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Kofler W. Sechenov Lecture 2004


 The relevance of Sechenov for the development of the theory of “an extended view of a human person as a social being”

 W. Kofler[2]


1. Overview of the whole article

This article is present in two parts with 4 chapters:

Part A deals with the Sechenov and his links to and compatibilities with the “extended view”. Part B proposes a draft of a blueprint of a model for the evolutionary process starting with the very early beginning up to the 21st century. This model seems to be compatible with the different sectoral views of parts of this process, which is explained by different “natural” and “non-natural sciences”.

1) In the following chapter I will describe the influence of Sechenov on science in and outside of Russia from a – maybe – unusual point of view: I will analyse his influence in context of the dynamics within the “paradigms” about the nature of life and body soul problem which were created in physiology and natural science during the live span of Sechenov. I will point out that the self-understanding of physiology and medicine has changed within this time span in an extreme way and that in the moment, when Sechenov died in 1905 many different ontological views were accepted in principle as scientific. So we should expect further paradigmatic chances too and not only additional knowledge according to the same paradigm.

2) Then I will demonstrate: Sechenov has seen the relevance and limitations of paradigms but of the technique of scientific work for the output of science, too. He was a very clear minded visionary for the possible progress in physiology depending on the changing of “paradigms” and an excellent experimentalist too, which could open the doors to go in direction to his visions.

3) Then I will point out why the used paradigm and the accepted epistemological frame are so relevant for the scientific output. I will use for this demonstration statements of A. Einstein and statements of B. Russell to explain the view of A. Einstein: The key sentence will be: The theory defines what we can observe and in which way we have to interpret our phenomena. What we cannot “catch with our paradigm and observation instruments for that we can not and should not give any answer. Therefore we have to fight for adequate “free inventions of the human brain – as Einstein defines any scientific theory and all scientific terms – to deal with all our topics on a level of “fundamental causality” – as physics and chemistry are able to do. This position is close to the position of Sechenov.

These is the summary of part 1. Part 2 deals with the evolutionary process from “Big Bang to Big Mac”. What has this to do with Sechenov, physiology and my personal work, which is focussed on an adequate understanding of medical aspects of the modern man?

I am specialist for Social Medicine and Hygiene and not physiologist according to the actual definition. But at the time of Sechenov the term “physiology” covered a much wider field, as we know from Nobel prize: “physiology” and “scientific theoretical part of medicine” were more or less the same at the time of Nobel (and Sechenov). So it is not a surprise that my goal to built a comprehensive theory of the “human person as a social being and its interactions with and expectations on his environment”(which is the title of the Th Kuhn Honour Lecture 2004, which is integrated in this paper, too) is very close to the vision of Sechenov: to built a physiologically based theory integrating all scientifically researchable aspects of the human, his body and his environment – and therefore the social environment too. At the time of Sechenov the link to the social environment and the aspects which are – in my understanding – specific for the modern human and different to homo sapiens Linné had to be excluded more or less from the physiological experimental research because of the lack on theories and basic data. But I have the luck of late birth: I can start with the knowledge of much more empirical data. And for my special position fruitful discussions with my Russian colleagues especially about the Functional system theory are indispensable. But our discussions have been very relevant about different experiments dealing with the physiological principles to modify the information, coming from the “outside”, too.

4) Therefore I will follow the request given with the invitation to give this paper and present same key results of my personal research I will use for this same key results of the Th. Kuhn Honour lecture 2004 I had the honour to give in August in London under the auspices of Nobel laureate Y.T. Lee and integrate actual correspondence with Lee and the Academia Sinica in Taipei.[i], [ii], [iii]. The basic idea is that we should be able to understand the health aspects of a modern human better if we would have a conclusive model for the evolutionary process which is the basis of this man. But for this a hade to create same principles and characteristics which could be enforced by the empirical data of the different sectoral sciences. Therefore I will introduce same of them in part 2. I will focus on the most relevant aspects to understand the difference between cells of organs and tissues of an organism which is the instrument for the individual and the person. There are a lot of experiments of Russian scientists and knowledge based on the Theory of Functional Systems which is helpful for this view. These experiments explain that information, which is given to the “inside”, is all the time under control of the brain as the “Central analyst”. The “central analyst” modifies the neutral potential information from “outside” according to his assumptions, but wishes and expectations too before and during he is transferring the information to the function units of the body. So the “central analyst”, who can be seen identical with the “self”, creates with the help – but within the borders too – of very old biological function units a “matrix – world” for them. So the individual person can use them like machines for the individual demands of the modern person and therefore even for purposes, which are “brand new”, much younger, then the classic biological selection mechanisms can have a relevant influence on them. But the modern human with his abstract and final goals has no other function units in his body then the units, which were selected biologically for other purposes. The person has to take “what is available” by the body.

So I will finalise my presentation with an outlook: The proposed model can be seen as a continuation of the visions of Sechenov that at any time in the future it will be possible to integrate all processes including spontaneity, creativity and emergent processes into the “comprehensive understanding of Homo sapiens eco-socio-finals.

PART A: Secheneov – paradigm shifs – and the “extended view”

2. Sechenov and chancing of paradigm about life and body- soul-problem in context to social frames.

2.1. The scientific progress and unscientific influences

If we discuss the progress of our scientific knowledge about life and the body-soul-problem we have to take into consideration that science takes place in a real world. Scientific topics and questions must be seen in the context of the given scientific knowledge and the goal of the scientist to improve the stay of knowledge but in context of the given social and cultural frames too. Since Thomas Kuhn’s famous book “The Scientific Revolution” we know, that the selection of research topics, the way to think and to formulate are influenced consciously and unconsciously by the wish of the scientist to survive and to have a career. And this depends on the social structure, too. [iv]]. Therefore it is relevant to see these two aspects of goals of a scientist and their connection to another: To promote the scientific knowledge and to realise the subjective individual goals. For the understanding of the special situation of the body-soul-problem we have to take in consideration the results of Durkheim too.[v] He pointed out the high relevance of the interdependences between social structures and the structures within the leading religious systems. And any religious society has the need to distinct between possible participants of their communities and other creatures. Therefore it is a fundamental question for any religion to distinct between human persons with their free will and the possibility to feel guilty and animals which cannot to so. Therefore it is to expect that any public relevant discussion about body-soul-problem must take place in the interference of scientific and religious interests. And the history of the 19th and 20th century is full of stories about this: So 1889 Prof. Raux was called on the chair for histology in Innsbruck University only after clarification that he would not accept Darwin’s descend theory.[vi]

2.2. The starting point: when Sechenov was born

When Sechenov was born 1829 in Teply Stan – a small place which is now named Sechenovo – the level of the understanding of the most famous scientists of this time about the principles of life, the nature of thinking and emotion was less appropriate than the understanding any qualified high school student of today has: Relatively good information was available just about the obvious anatomy e.g. of the brain. At this time nothing were known about neurochemistry, only very little about electrophysiology. The position of the cell in the organism was unclear (cell- theory by Schwann 1839 and then the Cellular theory of pathology by Virchow 1853), the principle of the function of the neurons were unknown (The neuron-doctrine were built by Cajal 1889 on the basis that each nervous cell is an autonomous entity), nobody has known anything about synapses (Sherrington 1897). The principles of inhibition were unknown, before Sechenov introduced this idea. The term “reflex” was not used in adequate way (before Sechenov). Enzymes were unknown too (1837 Berzelius formulated the catalytic principle of enzymes) etc., etc.

But as the scientific world today the scientific world of the beginning 19th century believed more or less that they would know all the relevant aspects in principle. The further scientific work would bring the progress to close the open gaps. But this progress would only extend and condense the knowledge and would not bring principle chancing in the adequateness of the given knowledge. This was the consequence of the experience, that the scientific progress allowed such a lot of new applied helpful predictions.

But in reality in the early 19th century the new results of hard experimental data brought often more new questions then progress in the comprehensive understanding – according to the low level of knowledge and the more or less powerful paradigmatic support. So a creative scientist as Sechenov, who visited the different leading research institutes, could collect a lot of new facts, but facts which opened doors in dark rooms. And it was in principle unclear: are these rooms part of one building or maybe of two buildings?

2.3. Vitalism and Descartes: Life as an essence – similar gasoline moving the car – and thinking – a flash of God just for men

Since hundred of years spontaneity, growing, but emotion and many other mind activities were explained by an invisible, limited and consumable “Vis Vitalis”. This was the application of the paradigm of Aristotle (ca 335 BC): He distinguished between two principles: the “dynamis” (to explain matter and power) and the “entelechy” (to explain e.g. life and thinking). In the early 17th century Descartes formulated a very special modification of this dualism, which was accepted by the Christian churches. Descartes distinguished between “res extensa” and “res cogitans”. Both were created (or expressions) of God. God has created matter and energy (res extensa), which cannot be efficient by its own. But God created the natural laws too; according to them all extended entities have to interact. So the natural laws can be seen as the “frozen” omnipresent and omnipotent will of God do determine the processes of all consisting of res extensa. Therefore natural laws can be discovered. But according to the Dualism of Descartes res extensa included all living processes of any material being including the body of the human. Therefore many activities we would now call to psychology or mental activities too e.g. any emotions were expression of these natural laws. This was not in contradiction to the assumption of a Vis vitalis as a limited and consumable, unobservable but researchable resource independently from limited and consumable, unobservable but researchable resources for physical and chemical processes (different powers e.g. electricity) and limited and consumable material structures. Vis vitalis could be seen as a special aspect of the res extensa – without any relevance for the distinction between humans and other creations. But there was a second nature to use res extensa beside the “natural laws” and possible the vis vitalis: By “res cogitans”. Res cogitans was understood as identical with the eternal and immortal soul and restricted to the human persons. God gives res cogitans to the human as a special aspect of himself so that human is able to guide his body (made from res extensa) according to his free will (similar to God). Only the ability for logic and creative activities, the decision-making-processes of the person were understood as part of the res cogitans. Descartes understood the pineal organ as the interface between body and soul. Res cogitans was divine and therefore in principle from a different nature than res extensa. Therefore any research dealing with res cogitans was not allowed for science by the authorities of the churches – in agreement with the many governments.

