Generative Science

Putting the Fire in the Equations; Generating multilevel dynamical processes in Physics and Psychology

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Generative Psychology

Periodic Aspects of the Theory of Developmental Stages

by: John Curtis Gowan
Chapter 3 from "Development of the Creative Individual", 1972

Layered Cognitive Networks

An architecture is proposed in which connectionist links and pattern-directed rules are combined in a unified framework, involving the combination of distinct networks in layers. Piaget's developmental psychology is used to suggest specific semantic contents for the individual layers.

Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness:
A Causal Correspondence Theory

We may suspect that quantum mechanics and consciousness are related, but the details are not at all clear. In this paper, I suggest how the mind and brain might fit together intimately while still maintaining distinct identities. The connection is based on the correspondence of similar functions in both the mind and the quantum-mechanical brain.

Discrete Degrees Within and Between Nature and Mind (cross post from 'Physics articles')

Examining the role of dispositions  (potentials and propensities) in both physics and psychology reveals that they are commonly derivative dispositions, so called because they derive from other dispositions. Furthermore, when they act, they produce further propensities. Together, therefore, they appear to form discrete degrees within a structure of multiple generative levels. It is then constructively hypothesized that minds and physical nature are themselves discrete degrees within some more universal structure. This gives rise to an effective dualism of mind and nature, but one according to which they are still constantly related by causal connections. I suggest a few of the unified principles of operation of this more complicated but universal structure.

Quantum mechanics and consciousness: Thoughts on a causal correspondence theory

 Which way does causation proceed?  The pattern in the material world seems to be upward: particles to molecules to organisms to brains to mental processes.  In contrast, the principles of quantum mechanics allow us to see a pattern of downward causation.  These new ideas describe sets of multiple levels in which each level influences the levels below it through generation and selection.  Top-down causation makes exciting sense of the world: we can find analogies in psychology, in the formation of our minds, in locating the source of consciousness, and even in the possible logic of belief in God.


Author: I.J. Thompson (except as stated)