Author Topic: Have I found universal grammar, and more? You be the judge.  (Read 2990 times)

Offline poemworld

  • Jr. Linguist
  • **
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
    • English
    • Poemworld
Re: Have I found universal grammar, and more? You be the judge.
« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2020, 10:23:08 AM »
It’s now time to assemble the overall memory structure. Integrity is the connection between the lower conjunctive (somatic) memory and the upper disjunctive (cognitive) memory. As mentioned earlier, Integrity uses both types of memory, with the disjunctive memory reading from and writing to both memories. In particular, it uses the disjunctive memory as a “mental tool” to help maintain status quo equilibrium via Le Châtelier’s principle.

Let’s review. The system under consideration begins with the extension of Whitehead’s physical/mental poles to a Being/Value polarity. This polarity then breaks into three axes upon the introduction of Integrity: Integrity, Being, and Value axes. The axes bound three ontological phases of memory: Self, World, and Others. These are interpreted thermodynamically by Schreinemakers' method and the Morey-Schreinemakers Coincidence Theorem. The invariant point is Integrity, which acts as a mental and somatic tool to maintain the status quo equilibrium via Le Châtelier’s principle. This interpretation can be described as thermomnemonic. Next, the autonomic and somatic component of memory is described. The Being, Value, and Integrity parts of the axes differentiate into Peirce’s aesthetic, ethical, and logical gauges of weak/strong, good/bad, and true/false dimensions respectively. A conjunctor comprises the cap of this structure, connecting it to Integrity. A configuration space, or situation space, is then derived from the Cartesian cross of the three dimensions. This forms the stable and well-ordered memory of the organism, a thermomnemonic statics. Finally, the autonomous and mental component of memory is addressed. A phenomenological cycle/circuit is proposed that successfully demarcates physical exteriority from mental interiority and preconscious protomemory from conscious memory. Folding the cycle into a cubic configuration causes it to divide into two. The cycle is thus transformed into two “RecIt”, or recursive-iterative, cubes. As suggested, they form recursive and iterative pathways, which in turn comprise a Being-led sensory-motor (SM) interface and a Value-led conceptual-intentional (CI) interface. They also represent the phylogenetic evolution and ontogenetic development of the interfaces: Being (B) becoming Substances (Su), then Forms (Fo), leading to Signs/Symbols (Sim), and Value (V) becoming Qualities (Qu), then Meanings (Me), also leading to Signs/Symbols (Sim). The distinctiveness of human minds is shown to be due to evolution and development of a Sim extension, paralleling the Integrity extension, and permitting Chomsky’s Merge to occur, along with displacement, and, ultimately, natural human language. A model of animal mind, memory, and mentality then results from the absence of the Sim extension. This constitutes the organism’s memory processing, or thermomnemonic dynamics.
This is the complete and comprehensive system of human memory. It is composed of The Crown, memory processing, and The Throne, memory storage, which are linked together by Integrity.



If beauty is a sign of truth, then I believe this system is true because of its beauty, but not only because of its beauty, but also because of the reasons provided. Here is a summary of the findings presented.

