Two Philosophers of the Flesh: Intersecting Complementarism

Two Philosophers of the Flesh: Intersecting Complementarism

The "Complementary" Relationship Between Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenological Ontology and Sungchul Ji's Biology-Based Philosophical Framework Known as Complementarism

By D. Sayer Ji

Independent Study

Prof. Bruce Wilshire


Department of Philosophy

Rutgers University

New Brunswick, N.J.

Spring 1996


The aim of this exposition is to interrogate the remarkable "complementarity," i.e. identity-within-difference, that exists between the phenomenological ontology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the biology-based philosophical framework known as complementarism, developed by Sungchul Ji.  As we shall see, both thinkers, despite their radically differing methodologies—Ji, a chemist and theoretical biologist, utilizing the specialized technologies and conceptual strategies of operational science, and Merleau-Ponty, a phenomenologist, concerning himself with the unadulterated life of the "perceptual faith"—have come to strikingly similar philosophical conclusions as regards the ontological status of the human body.  Both thinkers have discovered a new operative logic, or, logos expressed within what appears to be irreconcilably opposed dimensions of human embodiment.  Ji has thematized this corporeal logos, from the perspective of the body as living object and as viewed microscopically, in terms of the ontological category of 'gnergy' and its 'triune logic'.  Merleau-Ponty has thematized this corporeal logos, from the macroscopic perspective of his own body as living subject, in terms of the ontological category of the 'flesh' and its chiasmic logic.  Yet again, despite what seems to be insurmountable differences in methodology and presentation both logics appear qualitatively equivalent.  Indeed, we will show that this equivalence is historically substantiated by the fact that both thinkers identified their logics with the Niels Bohr's philosophy of complementarity.  Moreover, before we explicate the specific historico-theoretical commensurabilities that connect Merleau-Ponty and Ji's philosophies, we shall set before ourselves what is perhaps the most daunting task of interrogating the relationship between phenomenology and complementarity as movements; movements of which Merleau-Ponty's and Ji's philosophies are perhaps exemplary, yet, nevertheless partial expressions.  If we can show that the filial bond between phenomenology and complementarity pre-existed the "complementarity" of perspectives we claim to find in Merleau-Ponty and Ji's philosophies, then our thesis will stand much stronger.  It is to this larger relationship that we now turn.

(Part I)

Phenomenology and Complementarity:

Two Inseparable Movements

Although phenomenology is commonly thought to have begun with Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), and complementarity with Niels Bohr (1885-1962), one can trace back their mutual origin in the young Hegel (1770-1831) of the Phenomenology of Spirit, whose perspicuous concern of experience, i.e. 'sense-certainty' and whose discovery of non-Aristotelian logic operative therein, i.e. 'dialectic', inaugurated the two basic themes of phenomenology and complementarity, respectively. Similarly, an in-depth investigation into the work of William James (1842-1910), who was of pivotal influence to both Husserl and Bohr, and who has been identified as both a "proto-phenomenologist" (James Edie) and the first thinker to discover complementarity (W. Stephenson) would undoubtedly reveal a provocative example of the natal pact between these two movements. Yet despite the fact that Hegel and James play important roles in the mutual development of complementarity and phenomenology, for the purpose of this exposition, we shall do no more than roughly sketch out the convergence of the two philosophical movements in the philosophies of Edmund Husserl and Niels Bohr, who are their explicit founders.

To my knowledge, very little, if any in-depth research has been done relating these two thinkers and their work – a surprising fact when one takes into account the contemporaneity and homogeneity of their philosophical approaches. This conspicuous lacunae in modern scholarship is all the more surprising, when confronted with the fact that many a commentator on Husserl has identified a "hidden dialectic" (or, 'hidden complementarity') at the very heart of the phenomenological project. Conversely, the formulation of Bohr's principle of complementarity was only made possible through the discovery of a "quantum" intentionality" at the foundations of quantum mechanics. In light of these identifications, it will be no exaggeration to speak of Husserlian complementarity and a Bohrian phenomenology.

