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Martin Zwick
Portland State University
  1.  98
    Mind and Life: Is the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature False?Martin Zwick - 2016 - Biological Theory 11 (1):25-38.
    partial review of Thomas Nagel’s book, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False is used to articulate some systems-theoretic ideas about the challenge of understanding subjective experience. The article accepts Nagel’s view that reductionist materialism fails as an approach to this challenge, but argues that seeking an explanation of mind based on emergence is more plausible than seeking one based on pan-psychism, which Nagel favors. However, the article proposes something similar to Nagel’s neutral (...)
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  2. Towards an Ontology of Problems.Martin Zwick - 1995 - Advances in Systems Science and Applications 1:37-42.
    Systems theory offers a language in which one might formulate a metaphysics (or more specifically an ontology) of problems. This proposal is based upon a conception of systems theory shared by vonBertalanffy, Wiener, Boulding, Rapoport, Ashby, Klir, and others,and expressed succinctly by Bunge, who considered game theory, information theory, feedback control theory, and the like to be attempts to construct an "exact and scientific metaphysics." Our prevailing conceptions of "problems" are concretized yet also fragmented, and in fact dissolved, by the (...)
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  3.  90
    Wholes and Parts in General Systems Methodology.Martin Zwick - 2001 - In G. P. Wagner (ed.), The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology. Academic Press. pp. 237--56.
    Reconstructability analysis (RA) decomposes wholes, namely data in the form either of set theoretic relations or multivariate probability distributions, into parts, namely relations or distributions involving subsets of variables. Data is modeled and compressed by variable-based decomposition, by more general state-based decomposition, or by the use of latent variables. Models, which specify the interdependencies among the variables, are selected to minimize error and complexity.
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  4.  79
    Freedom as a Natural Phenomenon.Martin Zwick - 2015 - Foundations of Science 20 (3):1-10.
    “Freedom” is a phenomenon in the natural world. This phenomenon—and indirectly the question of free will—is explored using a variety of systems-theoretic ideas. It is argued that freedom can emerge only in systems that are partially determined and partially random, and that freedom is a matter of degree. The paper considers types of freedom and their conditions of possibility in simple living systems and in complex living systems that have modeling subsystems. In simple living systems, types of freedom include independence (...)
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  5.  89
    Dialectics and Catastrophe.Martin Zwick - 1978 - In F. Geyer & J. Van der Zouwen (ed.), Sociocybernetics. Martinus Nijhoff. pp. 129-154.
    The Catastrophe Theory of Rene Thom and E. C. Zeeman suggests a mathematical interpretation of certain aspects of Hegelian and Marxist dialectics. Specifically, the three 'classical' dialectical principles, (1) the transformation of quantity into quality, (2) the unity and struggle of opposites, and (3) the negation of negation, can be modeled with the seven 'elementary catastrophes' given by Thorn, especially the catastrophes known as the 'cusp' and the 'butterfly'. Far from being empty metaphysics or scholasticism, as critics have argued, the (...)
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  6.  99
    Effect of Environmental Structure on Evolutionary Adaptation.Jeffrey A. Fletcher, Mark A. Bedau & Martin Zwick - 1998 - In R. Belew C. Adami (ed.), Artificial Life VI: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Artificial Life. Cambridge: MIT Press. pp. 189-198.
    This paper investigates how environmental structure, given the innate properties of a population, affects the degree to which this population can adapt to the environment. The model we explore involves simple agents in a 2-d world which can sense a local food distribution and, as specified by their genomes, move to a new location and ingest the food there. Adaptation in this model consists of improving the genomic sensorimotor mapping so as to maximally exploit the environmental resources. We vary environmental (...)
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  7.  44
    Global Optimization Studies on the 1-D Phase Problem.Jim Marsh, Martin Zwick & Byrne Lovell - 1996 - Int. J. Of General Systems 25 (1):47-59.
    The Genetic Algorithm (GA) and Simulated Annealing (SA), two techniques for global optimization, were applied to a reduced (simplified) form of the phase problem (RPP) in computational crystallography. Results were compared with those of "enhanced pair flipping" (EPF), a more elaborate problem-specific algorithm incorporating local and global searches. Not surprisingly, EPF did better than the GA or SA approaches, but the existence of GA and SA techniques more advanced than those used in this study suggest that these techniques still hold (...)
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  8.  15
    Understanding Imperfection.Martin Zwick - 2000 - In World Congress of the Systems Sciences & 44th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences. International Society for the Systems Sciences.
    In this talk, I want to present a conception that I have been working on for a number of years (Zwick, 1983, 1995) about the use of systems ideas. I start from the negative and proceed to the positive. The negative assertion is that systems ideas by themselves , unsupplemented by more specific and concrete knowledge (e.g., from the various disciplines), are insufficient for practical application, either for obtaining knowledge about the world or for solving problems. The reason for this (...)
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  9. Spinoza and Gödel: Causa Sui and Undecidable Truth.Martin Zwick - 2007 - North American Spinoza Society Monograph 13:46-52.
    Spinoza distinguishes between causation that is external, as in A causing B where A is external to B, and causation that is internal, where C causes itself (causa sui), without any involvement of anything external to C. External causation is easy to understand, but self causation is not. This note explores an approach to self-causation based upon Gödelian undecidability and draws upon ideas from an earlier study of Gödel’s proof and the quantum measurement problem (Zwick, 1978).
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