Some observations:
1. The integrated “RecIt” (recursive-iterative) cube displays a meta-metastable memory, indicated by the dashed-line square.
2. The RecIt cube-pairs are reminiscent of a “flip-flop”, or bistable multivibrator, a circuit that has two stable states and can be used to store information and is the basic storage element in sequential logic. However, where the electronic
25
version stores a symbolic 0 or 1, this organismic flip-flop stores meanings and forms, while recursion is constructing symbolic strings.
3. The branching paths, originating at and from Integrity (I), comprise both a phylogenetic evolution of species mind, both external and internal, and an ontogenetic development of organismic mind, also external and internal, which are considered to have occurred in parallel.
4. An animal model of mind is available by eliminating the Signs/Symbols extension to the Forms:Meanings nexus, thus eliminating recursion, while leaving the iterative paths open.
5. It appears that the Signs/Symbols (Sim) extension is the lexicon. Further, it seems that the Sim extension, or lexicon, is what distinguishes human from animal mentality structurally. The Sim extension has a parallel in the Integrity extension, which is common to human and animal mentality.
6. The “epistemic gap” between physical and mental, or external and internal, has been bridged. There are two paths that may be taken: a) I -> B -> Su -> Fo -> Sim -> V -> Se -> Me -> I; and b) I -> V -> Se -> Me -> Sim -> B -> Su -> Fo - > I. The crossover is at Sim, where the path forks and internal, Value-based, memory can crossover to external, Being-based, memory and vice versa. Note that the paths are asymmetrical.
7. Merge appears naturally as the locus where Forms (Fo) and Meanings (Me) recursively converge alternatively with the Sim extension (lexicon). This is where language is assembled, drawing from Forms, Meanings, and Signs/ Symbols, guided by Being and Substance on the one hand and Value and Sensations on the other.
8. The performance/semantic and competence/hermeneutic cyclical directions are preserved, with the former Value-led and the latter Being-led.
9. The Sim extension (lexicon) is necessary for the human mind to read from and write to memory, and to overwrite evolved reactions to Signs. Otherwise, an organism without the Sim extension is only capable of reacting to Signs, internal and external, which minds have evolved to necessarily respond to, without consciousness of Symbols.
10. The alternation of Forms (Fo) and Meanings (Me) may explain displacement, but the author isn’t competent to comment further.
11. An apt summation of this work is that the intersection of mind and body is memory, mind ∩ body = memory, and this intersection is likely unique. Thus, one may dispense with the mind and body as such and examine and interrogate memory directly. I owe this insight to a private communication with Chomsky.

In conclusion, if this description is coherent and consistent and the explanation offered is applicable and adequate, in other words correct, then Peirce, Whitehead, and Chomsky are right.

This is it. This is all. This is a solution to the mind-body problem as a system of pure memory structure. This is the product of 33 years of sustained continuous thought. It is finished. There is nothing left to add.
“The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.”
Philip K. Dick

Offline poemworld

  • Jr. Linguist
  • **
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
    • English
    • Poemworld
Re: Have I found universal grammar, and more? You be the judge.
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2020, 07:31:36 AM »
My email to Chomsky and Berwick.

Good day gentlemen,

Thanks again for your reply. You wrote "Unbounded Merge is a computational operation, in fact a trivial one.  As such, it can be coded in any of the standard forms of recursion: Turing, Kleene, Post, etc." This is undoubtedly true and I agree with it. In fact, this assertion is supported by explanatory context provided by Gödel:

Quote
"Tarski has stressed in his lecture (and I think justly) the great importance of the concept of general recursiveness (or Turing's computability). It seems to me that this importance is largely due to the fact that with this concept one has for the first time succeeded in giving an absolute notion to an interesting epistemological notion, i.e., one not depending on the formalism chosen." (Gödel 1946 in Davis 1965:84).

This verifies and validates what you're saying. That Merge, in its simplicity, is codable in any and all standard forms of recursion is uncontested. It appears that Merge is the simplest operation that is capable of completing and effectuating recursion and providing the means to efficient computation. The SMT appears to be on a sound footing.

Three suggestions are being offered here. The first is that generative recursion is better described by the dual operations of analytic recursion and synthetic corecursion.

Quote
In computer science, corecursion is a type of operation that is dual to recursion. Whereas recursion works analytically, starting on data further from a base case [meaning] and breaking it down into smaller data and repeating until one reaches a base case [meaning as interpretation], corecursion works synthetically, starting from a base case [meaning] and building it up [thought or speech], iteratively producing data further removed from a base case. Put simply, corecursive algorithms use the data that they themselves produce, bit by bit, as they become available, and needed, to produce further bits of data. A similar but distinct concept is generative recursion which may lack a definite "direction" inherent in corecursion and recursion.