Edmund Husserl

Although Husserl is commonly placed within the pantheon of "idealist" philosophers, he was no stranger to the world of science. Having begun his career studying mathematics and physics, he maintained a close, career-long correspondence with men like Georg Cantor, Hilbert , and most notably, Max Planck, whose discovery of the quantum of action in 1900 would inaugurate a "new epoch in physical science" (V.I,Niels Bohr). Husserl had similar epochal hopes for his 'phenomenological method', which he introduced in his second major work Logical Investigations and which, in an uncanny synchronicity, was published the very same year that Planck made his great discovery: 1900 (pg 45, Kearney).

Indeed, it was Husserl's close affiliation with the scientific community, and the radical changes he perceived occurring therein, that was a major contributing factor in leading him to his well-known diagnosis of the "crisis of the European sciences" and to prescribe a phenomenological remedy. Husserl believed that the crisis of the sciences, as expressed in turn-of-the-century developments in the mathematical and physical sciences, were symptomatic of the fundamental artificiality of the traditional presuppositions that informed the positive sciences. According to Husserl, these presuppositions were genetically derived from the prejudices inherent in the 'natural attitude' – this is the prejudices of the common man, e.g., 'there exists a world independent of me'—of which the "theoretical attitude" of the positive sciences were but a formal thematization. In order to overcome these prejudices, Husserl prescribed the phenomenological "epoche," or "reduction", which consisted in suspending the 'objectifying'constructions of our conceptual judgments, thus revealing the world as an experience which we live before it becomes and object we know.

Applying this methodology to his pre-theoretical experience Husserl claimed to have discovered the "intentional" structure of consciousness, which expressed the equiprimordiality and inseparability of the subject and object. Intentionality refers to the fact that all consciousness is consciousness of something , e.g. joy intends the enjoyed, imagination intends what it imagines, thought intends what it thinks, hence revealing the irreducible polarity, and yet unity of our experience. Whereas traditional metaphysics presupposed the category of 'substance', subsequently enframing experience in terms of an interaction between two different kinds of substance, e.g. The Cartesian opposition between res cogitans (thinking substance) and res extensa (extended substance), intentionality redirected the focus back to our pre-theoretical contact with the world, wherein the separate relate, e.g. subject/object, mind/world, were reintegrated as mutual expressions of an ontologically primary relationship. (As we shall later see in our discussion of Ji's complementarism, Husserl's new definition of being obeys two of the three laws in ":general complementarity" namely, Exclusivity and Essentiality).

The notion of intentionality would prove to have profound consequences for the ideal of "objectivity" in the sciences. According to Husserl, intentionality revealed that behind the naïve objectivism of the positive sciences, there subsisted the positing activity of the scientist in his capacity to constitute the very world that the naïveté and artificiality of the "scientific attitude" considered to be there as already constituted, e.g. as object. Husserl's conclusion that the intentional structure of consciousness is behind all scientific activity, enabled him to affect a radical deconstruction of classical science, including the sciences of man which are complicit with it, revealing that what was traditionally thought of as "objective" is subjective" is subjective through and through.

As we have already noted, Husserl is often thought of as an 'idealistic thinker', but this reading of this work obfuscates the profound contribution his philosophy has made, both directly and indirectly, towards the deconstruction of the underlying either/or syntax that dominates the lexicon of the traditional Western science and philosophy – a syntax which has succeeded in shaping the multiply opposed movements that recur throughout a more than two thousand year of tradition, e.g. the oppositions between realism and idealism, dualism and monism, humanism and naturalism, etc. Fortunately, not all of Husserl's critics have overlooked the distinctively non-binaristic, if you will, complementaristic, logic that undergirds his philosophical project. James Edie, Suzanne Bachelard, and Merleau-Ponty, to name but a few, have each in their own ways, identified, despite Husserl's overt disdain for Hegel, a "hidden dialectic" a the heart of his thinking.

