Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 11, No 2 (2015)

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The Circle of Explanation in the Sciences

Seán Ó Nualláin


Ontological discontinuities have logical and computational consequences. Physics with constraints begets chemistry; naïve nanotechnology chose to ignore the effects of numerical constraints in orbitals on the type of molecules that can be created. On entering the biological realm, these numerical constraints begin to transform into syntax and semantics. Such projects as the HGP and GWAS have plateaued after ignoring these constraints, best handled in new subjects like biosemiotics.

In this paper, a new way of parsing nature, one that starts from the fact of ontological distinctions, is proposed. Two foci are later identified; the bridge subject of biosemiotics, which this author dealt with in a previous C+H paper, and the quantum mind hypothesis. The latter is seen as another bridge, this time from the academy to the real world in which we are objects as much as subjects.

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