In this context, analytic recursion is the basis for competence in interpreting a linguistic signal, while synthetic corecursion is the basis for performance, or simply thought (the inner mental tool). This clarifies how Merge is being used and to what ends. For example, it suggests that the empty set may be used by Merge to analytically break up linguistic structures for further examination. The Kleene star is an example of the empty set.

A second suggestion is that the conception of large cardinals is useful for MP and SMT. The Basic Property of language invokes them anyway. It also has a bearing on how the unspecified controller mentioned in WOU can possibly even use Merge, a trivial set operation, in the first place given the large cardinality character of lexical memory, the lexicon, that it draws from. This was the reason I first brought the matter to your attention. It does appear to fall within the realm of possibility to approach UG from above. Gödel has something to say about "intrinsic and extrinsic justifications" for large cardinal axioms, from the SEP entry mentioned:

There is a discussion of Gödel that has bearing on each of these questions, namely, his discussion of intrinsic and extrinsic justifications in his classic paper (Gödel (1947), expanded as Gödel (1964)).

Quote
1.4.2 Intrinsic versus Extrinsic Justifications
In introducing the notion of an intrinsic justification Gödel gives as an example certain large cardinal axioms that are just beyond the reach of ZFC:

[The] axioms of set theory [ZFC] by no means form a system closed in itself, but, quite on the contrary, the very concept of set on which they are based suggests their extension by new axioms which assert the existence of still further iterations of the operation “set of” (260).

As examples he mentions the axioms asserting the existence of inaccessible cardinals and Mahlo cardinals:

These axioms show clearly, not only that the axiomatic system of set theory as used today is incomplete, but also that it can be supplemented without arbitrariness by new axioms which only unfold the content of the concept of set as explained above. (260–261, my emphasis)

Since Gödel later refers to such axioms as having “intrinsic necessity” we shall accordingly speak of such axioms being intrinsically justified on the basis of the iterative concept of set.

The notion of extrinsic justification is introduced as follows:

[E]ven disregarding the intrinsic necessity of some new axiom, and even in case it has no intrinsic necessity at all, a probable decision about its truth is possible also in another way, namely, inductively by studying its “success”. (261)

Here by “success” Gödel means “fruitfulness in consequences, in particular “verifiable” consequences”. In a famous passage he writes:

There might exist axioms so abundant in their verifiable consequences, shedding so much light upon a whole field, and yielding such powerful methods for solving problems (and even solving them constructively, as far as that is possible) that, no matter whether or not they are intrinsically necessary, they would have to be accepted at least in the same sense as any well-established physical theory. (261)

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/large-cardinals-determinacy/

The third suggestion, more of an observation really, follows from the word "coded". Recursion and Merge are described largely algebraically, in mathematical formalisms, symbolic logics, codes and coding, even tree diagrams, which follow algebraic patterns. This approach has been fantastically successful and is not to be criticized lightly. They can and have been used to point to places in the physical brain to look for evidence to support the SMT, for example the "fiber tract 'ring'" mentioned on p. 161, and the middle temporal cortex as the lexicon on p. 159. But this approach has its limits. The evidence it points to reaches beyond its own abstractions to a more concrete and structural reality. This evidence is, in turn, extremely suggestive of another conception of recursion, namely the electronic circuit, which is geometrical, structural, and physical. The electronic device called a "flip-flop" is a good example. It is "a circuit that has two stable states and can be used to store state information – a bistable multivibrator. The circuit can be made to change state by signals applied to one or more control inputs and will have one or two outputs. It is the basic storage element in sequential logic." Thus, there should be a notion of "geometric recursion" or perhaps "path recursion". Iterations also share in this notion as simpler closed loops.

These suggestions, or arguments, are part of the basis for my writing to you. A geometrical and structural derivation from first principles of a structural system of memory has been found that shares far too many coincidental features with the ideas discussed in WOU for me to discount. You've said elsewhere that:

Quote
Berwick and I have argued (I think plausibly, but not uncontroversially) that language, an internal system of the mind, is independent of externalization and basically provides expressions of linguistically formulated thought. As such, it is a system of pure structure, lacking linear order and other arrangements that are not really part of language as such but are imposed by requirements of the articulatory system...

