of robots. In this paper we describe how appropriate body morphology saves information processing (computation) resources as well as enables learning through self-structuring of information in an epistemic, cognizing agent.
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... Therefore, we can say that Floridi's philosophy of information builds a subjective and informational world with computational tools. It describes the "universe as informational structure for a cognizing agent" [2]. ...
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The emergence of Floridi’s philosophy of information has been directly pushed by the emergence of classical cognitive science and it attempts to provide us with a computational and representational epistemology and ontology. They share some common points: 1. anthropocentrism on cognition; 2. Cartesianism on knowledge; 3. nativism on semantics; 4. methodology on computationalism–representationalism. However, the development of cognitive science is deviating from Floridi’s philosophy of information, as the core concept of representation has been gradually abandoned in more and more cognitive studies, corresponding to the movement of situated, embodied, embedded and dynamic study in cognitive science. Thus, a new philosophy of information should emerge to accommodate the new development in cognitive science. Moreover, Wu’s PI satisfies the demand of this trend, which I will defend in this article.
... Therefore, we can say that Floridi's philosophy of information builds a subjective and informational world with computational tools. It describes the "universe as informational structure for a cognizing agent" [2]. ...
Full-text available
Article
The emergence of Floridi’s philosophy of information has been directly pushed by the emergence of classical cognitive science and it attempts to provide us with a computational and representational epistemology and ontology. They share some common points: 1. anthropocentrism on cognition; 2. Cartesianism on knowledge; 3. nativism on semantics; 4. methodology on computationalism–representationalism. However, the development of cognitive science is deviating from Floridi’s philosophy of information, as the core concept of representation has been gradually abandoned in more and more cognitive studies, corresponding to the movement of situated, embodied, embedded and dynamic study in cognitive science. Thus, a new philosophy of information should emerge to accommodate the new development in cognitive science. Moreover, Wu’s PI satisfies the demand of this trend, which I will defend in this article.
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Recent comprehensive overview of 40 years of research in cognitive architectures, (Kotseruba and Tsotsos 2020), evaluates modelling of the core cognitive abilities in humans, but only marginally addresses biologically plausible approaches based on natural computation. This mini review presents a set of perspectives and approaches which have shaped the development of biologically inspired computational models in the recent past that can lead to the development of biologically more realistic cognitive architectures. For describing continuum of natural cognitive architectures, from basal cellular to human-level cognition, we use evolutionary info-computational framework, where natural/ physical/ morphological computation leads to evolution of increasingly complex cognitive systems. Forty years ago, when the first cognitive architectures have been proposed, understanding of cognition, embodiment and evolution was different. So was the state of the art of information physics, bioinformatics, information chemistry, computational neuroscience, complexity theory, self-organization, theory of evolution, information and computation. Novel developments support a constructive interdisciplinary framework for cognitive architectures in the context of computing nature, where interactions between constituents at different levels of organization lead to complexification of agency and increased cognitive capacities. We identify several important research questions for further investigation that can increase understanding of cognition in nature and inspire new developments of cognitive technologies. Recently, basal cell cognition attracted a lot of interest for its possible applications in medicine, new computing technologies, as well as micro- and nanorobotics.
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processes in the light of currently defined ideas on the societal flow of knowledge and conservation of information, using the versatile physical concept of toroidal geometry. This should be seen as a heuristic model that is open for further development and evolution. The scientific process, has been often described as a iterative and/or recurrent process. Current models explain the generation of new knowledge on the basis of a number of sequential steps (activities) operating in a circular mode. This model intrinsically assumes this process to be congruent for all individual scientific efforts. Yet, such a model is obviously inadequate to fully describe the whole integral process of scientific discovery as an ongoing interactive process, performed in a cumulative fashion. This implies that any new cycle starts from a different perspective or, optimistically seen, is initiated from a higher level, in a spiral mode, that takes into account the ongoing rise of scientific perspectives.
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Abstract Processes of Science and Art, Modeled by Toroidal Flux of Information Dirk K.F. Meijer, PhD An attempt is made to model the structure of science and art discovery processes, in the light of currently defined ideas on the societal flow of knowledge and conservation of information, using the versatile physical concept of toroidal geometry. This should be seen as a heuristic model that is open for further development and evolution. The scientific process, has been often described as a iterative and/or recurrent process. Current models, explain the generation of new knowledge on the basis of a number of sequential steps (activities) operating in a circular mode. This model intrinsically assumes this process to be congruent for all individual scientific efforts. Yet, such a model is inadequate to fully describe the whole integral process of scientific discovery as an ongoing interactive process, performed in a cumulative fashion. This implies that any new cycle starts from a different perspective or, optimistically seen, is initiated from a higher level. It seems appropriate for this reason to disregard the cyclic model and replace it by a spiral modality that takes into account the ongoing rise of scientific perspective. Also, any model that attempts to picture the scientific process, should include potential interactions of concepts or hypotheses, in the sense that concurrently developed concepts may (mutually) influence each other and even may be mixed or superposed or alternatively may lead to concept extinction. Science and art progression, both seen as an individual effort and a historically-based flow of events, is inherently a non-linear or even sometimes a chaotic process, where even relatively small changes can lead to major scientific transformations. Instead of an ongoing “synthetic series of small steps, quite suddenly arising visions can cast a very different light on main stream scientific thought and/or seem to remove existing barriers in more traditional ” habits of the mind”. In contrast to science, the history of art even shows complete rejection of preceding conceptualizations and styles. Science often claims objectivity but sometimes seems dominated by subjective human attitudes, not different from any other field in society. One factor is the deficient science-philosophical education of our students in the current curricula and loss of the academic worldviews and fundamentals in university careers, in which ”time is short” and necessary moments of reflection scarce.
