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Christophe Menant
Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Electronique, d'Electrotechnique, d'Informatique et d'Hydraulique de Toulouse (ENSEEIHT)
  1. Turing Test, Chinese Room Argument, Symbol Grounding Problem. Meanings in Artificial Agents (2013).Christophe Menant - 2013 - In The American Philosophical Associat ion (ed.), APA Newsletter Philosophy and Computers Fall 2013 ISSN 2155-9708. The American Philosophical Associat ion.
    The Turing Test (TT), the Chinese Room Argument (CRA), and the Symbol Grounding Problem (SGP) are about the question “can machines think?” We propose to look at these approaches to Artificial Intelligence (AI) by showing that they all address the possibility for Artificial Agents (AAs) to generate meaningful information (meanings) as we humans do. The initial question about thinking machines is then reformulated into “can AAs generate meanings like humans do?” We correspondingly present the TT, the CRA and the SGP (...)
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  2. Consciousness of Oneself as Object and as Subject. Proposal for an Evolutionary Approach (2014).Christophe Menant - 2014 - Dissertation, TSC 2014 Poster
    We humans experience ourselves as objects and as subjects. The distinction initiated by Kant between consciousness of oneself as object and consciousness of oneself as subject was a strict one. The rigidity of that distinction has been challenged by philosophers from the continental and the analytic traditions [1]. From another perspective, researches about animal self-awareness are widening the horizon of studies relative to the nature of self-consciousness [2]. These various perspectives introduce the interest about addressing consciousness of oneself as object (...)
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  3. Biosemiotics, Aboutness, Meaning and Bio-Intentionality. Proposal for an Evolutionary Approach (2015).Christophe Menant - 2015 - Dissertation, Biosemiotics Gatherings 2015. Aalborg University Copenhagen
    The management of meaningful information by biological entities is at the core of biosemiotics [Hoffmeyer 2010]. Intentionality, the ‘aboutness’ of mental states, is a key driver in philosophy of mind. Philosophers have been reluctant to use intentionality for non human animals. Some biologists have been in favor of it. J. Hoffmeyer has been using evolutionary intentionality and Peircean semiotics to discuss a biosemiotic approach to the problem of intentionality [Hoffmeyer 1996, 2012]. Also, recent philosophical studies are bringing new openings on (...)
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  4. Information and Meaning (2003).Christophe Menant - 2003 - [Journal (on-Line/Unpaginated)] 5:193-204.
    We propose here to clarify some of the relations existing between information and meaning by showing how meaningful information can be generated by a system submitted to a constraint. We build up definitions and properties for meaningful information, a meaning generator system and the domain of efficiency of a meaning (to cover cases of meaningful information transmission). Basic notions of information processing are used.
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  5. Information, Constraint and Meaning. From the Pre-Biotic World to a Possible Post Human One. An Evolutionary Approach (2017).Christophe Menant - 2017 - Dissertation, Chalmers University. Gotheborg, Sweden. IS4SI. Symposium on Theoretical Information Studies.
    The presentation proposes to complement an existing development on meaning generation for animals, humans and artificial agents by looking at what could have existed at pre-biotic times and what could be a post-human meaning generation. The core of the approach is based on an existing model for meaning generation: the Meaning Generator System (MGS). The MGS is part of an agent submitted to an internal constraint. The MGS generates a meaning when it receives an information that has a connection with (...)
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  6. Computation on Information, Meaning and Representations. An Evolutionary Approach (2011).Christophe Menant - 2011 - World Scientific.
    Understanding computation as “a process of the dynamic change of information” brings to look at the different types of computation and information. Computation of information does not exist alone by itself but is to be considered as part of a system that uses it for some given purpose. Information can be meaningless like a thunderstorm noise, it can be meaningful like an alert signal, or like the representation of a desired food. A thunderstorm noise participates to the generation of meaningful (...)
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  7. Proposal for an Evolutionary Approach to Self-Consciousness (Feb 8th 2014).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    It is pretty obvious to most of us that self-consciousness is a product of evolution. But its nature is unknown. We propose here a scenario addressing a possible evolutionary nature of self-consciousness covering the segment linking pre-human primates to humans. The scenario is based on evolutions of representations and of inter-subjectivity that could have taken place within the minds of our pre-human ancestors . We begin by situating self-consciousness relatively to other aspects of human consciousness. With the help of anthropology, (...)
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  8.  80
    Evolutionary Scenario Linking the Nature of Self-Consciousness to Anxiety Management (Dec 2017).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    Anxiety is a main contributor to human psychological sufferings. Its evolutionary sources are generally related to alert signals for coping with adverse or unexpected situations [Steiner, 2002] or to hunter-gatherer emotions mismatched with today environments [Horwitz & Wakefield, 2012]. We propose here another evolutionary perspective that links human anxiety to an evolutionary nature of self-consciousness. That approach introduces new relations between mental health and human mind. The proposed evolutionary scenario starts with the performance of primate identification with conspecifics [de Waal (...)