The only such system that I can conceivably imagine is memory, which is a system that both mind and body share, all the way down to the cellular level with genes, which are "how to reproduce and regulate" memory.

I hope you'll give these ideas a chance.
Bruce Banner
Fort Worth, Texas
“The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.”
Philip K. Dick

Offline poemworld

  • Jr. Linguist
  • **
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: us
    • English
    • Poemworld
Re: Have I found universal grammar, and more? You be the judge.
« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2020, 09:59:39 AM »
My 29 May 2020 letter to Prof. William Seager, a philosopher of mind at the University of Toronto and co-author of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Panpsychism.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/panpsychism/

Dear Prof. Seager,

I hope this email finds you well in these strange, uncertain, even liminal times.

I'm writing to express my delight at discovering you and your work, and to thank you for it. You, sir, are "one-stop shopping" for all things panpsychical, someone and something I didn't even know I'd been looking for until I found you and it. I stumbled across your work by googling both Chomsky and Whitehead. To my knowledge, Chomsky has never mentioned Whitehead, which seems a bit strange, but his oeuvre is immense and I wanted to take a look. I landed on your paper "Whitehead and the Revival (?) of Panpsychism", which was illuminating. I moved from there to your SEP entry on panpsychism, which is even more revealing. The reading of both was fascinating. The mental effort going into this work is impressive. It's lineage is even more so. But goggling over these brainstorms isn't the only reason I'm writing you. If you'll indulge me, I'll try to be as brief as I can, which is difficult but manageable.

I've been thinking, working, and writing somewhat in parallel with the panpsychism movement for some time now. I've largely been following Chomsky's lead as it's made the most sense to me, up to and including the biolinguistic Minimalist Program. Over the past five years, and since the beginning of this year in particular, some ideas have seemingly come to a sort of phronetic fruition, especially around the idea of memory. To my astonishment, the word “memory” doesn't appear even once in the SEP entry, which is especially surprising since information is widely accepted as a physical phenomenon, and computers, as analogies and models for consciousness as well as useful machines, are mostly memory storage and memory processing. The concept of memory offers an approach to the mind-body problem, namely the formulation “mind ∩ body = memory”, or memory is the intersection of mind and body, which reaches from the genetic memory of cells, through to the somatic memory of autonomic processes and reflexes, and beyond to the cognito-affective memory we’re familiar with. The struggle over emergence also suggests a simpler alternative idea, sensory amplification, which along with accumulation (already a characteristic of memory) describes both mental growth and development. Thus consciousness may be considered as temporally ordered and spatially organized memory: amplifying the phenomenological inputs from the senses, both from outside (the familiar five) and inside (e.g. hunger, fatigue, proprioception, sexual drives, etc.), accumulating said inputs in memory and as memories, which can then be processed, thought about and reflected upon, creating new memories. After all, you can’t and won’t think about what you can’t or don’t remember. Without memory, these sensory inputs are merely noisy signals without form or meaning, which is basically the situation and predicament of an infant or someone stricken with Alzheimer’s syndrome. Fortunately, natural evolution has equipped us with an innate memory structure for handling these signals and using them to acquire forms and meanings via somatic substances and sensory qualities, what Chomsky calls Universal Grammar, but whose range and domain extend far beyond the faculty of language (a latecomer in our evolutionary development) to order and organize experience into our useful and actionable interior model of the world, others, and self. In addition, human beings are able to read from and write to memory, an aspect of our memory which appears to establish the faculty of language, while being enhanced by language. It is also our fundamental phylogenetic and ontogenetic difference from animals (along with language), who experience an eternal present fine-tuned by memory and who adaptively react to it, and which explains how humanity fell out of nature into history, with our senses and tenses of the past, present, and future, which animals appear to lack.

