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Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John Bottoms <john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2012 21:55:21 -0400
Message-id: <50383089.5050807@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

It certainly is an interesting topic for anyone who has passed time thinking about consciousness.

However...I am more than a little suspicious about any neuro*-work that has been turned into a music composition.

Further, consciousness is such a large topic that it touches on every bit of an ontology. It might even define the scope and domain of the ontology. That is too large a work area to attempt. A reduction in scope is in order. Don't get me wrong; I am intrigued but it reminds me of my 7th grade days when I wanted to study calculus. My mother explained that I needed algebra, trig and geometry before that would be possible.

And, as I have said before; it is nigh on to impossible to make any progress in defining a useful  ontology without a problem statement or a set of use cases. Linguists know that environment defines and shapes a language. It is true of ontologies also.

-John Bottoms
 FirstStar Systems
 Concord, MA

On 8/24/2012 8:33 PM, Rich Cooper wrote:

If there is any interest in this topic, here is a TED talk by Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist, who correlates the self with conscious awareness of self, locates it in the brain, and describes many related thing (structure, fiber pathways, damage to specific regions …) and how those things interact with the experience of self. 




His rendition from a neurosci perspective, is that the information sensed by each body sensor, and processed in the cortex, visual, auditory parts of the brain, is “made available to the motor cortex and the hindbrain”. 


That is where he locates the self, in two small regions adjacently spanning the width of the brainstem. 


His perspective is literate and informative and he spells out his theories of how that perspective was justified in his view. I propose that his rendition of the self is what needs to be nominated as the official




And I so nominate it.  Now the problem will be to codify it into assertions that can be agreed on.  It would be useful to transcribe his statements into text.  Does any agree, disagree or has quit reading object to this?


Damage in each one of those two regions has unique results, which he describes eloquently as “consciousness” on the one hand, and “paralysis” on the other.   So I propose this, in my own chosen form of logic:


type      Self =

                        Consciousness : TBD0;

                        Paralysis          : TBD1;



At this point, that’s all I have to contribute about how to refine the Self in each of the ways that the good professor related so well. 


Refinements of TBD0 and TBD1 according to his perspective would be welcome comments if anyone wants to make one.  Are there any specialists in the crowd?






The regions seem to be paired parallel to the kidney pairing further down in the brainstem than I find comfortable. 

Together, a cross-section of the region would be the size of your neck bone’s nerve bundle.  That’s thinner than I am comfortable with, but who would have known?




Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2


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