Philosophy

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Epistemic Foundations of Symbolic Dynamics

The usefulness of symbolic dynamics rests on finding “good partitions” of the phase space, e.g. by construction of generating partitions which allow to approximate individual points in phase space by sustained measurements of coarse-graining devices. This is not possible for “misplaced” partitions where an intrinsic grain remains which makes certain states epistemically unaccessible. We have demonstrated the emergence of quantum-like properties such as complementary observables and contextual topologies (REFREF).

The Figure shows the possibility of complementary projectors in a chaotic dynamical system. As in algebraic quantum theory, two observables A, B are complementary if no eigenstate of A is eigenstate of B and vice versa. In statistical mechanics, an eigenstate of an observable A can be identified with a phase space domain R where A assumes a constant value making all individual states in R epistemically indistinguishable.

Epistemic Foundations of Symbolic Dynamics

Emergence of Mental States and Cognitive Processes

The concept of contextual emergence (REFREF) has been proposed as a non-reductive relation between different levels of description of physical and other systems where the lower level description comprises necessary but not sufficient conditions for the higher level description. These are supplied by contingent contexts obeying particular stability conditions. We have shown that Chalmers’ definition of “neural correlates of consciousness” (NCCs) can be complemented in terms of contextual emergence where the sufficient conditions are provided by contextually given “phenomenal families” partitioning the neural phase space (REF). Other examples for contextual emergence are syntactic language processing (REF), the evolutionary formation of categories (REF) or macrostates in neural networks (REF).

The Figure illustrates Descartes’ “organ metaphor of the mind” (left) mounted together with a brain synchronization map (right). Both portraits together make up the “vase versus faces” ambiguity (REF).

Emergence of Mental States and Cognitive Processes

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