This is the basic idea, but these concepts go neither far enough nor deep enough by themselves, i.e. they appear descriptively consistent and coherent but aren’t really applicably and adequately explanatory. To extend the reach and scope of these ideas requires seeing panpsychism as a substitute idea, a placeholder. This is where an appeal is made to Whitehead's organismic process philosophy, in particular his notion of the mental and physical as "poles" of an actual occasion, or organism, but connected together rather than separate, rather like a bar magnet, and then extended beyond the mental and physical to axiological Value and ontological Being respectively. (I’m indebted to the late University of Georgia philosopher Frederick Ferré for his book "Being and Value”, the first in his trilogy on constructive postmodernism, from a series edited by David Ray Griffin, for clarifying these ideas. Ferré was a Whiteheadian whose father was a grad student of Whitehead’s.) Axiological Value is what panpsychism is standing in for, while the material properties and processes of substances, aka physics and chemistry, are what represent ontological Being.

A simple analogy, or model in this instance, is suggested, using 0 and 1 as the characteristic numbers for Value and Being, and connecting them, just as in a unit line segment, which Cantor demonstrated to be as transfinite as an infinite line. The suggestion of 0 as characteristic of Value is justified by the central place and essential role it plays in mathematics and logic (my degree is in mathematics from UT Austin) and without which what we know as modern mathematics and logic is impossible. Somewhat poetically, 0 may thus be considered the essential “king” of numbers, with 1 the existential “queen”, the latter justified by the fact it can reproduce the rest of the numbers by recursion. This provides a minimally structured, yet rich, polarity to replace Cartesian duality while retaining its utility as a concept, now stripped of its unnecessary metaphysical baggage. In this sense, Value and Being represent both the transnatural metaphysical limits and unboundedness of reality and the knowledge to be found therein. Quoting from a letter to Chomsky (edited):

Quote
Being and Value are metaphysical categories necessary for analysis and synthesis. Together they constitute Integrity and establish Integrity's existential limits and essential unboundedness, with Being providing the finite means which Value makes infinite use of. This resolves Cartesian dualism into a polarity united by Integrity, an idea suggested by Alfred North Whitehead's organismic process philosophy of the mental and physical ‘poles’ of an actual occasion, or organism. The characteristic number of Being is 1 and the characteristic number of Value is 0, which are convenient for prelinguistic heuristic processing and natural human language construction and interpretation. Being is conserved (can neither be created nor destroyed, only transformed), is the origin of quanta, is the basis of the existential, and is described by the discrete. Meanwhile Value is nonconserved (can be created or destroyed as well as changed), creates qualia, is the basis for the essential, and is described by the continuous.

Value is considered to be a natural ordering and organizing principle or process which, again, to paraphrase Wilhelm von Humboldt on language, makes infinite use of the finite means of Being, including non-mechanistically generating the variety of qualia we know and experience, addressing the palette problem. This is a conception of the cause of natural life and consequently its evolution. Finally, between Value and Being, as mentioned, is their boundary and product, which is called Integrity, which stands for the individual, and demarcates and mediates the internal/interior/intrinsic/essential range and domain of Value from and between the external/exterior/extrinsic/existential range and domain of Being, while consisting of and participating in both. In a rather large nutshell, these are the ideas I’ve been working on.

If you’re curious, you can find two papers plus an in-depth email to Chomsky and Robert Berwick explicating and exploring these concepts, the last two written since the beginning of this year, at poemworld.blogspot.com. (Berwick is Chomsky’s co-author on a simply smashing book about biolinguistics titled “Why Only Us” (2016), which I personally count as on a par with “Origin of Species”, and was pivotal in the development of these ideas.) The most pertinent paper is titled “Peirce, Whitehead, Chomsky: Memory, the Mind-Body Problem, and Language”, which proceeds from the first principles and processes described above.