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  9. Meaning Generation for Constraint Satisfaction. An Evolutionary Thread for Biosemiotics.Christophe Menant - 2016 - Dissertation, Prague Charles University. Gatherings in Biosemiotics 2016
    One of the mains challenges of biosemiotics is ‘to attempt to naturalize biological meaning’ [Sharov & all 2015]. That challenge brings to look at a possible evolutionary thread for biosemiotics based on meaning generation for internal constraint satisfaction, starting with a pre-biotic entity emerging from a material universe. Such perspective complements and extends previous works that used a model of meaning generation for internal constraint satisfaction (the Meaning Generator System) [Menant 2003a, b; 2011]. We propose to look at such an (...)
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  10. Introduction to a Systemic Theory of Meaning (Jan 2010 Update).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    Information and Meaning are present everywhere around us and within ourselves. Specific studies have been implemented in order to link information and meaning: - Semiotics - Phenomenology - Analytic Philosophy - Psychology No general coverage is available for the notion of meaning. We propose to complement this lack by a systemic approach to meaning generation.
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  11.  90
    Constraint Satisfaction, Agency and Meaning Generation as an Evolutionary Framework for a Constructive Biosemiotic (2019 Update).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    Biosemiotics deal with the study of signs and meanings in living entities. Constructivism considers human knowledge as internally constructed by sense making rather than passively reflecting a pre-existing reality. Consequently, a constructivist perspective on biosemiotics leads to look at an internal active construction of meaning in living entities from basic life to humans. That subject is addressed with an existing tool: the Meaning Generator System (MGS) which is a system submitted to an internal constraint related to the nature of the (...)
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  12. Evolution of Representations and Intersubjectivity as Sources of the Self. An Introduction to the Nature of Self-Consciousness (2006).Christophe Menant - 2006 - Dissertation, Oxford ASSC 10
    It is agreed by most people that self-consciousness is the result of an evolutionary process, and that representations may have played an important role in that process. We would like to propose here that some evolutionary stages can highlight links existing between representations and the notion of self, opening a possible path to the nature of self-consciousness. Our starting point is to focus on representations as usage oriented items for the subject that carries them. These representations are about elements of (...)
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  13. Information and Meaning in Life, Humans and Robots (2005).Christophe Menant - 2005 - Dissertation, Paris Foundations of Information Sciences
    Information and meaning exist around us and within ourselves, and the same information can correspond to different meanings. This is true for humans and animals, and is becoming true for robots. We propose here an overview of this subject by using a systemic tool related to meaning generation that has already been published (C. Menant, Entropy 2003). The Meaning Generator System (MGS) is a system submitted to a constraint that generates a meaningful information when it receives an incident information that (...)
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  14. Evolutionary Advantages of Inter-Subjectivity and Self-Consciousness Through Improvements of Action Programs (2010).Christophe Menant - 2010 - Dissertation, Tucson TSC 2010
    Evolutionary advantages of consciousness and intersubjectivity are part of current philosophical debates on the nature of consciousness. Both are linked and intersubjectivity is sometimes considered as a form of consciousness [1]. Regarding the evolution of consciousness, studies tend to focus on phenomenal consciousness [2]. We would like here to bring the focus on self-consciousness and continue the build up of a corresponding evolutionary scenario. We also propose to introduce a possible evolutionary link between self-consciousness and phenomenal consciousness. Our starting point (...)
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  15. Evolution and Mirror Neurons. An Introduction to the Nature of Self-Consciousness (2005).Christophe Menant - 2005 - Dissertation, Copenhagen TSC 2005
    Self-consciousness is a product of evolution. Few people today disagree with the evolutionary history of humans. But the nature of self-consciousness is still to be explained, and the story of evolution has rarely been used as a framework for studies on consciousness during the 20th century. This last point may be due to the fact that modern study of consciousness came up at a time where dominant philosophical movements were not in favor of evolutionist theories (Cunningham 1996). Research on consciousness (...)
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  16. Evolution of Representations. From Basic Life to Self-Representation and Self-Consciousness (2006).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    The notion of representation is at the foundation of cognitive sciences and is used in theories of mind and consciousness. Other notions like ‘embodiment’, 'intentionality‘, 'guidance theory' or ‘biosemantics’ have been associated to the notion of representation to introduce its functional aspect. We would like to propose here that a conception of 'usage related' representation eases its positioning in an evolutionary context, and opens new areas of investigation toward self-representation and self-consciousness. The subject is presented in five parts:Following an overall (...)
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  17. Proposal for an Approach to Artificial Consciousness Based on Self-Consciousness (2007).Christophe Menant - 2007 - AAAI Fall Symposium Series Technical Reports.
    Current research on artificial consciousness is focused on phenomenal consciousness and on functional consciousness. We propose to shift the focus to self-consciousness in order to open new areas of investigation. We use an existing scenario where self-consciousness is considered as the result of an evolution of representations. Application of the scenario to the possible build up of a conscious robot also introduces questions relative to emotions in robots. Areas of investigation are proposed as a continuation of this approach.