So “life” was understood as Vis vitalis. Vis vitalis was seen like the indispensable resource to move the not living bodies like gasoline moves a car. If there is no gasoline the car stops and the animal dies. The person needs the last rest of Vis vitalis to expire the eternal soul (res cogitans) out from the body. This view was accepted by the scientific world up to the middle of the 18th century. Then French scientists started with a mechanistic and atheistic understanding of the whole world – typical for this position the statement of Laplace. He answered Napoleon to the question of the position of God in his world view, that he does not need the hypothesis “God” (about 1809).

2.4. The century of a growing number of paradigms and the teachers of Sechenov

Sechenov was a fully educated 21 years old military engineer with two years experience, when he started to study medicine 1850 in Moscow. He came therefore from a physical “world view”. We have to expect that he learned at Moscow University the state of the art and this was vitalism in Christian version. Immediately after his graduation 1856 he went to Germany to Johannes Müller and his pupils Emil du Bois-Reymond and Helmholtz, Hoppe-Seyler, and to France to Claude Bernard and to Ludwig in Austria, where he made relevant experiments for his thesis, before he worked two years in Graz, in a time when he was professor in St. Petersburg. He did a very clever selection of his teachers: All have been world famous physiologists and natural scientists, and “founder” of the “experimental method” in physiology and physiological chemistry, highly involved in the research of electrophysiology and experimental research of sensory organs, perception etc. But all have been fully involved into the creation and modification of new paradigms too. But they represented similar but not identical paradigmatic views. The individual positions of different teachers had changed in their life span before they met Sechenov, and some changed their positions afterwards again (e.g. Du Bois Reymond). We have to expect that they were in close contact over years. So it was the daily work of Sechenov to handle with the interactions with the new scientific techniques of empirical and experimental research work and their paradigmatic and epistemological basis. One of the outputs of this comprehensive scientific works is his world famous book (1863): The reflexes of the brain: This book is at the same time a classical scientific handbook but a philosophical volume too.

2.4.1. Müller and modification of vitalism

The centre for physiological research work in this time was Germany and the most famous physiologist was Johannes Müller in Berlin. He was the first scientific teacher of Sechenov. Many famous scientists were students or pupils of Müller not only Sechenov, e.g. Helmholtz, Brücke, Emil de Bois Reymond, Schwann, Rudolf Virchow and E. Haeckel. All of them have played a leading role in the progress of natural science as well as in the paradigmatic understanding of life and the body-soul-problem. Müller was vitalist. But he modified his vitalism from an idealistic position in direction to a materialistic position. He assumed a special Vis vitalis linked just with special structures. Therefore he formulated 1825 the up to now accepted so-called “Müller law” from a vitalistic point of view: He has spoken from the law of “specific energies of sensory organs”. E. du Bois Reymond, his pupil and follower on the chair in Berlin, followed this direction: He published 1843 experimental confirmations of his assumption of identity of Spiritus animalis and electricity.

Special versions of vitalism of leading experimentalist were common in France too. So Claude Bernard (1813 – 1878) distinguished 1865 between “influence vital” and the “cause executive” – close to Aristotle.[vii] This is not a surprise: Bernard was world famous after his experiment (1849) to stimulate the 4th ventricle by a mechanical stimulus (“Zuckerstich”), which caused in the periphery an increase of the level of glucosis in blood. In which way should it be possible to explain such a process including the transformation from mechanics to electricity and from electricity to chemical output on a fundamental causal level? This means: on the same level as it is used in physics and chemistry: In these research fields causality is given only if unobservable qualities (e.g. an electric field, a chemical power) cause an observable phenomenon. With such a paradigm he could integrate his fundamental endocrinological experiments with his electrophysiological activities and therefore his view of the “milieu interieure” and metabolism. This based on an in principle researchable interferences between chemical, physical and neural activities. These experiments have been very stimulating for Sechenov: You remember the very famous experiments in Graz 1868 named the “White lady” and the fundamental publication in German language “Über die elektrische und chemische Reizung der sensiblen Rückenmarkensnerven des Frosches” [About electric and chemical stimulation of the sensible spinal nerves of the frog] [viii]

An other version of vitalism was developed from an other pupil of Müller: Rudolph Virchow, the most prominent pathologist of this time and for many scientists up to now, the founder of the cellular pathology and modern social medicine. He published many papers in the most relevant journals of medicine about “new vitalism”: His position can be summarized in the sentence: “Therefore we pathologists are all vitalists”. Virchow could not accept a paradigm that excluded causal explanations of individuality and the influences of culture, political structures and modern civilisation on health and illness (and therefore bodily interactions to demands to the feedback systems which could be selected by the common biological procedures). The demands of Virchow can be expressed by the challenge on the paradigm to cover all the activities of a living being which fits to the following saying of K. Lorenz: “Gehörtes ist noch nicht verstanden, Verstanden ist nicht einverstanden, Einverstanden ist noch nicht bereit zum Handeln, Gesichertes ist nicht auf Dauer gesichert.“ [Perceived is not understood, understood is not accepted, accepted is not ready to act, realised is not permanent persisting”]. For Virchow was clear: All this steps have to be done with the same materialistic structure of a person. But we know from our own experience that the answer can be different because of different value systems, influences of the environment etc. Therefore Virchow did not agree neither with a pure materialistic position of a modified vitalism, nor with the idealistic view of the “traditional” vitalism too. So he understood “vitalism” more as a “principle” for a realistic position.[ix], [x],[xi]. He deduced the “Lebenskraft” [Vis vitalis] from the interactions between the molecules.[xii] Even 1897 he formulated: “Der Sitz des Lebens ist nicht identisch mit dem Sitz der Seele. Denn das Leben ist eine Eigenschaft aller Teile eines lebenden Organismus“. [The seat of life is not identical with the seat of the soul because of the fact that life is a nature of all parts of a living organism]. [xiii]

A total different solution of the former dualistic view offered another pupil of Müller: Ernst Haeckel (1834 – 1919, biologist but physician too) created a monistic paradigm to explain the open questions including evolution. In the monistic view power, mater and mind are understood as aspects of the same. Ernst Haeckel was the most prominent supporter of Darwin’s theory in Germany. Therefore it is not easy to follow him in his position that the evolution is determined – in contradiction to more or less all other relevant evolutionists. About his fight with the authorities and the Christian church we will speak later.

2.4.2. Helmholtz, Clausius and Darwin: Back to the starting point

But 1843 the mainstream of physiologists could believe in an obvious direction of the development of the paradigm: Vis vitalis would be discovered in the futures as the expression of a special matter (Müller) or by electricity. (Du Bois-Reymond). But then Helmholtz destroyed this hope with the discovery of the 1st law of thermodynamic: Energy cannot be won and cannot go lost. But it can be modified in any form. Then there is no explanation why electricity should have the quality “life” and other forms of energy not, and why “spiritus animalis” should be consumable. Maybe Laplace with his mechanistic worldview was right?

But the old view of Laplace – the assumption to need only the laws of classic mechanic to explain all in the universe – could not accepted longer after Clausius 1865 formulated the 2nd law of thermodynamics and the term “entropy”: The predictions of “the daimon of Laplace” based on a model without an arrow of time.

It was clear: “Life” could not be a consumable, limited substance or special form of energy. But neither Helmholtz nor Clausius could offer a paradigm which was able to explain the reproducible phenomena: The power of the epistemological regulation (to increase knowledge in physiology and psychology on the basis of experimental testing of predictions) was greater then the available ontological frame (“paradigm”).

Darwin brought the most fundamental argument against the Carthesianian view: He did not point out what is life or where is life coming from. But he pointed out principles about the differentiation of the species of living beings from fewer complex to more complex. Such an assumption was incompatible with the understanding of an identical, not modifiable essence to explain as well the “lower level” and “higher levels” of life, as the adaptive activities and the spontaneity according to a free will in unique situations of a human person. Why an egg of a chicken does not decide to create an eagle, or the egg of a dinosaur to build the body of a chicken if “life” is an essence, omnipotent and in all the living beings the same? If the morphology of the living entities must be seen from an evolutionary point of view then life – as the basis for this process – could not be a not modifiable essence.

The next fact was that selection will take place in a limited system if more demands are given then resources. For this process nobody has to determine a goal to select this or that: Selection happens with the consequence of the survival of entities in connection with their abilities in relation to other entities and environmental factors. There is no need to see a difference between the evolution of man and of any other living being. Therefore there was no more need to assume the creation of any species within seven days and of the eternal natural laws at the same time. And many scientists made the conclusion that then there is no need for a creator in general. Therefore the basic principle of Descartes and therefore the self-understanding of the Christian church were on disposition and not only the scientific paradigm of Vis vitalis. Beside the discussion about the paradigms for natural science and medicine a fundamental discussion about religion was to expect and – according to the links between religion and social structure – with relevance for the fundaments of the given social stability. The problem was not the classification of Homo sapiens together with special monkeys in the same family. From the formal point of view this statement that Homo sapiens, Chimpanzee and Orang Utan are species within the same classification “Primates” was nearly 100 years old , when Darwin wrote his “origin of species”. Linné introduced this position in his 16th edition of his systematic without any problems with the church. But the classification of Linné integrated just the organism of the human into the same system as the monkeys. This was in agreement with the Cartesian world view: All organisms are res extensa, even the human body. Linné did not speak against the principle difference between the soul of a person and the level to guide the matter of the bodies in general. But exactly this brought the discourse about evolution and descendent theory into discussion. E. Haeckel came to extreme positions and applied the evolutionary principle to deduce that even crystals would have a soul and published 1917 the book “Kristallseele” [The soul of crystals]. His monism was basis for a religion-like association (“Monistenbund”). They elected Haeckel as “anti-pope”.

