mns2012 (mns2012) wrote in biosemiotics,

Howard Pattee: Primary Biosemiosis: Symbol Grounding by Folding


Semiosis and life are coextensive.

There is [...] the epistemic problem of distinguishing subjective symbols from objective matter. It is significant that this problem also exists as the measurement problem in physics.

Патти предлагает своё понимание того, что такое измерение и почему процесс измерения связан с обсуждаемой темой семиозиса.

Вот с этим мне трудно согласиться:

In any case, assuming an interpreter at the origin of life would beg the question.

Информации не существует без интепретатора. Порочный круг появляется только если оставаться в рамках метафизического натурализма. Если вспомнить, что Патти верит в то, что символы вышли из утробы материи (неточный перевод высказывания Лао Цзы, которое Патти поместил как эпиграф к одной из своих статей), то данное его утверждение становится понятным.

Symbols can be briefly described as lawfully undetermined discrete structures that record, store, or communicate information. Symbols are physical structures, called symbol vehicles. These structures can be manipulated syntactically (e.g., copied, coded, and transmitted) without reference to their semantic information content. Defining symbols as arbitrary or conventional is useful but not enough because it is difficult to exclude unknown causality [интересно, что здесь имеется в виду, супернатурализм? -- mns2012] Symbol vehicles are identified by their objective function of carrying information. Thus, all gene sequences and all sensory responses are symbolic.

Symbols seldom function in isolation. They usually function in symbol systems and languages. Within the known universe, by far the most common and most numerous symbolic information structures are 1-dimensional sequences of a language. Life began with them and civilization, cultures, and technology would not exist without them (e.g., Waters, 2021). Physically an efficient symbolic information system requires material structures with stable, distinguishable, equiprobable states undetermined by laws, and therefore irreducible to laws. Physically these are energy-degenerate states. The information capacity is measured logarithmically by the number of these states that are available, which in the case of sequences is virtually unlimited.

Symbolic information is initially grounded or expressed by the symbol vehicles acting as boundary conditions or constraints on dynamical systems (e.g., Polanyi, 1968; Pattee, 1982). While symbol sequences are not limited by physical laws, they are limited by the theorems of Communication Theory [имеются в виду, вероятно, условия минимизации информационных потерь при передаче по каналу с шумом -- mns2012], and as languages they are limited by syntactic rules. Symbol vehicles as information structures have no intrinsic dynamics or time dependence which is why they can be stored in memories, copied, and coded syntactically. Symbol sequences may change by adding or deleting information, but unlike the dynamics they constrain, these changes are rate-independent.

Патти указывает далее на сенсорный вход и измерение как на противоположность свертыванию белка. Действие - интерпретация - символ (белковая молекула изменяет своё биологически активное состояние в отклик на стимул среды и это интерпретируется получателем сигнала как символ (токен): символ - интерпретация - действие (metabolic pathways).

[L]ife depends on sensory inputs that are a type of measurement. These measurement processes convert specific external energetic physical stimuli to internal informational symbols. This matter-to-symbol conversion is executed by a single molecule that was constructed by the converse process of universal genetic symbol-to-matter folding.

Далее автор говорит о необходимости и даже неизбежности того, что он называет эпистемным сечением, как для организации жизни, так и при проведении любого естественнонаучного или практического инженерного исследования. Отличие измеряемого от измерителя -- необходимый момент при измерении всякой физической величины. Здесь ссылка на Неймана, которую я так долго искал. Нейман приводит ещё одну причину, по которой это разграничение необходимо (если мы хотим объяснить измерительную функцию прибора, а не просто описать движение молекул, из которых он состоит) -- бесконечная рекурсия.

Von Neumann (1955) gave another reason for the necessity of separation of the measurement and what is measured. If conceptually you include all the material details of the measuring device as part of the measured system, you lose the distinction of what is measured and what is not measured. Also you will need a second measuring device to measure the initial conditions of the first device which is now a part of the system. This leads to an infinite regress (e.g., von Neumann, 1955, 352). In other words, any symbol creation by detection or measurement must recognize an epistemic cut separating the objective event from its subjective symbolic result.

В заключении Патти приводит причину, по которой вывод биосемиотики о полном перекрытии (co-extensiveness) понятий жизни и семиозиса является справедливым.

We still do not know how the code arose, but from the evidence it appears to be symbolic or “chemically gratuitous” in Monod’s words. Only with experimental searches by many people, was the entire code revealed by 1966. This example of symbolic control, as opposed to lawful control, is the type of empirical evidence that allows the biosemiotic claim that “life and semiosis are coextensive.”
Tags: symbol-matter problem, Нейман, Патти, биосемиозис, биосемиотика, измерение, эпистемное сечение

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