However, Merleau-Ponty, is to my knowledge, the only commentator on Husserl, who has explicitly identified Bohr's complementarity with the phenomenological project. In a lecture addressing the state of modern science, presented by Merleau-Ponty sometime while he was the chair of the College de France (1952-1960), he observes: " As Niels-Bohr has remarked, it is no accident that there is a harmony between the descriptions of psychology (we would say, phenomenology) and the conceptions of contemporary physics". [emphasis added](pg. 120, Themes) Merleau-Ponty is here referring to Bohr's identifications of a complementarity-like isomorphism between physics and psychology, and in the italicized portion, it appears that he is suggesting this identification be extended to include phenomenology.

In order to give the reader a better sense of how complementarity is implicated in Husserl's project, we shall now look to an article Merleau-Ponty wrote for a commemorative collection on Edmund Husserl, published in 1959, and entitled "The Philosopher and His Shadow". In this article, Merleau-Ponty, borrowing a Heideggerian phrase, addresses himself to the "unthought-of element in [Husserl's] work, which is wholly his and yet opens out on something else." (pg. 160, Signs). According to Merleau-Ponty, from Ideas II on, Husserl's phenomenology opens up a "third dimension" in which the distinction between "subjective" and "objective" becomes problematic (again, this characterization bears resemblance to Ji's "general complementarity", which we will discuss later). Taking the phenomenological reduction as an example of this dynamic, Merleau-Ponty argues that the reduction, insofar as its contradictory aim is to reflect on the unreflected, succeeds in uncovering an "identity of "re-entering self" and "going outside self" which, for Hegel, defined the absolute". (pg. 161, Signs) The primordial dialectic which Husserl discovers between self and world, between reflection and the unreflected, renders the distinction between "subjective" and "objective" problematic. From these sorts of analyses, Merleau-Ponty will conclude that "in the last analysis, phenomenology is neither a materialism nor a philosophy of mind. Its proper work is to unveil the pre-theoretical layer on which both of these idealizations find their relative justification and are gone beyond". (pg. 165, Ibid) In essence, Merleau-Ponty is showing us that the inner significance of Husserl's phenomenology is to break through the classical philosophical alternatives into a "third dimension", a "pre-theoretical layer" , wherein the traditional antinomies are rendered equi-primordial and comprehensible, hence revealing complementaristic logic at the heart of his thinking. As we shall later see, Merleau-Ponty's own philosophy is an attempt to interrogate this "third dimension", that is, to regain this primordial level of Being in our bodily, perceptual encounter with ourselves qua Flesh and the World qua Flesh of the World, thus founding a corporeally grounded logic, and bringing the unthought elements to Husserl's phenomenology to their fullest fruition.

Niels Bohr

If Husserl's phenomenology can be said to be complementaristic, Bohr's complementarity is no less phenomenological. Like Husserl whose role in the philosophy of science is often ignored, Bohr is rarely discussed among contemporary philosophers—that is, outside the myopic circumference of the philosophy of science—and is mostly known in his role a physicist. However, we have only to listen to his most eminent protégé, Werner Heisenbert, to get a sense of Bohr's true orientation, as "primarily a philosopher and not a physicist." Indeed, in his early youth, Bohr meditated deeply on the subject-object problem in epistemology, which he would later call "core problem of knowledge." (VII, Bohr) In fact, so deeply did the problem concern him, that he considered writing a philosophical treatise on this epistemological problem after graduating from college. However, Bohr would soon abandon this project—but not the problem—as his attention shifted to revolutionary new developments in microphysics. Indeed, as Bohr found himself lead deeper and deeper into the paradoxes of microphysics, the same epistemological problems he contemplated so avidly in his youth in the realm of psychology, re-emerged, leading him to the formulation, in 1927, of the philosophy of complementarity, which would provide the theoretical foundations for quantum mechanics, and he later hoped, for all of human knowledge.

