Epistemology as a productive method for brain-research, but also as a model for the intelligent brain itself: Kant versus Popper twice-over.
Robert Ralph Traill

part of: Australia-NZ PhilBio Workshop
June 20, 2023, 11:00pm - 11:30pm
Centre for Philosophy of the Sciences, School of Philosophy, Australian National University


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Macquarie University
Massey University

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Epistemology as a productive method for brain-research, but also as a model for the intelligent brain itself:   Kant versus Popper twice-over.

Orthodoxy says that the memory-and-thought are somehow enacted by the synaptic junctions between neuron nerve-cells — but after decades that “somehow” remains vague!  Anyhow we should instead be seeking mechanisms with digital ability.  Such an alternative paradigm has recently been offered (“Coding…” J.Psychiatry & Psychiatric Disorders), as follows:

·Spare RNA offers digital encodings, some as inherited “instincts”.  Others as arbitrary components assembled into countless candidate concepts, mostly then culled and recycled  ·Only those deemed consistent/coherent with inputs etc. will survive. (This exemplifies the Kantian/Darwinian technique for inverting causality, using trial-&-error). ·Such RNA sites would need to intercommunicate via infra-red.  That vastly increases the “Giga-bit” rate of the system, and allows signals some extra freedom beyond myelinated-nerves. ·It also offers liberating scope for digital addressing. ·Assembled concepts are small enough to fit inside nerve-fibres as “postage-packages”!  ·This model initially owed nothing to direct observation.

Popper’s approach: 1.Repudiated analogy and induction as non-rigorous (yet we use them unconsciously most of the time, including for observation — justified by Gödel etc.).  2.Insisted on testability (OK but could now include “Kantian/Darwinian” tests for coherence: within the brain, or within interdisciplinary theory).  3.Dismissed hypothesis-selection as unimportant — false for complex systems.

The above model clashes with Popper.  Verdict?                  

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