Endogenous causes and bizarre effects
Why should we be concerned
with endogenous systems, impredicative models, or bizarre effects?
Bad guessing => Disastrous results
Are there questions that traditional methods cannot answer?
We must distinguish events from their descriptions
Rosen’s modeling relation is a mathematical formalism that uses entailments to describe this distinction
Entailment? What’s an entailment?
To appreciate causal entailment, consider a LTI digital filter
We can design an adaptive filter, one that updates its own transfer function
Nothing stops us from entailing an entailment
But does it really leave us better off than before?
Can we appeal to biology to find a constraint to stop the infinite regress?
Organisms can be
distinguished as a category of endogenous systems
closed to efficient cause
Replication and evolution are not the key distinguishing features of life
In a simple (reducible or mechanistic) system (P -> Rn) causes are distinct and unentangled
Processes of life and mind are observed to have closed loops of causality
To appreciate function, start with a heterogeneous system
In a simple system, removing a part produces a direct difference
In a complex system, removing a part practically always changes everything
In a complex system all the parts are functional components
The difference between the systems defines the component
The difference between the behaviors of the systems defines the function of the component
A functional component interacts with its system and the overall environment
The wonder of it all is that this can be described mathematically
A mapping between entailments is more general than a mapping between lists of numbers
and there was
a Big Bang
Bizarre behavior is
completely real, and engineerable
Major practical consequence, function is entangled or non-local; like a pair of “magic coins”
Bateson: Meaning is neither in a sign nor its referent; meaning resides in the correspondence between them
Generative grammar (law for transforming strings into deep structure or meaning) is incomputable
Chomsky would be horrified by the correspondence between his theory and Aristotelian causality
Language is a bizarre effect of an endogenous system
Can the Hand of Man make a semantic (extracts meaning) artifact? Yes… ,
If this way were easy, wouldn’t everybody be doing it?
Another bizarre consequence of causal entailment in complex systems is anticipatory behavior
There appears to be a hierarchy of complex effects with high complexity functions emerging from lower complexity