If we were to evaluate the distinctive style of Bohr's philosophy of science,, we would find that it is in direct complicity with Husserlian phenomenology. In his own distinctive way, Bohr would declare that physics must go "back to the things themselves." As Weizsacker put it, "for Bohr the objects are not behind the phenomena but in the phenomena." (pg. 124, Honner) Or, as Bohr himself writes: "from our present standpoint, physics is to be regarded not so much as the study of something a priori given, but rather a development for methods of ordering and surveying human experience." {italics mine} (V.III,Bohr)

It would be Bohr's perspicuous concern with what the physicist experiences and his belief that "ultimately all observation can be reduced to sense perception," that would lead him, after 1937, to employ a classically phenomenological definition of the "phenomenon", as an inseparable and epistemologically irreducible relation between the observer qua measuring instrument and the atomic object observed; object and subject. This "quantum intentionality" was imposed upon Bohr by the existence of the quantum of action, which necessitated an uncontrollable transfer of energy and momentum between the atomic "object" measured and the apparatus used for measurement, hence precluding an absolute distinction between observed which is a prerequisite for the idea of 'objectivity'.

In order to highlight the amazing similarities between Bohr's and Husserl's definition of the phenomenon, we quote Kearney's succinct summary of Husserl's definition of the phenomenon: "The phenomenon upon which Husserl strives to redirect our philosophical attention is precisely this experiential interface of midpoint where subject is primordially related to object and object is primordially related to subject." (pg. 13, Kearney)Interesting enough, the philosophical implications of adopting this bilateral of "intentional" definition of phenomenon, lead both thinkers to reject the hereditary assumption of a reality existing in itself, independent of its phenomenal manifestation in perceptual experience. Rather, both thinkers regarded this assumption as an "idealization". By rejecting this age-old "substance or noumenal oriented" assumption that is essential to both classical physics and metaphysics, Bohr and Husserl were taking the "transcendental turn" inaugurated by Kant, and indeed critics of both thinkers have made this "Kantian" identification.

The anti-realistic implications of Bohr's discovery of "quantum intentionality," in no way exhaust its philosophical implications. Indeed, we have not yet discussed the philosophical contribution that Bohr is most famous for, namely, the logic of complementarity, and how he derived it from "quantum intentionality."

"Quantum intentionality" is at the heart of the observation problem in quantum mechanics, and it leads to the insurmountable exclusivity in any attempt to exhaustibly account for microscopic phenomenon; this exclusivity inspired Bohr to formulate the principle of complementarity. Let us recall that the "quantum intentionality" refers to a situation of irreducible wholeness between subject qua measuring instrument and the object, consummated, of course, through the quantum of action. Because each act of observation is epistemologically irreducible, and hence cannot be combined into a single picture with the information revealed through an other act of observation, the information derived from one measuring apparatus will be mutually exclusive to the information derived from another measuring apparatus; no classical synthesis between the two is possible. It is this mutual exclusivity, forced upon the microphysics by "quantum intentionality", which lead Bohr to view the information revealed by different measuring devices as complementary, instead of contradictory. Light, for example, can be observed under different experimental conditions as either a wave of particle, but not both simultaneously. Before Bohr's introduction of the complementary view, physicists refused to believe that the nature of light involved such a radical contradiction. Physicist took sides, opting either for the wave or particle representation as the sole accurate description. Bohr's contribution to the debate was to supplant the wave-particle duality, replacing it with a wave-particle complementarity , arguing that both the wave and particle descriptions are needed to fulfill and exhaustible account of the phenomenon.

In summary, we have tried to show that Bohr's phenomenological methodology lead him to a distinctively Husserlian or "intentional" definition of the phenomenon. This lead Bohr both to refute the claims of philosophical naturalism, and to formulate the principle of complementarity.