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  18.  63
    From Biosemiotics to Semiotics (2002).Christophe Menant - 2002 - Dissertation, Tartu Biosemiotics 2
    Biosemiotics and Semiotics have similarities and differences. Both deal with signal and meaning. One difference is that Biosemiotics covers a domain (life) that is less complex that the one addressed by Semiotics (human). We believe that this difference can be used to have Biosemiotics bringing added value to Semiotics. This belief is based on the fact that a theory of meaning is easier to build up for living elements than for humans, and that the results obtained for life can make (...)
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  19.  82
    Introduction to a Systemic Theory of Meaning (2008).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    Information and Meaning are present everywhere around us and within ourselves. Specific studies have been implemented in order to link information and meaning: - Semiotics - Phenomenology - Analytic Philosophy - Psychology No general coverage is available for the notion of meaning. We propose to complement this lack by a systemic approach to meaning generation.
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  20. Evolution as Connecting First-Person and Third-Person Perspectives of Consciousness (2008).Christophe Menant - 2008 - Dissertation,
    First-person and third-person perspectives are different items of human consciousness. Feeling the taste of a fruit or being consciously part of a group eating fruits call for different perspectives of consciousness. The latter is about objective reality (third-person data). The former is about subjective experience (first-person data) and cannot be described entirely by objective reality. We propose to look at how these two perspectives could be rooted in an evolutionary origin of human consciousness, and somehow be connected. Our starting point (...)
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  21. Meaning Generation and Self-Consciousness: Neurophilosophical Applications of an Evolutionary Scenario? (2015)..Christophe Menant - 2015 - Dissertation, Lomonosov Moscow State University. Department of Philosophy
    The nature of human mind has been an open question for more than 2000 years and it is still today a mystery. There has been during the last 30 years a renewed interest from science and philosophy on that subject. Among the existing research domains is neurophilosophy, an interdisciplinary study of neuroscience and philosophy looking at neuronal aspects of access consciousness, of phenomenal consciousness and at functional aspects of consciousness. We propose here to look if self-consciousness could have a place (...)
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  22. Introduction to a Systemic Theory of Meaning (July 2014 Update).Christophe Menant - 2014 - Dissertation,
    Information and Meaning are present everywhere around us and within ourselves. Specific studies have been implemented in order to link information and meaning: - Semiotics - Phenomenology - Analytic Philosophy - Psychology No general coverage is available for the notion of meaning. We propose to complement this lack by a systemic approach to meaning generation.
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  23.  69
    Meaning Generation for Animals, Humans and Artificial Agents. An Evolutionary Perspective on the Philosophy of Information. (2017).Christophe Menant - 2017 - Dissertation, Chalmers University. Gotheborg, Sweden. IS4SI. International Conference on Philosophy of Information.
    Meanings are present everywhere in our environment and within ourselves. But these meanings do not exist by themselves. They are associated to information and have to be created, to be generated by agents. The Meaning Generator System (MGS) has been developed on a system approach to model meaning generation in agents following an evolutionary perspective. The agents can be natural or artificial. The MGS generates meaningful information (a meaning) when it receives information that has a connection with an internal constraint (...)
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  24. Proposal for a Shared Evolutionary Nature of Language and Consciousness (2010).Christophe Menant - 2010 - Dissertation, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, Saint Petersburg
    It is pretty obvious that language and human consciousness entertain tight relations. We could not really be conscious of ourselves without the possibility to say “I” or “me”. And language is a key contributor in our capability to identify ourselves as conscious entities existing in the environment. But the relations linking language and consciousness are complex and difficult to analyze. Evolutionary origins of language are unknown as no fossil traces have been left by our ancestors. Sciences of consciousness however begin (...)
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  25. Performances of Self-Awareness Used to Explain the Evolutionary Advantages of Consciousness (2004).Christophe Menant - 2004 - Dissertation, Tucson TSC 2004
    The question about evolution of consciousness has been addressed so far as possible selectional advantage related to consciousness ("What evolutionary advantages, if any, being conscious might confer on an organism ? "). But evidencing an adaptative explanation of consciousness has proven to be very difficult. Reason for that being the complexity of consciousness. We take here a different approach on subject by looking at possible selectional advantages related to the performance of Self Awareness that appeared during evolution millions of years (...)
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  26.  61
    Sensorimotor Process with Constraint Satisfaction. Grounding of Meaning (2009).Christophe Menant - 2009 - Dissertation, Hamburg EUCogII Conference
    There is an increasing agreement in the cognitive sciences community that our sensations are closely related to our actions. Our actions impact our sensations from the environment and the knowledge we have of it. Cognition is grounded in sensori-motor coordination. In the perspective of implementing such a performance in artificial systems, there is a need for a model of sensori-motor coordination. We propose here such a model as based on the generation of meaningful information by a system submitted to a (...)
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