So not only the scientific discussion about the adequate paradigm was in turbulence but the discussion about the fundaments of the former given social structures too.

But at the same time the changing in the epistemological self-understanding which had taken place in the 19th century was extremely fruitful: Scientists like Müller, Ludwig, Bernard founded the epistemological agreement for experiments in physiology (and biology) as the basis for science. They postulated that the theoretical assumptions should be so exact and detailed that from them the output of standardized experiments should be possible: The experimental phenomena should be the judge for the adequateness of theories. Reproducible results were the goal.

Such experiments were done in many different fields of physiology. They brought reproducible results, but the knowledge about the predictable links between the different fields wasnot available at this stage of the state of knowledge. This should be the function of a paradigm within science. But the given puzzle stones were too different and could not stimulate to create unification by a new paradigm which allowed fitting all reproducible data into one big puzzle.

2.4.3. How to handle science without an adequate paradigm: 2nd Copernicanean Revolution, Emil du Bois-Reymond`s Ignorabimus, Positivism, Morgans Canon and other proposals

The paradigms offered by religion and by the different views of Vis vitalis, matter, power and mind could never cover the plurality of reproducible phenomena. How to handle this situation? The starting point of modern epistemology: Kant and the 2nd Copernicanean Revolution

Immanuel Kant published his first critics 1782. He came to the fundamental result that the basic assumption of empirism, the human person would be able to make objective statements about objects in the real world – statements without an influence of the observer – can never be accepted: There is no “tabula rasa” a priori (= before any observation). We need “a priori” a “coordinate system” for positioning the stimuli from outside (“space”) and for the process (“time”). Therefore the observed stimuli are coming to the main a posteriori: sorted according to time and space. And they were handled with given “categories” (e.g. causality, quality, quantity) for synthetic judgements. So Kant changed the understanding of the relationship between observer and observed object in principle. The first Copernicanean Revolution was the cognition that not the earth is the unmoved centre and the sun is moving but the sun is unmoved (only in relation to the planets) and the earth is moving. So the common view is a simplification humans used unconsciously. Therefore the human has fixed (and can change) the point Zero of his coordinate system to characterise positions of matter in outside space (“commonly” the Euclidic room), but time too. Now Kant cleared up that this coordinate systems and the categories are creations of the human brain, which allow the humans to deal with the outside given daily life more appropriate. But we can not know more from the outside given as the fact that aspects of it can be brought into the coordinate systems of time and space and can be handled with the categories. Therefore we can not know how relevant the aspects we can handle are from an objective point of view to speak about the outside object we observe. And the 2nd fundamental change deals again with the point zero to characterise relationships: The point zero for natural science is not “outside” but inside of the human: in his mind.

This argumentation based in idealistic foundation of knowledge only. Materialistic arguments are not needed (and would not be accepted in this type of argumentation). But you came to the same result if you would use classic materialistic arguments, as Helmholtz confirmed: a person is limited by his sensory organs to perceive just a small segment of the given: Therefore he can have “a priori”just information about this small segment of a whole which can in principle not be known by humans in toto. And the input of this perceivable information from the world must be valuated by a biological organ, which limits what we can know, and in which way we can connect the information according to time and space and a priori categories. But the brain allows on the other side an individual valuation. This valuation has to be done with regards to consent too. (Without orientation on consent there would not be an explanation why we can communicate even about dissent). Therefore the acceptance of the physiological basis of the human confirms the so called 2nd Copernican Revolution in epistemology: We can not make any statement about reality which is objective in the sense that it is not depending on the quality of the observer. (Physiological or sensorial New-Kantianism). Einstein confirmed later that this position does not change if we use artificial observers: They are limited in the segment of their “observations” too. The position of the “physiological New-Kantians” allows with regards to other physiological knowledge (e.g. of genetic and epigenetic) the conclusion, that all “a priori given” is based on genetically based information and the categories maybe too (or on epigenetic principles) Then we can understand that they are characteristics for all members of the species Homo sapiens. Therefore all humans correspond in these. And these correspondences can cause a “lower level” of “objectivity” just within humans. And physiology can be seen as the science to describe this generalizable basis from the morphological side. Helmholtz is seen as the “founder” of “physiological New-Kantianism”, Müller, Fechner and Emil Du Blois-Reymond are counted to the most relevant representatives. Again Bois-Reymond: Ignoramus and Ignorabimus and epistemology instead of/as paradigm

And Emil Du Bois-Reymond, a teacher of Sechenov, modified his former position (spiritus animals can be explained and is identical with electricity) and offered a radical solution for the given dilemma between the inadequate ontology (“paradigms”) and the much more powerful epistemology (to use well controlled experiments in biology too): He presented this position in two speeches (1872 and 1880) to the leading association of natural scientists and physicians of this time in Germany. In his speech to the 45th annual assembly of the Gesellschaft der Naturforscher und Ärzte “Über die Grenzen des Naturerkennens”[About he came 1872 to the conclusion, that there are seven “Welträtsel” [world mysteries]. He assumed that 4 of them are in principle not to explain with scientific methods even by the progress of knowledge: “Ignoramus et Ignorabimus” [“we do not know and we will never know it]:

  • Das Wesen von Materie und Kraft [The nature of matter and power]
  • Ursprung der Bewegung [The origin of (spontaneous) movement]
  • Entstehung der einfachen Sinnesempfindungen; Bewusstsein [The origin of simple sensory perception and consciousness] and
  • Willensfreiheit: [the freedom of will].

The three questions, which are now unknown (Ignoramus) but which could be solved with the progress of science in the future, were:

  • Die Entstehung des Lebens [origin of life]
  • Die anscheinend absichtsvoll zweckmäßige Einrichtung der Natur [the obviously intentional and efficient orientation of natural processes (and therefore explanation for the obviously high efficiency of science)] and
  • Das vernünftige Denken und der Ursprung der Sprache [the rational thinking and the origin of language]

He pointed out that we would not be able to understand the nature of the psychological processes (but other basic inner causes for physical effects like movement too) even if we would have the knowledge of the daemon of Laplace and would know all positions and interactions of molecules and atoms in the brain. And there would be no hope to answer this question on the same level, as it is possible to answer phenomena in consequence of outer (observable) causes. This speech was a natural philosophical presentation with a clear ontological position and relevant epistemological implications: There are bodily and mental phenomena. They are caused by “inner and outer causes. They cause effects which follows general principles. But the nature of the human is so that we will never be able to deal adequately with the (unobservable) “inner causes” and their connections with the observable “outer causes” in such a way on the basis of logic arguments that we can call the result “knowledge”. Therefore the question about “inner causes” is correct in principle, but hopeless. This position was a new paradigm about the nature of the human being – more radical then the former Christian position (we will never know the nature of God and therefore the nature of “res cogitans”. Res extensa including life and emotion are based on created natural laws and therefore “researchable”). If you accept the position of “Ignorabimus” then it does not make any sense to spend time and money to try to solve these questions on a fundamental causal level (To explain phenomena by inner and outer causes). Any discussion about “vis vitalis”, “to be”, etc. is fruitless for science (“metaphysic”). Therefore the only consequent solution to improve knowledge is to use the best available epistemological technique. And according to the power of the newly implemented epistemological technique (of the sophisticated, well documented and therefore in principle for everyone repeatable empirical experiment) this epistemological ongoing should be the stay of knowledge in science. One epistemological consequence of this position was the need to accept an additional type of causality: Causality was to accept if all the steps of the chain of causes and causal connection were made observable, too. (This was and is not accepted in physics and chemistry: They explain observables with unobservable – inner – causes like fields and power)

A second consequence of the “Ignorabimus-position” was that it was /is to expect that connections should be discovered, based finally on “inner causes” of biological and psychological processes too. How should a person, which accept this convention, deal with such a “discovery”, if there are no offers to characterize and communicate the different unobservable aspects e.g. of perception, valuation, initiation of a reaction etc? The accepted possibility was to introduce a new quality of “comprehensive terms” for the whole complex: This term includes at the same time the observable starting point [e.g. the normal dog], the (not observable) inner cause(s) [e.g. the ability to link meaning with observable and pose this within a coordinate system for meanings], the (not researchable) process caused by these inner causes and the observable output [to change the meaning of a sound which is linked with an other observable phenomenon e.g. feeding] and the observable output [a now conditioned dog]. Then you have to motivate the scientific community to accept this term because of the reproducibility of the output under well controlled experimental conditions. [ I conditioned dog is now a conditioned dog because of conditioning]. This technique is the only given if the basis of empirical data does not allow more differentiated assumptions but of curse if you accept “ignorabimus”. It was used with great success by Sechenov and his pupils but from modern scientist all over the world too. Indispensable terms as “conditioning”, autopoiesis, “homeostasis” are such terms. But it was all the time correct to ask about their nature (“inner causes”). But there was and is a convention that such questions are counted under “hopeless”. So the epistemological agreement substituted the ontological discussion. The basis is a “convention” within the society of scientists. Positivism – Mach and Sechenov at the same time in Graz

This opens the link to a philosophical direction called “positivism”. Its founder is Auguste Comte (1798- 1857). The most relevant representative in science at this time was Mach. Mach worked in Graz, when Sechenov made his experiments about the “white lady” in the same town. The “pure” positivist excludes all discussions about “inner causes” as fruitless and accepts only that what can be observed (the “objective”). Therefore he should not include explanations on the basis of power or fields in his theories: They cannot be observed but their “output”. Such a “pure positivism” would cause a lost of indispensable theories and applications in science and its application. Many natural scientists used (and use) therefore positivistic positions in a pragmatic way: They use the unobservable physical and chemical powers and fields but they take a positivistic position in context of life and psychological aspects of the same entities. For a critical thinker this is compatible with the assumption that positivism is a “must” if the available empirical data are not powerful enough for an adequate paradigm. Therefore the adequateness of a positivistic position would depend on the available data. There are many statements of Sechenov to assume that he used positivistic epistemological positions because of the very limited data about life and mind, but “fundamental causality” with inner and outer causes for physics and chemistry. But his ontological position can be understood as a “physiological new-kantianistic” one.