It links up ontology and axiology with thermodynamics via:

1. “Schreinemakers’ Analysis”, a geometric method for constructing topologically correct phase diagrams of matter and its reactions, here extended to include memory
2. the “Morey-Schreinemakers Coincidence Theorem”, which states that for every univariant line of a phase diagram passing throught the invariant point, one side is stable and the other side is metastable, with the invariant point as the boundary;
3. Gibbs’ Phase Rule, which is F = C - P + 2, i.e. the number of independent intensive variables, or degrees of freedom, F, is equal to the number of system components, C, minus the number of phases, P, plus 2. Memory is the single component of the system, so C=1, with World, Others, and Self as the three necessary phases of memory, plus an initial “no phase” condition, thus P=0, 1, 2, 3 (hypothesized as the order that a human infant develops them but also ontologically comprehensive and complete), which finally yields Value, Being, and Integrity as the three corresponding necessary independent intensive variables, or degrees of freedom, culminating in the invariant point of Integrity with no degrees of freedom; and
4. Le Châtelier’s principle, which may be stated as “whenever a system in equilibrium is disturbed the system will adjust itself in such a way that the effect of the change will be nullified.”

The relationship between thermodynamics and memory is extensive in the STEM literature, e.g. information theory, Maxwell’s demon, Landauer’s law, etc. The idea of phases of memory seems fairly original, in the sense of material phases like solid, liquid, and gas, rather than phases of a process. The idea was appropriated because it works, that is, is yields useful insights, similar to some ideas in classical physics, such as angular momentum, being useful in quantum mechanics, such as spin. They're analogies if not analogous. There are open questions of whether the idea of “intrinsic variable” is applicable to Being, Value, and Integrity. The distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic variables, though useful, especially in thermodynamics, has been shown to breakdown elsewhere. The interpretation is preserved for the time being because of its utility, but it is certainly open to question and inspection.

A phenomenological cycle/circuit is also proposed that has some interesting properties. Starting with a simple directed graph connecting Integrity to Signs/Symbols, or semiotics, via two separate paths (Being to Substances to Forms to Signs/Symbols, which is the external path; and Value to Qualities to Meanings to Signs/Symbols, which is the internal path), upon being geometrically transformed, it reveals two dual recursive paths (one for internal memory and one for external memory), supported by four iterations (two internal and two external, but also two autonomic and two autonomous), and a "switch", permitting the alternation between interiority and exteriority, and which includes something looking very much like Chomsky’s Merge operations at the switching points, all of which are explored in more depth in the letter to Chomsky and Berwick. In its totality it’s reminiscent of a “flip-flop”, or bistable multivibrator, an electronic circuit with two stable states that can store information and is the basic storage element in sequential logic. In addition, and quite intriguingly, it appears that removing a single piece from this picture reduces the human memory structure to a general animal memory structure, losing both recursive paths, two of the four iterations, and the switch, which is advantageous for the saltatory evolutionary picture as proposed by Chomsky and Berwick in “Why Only Us”. There is much more as well.

As an aside, the fusionism proposed by Mørch and yourself can be said to be descripitively suggestive in both your own “big simple” characterization, which captures the centrality of Integrity as a thermodynamic “invariant point”, almost as a Leibnizian monad, while her parts-and-whole approach embodies the developing nervous system’s dependency upon the unfolding genetic plan for Universal Grammar, which once established depends upon the brain and its correlates for its functioning. They both also suggest the non-mechanistic "Gestalt" of qualia. But this is only a guess based upon a cursory synopsis of your ideas. Speaking of which, I’m not suggesting that these ideas are necessarily correct. This hypothesis is tentatively held and offered, as suggested by the previous comments regarding the status of thermodynamic phases of memory. They could, of course, be wrong, and probably are in some, if not many or all, respects, which is what makes them reasonable. I am inviting skepticism and criticism, which are tokens of curiosity and interest, based upon my qualified confidence in the framework of ideas presented.

I don’t wish to belabor the issues any further than I already have here. Hopefully I’ve whet your appetite to explore further. Regardless, you have my gratitude for providing a sumptuous feast of food for thought.

Best wishes,
Bruce Banner
Fort Worth, Texas
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 10:07:15 AM by poemworld »
“The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.”
Philip K. Dick