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Chapter
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The concept of information plays a fundamental role in our everyday experience, but is conspicuously absent in framework of classical physics. Over the last century, quantum theory and a series of other developments in physics and related subjects have brought the concept of information and the interface between an agent and the physical world into increasing prominence. As a result, over the last few decades, there has arisen a growing belief amongst many physicists that the concept of information may have a critical role to play in our understanding of the workings of the physical world, both in more deeply understanding existing physical theories and in formulating of new theories. In this paper, I describe the origin of the informational view of physics, illustrate some of the work inspired by this view, and give some indication of its implications for the development of a new conception of physical reality.
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This volume, with a foreword by Sir Roger Penrose, discusses the foundations of computation in relation to nature. It focuses on two main questions: What is computation? How does nature compute? The contributors are world-renowned experts who have helped shape a cutting-edge computational understanding of the universe. They discuss computation in the world from a variety of perspectives, ranging from foundational concepts to pragmatic models to ontological conceptions and philosophical implications. The volume provides a state-of-the-art collection of technical papers and non-technical essays, representing a field that assumes information and computation to be key in understanding and explaining the basic structure underpinning physical reality. It also includes a new edition of Konrad Zuse's “Calculating Space” (the MIT translation), and a panel discussion transcription on the topic, featuring worldwide experts in quantum mechanics, physics, cognition, computation and algorithmic complexity. The volume is dedicated to the memory of Alan M Turing — the inventor of universal computation, on the 100th anniversary of his birth, and is part of the Turing Centenary celebrations. © 2013 by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.
Book
Many scientists regard mass and energy as the primary currency of nature. In recent years, however, the concept of information has gained importance. Why? In this book, eminent scientists, philosophers and theologians chart various aspects of information, from quantum information to biological and digital information, in order to understand how nature works. Beginning with a historical treatment of the topic, the book also examines physical and biological approaches to information, and its philosophical, theological and ethical implications.
Book
This book argues that the only kind of metaphysics that can contribute to objective knowledge is one based specifically on contemporary science as it really is, and not on philosophers' a priori intuitions, common sense, or simplifications of science. In addition to showing how recent metaphysics has drifted away from connection with all other serious scholarly inquiry as a result of not heeding this restriction, this book demonstrates how to build a metaphysics compatible with current fundamental physics ("ontic structural realism"), which, when combined with metaphysics of the special sciences ("rainforest realism"), can be used to unify physics with the other sciences without reducing these sciences to physics itself. Taking science metaphysically seriously, this book argues, means that metaphysicians must abandon the picture of the world as composed of self-subsistent individual objects, and the paradigm of causation as the collision of such objects. The text assesses the role of information theory and complex systems theory in attempts to explain the relationship between the special sciences and physics, treading a middle road between the grand synthesis of thermodynamics and information, and eliminativism about information. The consequences of the books' metaphysical theory for central issues in the philosophy of science are explored, including the implications for the realism versus empiricism debate, the role of causation in scientific explanations, the nature of causation and laws, the status of abstract and virtual objects, and the objective reality of natural kinds. © James Ladyman, Don Ross, David Spurrett, and John Collier 2007. All rights reserved.
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It is suggested that a system of chemical substances, called morphogens, reacting together and diffusing through a tissue, is adequate to account for the main phenomena of morphogenesis. Such a system, although it may originally be quite homogeneous, may later develop a pattern or structure due to an instability of the homogeneous equilibrium, which is triggered off by random disturbances. Such reaction-diffusion systems are considered in some detail in the case of an isolated ring of cells, a mathematically convenient, though biologically unusual system. The investigation is chiefly concerned with the onset of instability. It is found that there are six essentially different forms which this may take. In the most interesting form stationary waves appear on the ring. It is suggested that this might account, for instance, for the tentacle patterns on Hydra and for whorled leaves. A system of reactions and diffusion on a sphere is also considered. Such a system appears to account for gastrulation. Another reaction system in two dimensions gives rise to patterns reminiscent of dappling. It is also suggested that stationary waves in two dimensions could account for the phenomena of phyllotaxis. The purpose of this paper is to discuss a possible mechanism by which the genes of a zygote may determine the anatomical structure of the resulting organism. The theory does not make any new hypotheses; it merely suggests that certain well-known physical laws are sufficient to account for many of the facts. The full understanding of the paper requires a good knowledge of mathematics, some biology, and some elementary chemistry. Since readers cannot be expected to be experts in all of these subjects, a number of elementary facts are explained, which can be found in text-books, but whose omission would make the paper difficult reading.
Chapter
The aim of this book is to defend a radically naturalistic metaphysics. By this we mean a metaphysics that is motivated exclusively by attempts to unify hypotheses and theories that are taken seriously by contemporary science. For reasons to be explained, we take the view that no alternative kind of metaphysics can be regarded as a legitimate part of our collective attempt to model the structure of objective reality. (Book Chapter written with Don Ross and James Ladyman in Ladyman & Ross's 'Everything Must Go'.)