2.4.4. Sechenov and new understanding: Epistemology and ontology as tools Kant and physiological New-Kantianism

The technique to use two epistemological positions within the same chain of argumentation seems to be conclusive from another position too. My analysis of the work of Sechenov shows close relationships of this position with Sechenov: If you accept the 2nd Copernican Revolution then epistemological (and ontological) views are “free inventions of the human brain”, too. They can be created only on the basis of experiences. The experience depends on the available data. Therefore the level and the comprehensiveness of the available date about nature limit the correct thinkable ontological model. Such an assumption would see the level of empirical data, the possible conclusive paradigm (“ontology”) and the adequate epistemological recommendations as interdependent and in a dynamic process. Then the used paradigm would play the role of a pragmatic frame to bring different aspects of knowledge contradiction-free in a very general connection and epistemology would be comparable with a toolbox from which you take out this instrument which is adequate to solve the given problem. And with solving of problems the level of the frame and the content of the toolbox will improve too. From this point of view it is adequate to use for physical and chemical questions of living beings a level of argumentation which is more fundamental (because of the well experienced use of inner causes like fields, energy and power), but for expressions of living processes of the same entities a less fundamental argumentation. Another consequence of such a pragmatic view of paradigm and epistemology deals with the predictability of “unsolvable world mysteries”. This depends on the available frames and tools too. Therefore we should be very careful with statements like “Ignorabimus – we will NEVER know it” about “world mysteries”: We see only the available toolbox and the accepted paradigmatic frame. But they can be and should be adjusted in context of the new empirical based knowledge. This seems to be the position of Sechenov: He used often the term “Ignoramus – we do not know” – but not “Ignorabimus”. And Einstein demonstrated: If we accept a shift in the paradigm (Gravitation is not understood as a power, space and time are for physical objects a continuum) and in the epistemology (“Real theories” allows to link former logically contradictory theories) even a “world mystery” can be lifted: The equivalence of the (unobservable) energy and of (observable) matter is a fundamental scientific statement about the “nature of matter and power, which was counted as “Ignorabimus”. For” technical guidelines” but against “doctrines”

Especially in periods with a lack on reproducible data scientific community needs criteria to guide their members to a type of research work which will fill the gap as quick as possible. But – in agreement with Th. Kuhn – we should not be surprised that the “scientific communities” will abuse the need to guide scientific work for “outer-scientific” interests too. So they used (and use) such pragmatic positions uncritically to distinct between scientists which are acceptable as “members” and such one which are not acceptable. They used such guidelines like “natural laws” or “doctrines” – similar “dogmas”: E.g. Morgan’s Canon[3] or the position of Watson (1919), who claims to exclude “consciousness” from natural scientific and psychological research. But we know that in history no paradigm was “the true”. One followed the other. This should be acceptable for the dealing with unobservable and “inner causes” too. And one century before Th. Kuhn published his book (1963) Sechenov has applied this position, not to accept guidelines as laws, e.g. when he accepted to discus positions about “will” as a cause for inhibition with regards to the reputation of the proposing person (it was Weber) as experimentalist (1863)[xiv]. This position is one of the reasons why Sechenov had so many conflicts with officials.

“Will” was a common topic of spiritualists. To deal with “will” was for many physiologists unacceptable – like a “doctrine”. Therefore they excluded such topics from their research field. Therefore no progress could be expected. Not so Sechenov. He did not accept the paradigm of spiritualists and therefore their explanation that “will” is the expression of a special essence. But he accepted the relevance of the phenomena linked with individual “will” for the understanding of man in general. Therefore he has accepted the need for causal explanation but consistent with the other phenomena known from humans (in biology, physics and chemistry) as a long term goal for physiology.[xv] There was a need for appropriate epistemological techniques. He proposed such ones. For that he needed a paradigm about the expected “nature of the spirit and its dependence on the body.” Therefore he formulated paradigmatic positions e.g. in his “The reflexes of the human brain”, like “all the external manifestations of brain activity can be attributed to muscular movementeven Garibaldi’s smiling when he is persecuted for his excessive love for his fatherland as well as the laughing of a child or Newton’s enunciating universal laws and writing them [xvi]. It is obvious: These movements were used to carry information (the position of meaning in its coordinate system), not to change the position of matter in space and time. But without this material movement no communication! The interdependence between both – the observable movement and its guidance – could be made to a research topic with the given techniques to come closer and closer to the secrets. Sechenov deduced from his physiological experiments step by step principles for the interactions between the unobservable inner processes in any biological analyser (and receptor) and the observables of the associated process: According to physiological experience the “analysing” activity is all the time the middle part of a process between an afferent and an efferent axis (and therefore part of an integral whole).[4] The level of thinking, the quality of the emotion etc. can be maybe more or less complex. But there are no links between such “analysing activities” without such intersecting morphological steps.[5] Therefore Sechenov claimed psychological problems as part of physiology and did not exclude them. Progress by introducing abilities on a monistic position

But even when Sechenov died there were no adequate empirical data available to propose similar tools for analysing psychic processes as “field” and “power” are used to deal with physical and chemical processes. So the best available technique was to fill the gap with comprehensive terms (e.g. analyser, receptor, conditioning...) and the use of techniques which allowed concluding from the experimental results to the content of the “comprehensive term”. But from the view of a progressive scientist who did not accept “Ignorabimus” this situation was similar to the status of physics when “horse power” was as a physical unit: This is a pragmatic solution – helpful but only temporarily. A progressive scientist would be willing to step forward on the way to characterise the “inner causes” more adequate with the increasing level of available and connectable empirical data, all the time remembering with Einstein that “all scientific terms are free inventions of the human brain, created just for better handling of reality.

Anokhin and Sudakov made such a “free invention” which brought progress in epistemology and especially for applicability: They use in their Theory of Functional Systems an ability (NOT a specific force!) to explain the processes within living systems e.g. self regulation, plasticity, auto regulation etc. (see e.g. Sudakov 2002 pg 5)[6]. A similar position was done by the Nobel laureates Heisenberg (in the field of qwanta [7],[xvii]) and Muller (in the field of genetics.[8],[xviii]). These scientists did not accept the assumption of a dualistic Cartesian paradigm. They accepted a materialistic and monistic nature of their research objects. [9] They all brought “abilities” intodiscussion to deal with reproducible phenomena which were not to explain with the given energetically characterized “abilities”, e.g. for movement (by fields and powers). In a “monistic view the term “ability” is used to express the assumption, that because of this aspect a research object can be efficient just in a definite way. The postulation of ability is one step forward from the epistemological technique to cover the unobservable part and the reproducible observable results just with a comprehensive term (e.g. the term “autopoiesis”). The next step in the epistemological progress would be to postulate characteristics of this ability and its relationship to other abilities of the same object. These assumptions should allow predictable phenomena. This would be the way which was done in physics and chemistry with the consequence that on theses fields generalised predictions on the basis of inner causes are the standard now.

2.4.5. Psychology – Spiritualism – Psychosomatic

Parallel to the developments in physiology different scientists of the 19th century focussed on psychical problems using the different paradigms available in this time. Therefore the physiologists brought in an indispensable contribution for psychology too, as physiology is the mother of Pathophysiologie, Medical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Public Health and Social Medicine etc. So Sechenov is counted in the list of the most prominent psychologists, too. [xix] His theories about psychology are indispensable for the understanding of modern psychology.[xx] Spiritualism

But there were incompatibilities between the position of Sechenov (and natural science) and these representatives of psychology who accepted a spiritualistic and/or a dualistic position, which includes all aspects of vis vitalis and the Cartesian “res cogitans” as one part of the nature of the human person and “res extensa” as the other nature of man. The relevant arguments of Sechenov against psychology must be seen from this position and can not be applied against all other specialisations from psychology. Sechenov was fighting against spiritualism!

Sechenov has described the position of the “spiritualists” in his paradigmatic paper “Who must investigate the problems of psychology, and how”, p. 354:

1) Man, as an independent part of the universe, – as a totality in itself, – may be contrasted to the rest of the universe; man may be isolated from everything, which is outside him. In this sense man is an individual, an integral whole, a unit.

2) When we regard the sum of phenomena taking place in man, we see that man is composed of two principles, which are not subject to the same laws.

3) As a corporeal being, matter is subject to the laws of the material world; as a spiritual being, he is not subject to them.

4) In his corporeal aspect, he is the slave of matter; in his spiritual aspect he is its master.

5) Man does not only have power over his body and control his behaviours; his power extends even to his thoughts, desires and passions.

6) In this sense, man is an independent being; his actions are determined by himself.

