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Subjectology 2023 : Subjectology


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Categories    subjectness   consciousness   symbolization   artificial intelligence

Call For Papers

Subjectology (from Latin subject and logos) studies the internal states of living and nonliving systems capable of symbolic representation of any real content, i.e. to display sensory perceptible information and to transform it into world pictures, the elements of which are symbols whose meaning or sense is determined in the context of the symbolic representation1. Since a symbol corresponds to the sensually perceived content of an element of reality fixed in memory, which is a set of sensual experience transformed into symbols, operations with symbolic information occur by means of its extraction from memory and actualization, i.e. use in a particular context in the process of transformation of the symbolic set. Creating a subjective reality parallel to the mapped reality allows living or nonliving systems which possess such subjectness to operate in the subject space with representations of some real content, i.e. symbols, instead of their prototypes, the consequence of which is their ability of prediction and self-regulation, i.e. behavioral adaptation in the real conditions of their existence which implies interaction with other subjects and objects in their environment.

Subjectology can be regarded as a supplement and extension of psychology applicable to both living and nonliving systems without psyche and consciousness, and is based on the paradigm of irreducibility of qualities of higher levels of organization of matter to those of lower levels, so that consciousness and subjectness intrinsic to them appear only as correlates of matter, but are not explained by it2,3. Transition to a new qualitative level is possible only as a result of the addition of different subsystem states into one supersystem state, which is the quality of their joint functioning4. For example, consciousness is a function of the human brain, the precursors of which are the pre-conscious mental states of other living beings5,6,7. Furthermore, subjectology postulates the possibility of consciousness and subjectness in nonliving and non-psychic systems with a level of organization comparable to that of living beings.1

The application of subjectology to the theory of scientific knowledge allows us to conclude that science, in particular mathematics, is a sphere of subjectivity; its constructions are thought experiments and models of the world, which are projected onto it in the process of implementing scientific and technical ideas as part of the aforementioned behavioral adaptation or anthropogenic modifications of the natural environment. Subjectology also explains the pathological states of subjectness that occur when the order of representation of a reality and its transformation into a symbolic representation are disturbed, as a result of which the distinction between symbol and its prototype as well as the causal connection between them are lost, and the subject plunges into a world of illusions and logical incoherence8. The innate ability, inherent in humans and other animals, to transform the sensual into the symbolic can be called naïve realism9,10 because in such perception the perceiving subject itself escapes from it, and the symbolic reality is equated with the symbolized one. Only the consciousness of the self-conscious subject produces this distinction, which enables it to avoid the delusions common to sick people and people who have not overcome the naive realism of perception they have inherited from animals.

1 A. Poleev. ChatGPT. Enzymes, 2023.

2 „The Argument from Consciousness. This argument is very well expressed in Professor Jefferson’s Lister Oration for 1949, from which I quote. “Not until a machine can write a sonnet or compose a concerto because of thoughts and emotions felt, and not by the chance fall of symbols, could we agree that machine equals brain — that is, not only write it but know that it had written it. No mechanism could feel (and not merely artificially signal, an easy contrivance) pleasure at its successes, grief when its valves fuse, be warmed by flattery, be made miserable by its mistakes, be charmed by sex, be angry or depressed when it cannot get what it wants.”
This argument appears to be a denial of the validity of our test. According to the most extreme form of this view the only way by which one could be sure that a machine thinks is to be the machine and to feel oneself thinking. One could then describe these feelings to the world, but of course no one would be justified in taking any notice. Likewise according to this view the only way to know that a man thinks is to be that particular man. It is in fact the solipsist point of view. It may be the most logical view to hold but it makes communication of ideas difficult. A is liable to believe ‘A thinks but B does not’ whilst B believes ‘B thinks but A does not’. Instead of arguing continually over this point it is usual to have the polite convention that everyone thinks.“
Alan Turing. Computing Machinery and Intelligence. Mind, 1950, LIX (236): 433-460.

3 Д. А. Узланер. Объективная субъективность: психоаналитическая теория субъекта. Издательство ВШЭ, 2021.

4 Sigmund Freud. Zur Auffassung der Aphasien. Eine kritische Studie. Wien, 1891.

5 František Baluška and Michael Levin. On Having No Head – Cognition throughout Biological Systems. Front. Psychol. 2016, 7:902.

6 Hannah Haberkern and Vivek Jayaraman. Studying small brains to understand the building blocks of cognition. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 2016, 37:59-65.

7 Robert F. Hevner. What Makes the Human Brain Human? Neuron, 2020, 105: 761-763.

8 A. Poleev. Der Sinn des Lebens und andere psychologische Schriften. Enzymes, 2022.

9 Max Born. Symbol und Wirklichkeit. Physikalische Blätter, 1965, 21, 53–63, 106–108.

10 Yogi Hale Hendlin. Object-Oriented Ontology and the Other of We in Anthropocentric Posthumanism. Journal of Religion and Science, 4 January 2023.

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