| Von Glasersfeld's answers - March 2008  |

 
 
 


QUESTION:
 
Dear Dr. Von Glasersfeld,

Recently I have written a paper (forthcoming) entitled “Realidad, Cerebro y Cultura. Sistémica elemental e incorporación del orden semiótico cultural” [“Reality, Brain and Culture. Systemics and the Embodiment of Semiotic Cultural Order”]; in this paper is defended the hypothesis, founded on Nelson Goodman Theory of World-Versions Making, that our reality (experiential reality as you may say, or “the reality in which we have conscious of ourselves as living in” as Putnam said) is –from a naturalistic-neurobiological departure point- the effect of dynamic systems to stabilizing neurobiological epigenetic rules. These rules, I think, are the phenotype proper of a singular culture; or, in other words, the correlate of semiotic singularity of a culture in a set of biological systems. These epigenetic rules are ontological patterns (but not ontic patterns… those there’s no exists) that constitute the semiotic stock of a singular culture. In this order of ideas, on one hand, we have systemic organization (depending on genetic expression –e.g. normal corticogenetic processes-) and systemic structure (depending on epigenetic stabilization subsequent having make up automatic transformation on systemic organization) of our neurocognitive system and, on the other hand, we have systemic organization and systemic structure of our cultural semiotic order. The embodiment of that cultural systemic organization, in consequence of systemic flows and filters with others, generate an epigenetic background. That organizational background with the ontogenic process generates, following to Maturana, the type identity of that system; briefly, we are human only before having embodied a cultural background and having stabilized an ontogenic organization (which depends on genetic expression (genome and surrounding pressures to its expression)). That epigenetic background works as a platform for perception and action and its constructions depends on the existence of pre-dispositional abilities to make permanent neural connective patterns (in this sense the learning seems an abductive performance). According with these ideas, the range of epigenetic variability depends on the limits of our embodied cultural semiotic order and its ontological patterns. This neurocognitive-systemic analysis might generate a new understanding of the intrinsic relationships present in the structure of our reality, our culture and our neurobiological dynamics. This work seems to me involve serious implications to etno- psyquiatrics (cultural relativism (?)) and, specifically, a possible ontological sense of serendipity and its relation with Proktor’s agnotology. Two relevant problems continue open (between universes of others): (a) How the system in which the subject is (any culture), actually, is embodied in it? This problem might take us to an autopoiético analysis of culture (perhaps, in Luhman way (?)); (b) (related with the later) What relationships are there with Memetics theoretical framework (specially Blackmore’s)?
Herewith kindly I shall wait for your current opinion on this project; of course, your critics, observations, recommendations, bibliography suggestions are always welcome.
With Best Regards,
 
CARLOS M. MUÑOZ S.
Universidad del Valle
Grupo de Investigación Mentis
Santiago de Cali, Feb. 29/ 2008

ANSWER:

Dear Mr. Suàrez,

I am afraid that your question is essentially
biological and therefore well out of my field. I
would suggest that you put it to Humberto
Maturana <info@matriztica.org>.

Best wishes,

Ernst von Glasersfeld

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