Sechenov could falsify the position of man as independent from his bodily nature. He could confirm his integration into his environment. [10] But Sechenov was not a reductionist: He understood the nature of human as the result of an evolutionary process which covers bodily and mental abilities. Therefore as well the natural laws of physics and chemistry are indispensable as the principles of biology and therefore of physiology, especially the principles of the neuronal system. The progress of evolution did not stop on the level of animal life. Because of this natural process human beings are different and not because of a special dualistic force. But because of the same reason there are differences between different evolutionary levels of lower and higher animals too and there are differences between them and “the life of plants and rocks” (S. 341). For Sechenov the problem for science is that we have no scientific technique to ascend from the lower level to the higher level: “To ascend from them [the psychical processes of animal life] to more complex phenomena is impossible; immediately bellow them [the psychical processes of human] stand the unanalysable phenomena of the psychical life of animals; and still lower lies the sphere of inorganic matter.” (Opera, p. 341).

As long as this situation is given and we have no technique (based on a paradigm covering all the different levels of evolution based entities) we can not expect an explanation on the same level as within physical and chemical processes. But Sechenov explained the epistemological correct way which was given at his time: There are a lot of basic processes which are indispensable for the psychic processes of humans too which can be analysed with the methods of physiology. Therefore the best and indispensable basis for the better understanding of psychic processes is physiology.

The modern psychology deals with physical phenomena without a paradigm of “psyche”. Same concepts seem to be close to the principles of Functional systems Theory, e.g. the concept of transactional coping of Lazarus: He takes the position that a person is observing permanently its environment even in case of stress, valuates them (appraisal) and selects (the (psychologically based) coping technique, compares the effect of them (permanent reappraising) and modifies the coping technique in agreement to his assumption about the situation, his coping resources etc. (transactional coping).[xxi] Placebo, Phantom pain and other open problems

But there were good reasons for a scientific frame which covers topics which are not to handle with a model just based on the actual understanding of morphology, matter and energy. These are the arguments we know from Virchow (e.g. the very relevant differences of contagiosity of the same microbe depending on different social classes), from psychiatrics (see the arguments of hysteria, depression, etc. e.g. by Jean-Martin Charcot 1877), but from reproducible physiological phenomena too: e.g. of phantom – pain (Weil 1871), suggestion and autosuggestion (e.g. by Coué 1885; which were named by Sechenov as causes for modification of reflexes but excluded by special experimental techniques e.g. 1902[xxii]), “Placebo-analogue” phenomena[11], the “well known phenomena” of “consciously and unconsciously used motivation” – as Sechenov pointed out as an effect of singing if tired to increase the efficiency of work (in the same paper , p 258). Freud and his followers: a root for psychosomatic

Sigmund Freud created his theory at the end of the 19th century, based on a posthumous paper. He proposed a comprehensive view but on the basis of assumptions about inner causes. He linked a complex network of such forces (?) finally with bodily results. It is to assume that Sechenov would have had difficulties with this theory because of his position, that “between” different physical activities bodily processes are indispensable.

Freud is not a representative of psychosomatic medicine but indispensable for the development of this additional branch of medicine, which is accepted by many medical universities beside the “natural science based medicine”. In the given situation in Austria we have the position that there are two types of school medicine. Both are accepted as indispensable: “A medicine for bodies without souls, and a medicine for souls without bodies” – as Th. V Uexküll formulates. They are unlinkable because of their different ontological and epistemological basis. In good agreement to the position of Sechenov: The scientific linkage between the lower and the higher level is with the given instruments not possible

Psychosomatic view starts “the other way round”: Psychosomatics starts with a paradigm about inner processes which could be confirmed by statistical methods to have significant correlations with bodily functions. Some of them are powerful in the prediction of effects, too. It is remarkable that same principles accepted in selected “schools of psychosomatic” are very similar to basics in Functional Systems Theory: So Th. V. Uexküll and Wesiack[xxiii] use the so called process of “Merkkreis and Wirkkreis”, a concept based on proposals e.g. of Gelen, Weizsäcker V., (1886 – 1957, Gestaltskreis), J. v Uexküll: These circles look similar to a permanent working reflex between an receptor and an analyser which integrates environmental input with mental and bodily reactions. These are positions which give hope to link aspects of psychosomatic medicine with physiological principles.


2.4.6. From creationism to the Evolutionary Theory of Darwin (and K. Lorenz)

The most prominent paradigmatic shift during the lifetime of Sechenov was the introduction of Darwin’s theory of evolution. At the beginning of the 19th century two controversial theories were in discussion to explain the fossils: The theory that all living beings were destroyed by catastrophes, so that God had to create different times new ones and the theory of one creation and a modification of the animals because of the changing of environmental conditions. The Catholic Church preferred the first version more, but the other was not in contradiction to the religious self-understanding. The systematic of Linné was in agreement with the paradigm of the church too: He listed – as pointed out above – the Homo sapiens together with Orang-Utan and Chimpanzee into the family of the “primates”. But this did not include any statement about the nature of res cogitans: Living processes were subsummized with physical and chemical processes into the effects of “res extensa”. But the theory of Darwin and its interpretation by his followers excluded a special nature of the soul. Therefore this theory seemed to be in contradiction to the position of the church, which insisted in a unique position of man. Therefore the dispute about evolution was overloaded by political and social aspects. Therefore the position of spiritualists was supported by the church and many governments. This controversy could not be brought to an end within the life time of Sechenov. One of the main arguments against the Cartesian view was that an omnipotent essence would have been able to create from any egg at any time all types of animals which produce eggs. But from any egg of a chicken all the time only chickens came out, no eagle or dinosaur. But the Darwinists had also open questions: The problem of the evolutionists was that they could not explain the nature of the creation of “in principle news”. They could only describe prerequisites and the follow up of steps on the way to them. So Darwinists had to accept a gap to bridge the most relevant step: When the new was caused just by the given and why this take place in an unpredictable way – but in a researchable world for which reproducibility and predictability are the “conditio sine qua non” for science. But the epistemological self-understanding based on “Ignorabimus” and the “acceptance of comprehensive terms” allowed explaining this with consent about such a new scientific term: This term was “emergence”. And e.g. Broad brought a definition of emergence, which was sufficient according to the prerequisites of the new epistemology:

The “emergent” is based just on the given, without any influence from outside of the system (e.g. by an influence of God). It can not be predicted when and in which form the emergent occurs. And the “inner cause” of them must be accepted by the natural piety of the scientist.

This definition allowed handling the observable adequately. But not because of a characterisation of abilities of the entities, which allows to deduce from them the possibility that these entities – or any other actor – are able to create the “emergent” or more complex entities. But within the scientific community “inner causes” were never needed for a causal explanation.[xxiv]

It is understandable that at this time the evolution of special psychical aspects were not matter of science. But Darwin had integrated all aspects of species into his theory. He used the principle of the “survival of the fittest”, which was formulated by the social scientists Spencer to characterize the output of the evolutionary process. This position integrates the use of psychical activities for this fight too. Sechenov integrated into his understanding a comprehensive view of evolution. And he pointed out clearly that the evolution of mind was accepted at this time as a part of evolution of species. [12]

But this general position got lost in the early 20th century. So it was the merit of K. Lorenz – Nobel laureate for Medicine and former Honorary President of International Academy of Science – Health and Ecology – to re-discover this position. He expressed this in the sentence: “Evolution ist ein erkenntnisgewinnender Process” [Evolution is a knowledge gaining process].

2.5. The situation when Sechenov died

When Sechenov died 1905 the epistemological and ontological basis of scientific medicine has changed in principle: If we use as criterion for that the accepted ontology and epistemology of the papers which could be published in the leading journals and the positions presented to the leading scientific societies we have the following situation: We can say that at this time “natural science” was definited not by ontology but by epistemology as follows: Scientific statements have to be based on reproducible experimental data and the use of (Aristotelian) logic argumentation, which allows to integrate the given stay of knowledge with the reproducible und predictable phenomena. If this was given, the ontological basis could be different: A “pragmatic” positivism was typical for many fields of biology and physiology, but different types of “vis vitalis” – especially the version of the very powerful pathologist R. Virchow – could be presented in the same society and journal. Monism was accepted by the scientists around Ernst Haeckel who is indispensable for the modern understanding of biology and evolution theory. Einstein could explain the former incompatibilities between Newtonian view (movement caused by one dimensional powers, need of integration of position of the observer for scientific statements about movement) and Maxwell’s view (movement e.g. of light caused by fields, statements about speed only correct by excluding the position of observer) just by a in general different understanding of inner causes of physical entities (a new understanding of field) and an extended view of epistemology and ontology (all theories are free inventions of the human brain, science without ontology is impossible, indispensable but logically not compatible theories should be handled by a special form of metatheory which he called “real theories”) and S. Freud laid the fundament for a scientific view from a total different starting point. But beside of them a lot of scientific unacceptable offers on the basis of creationism, vitalism and spiritualism were offered but excluded from science by the criterion of the missing experimental confirmation and the lack on a logical linkage to the given indispensable stay of knowledge. This we should take into consideration when we think over about the sentence of the famous clinician Naunyn (1900): “Medizin wird Naturwissenschaft sein oder wird nicht sein.”[Medicine will be “natural” science or Medicine will never be].

When Sechenov was born the most natural scientists accepted that life is a limited, consumable resource which allows us using the other type of limited and consumable resources (matter and energy) for a special form of activity. When Sechenov died, the majority of natural scientists agreed that “life” is a term to express a special process of material entities, organised in a special way and using special structures (e.g. the proteins of the protoplasm).

