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Poincaré’s evolutionary foundations of geometry as factors of encephalization

Abstract : Visual perception is a geometry-inspired background phenomenon whose complex influence extends far beyond the immediately recognizable horizon.In contrast to Hilbert's dominant axiomatic approach, Poincaré also included the evolution of perception in his reflections on the fundamentals of geometry. This treatise pursues the hypothesis that Poincaré's foundations of geometry, namely light, motion and solid bodies, are as well essential factors for the evolution of consciousness and considers it likely that in this environment there are also connecting aspects that could bridge the discrepancies between a language-dedicated constructivism and a constructivism related to the foundations of perception. Based on the photomotor function of extremophilic archebacteria, it is assumed that motility and sensitivity to light may induce an encephalization of visual perception and promote neuronal small-world networks with emergent potentials which enable us to perform intelligent structuring of external reality by perception and cognition. With a biogenic approach to cognition (Lyon), this work aims to show that there are concepts in different disciplines that undermine an apriori of three-dimensionality in favor of Poincaré's indeterminism and open up the possibility of cognitive potentials that can transcend a supposedly evolutionary determinism. Sensory stimuli are regarded as perturbations of largely autonomous but not self-sufficient organisms. According to their effect on homeostasis in interactions with external reality, these perturbations are assigned a system-specific meaning as a sign of existential experiences regarding the hypothetical benefit “for the ongoing existence of the organism". (Weber).Three-dimensional perception is approached as a simplex quick&dirty modus operandi according to the self-optimization of the system of visual processing, which constitutes external reality as a subjectively emulated construct. This leads to a decoupling from external reality, the consequences of which are inhere also investigated within the framework of evolutionary epistemology and affine sciences. Doing this, it is necessary on the one hand to keep a hermetic solipsism aside and on the other hand not to restore the three-dimensionality as a determinative a priori by means of a banal adaptionism. All in all, this treatise is also about Poincaré as a philosopher, in whose oeuvre both strict logic and subtle intuition including its genesis play a major role.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 26, 2021 - 3:14:47 PM
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Otmar Öhlinger. Poincaré’s evolutionary foundations of geometry as factors of encephalization. History, Philosophy and Sociology of Sciences. Université de Lorraine, 2020. German. ⟨NNT : 2020LORR0235⟩. ⟨tel-03182703⟩



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