Dimensions of epistemology and ontology: A multidisciplinary dual-aspect monism perspective on psychophysics

Presentation @ Annual Research Conference – University of Plymouth – 13.03.2019

Abstract

It is argued that the Möbius band provides a readily accessible conceptual visual metaphor for dual-aspect monism à la Pauli-Jung (a profound perspective on the interrelation between physics and psychology). The ‘Pauli-Jung conjecture‘ is particularly relevant in the context of modern neuroscience as most contemporary neuroscientists stipulate prima facie that the brain produces consciousness. However, this perspective is not conclusively corroborated by empirical evidence and cutting-edge findings in the domain of experimental quantum physics challenge its validity. The monistic dual-aspect perspective provides a parsimonious & elegant alternative perspective on the mind-body problem and the hard problem of consciousness (viz., the production problem). The semantic symbolism of the Möbius band is particularly interesting from an embodied and grounded cognition perspective. Specifically, Lakoff’s influential conceptual metaphor theory provides an explanatory framework which highlights the importance of metaphorical thinking, i.e., metaphors lie at the very core of human cognition and structure all of human thought at the most fundamental neuronal/cognitive level (e.g., via neuronal Hebbian mechanisms of long-term potentiation which are primarily established in the Piagetian sensorimotor-phase of human development). Besides its theoretical scientific relevance pertaining to fundamental questions concerning epistemology and ontology the non-dual (Sanskrit: अद्वैत, Advaita) perspective has important and far-reaching moral and ethical ramifications which are crucial in the context of the critically endangered survival of the species Homō sapiēns sapiēns on the ‘Earth System’. This presentation will also discuss my own experimental research in the domain of psychophysics (analysed using a posteriori Bayesian parameter estimation via Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations). Furthermore, an algorithmic digital 3D artwork of a Möbius band will be presented to visually illustrate the dual-aspect approach (the artwork is virtually positioned in front of the campus of the University of Plymouth). A custom-made website which can be found under the following URL provides additional information for those who are fascinated by this epistemologically challenging psychophysical topic: http://dual-aspect-monism.cf

Algorithmic digital artwork – A figure of thought

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"The general problem of the relation between psyche and physis, between inside and outside, can hardly be regarded as solved by the term “psychophysical parallelism”advanced in the last century. Yet, perhaps, modern science has brought us closer to a more satisfying conception of this relationship, as it has established the notion of complementarity within physics. It would be most satisfactory if physis and psyche could be conceived as complementary aspects of the same reality." (Pauli, 1952)

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Algorithmic digital artwork depicting a virtual Möbius band in front of the Roland Levinski Building of the University of Plymouth. The Möbius band can be interpreted as a conceptual visual metaphor for dual-aspect à la Pauli-Jung (viz., mind & matter are not separate entities but complementary aspects in the quantum-physical sense).

The general problem of the relation between psyche and physis, between inside andoutside, can hardly be regarded as solved by the term “psychophysical parallelism”advanced in the last century. Yet, perhaps, modern science has brought us closer toa more satisfying conception of this relationship, as it has established the notion ofcomplementaritywithin physics. It would be most satisfactory if physis and psychecould be conceived as complementary aspects of the same reality. (Pauli, 1952)

W. Pauli, “Der Einfluss archetypischer Vorstellungen auf die Bildung naturwissenschaftlicher Theorien bei Kepler”, in Naturerklärung und Psyche, ed. by C.G. Jung and W. Pauli, Rascher, Zürich,1952, pp.

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Dimensions of epistemology and ontology - A multidisciplinary dual-aspect monism perspective on psychophysics


Code-snippet for plotting an interactive Möbius band in R via OpenGL
Pertinent References

Atmanspacher, H.. (2012). Dual-aspect monism à la Pauli and Jung perforates the completeness of physics. In Journal of Consciousness Studies (pp. 5–21)

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1063/1.4773112
DOI URL
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Barsalou, L. W.. (1999). Perceptual symbol systems.. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22(4), 577-609; discussion 610–60.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X99002149
DOI URL
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Gibbs, R. W.. (1996). Why many concepts are metaphorical. Cognition, 61(3), 309–319.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/S0010-0277(96)00723-8
DOI URL
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Lakoff, G.. (2014). Mapping the brain’s metaphor circuitry: metaphorical thought in everyday reason.. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 958.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00958
DOI URL
directSciHub download

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