3. Analysis of the position of Sechenov and his influence ON his followers

3.1. Sechenov as a philosopher

3.1.1. Sechenov and the use of paradigms and epistemology as tools

You can see even on the quantity of pages in his “Opera”, how relevant the philosophical task for the understanding of the scientific position of Sechenov is – more then one third of the papers deals just with philosophy. More or less all problem oriented papers, especially “the reflexes of the brain” include relevant philosophical positions and new ideas. Sechenov developed within his life a more and more comprehensive philosophy based on a “physiological New-Kantian” paradigm and an extended epistemological work. So his position as one of the famous Russian natural philosophers is generally accepted. So he used in an early publication (1868) – according to the available data at this time – formulations which can be interpreted as a special “materialistic vitalism” in context of “living energy” – close to his teacher Müller.[13] Then he attributed to the neuronal centres “abilities” which have been not usually attributed to physical energy. [14] 1902 he formulated – again according to the new stay of available data – different: He explained the same phenomenon with a formulation which is much closer to an evolution based monistic materialism. (Opera, p.257 f).

Sechenov developed a complex and comprehensive proposal for correct scientific work. He accepted “Ignoramus” – “We do not know”. He used this formulation several times, but never in connection with “Ignorabimus”. He accepted the “unobservable” – including “unconscious” as matter of natural science (with regards to Helmholtz, The elements of thought, p. 472). And he introduced terms which “covered” the unobservable inner causes” according to the need to communicate the generalizable results of his studies (e.g. the “term “Ladung der Nervenzellen mit Energie” p. 258)

This confirms my analysis that Sechenov used not only epistemological techniques as tools, but paradigms too. Therefore paradigms are seen as changeable and adaptable. Paradigms and therefore the used ontology are never “given” frames, in which all date and thoughts must be integrated. Paradigms can and should shift – depending on the level of available data.

3.1.2. Secheneov – a precursor of a Relativity theory for Causal Connections?

Sechenov argued intensively with many fundamental epistemological problems. A paradigmatic but not often discussed contribution is has argumentation about “cause” and “causal connections” (Opera 473ff) including unobservable causes. So he discussed what is the active element (“starting point – cause”) of the falling of a stone, the braking of a dam etc., and that this can be seen as the/a passive part of the chain, too. He pointed out the relevance perception to define the active part – which would be bring us to the wrong explanation to understand e.g. the falling of the stone, which is caused by unobservable power. He linked this with inner causes of men (e.g. passions as cause for misfortune) but with the clarification that “the connections are not the same as on the phenomena of the outside world, but they have a common point...”. But is there a general position about this “common point”? This could be seen as the starting point for a “Relativity theory for Causal Connections”. But it is a pity. He did not follow to the last steps. But he argued similar as we know from Einstein and his dilemma with the Relativity of movements.

But we should not forget that Sechenov worked about two generations before Einstein and had not the empirical data, which Einstein used as basis for his great theoretical work

Sechenov gives in the”elements of thought” (which can be seen as the second main work of Sechenov) a short summary of the “all existing theories” about “cause” and “causal connections” including the Kantian position, that the causal relationship is the first natural step toward the explanation of phenomena belonging to the inborn capacities of the human mind and therefore with all its inborn limitations. He points out, that cause and causal connections are “ideas(S 473), but very special ones:       

1) The ideas of cause and causal connection can be applied only to phenomena and to processes of chains (both objectives i.e. phenomena of external world, and subjectives, i.e. phenomena of the inner world of man); to successions but not to co-existences.

2) The cause is the active element of the phenomenon, and the causal connection is its relation to the secondary factors of the phenomenon; but this relation is peculiar: it is neither spatial nor quantitative, neither a similarity nor a relationship in time.

3) The causal relationship between the factors of the phenomenon is not directly accessible to our senses. It is reviled by the mind of the thinker”.

4) The causal relationship is the first natural step towards the explanation of phenomena [close to Kant, as the following too:)

5) The causal relationship as a form of perception of the connections of objects belongs (together with the perception of the connections of the objects according to similarity, sequence, and location in space)

If this relationship is neither spatial nor quantitative, neither a similarity nor a relationship in time and of course it is not observable, then it is not to express with mass and movement (only). But exactly these are the characteristics which are used to build a frame of a coordinate system to characterize even spontaneous changing movement of an energetically characterized object. For the dealing with time, space and matter and their changing Einstein had to develop Relativity Theories to link Newton’s and Maxwell’s frames within one metatheory. In a monistic understanding it should be expected a need for a relativity theory of causal connections too.

And Sechenov point out in this chapter relevant aspects for such a generalizable understanding of cause and causal connection: He demonstrated on the example of the explanation of a stone the relativity of the cause (as the active part), the causal connection and the effect as the passive output. Depending on the used ontology the falling can be seen as the consequence of the attracting power of the earth, the connection in form of a one way. Physicists explain this different: They assume on the basis of Newtonian physics mutual interactions of two masses of different size. And since Einstein we know, that the same phenomenon can be explained with better correlation of the mathematical predictions with the observable phenomena with the assumption of fields based on the curvature of time space depending on the energy of the objects then with mutual interacting (linear) powers. A statement about the correctness of another statement about cause and causal connections and its output must integrate the ontological position used in the argumentation. Otherwise a distinction between cause and effect, and the type of causal connection (e.g. active or passive, linear – non linear, because of a power with effects over distances – because of obserability over distances ...) can not be controlled correct.

Sechenov did not discuss problems of cause as the active part, causal connection with the output as the passive part in connection with reflexes. If you use a definition of reflex according to the definition of the Functional Systems Theory in which a permanent flow between the perceptor and the analyzer is assumed, then we have a situation, in which it is depending on the position of the outside observer to start the description of the permanent flow with an perceptor which cause an effect for the analyzer. But the analyzer is at the same time a perceptor and therefore the cause for a chain of causal connections including such ones back to the perceptor (which is now an analyzer too). Therefore we can say that the causal connection between receptor/analyser or analyzer/receptor does not change in principle the distinction is only a consequence of the inborn category of causality – to see all in succession and non in co – existence.

If the assumption is correct that “cause and causal connections” are ideas to deal with the phenomena e.g. of the external reality, then the coordinate system we are using in our mind to characterize movement of perceived objects in time and space are just one of our “coordinate systems” human mind creates to deal with the given world. If the analysis of Sechenov is correct then we have to postulate other coordinate systems too, e.g. such a coordinate system to deal with causal connections and effects of their changing in the outer world as well as in the inner world. But some coordinates must be different from the e.g. Euclid’s room. Maybe we have to assume in principle similar constructions for a “room of values” etc. But there must be a linkages between the different types of coordinate systems: If we look at the language of bees, which can be expresse by movement of the body within the darkness the information about the “outside world”, then the relationships of objects within an Euclidic room can be transferred feeling these movements and –maybe with assistance of the taste – the information of the type of food. But both types must be linked adequately so that the informed bees know what kind of food (= an information about a position within a “value grid”) can be collected at what place in the surrounding (= an information about a position within an “Euclidic grid”). Therefore cause and causal connection should be seen with regards to different coordinate systems – created in agreement – and the principles to create and to link them with the brain.


3.1.3. Sechenov and Einstein: “Theories deal not with actual realities but with potential realities” – “Theories are free inventions of the human mind”

Sechenov and Einstein came to very similar understanding about the nature of theories, but from totally different starting points:

Einstein started with the incompatibility of two indispensable theories according to the 3rd sentence of Aristotelian logic: The theory of Newton and the theory of Maxwell: A statement about the speed of e.g. a star can be only correct if the position of the observer of the star is integrated into the statement. (Newton). But a statement about the speed of the light of this star can only be correct if the speed of the observer is not integrated into the statement. (Maxwell). Both sentences are the total opposite of another. Therefore one of them must be wrong, one must be correct and there is no other solution – if we apply the Aristotelian principles. But both theories are indispensable. What should be done? This type of problems should be the starting point to develop a “real theory” according to Einstein. His answer was: This incompatibility is just an artefact because of the different views on the same reality. The reality is not incompatible with itself. It is only the way Newton and Maxwell have created their view about reality. And a view is all the time of a different nature than that for what the view stays. The relationship between the theory about (aspects of) reality and reality is similar as the relationship from a map to the landscape. But humans can have only views of the reality. Therefore it is allowed to create the view new. And this is the special challenge for the scientist: To create “a real theory” in such a way which is compatible with Newton and Maxwell, but as close to the phenomena as possible. Einstein understood science is the attempt to create explanations for the “output of the decisions which were made within the only evolutionary process”. Therefore we can decide between the different theoretically possible progresses if we look at the phenomena in our given world. The Relativity Theories were the result of this position.

The position of Einstein can be seen as an application of Kant´s view. Helmholtz and the other “physiological Neo-Kantians” came to the same conclusion even from another starting point: The (mind of the) person is creating the scientific views about the “outside” within the borderline of the morphological limitations of the sensory system and the brain: Therefore the theory must be “of a different nature then the observed given world”.