The identity between Bohr and Husserl's philosophies could be explored much further. For instance, both thinkers recognized in their time, a "crisis" (Husserl) or "cultural rift" (Bohr) in the European sciences, which they thought their philosophies could help resolve. Husserl once likened his philosophy to the metaphorical equivalent of the central nervous system of the sciences. He envisioned phenomenology as a 'science of science'; a multi-tiered project, geared towards describing and classifying the phenomenon of all the other sciences, e.g. psychological, physical, mathematical, social, historical, phenomenon, each type having its own "regional ontology". In Husserl's vision, all these different types of phenomena could be related back to the constituting subject: the transcendental ego, through a series of phenomenological 'reductions', hence guaranteeing the unity of the sciences in universal subjectivity. In a similar way, Bohr believed that complementarity offered an "epistemological lesson" which might help resolve the age-old problem of the "unity of knowledge," as he called it. In connection with this idea he writes:

In our century the immense progress of the sciences has not only greatly advanced technology and medicine, but has at the same time given us an unsuspected lesson about our position as observers of the nature of which are part ourselves. Far from implying a schism between humanism and physical science, this development entails a message of importance for our attitude to common human problems, which – as I shall show – has given the age-old question of the unity of knowledge new perspective. (V.III Bohr)

Bohr would go on to identify a complementarity –like logic in the fields as diverse as biology, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, politics and Eastern religion. Although Bohr never answered the all-important question as to what makes the isomorphism at all possible, he did succeed in anticipating the possibility, like Husserl, that a comprehensive foundation for the sciences of man and nature might be found.

The underlying identity between Husserl and Bohr can be explored much further, but for the purposes of this exposition we only wish to point out the fecund possibility of this line of research and moreover, to prepare a sense of the historicity that exists within the relationship between Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological or "Flesh" ontology and Sungchil Ji's biology-based philosophical framework know as complementarism, which will be the central concern of this exposition. In many respects, Merleau-Ponty and Ji have carried through the inner movement, or to use a Merleau-Pontian phrase, "unthought elements" of both Husserl and Bohr's projects, respectively and in that regard, represent their most eminent expressions. If we are to find a clear example of the natal pact between phenomenology and complementarity, or between philosophy and science, for that matter, it will be found within the complementary relationship that manifests itself between these two thinkers. It is to this relationship that we now turn.

(Part II)

Merleau-Ponty's Flesh ontology and

Sungchul Ji's Complementarism

The remainder of our discussion will concern the remarkable "complementarity" that exists between the phenomenological ontology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and the biology-based philosophical framework developed by Sungchul Ji, known as complementarism. We have employed the term "complementarity" in this context for two distinct reasons. First, because it so adequately conveys a sense of identity-within-difference which manifests itself so profoundly within the relationship between these two philosophies. Second, because it conveys a sense of their deep historical commensurability, insofar as both thinkers explicitly identified their thought with that of Niels Bohr, the founding father of complementarity.

Niels Bohr was a source of inspiration for both thinkers , and each thinker in his own idiomatic way, understood Bohr's complementarity as a comprehensive framework of general style of thinking, within which the traditional antinomies that dominate the Western intellectual tradition could be successfully overcome (though, not altogether transcended). In a voice that could just as well have been Niels Bohr's, Merleau-Ponty wrote: " Today each traditional category calls for a complementarity (that is, and incompatible and inseparable)view, and it is under these difficult conditions that we are looking for what makes up the framework of the world". (pg 122,Signs)

One such categorical antinomy in deed of a "complementary view", was that holding between science and philosophy. Throughout his career, Merleau-Ponty sought to articulate a more complementaristic balance between the two – a view which finds succinct expression in the following passage:

There can be no rivalry between scientific knowledge and the metaphysical knowing which continually confronts the former with its task. A science without philosophy would literally not know what it was talking about. A philosophy without methodical exploration of the phenomena would end up with nothing but formal truths, which is to say, errors (pg. 97, Sense and Non-Sense)

