Graduate Seminar

PHIS 691

Variable Credit

Hours to be arranged

The Role of the Mind in Measurement and Perception: An Application of Rosen's Modeling Relation

D. C. Mikulecky

Preofessor of Physiology



The modeling relation was developed by Robert Rosen as a tool for seeing how we actually do science. Since then it has been further extended as an approach to epistemology in general (Wm. Dress, "Epistemology and Rosen's Modeling Relation" Abstract 1999 ISSS Annual mtg.). It also has been used to interpret semiotics (Wm. Dress: A Bayesian approach to extracting meaning from system behavior, IEEE SMC '98 "Semantics and Semiotics of Computing Systems"). This course is aimed at making a smooth synthesis of these ideas with current ideas about human perception. The course will examine the interplay between sensory data and brain function in our perception of the "outside" world. Measurement as a tool for achieving "objectivity" will be examined in some detail. The use of symbols to represent the functional units of thought processes will be examined using a comparison between reductionism and holism as alternative approaches. To the extent that the material can be formalized, category theory, as introduced by Rosen, will be the formalism of choice. Finally, there will be no attempt to "unravel" self-referential loops and impredicativities, although this may happen inadvertently due to the author's training.



What is the problem? Why do we not just "see" the real world?

Sensory physiology



Objective vs subjective

The role of measurement

The modeling relation



Science and its limits

Where do we go from here?

For more information contact Prof. Mikulecky: 828-4500,,