According to the nature of human physiology a human person has no other possibility to use the “given brain” which is a product of the evolutionary process then according to the limitations and possibilities which are the result of the “evolutionary process”. Therefore the applicability of this brain to use it for “idealistic conclusions” should be in agreement with the basics which Einstein could confirm for the very fundamental entities. Therefore the idealist Kant and the morphologist Helmholtz, but the materialist Einstein should came to the same basics. If Kant and Einstein are helpful for the understanding of “the given world” we should expect that the linkage between Kant to Einstein as well as the linkage between Kant and Helmholtz and Sechenov should be connectable to a circle within the argumentation of Kant, Einstein and Sechenov. So it is not a surprise that Sechenov hat a very similar position as Einstein and created terms too, especially to link different evolutionary levels: e.g. “Capacity to act”, etc are terms which allow to understand the phenomena in such a complex real world. Therefore it is conclusive with the morphological and materialistic ontology of Sechenov when he pointed out: (The elements of thought, Opera, p 478): “When the chemist discusses the structure of the bodies and introduces the notions of molecules and atoms etc. he is already operating mentally with extra-sensory objects. The molecules and atoms of the chemist are not actual realities, but insomuch as they are deduced from experiments they are “possible realities”. ..... The waves of light and ether are extra-sensory conceptions, but they are on the threshold of reality, i.e. they are “possible realities”. Einstein pointed out and formulated that “theories and scientific terms are free inventions of the human mind” but they have to be created in such a way that they are “consistent with the empirical data” and therefore with “our reality”. Therefore only such terms are to accept within science which can be empirically proved and allow additional explanations. And there is no need to postulate a dualistic nature just for humans: Such an assumption would be in contradiction to the phenomena of reality.

This position of Sechenov can be seen as based on a physiological new-Kantian paradigm which uses – temporarily – “positivistic” technique to deal with life and mind.

Sechenov accept that we have to create new terms – even for the unobservable – to create better understandable models even for mental activities, if they allow predictions which can be proved by experiments and are the consequence of logic thinking on the basis of given data. So he proposed the term “Ladung der Nervenzentren mit Energie” [with the meaning “to increase the energetically capacity of neuronal centres”] (Einwirkung sensitiver Reize auf die Muskelarbeit des Menschen”, Opera p 258.). He used this “capacity of energy of the neuronal centres” to explain the “vitalising effects of singing during work”, or the “origin of the depressive feeling” of exhausted persons. And he accepted the mind as an “active agent” (The elements of thought, 479). But this position is fare away from a vitalistic position and of a behaviouristic position.

3.1.4. Sechenov and evolutionary theory

The paradigm of Sechenov is based on a comprehensive view of evolution. As pointed out above Sechenov integrates the positions of Darwin with the position of Spencer – as an example for the evolution of mental activities on the level of humans. The evolution of psychical activities is for Sechenov a logical necessity, if the evolution of species is accepted. This position was not consequentially taken into consideration to understand the progress with the (actual) endpoint of mental activities of humans. So Sechenov integrates positions which link him with Konrad Lorenz. This is a late confirmation of the position of Sechenov, that mental activities are a result of the evolutionary process.

3.1.5. How to deal with reproducible phenomena far away from the given stay of knowledge

Very relevant are his contributions in epistemology for the daily work of scientists. He pointed out his epistemological position in detail (especially in “The elements of thought”, but in all papers of his experimental work too):

He accepted that any hypothesis must deal with the unknown. Therefore they are “speculations”. But he recommended for physiology creating just such hypotheses which go just one step forward from a theory which is confirmed by empirical data. But there are many relevant open problems – especially in connection with mental processes – which Sechenov accepted as facts (e.g. Autosuggestion, the effect of the will on physiological processes). (This is another reason why he could not accept psychological research without a physiological basis: Then terms without content must fill the gap – or “Vis vitalis”). In principle such topics are understood as within the field of physiology (at the borderline to the modern understanding of psychology). But there is up to our days neither an adequate paradigm nor adequate theories from which possible explanations (on the level of causality) could be deduced and proved in experiments. In such situations Sechenov applied the principle to create an experimental procedure which excludes the need to make statements about the nature of the influence of these factors. This technique is used up to now e.g. in double blind studies to control the effect of placebo. A good example for his techniques to exclude the need of such statements is the design of Sechenov to exclude the influence of autosuggestion in the very interesting experiment to measure the influence of the will to suppress the unconditioned reflex of a chemical solution on the skin: He measured the output of the will on a physiological reflex (to move the hand out of a solution of acid) with the time-difference if a ticklish person with and without the order to suppress the subjective feeling of tickles. The additional influence of the intellectual information, which is to expect if the personal knows the time span, he excluded in this way that the test person could not listen the sound of the metronome. (Physiologische Studien über die Hemmungsmechanismen für die Reflexthätigkeit des Rückenmarkes im Gehirn des Frosches, Berlin 1863)

3.1.6. Sechenov – open for a neutral evolution based Monism

This confirms my assumption that Sechenov understood and used epistemology and ontology as „creations for tools“ to support the scientific process – far away from any dogma or doctrine. According to this position a powerful paradigm – as the view of Newton or later the view of Einstein – is helpful: It allows more generalized predictions. If the level of the available data is higher and the old paradigms can not give any help for predictions the paradigms have to be substituted by a more appropriate one . But as long as no adequate alternative paradigm is available reproducible data have to be collected by experiments on the basis of the accepted knowledge. Maybe a better paradigm will be available in the future which allows to integrate them. Therefore no paradigm should be understood as a final explanation “what keeps the world together”. This can not be expected by a scientist accepting the 2nd Copernican Revolution. But such a scientist can expect and create additional tools for applicable generalisations of phenomena.[15] Therefore Sechenov would not see any problems with the introduction of abilities, as his followers Anokhin and Sudakov have done to explain the efficiency of functional systems e.g. with a postulated “ability” (or with a frame like the “extended view”).

Therefore the natural philosophical position of Sechenov seems to be compatible with the use of a neutral, evolution based monism as a tool to improve knowledge. This position is used in the “extended view”.

3.1.7 The highest reached level – an open relationship?

Sechenov points out the differences of mind activities on the example of the psycho-socio-ontogenesis of a human person, starting with childhood and going forward to a grown up. In this point he is a precursor of Piaget.

But I will focus your interest on his explanations for activities on the highest level of mind. He explained activities on the lower level with a principle based on the idea of reflexes. But this principle is not adequate to deal with the intensions on the highest level. On this level Sechenov accepts that the person is able to link the expectation with objects, processes etc which are not integrated into the systems of existing reflex. (In this aspect he opens the door to an understanding of the relevance of “reflexes” as instruments within an “open system”). He describes the process in which such additional aspects can be integrated into the existing system of reflexes. These explanations are very helpful for my understanding of “steering activities” (activities to reach a totally new goal) and “helms-reactions” (activities to equalize actual values which are far away from the given value outside of the range of a feedback system) and their transfer into feedback systems.

But Sechenov focussed on the point that the given (evolutionary older) possibilities of the system of reflexes are used to realize the intentions of the higher and the highest level. He pointed out that the possibilities which are available in consequence of a new level of psychic activities are additional possibilities to the former given ones. Therefore we should not be surprised that any steering reaction and any “helms-reaction” is realized by the use of given reflexes (in the meaning of Sudakov)[16]. This figure fits very well with the cybernetic understanding within my “extended view” of the “Cybernetic and Evolution based Social Medicine” – but is much wider then the common understanding of cybernetics, e.g. according to Wiener, which is – more or less limited on the given feedback systems.

3.1.8. A linkage to “pseudo-autonomous actors”

Sechenov distinct between different possibilities of different types of actors to deal with the given outside reality. The person is such an actor. The person can deal with the real world because of the information which is limited but directly available for the person with the senses.

But Sechenov expressed that the tissues and organs within the body have no direct access to the realities of the inner and outer world, for which they should act according to conclusive priorities – but conclusive from the view of the person and therefore according to the higher level of the individual. (“Elements of thought, Opera p 476)[17]

The following seems to be evident: The organs are covered by the skin. Therefore they have no direct access to information about the outer world. The consequences of this fact is a principle different relationship to the outside between the individual and its organs and tissues (which are seen within the “extended view” therefore as “pseudo-autonomous actors” who “belief” to act like in a co-operative for their own joined goals assuming that the “centre” is guiding all for the joint goals): Therefore all cells, tissues and organs are integrated into functional systems in which the neuronal network defines what kind of message is given to the “partners” (the tissues and organs of the body). It is a pity that Sechenov did not discuss the principle difference between the organs and the organism. But the phenomena of the consequences are analysed quite well especially by the pupils and followers of Sechenov. And this confirms the position deduced from the “extended view”: The “centre guides the organs primarily machine-like for the goals of the individual and only secondarily according to the intentions of the organs and tissues: e.g. Sokolov has given a very good overview about the results of Russian experimentalists working on the basis of the ideas of Sechenov about the refectory basis of perception[xxv]. They could point out many possibilities of the neuronal system to modify information coming from the outside (by sensory cells) to the decision making neuronal system and from them via innervations, hormones and other messengers to the tissues and organs. These experiments confirm the characterisation of the cells and tissues and organs as “pseudo-autonomous actors” (as long as they are within the body and have only the information created by the brain). Within my model I came to the conclusion that the cells of tissues and organs accept the view which is an imagination of the mind by the brain in the “assumption” the brain would coordinate all cells like in a cooperative to solve the problems of any of the cooperative. But the brain creates such a world for the cells which allows guiding the tissues and organs to the totally different intentions of the individual. This is similar to the situation presented in the movie “Matrix”. The intentions und goals of the integrated “blind” cells of tissues and organs must be – from the evolutionary point of view – in principle on another, lower level then the intentions of the person. (This Sechenov expressed clearly. He has seen these differences, but he did not know a technique to link the different levels of life, see Opera p 341). And the cells within the body have only this filtered, modified information, which is totally controlled and – if needed – artificially created by the brain. (Experiments confirming these are presented e.g. by Sokolov. But many experiments e.g. about the Ames-room and other tricks of sensory perceptions are in good agreement to this position, too. It allows a simple understanding of e.g. phantom pain, placebo and toxicopy as special cases of a “Matrix world” too)

So Sechenov can be seen (together with Sudakov and Sokolov) as a precursor of the understanding of tissues and organs as “pseudo-autonomous actors” too. A linkage to para-autonomous actors

The term “Para-autonomous actors“ is used in the “extended view” to characterise institutions and other social structures, as communities, ministries, NGOs, universities etc. They can not be observed directly but they are similar effective as physical existing objects. But they are just “creations of the human mind” of the individuals which are integrated into the “Wirklichkeit” (psychical reality) of these individuals. As we know are they can be very effective e.g. for the behaviour, possibilities, values, intentions etc. (E.g. by legislation, norms and other forms of regulations). With the term “Para-autonomic actors” should be expressed that these parts of our “Wirklichkeit” have no own physical chemical or mental power by themselves (therefore they are not “restricted autonomous actors”). Their relevance is based on the consensus of the humans (which are understood because of the physical and evolution based existence as restricted autonomous actors) which are directly or indirectly integrated (by accepting the agreement about the relevance of the pseudo-autonomous actors”).