Indeed, one still finds this relationship of central concern in Merleau-Ponty's last work, The Visible and Invisible, which was tragically interrupted by his death. Nowhere is this expressed more clearly than in a working note, written one year before he died, where he speaks of the "necessity of formulating an ontology" complementary" to operational science" (pg. 225, VI) Whether or not the ontology here referred to is like the traces of the one Merleau-Ponty has left with us, and whether or not the "operational science" indicated here as being its complement can be meaningfully related to Sungchul Ji's remains to be seen. But in another working note written around the same period, in which he speaks of an "intertwining of biology or psychology and philosophy," (pg. 172 Ibid) this possibility almost seems to take on the character of a premonition. Sungchul Ji also addresses this possibility when he writes: "although complementarism originated in biology, its applicability may be extended far beyond biology—to physics, cosmology, human science and metaphysics." We would say this is an understatement. Indeed, we need only provide a rudimentary tabulation of the general points of resemblance between both of these philosophical systems, to see that this talk of their "complementarity" is more that just a possibility.

  1. Both systems are radically biology-based, insofar as they are ontologically grounded in the study of the human body.
  2. Both systems enframe the fundamental ontological problematic in terms of a complementaristic pairing of the 'visible' and 'invisible'.
  3. Both systems refuse linear causality, opting from a relationship of simultaneity between two terms.
  4. Both systems introduce a "third terms" to account for the relationships existing between term A and term B (In Complementarism: "Transcendence, "Wild Being," "Flesh," or "Chiasm.")
  5. Both systems relate this "third term" to the principle of the Tao (Actually, in the case of Merleau-Ponty's ontology, two Merleau-Pontian scholars, Sue Caltaldi and Glen Masiz, have pointed out this similarity)
  6. Both systems identify with the work of Niels Bohr
  7. Both systems recognize a fundamental symmetry breaking related to expression
  8. Both systems recognize an "ontological transduction" (Ji) or "dehiscence" (Merleau-Ponty) of the primordial term (C) into two terms (A and B).
  9. Both systems provide a logic that outstrips the intellectual antinomies of the Western tradition.

In light of the profound differences that exist between these two systems, I do not hesitate to call these points of resemblance astounding. Indeed, it will be helpful to restate the differences between these two systems so that their identities can take on their full meaning.

There appear to be two distinct levels of difference, as regards their approach to the human body: 1) The ontological difference between the body-for-itself and the body-for-others 2) The methodological difference between macroscopic and microscopic levels of analysis.

The distinction between the body as "body-for-itself" and "body-for-others", was first introduced into contemporary existentialism by Sartre, who saw these two components of embodiment as two entirely different ontological orders – as profound as the difference between an eye qua seeing and an eye qua object of dissection. Sartre's bifurcation of these two dimensions into irreconcilable dimensions is analogous to Merleau-Ponty's own bifurcation of the body into the first-person or "phenomenal" body and the third-person "objective" body, and accomplishes for both thinkers a polemic against the behaviorist's attempts to reduce human experience to mechanistic and deterministic explanations borrowed from the natural sciences. By envisioning the body in its radical duplicity as, on the one hand, being strictly determinable from without through the conceptual frameworks of mechanist science, and on the other hand, as irrevocably free, insofar as the first-person experience of the body is accessible only from within, Merleau-Ponty and Sartre were able to affirm the autonomy of phenomenology, without falling into the extreme idealist's absurdity of absolutely rejecting the validity, even the relative validity, of scientific explanations of the body.

Merleau-Ponty, then, comes to the embodiment from perspective of the 'body-for-itself-, that is, the body as the living subject of perception, whereas Ji's approach to embodiment comes from the perspective of the 'body-for-other', that is, the body as an "otherly" object of perception. Their different approaches are therefore grounded in an ontological difference inherent within human embodiment.

