16.448 new book: A Theory of Immediate Awareness

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Fri Jan 31 2003 - 02:43:32 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 448.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 07:30:40 +0000
             From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: new book

    [The following may not seem to have much to do with humanities computing. I
    send it along because the argument for the cognitive relevance of sensory
    and sensory-motor processes has considerable bearing on the further reaches
    of developments in multimedia. The author's "geometric approach" likewise
    expresses current attention to geometric forms of reasoning in cognitive
    science and elsewhere. Comments on these developments would be most
    welcome. --WM]

    Kluwer is pleased to announce the publication of the following title:

    A Theory of Immediate Awareness
    Self-Organization and Adaptation in Natural Intelligence


    Myrna Estep
    Indiana University, Bloomington, USA

    This book presents a realist, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary
    theory of immediate awareness showing it is the most primitive cognitive
    network underlying all our natural intelligence. Including preattentive and
    attention processes, as well as primitive relations of the senses,
    imagination and memory, immediate awareness is a kind of knowing deeply
    embedded and interwoven throughout our multiple kinds of natural
    intelligence. It permits as well as drives our knowing how, our bodily
    intelligence. Against the Cartesian mind-body split found in earlier and
    current theories, the author shows how immediate awareness permits emergent
    properties of mind in multilayered primitive relations of touching and
    moving in bodily kinesthetic intelligence. Contrary to existing theories,
    she argues that sensation is not cognitively "neutral," nor does it require
    a "representation" in order to be accessible to cognitive processes. Dr.
    Estep presents empirical evidence and arguments that sensation of immediate
    awareness is itself cognitive and embedded within our sensory and
    somatosensory-motor processes.
    The author's aim is to turn to a more geometric approach to natural
    intelligence, as opposed to the prevalent symbol-based view. In this
    approach, she uses random Boolean networks as a way of obtaining law-like
    properties of those primitive relations of immediate awareness in terms of
    dynamical systems theory. This demonstrates the properties of
    self-organization and adaptation of immediate awareness without committing
    one to a physicalist/materialist theory. It gives us a way of understanding
    core properties of our own inner conscious lives, and of understanding the
    smooth and seamless sensitivity of primitive sensory and
    somatosensory-motor awareness.
    Dr. Estep's theory of immediate awareness also shows that the computational
    view of mind is wrong. Though our minds do classify, classification is not
    all they do. Our immediate awareness indexically selects sui generis
    objects that are unique and of no kind or class. The influence of
    nominalism and narrow naturalist theories have resulted in extremely narrow
    concepts of the human knowing, mind and intelligence, leaving out immediate
    awareness altogether. We slip into subtle nominalist fallacies when we take
    our language metaphors and language itself too far.
    Dedication. Contents. List Of Figures. Preface. Acknowledgements.
    1: The Problem of Immediate Awareness. 1.1. The Influence of Nominalism,
    Idealism, and Behaviorism.
    1.2. A Place for Ontological Questions.
    1.3. Historical Background of the Problem: The Dualist Legacy of Descartes'
    Crooked Question.
    1.4. From The Linguistic Turn to the Cognitive Naturalistic Turn.
    1.5. The Knowing That and Knowing How Distinction: Manner of a Performance
    and Multiple Intelligences.
    1.6. The Limits of Representation (Classification): The Role of Indexicals
    and Unique Objects Present.
    1.7. Analyze This.
    1.8. The Indexical Operator, Unlike Any Other: Sui Generis Objects.
    1.9. The Basic Computational Idea and Argument.
    2: The Primitive Relations
    of Knowledge by Acquaintance. 2.1. A Realist Theory of Immediate Awareness.
    2.2. Analysis of Experience: Russell's Knowledge by Acquaintance.