As pertains to the second level of difference, Merleau-Ponty's approach is based upon what he called the "perceptual faith", which is the bodily subject's pre-theoretical inherence within a world that he needn't' thematically reflect on, in order to understand and live in. As such, Merleau-Ponty's methodological access to the world and the body is articulated through the unaltered life of the senses. In contradistinction, Ji's thought evolves out of the methodologies of molecular biology, which deals with aspects of human embodiment, strictly invisible to the natural or phenomenological gaze. Molecular biologists use sensory-extending devices, e.g. microscopes, thermometers and complex inferential reasoning, to bring us beyond the limits of phenomenological experience. Also, the practice of molecular biology involves radically altering, sometimes to the point of destroying, the "objects" it studies. The methodological differences, then, are no less profound than the ontological differences between Merleau-Ponty and Ji's philosophies.

That there should be a logical isomorphism between the yawning chiasm of ontological and methodological of differences, is quite remarkable, and opens up the possibility that Sartre and Merleau-Ponty's onto-valuation dualism, where first the two dimensions of the embodiment are considered irreconcilably opposite, and where second, the body-subject is prioritized over the body-object, may be too extreme a differentiation. Indeed, the fact that each thinker has found a complementaristic logic operative on what are radically differing aspects of human embodiment, leads to the possibility that these two dimensions are not simply in a relation of "contradiction but rather, a relation of "complementarity". However, before we shall address the possibility of the complementarity any further, we must formally explicate how each thinker came to thematize their corporeal logics and what significance it has within their philosophies.

Sunchul Ji's Complementarism

According to Ji, the "primary impetus to formulate complementarism in 1991-1993, came from the unexpected realization that a Bohr-like complementarity principle is integral to biocybernetics." (pg 1 Complementarism) Admittedly, then, complementarism can be viewed as a continuation and further empirical substantiation of Bohr's initial insight into the possibility of a complementarity-like logic, applicable to fields outside of physics. However, whereas Bohr's anticipations about complementarity in biology were based on no more than a layperson's knowledge of the biology of the first half of this century, Ji's discovery of a Bohr like complementarity was completely "unexpected", and imposed upon him by an accumulating mass of experimental evidence, much of which was revealed after Bohr's time. It was only after Ji was able to synthesize the massive amount of evidence in his field in a theoretical framework, which he named 'biocybernetics, ' that the essentiality of a Bohr-like complementarity within the biological sciences was revealed. One of the key concepts embedded within biocybernetics is the notion that chemical and physical processes responsible for life of the cell are not driven by traditional "free energy" alone but by a new entity called "gnergy", a complementary union of free energy and information. The phrase ,"a complementary union of free energy and information," indicates the notion that 'gnergy' cannot be measured experimentally but only its energy and information aspect separately, just as the "wave" and "particle" aspects of light must be measured separately.

Ji's discovery of "gnergy" inspired him, first, to generalize and ontologize the logic of complementarity, and then, to look for a biological substrate for this new logic in the neurophysiology of the human brain.

At this point it will be helpful to show just how Ji went about generalizing and anthologizing the logic of complementarity.

As we have already pointed out, Bohr's term "complementary" describes a situation, unavoidable in the quantum physics, in which two theories thought to be mutually exclusive are required to explain a single quantum efficacy. Light, for example can only be explained as both wave and particle, but no synthesis of the two possible. Bohr saw the application of complementarity to the wave-particle duality to be strictly epistemological in nature, specifying the limits of what we can know and communicate about our experimental interactions with light, that is, what idealizations we can use to represent light, without specifying in any ontological sense what light essentially 'is'. This is why Bohr often referred to the philosophy of complementarity as the "epistemological lesson" of quantum mechanic, and why he attributed an ecological origin to the generality of complementarity: " The nature of our consciousness brings about a complementary relationship in all domains of knowledge." (V.II, Bohr). In order to draw out the ontological implications of Bohr's wave-particle complementarity, and in order to clarify the meaning of complementarity" (also known as the "triune logic") which subsumes Bohr's complementarity as a "special case," and which specifies a unique relationship among three entities, A,B,C with the following constraints:

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