    2.3. Acquaintance with Mathematical Objects: Problems with Unnameables,
    Nameability and the Berry Paradox.
    2.4. The Primitive Relations.
    2.5. The Concept of Image.
    2.6. Imagination and Sensation Defined.
    2.7. Primitive Acquaintance with Relations Themselves.
    2.8. Summary.
    3: Arguments Against Immediate Awareness:
    The Case of Naturalism.
    3.1. Definitions of Certain Terms.
    3.2. Non-Inferential Beliefs: Self-Evident Beliefs and a Vox Populi Theory
    of Knowledge.
    3.3. Indeterminacy of Translation and Other Problems.
    3.4. Are There Immaculate Sensations?
    3.5. Matching Up Stimulations.
    3.6. Are Meaning Structures Equivalent to Neural Structures?
    3.7. Critique of Naturalist Theory of Knowledge.
    3.8. Summary.
    4: What Does
    the Evidence Show. 4.1. Problems with Subjective Definitions of Awareness.
    4.2. Neurophysical Experiments.
    4.3. Cortical Information, the Preattentive and Attentive Phases.
    4.4. The Primitives of the Preattentive Phase.
    4.5. Evidence for Cognitive Immediate Awareness.
    4.6. Where Do We Enter the Circle of Cognition?
    4.7. Learning All Over the Nervous System: Multiple Intelligences.
    4.8. Bodily Kinaesthetic Intelligence.
    4.9. Classification of Performances.
    4.10. The Hierarchy of Primitive Relations of Immediate Awareness.
    4.11. Primitive Relations of Preattending, Attending and the Problem with
    Paying Attention.
    4.12. Multiple Spaces of Primitive Immediate Awareness.
    4.13. The Primitive Relation of Imagining; Hierarchy of the Senses,
    Touching, Moving, Probing and Their Spaces.
    4.14. Summary.
    5: Boundary
    Set S: At the Core of Multiple Intelligences. 5.1. Kinds of Knowing in
    Boundary Set S.
    5.2. A Framework for Thinking About Boundary Set S: Dynamical Systems
    Theory and Kauffman's Random Boolean Nets for a Geometry of Knowing.
    5.3. The Formal and Geometric Structure of the Knowing Universe.
    5.4. Digraph Theory of Knowing Relations.
    5.5. Properties of Relations: Natural and Artificial Intelligence Systems.
    5.6. Information-Theoretic (H) Measures of the Universal Epistemic Set.
    5.7. Mechanism or Organicism.
    5.8. Poincar Map and Random Graphs of Primitive Knowing Relations: From a
    Symbol-Based View to a Geometric View.
    5.9. A Toy Model of a Random Graph: Kauffman's Buttons and Threads for a
    Tapestry of Knowing.
    5.10. Autocatalysis of Knowing: Some Law-Like Properties of Immediate
    Awareness and the Binding Problem: Rule-Boundedness.
    5.11. A Random Boolean Network of Knowing: The Emergence Of Order.
    5.12. The Boundary of Epistemic Boundary Set S.
    5.13. Parameter Space and Rugged Landscape of Boundary Set S.
    5.14. Summary.
    6: Can Neural Networks Simulate Boundary Set S? 6.1. The Cocktailparty
    6.2. Kinds of Knowing at the Party.
    6.3. Artificial Neural Networks.
    6.4. Learning Algorithms.
    6.5. Multilayered Synchronous Networks and Self-Organization of Boundary Sets.
    6.6. Self-Organizing Neural Networks.
    6.7. Adaptivity.
    6.8. Critique of Artificial Neural Network Models.
    6.9. Natural Language Semantics and Indexical Reference: More Limits of
    6.10. The Conflation of Grammatical and Indexical Meaning with Mathematical
    6.11. Summary.
    7: Computability of Boundary Set S. 7.1. Computation and Complex Epistemic
    Domains: Problems with the Classical Computational Approach to Boundary Sets.
    7.2. The Decidability of the Epistemic Boundary Set S: Issues From the
    Moral Universe.
    7.3. Kinds of Knowing Found in the Moral Universe.
    7.4. Recursively Enumerable but Non-Recursive Moral Sets: Is the Set of
    Moral Considerations a Countable Set?
    7.5. The Epistemic Universe as Complex Numbers, C, or the Real Plane, R2
    and the Undecidability of Epistemic Boundary Set S.
    7.6. Summary.
    8: Summary and Conclusions. 8.1. What the Facts of Natural Intelligence Show.
    8.2. Themes.
    8.3. Comments on Some Contrasting Views.
    8.4. Conclusion. Appendix. References. Index.

    Hardbound ISBN: 1-4020-1186-5 Date: April 2003 Pages: 310 pp.
    EURO 99.00 / USD 97.00 / GBP 62.00

    Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
    Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
    7848-2784 fax: -2980 || willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk

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