Sechenov integrated the relevance of social structures into his theory. He integrates the effects of these structures for human health into the field of psychology. He sees this structure from an evolutionary point of view and is citing many times in this connection Spencer. He offers different linkages for an understanding in which way such structures can be created by humans – consciously and unconsciously. He points out that cause and causal connections of the highest level of psychic activities of man are in principle different from the “cause and causal connections” of their lower levels. And the individual “will” is one of these inner causes. But Sechenov can not deduce these differences on the basis of the qualities neither of the evolutionary ancestors nor from the qualities of the subunits (organs, tissues, cells). But he describes the reproducible different phenomena: On the highest level unobservable causes (expectations, wishes, fears, passions etc.) can be the cause for observable outputs. This is a special situation from the empirical point of view. Usually the first what can be observed is the cause and afterwards we can observe the effect. Sechenov takes the position that on the highest level of evolution the first what can be observed is the effect.

It seems so that on the highest level (of any living being?) the cause is principally not directly observable. The response to the cause can be but need not be observable. And same times the effect will be observable after a long time span and therefore in the future only: e.g. effects in connection with learning: If nobody is asking you the formula of Pythagoras nobody can know: did you have understood and learned it adequately or not. We know that the cause for human activities can be an expectation far in the future. Therefore a cause on this level is not only unobservable, it can deal with aspects in the future and the possibility to prevent the entrance of observable causes too.

This argumentation allows integrating the modern human and his creations into the “extended view”:

If we accept this principle and the position of Kant that humans have to create their constructions with regards to consent we can understand why persons can link with the movement of waves of the air in consent the meaning (like “words”), with agreements about the meaning of observable structures letters and writing etc. But a prerequisite for this was an evolutionary progress to deal with information: To win / to invent the possibility to integrate causes into the decision making process which are in principle not to observe and are not to characterize by time, matter and (Euclidic) space.[18] If such aspects have to be taken into consideration about the self-guided activities of actors, then the – not intended – consequence is the creation of simple social structures. And if a member of these higher entities recognise, that such “autopoietic – structures will persist because of special intentions of the real acting entities, then this increase of knowledge will be used within the fight of survival – for personal profit. So the structure within the autopoietic social structure will be more complex. So the higher individuals with “higher knowledge” will create more complex “pseudo-autonomous actors” but with not intended consequences too. And these consequences can be recognised again and so on. Even for this progress we do not need a morphologically emergent progress. Maybe more “brain” would be helpful. This assumption is conclusive with the assumption of different social scientists to explain the self-creation of social structures (e.g. E. Durkheim). If we integrate the conclusions of Durkheim and G. Mead (“the generalised other”) then we can deduce the possibility that persons can create – unconsciously and consciously – agreements about “construct-constructions” (e.g. to accept a given social structure as evidentially given). They are accepted within these human beings as relevant for their decision making procedures as physical environmental realities. So this chain of argumentation allows us to bridge the gap between representatives which we count to the highest animals and to the actually living human and the given “social, cultural etc” environment.

And if we take into consideration that the principles of simplification are used as explanation for causal connections without additional logic reflections, it is easy to understand, that humans accept the obviously relevant “Para-autonomous actors” as existing entities itself, like a lion which can kill him. So we can understand why the “Para-autonomous actors” are handled usually like physically existing “autonomous actors”.

This process allows to understand the relevance of scientific communities, but of paradigms, scientific guidelines etc. Within this chain of argumentation a sentence of Sechenov about the relevance of dogma for the daily life of a scientist should be taken into consideration:[xxvi]It is even possible ... that only the pressure of strictly established dogmas prevent us to pay attention to those links as the factors that determine the full or partial resemblance between a source of factors and the impression itself.” (p. 393)

3.1.10. Sechenov and characteristics of an ability to deal with psychic effects

The “extended view “ based on “free inventions of human mind” to deal with the human person as an restricted autonomous actor. This actor is able to act

* on the basis of energy (and their transformations as fields, physical and chemical power and mass with their modifications) for changing positions within an “Euclidic room”,

* and on the basis of an ability, which is complementary to energy and enables the actor to deal with positions in a “value room” (“Ordnendes Diskriminationsvermögen).

Both are the basis for the understanding of an evolutionary process up to the level of a human person which is able for living processes and psychical processes on different levels, too.

It is not a new idea to accept “abilities” to deal with living processes but with psychical processes on different levels too. E.g. Sechenov is using formulations which allow attributing such assumptions to him, as pointed out in this paper many times. There seems to be an agreement that between the activities of life and psychic activities are close connections, too. Therefore the assumption of such ability seems conclusive in principle. But since “Ignorabimus” there was an agreement to accept that it is not possible to bridge the gap between the different levels of the expression of this ability. Maybe the available date allows changing this social agreement.

The “extended view” based on a neutral evolution based monistic view. Therefore the assumption of two different abilities for different types of effects is a conclusive proposal. This assumption fits to the statements e.g. of Sechenov again. But it seems so that there was a convention to accept that the relationship between matter and perception can not be handled within one frame on a scientific way. We should not forget that an other “Ignorabimus” could be falsified too: The assumption that it will never give a basic progress in the understanding of the relationship between matter and energy. But Einstein could make such a – generally accepted – statement: The relativity theories.

But these conventions are quite old. There are a lot of new data from many scientific fields available and additional stay of knowledge – and – last but not least the epistemological progress made by Einstein, Sechenov, Th. Kuhn and others. All these changing were not available when “Ignorabimus” was created as solution for that related health relevant questions.

On my personal opinion there are now enough empirically based data and knowledge to propose characteristics for the missing ability which covers the different accepted / used abilities to deal with autocatalytic processes as well as with living processes, but psychical processes on different evolutionary levels too and this in interaction with the related material/energetically ability. Postulates of the” extended view” and correlates in the papers of Sechenov

An analysis of different publications of Sechenov shows: There is a lot of phenomena and explanations which are in good agreement with the characteristics proposed by the “extended view”, e.g.

  • It is postulated that this ability must be quantitatively limited. This is obviously in good connection with Sechenov. I could enforce this position as helpful, e.g. in papers dealing with causally unspecific effects of environmental disasters on health.
  • This ability is assumed to enable to observe, to make differences and attribute individual relation to differentiated (e.g. meaning to observed)
  • This differentiation should allow generalizing as well as to distinct between parts and traits of an object and allowing a linkage with other observable and given aspects of “inner world”.
  • This ability is assumed to enable the actor to intend and initiate the use of its energetically possibilities but the use of energetically possibilities can initiate the use of the postulated ability too, but in a complementary relationship.
  • These two abilities (energy and the additional postulated one) characterize all natural objects. They use their abilities permanently. Therefore all actors are permanently in movement. The capacities of their abilities are limited but not totally symmetric: The available capacity of energy (to realise observable effects) is more restricting then the ability to create alternative realisations. Therefore not all assumptions can be realised. So there is a need to distinct between possible intentions. It is postulated that this decision is done with regards to self, consent and the given environment. Therefore changing in one of them can cause a different decision for realisation. The environment is changing since Big Bang. The tendency to integrate consents if there is no lost, allows WIN-WIN strategies and the creation of more complex entities to conserve the win for each of the partner. Therefore these assumptions include the prerequisites for an evolutionary process without a given goal, but principles which allow partly a prediction of phenomena. The progress within the evolutionary process is seen as the unintended consequence of the intentions of the actors at the related level of evolutionary process.


Same basics from which I deduced the evolutionary process seem to me in a goad agreement to statements of Sechenov in his late papers, especially in “The Elements of thought” in which he integrated the principles of evolution into his model: e.g.

It follows from this that the differentiation of the physiological reactions of perception is the basis of the mental abstraction of the parts and traits of objects. The first (general) effect of the outside impulse corresponds to the whole object; the subsequent (detailed) visual reaction corresponds to the trait of the object. (p. 452)

“.... The process of differentiation (analysis) of complex impressions into groups and chains is taking place [in the mind of the child], followed by the differentiation of these groups into separate elements and of the latter into parts composing them.... p. 474.

 Not only the child, but also animals are capable of defining the qualities and properties of objects, for there can be no doubt that animals can recognise objects by their separate traits. This property is .... It is evident, that the differentiation of traits is in many cases achieved by the personal experience of the animal, i.e. by its repeated contact with the object.” (p. 450)

Darwin’s great theory ... is accepted. ... This logically necessitates the recognition, by the majority of naturalists, of the principle of evolution of psychical activities.


But can human psychical phenomena be compared to anything? To ascend from them to more complex phenomena is impossible; immediately below them stand the unanalysable phenomena of the psychical life of animals; and still lower lies the sphere of inorganic matter. Is it possible to compare psychical life with the life of rocks, plants, and even of the human body? (Who must investigate the problem of Psychology and how, p 341)

Sechenov demonstrates the progress in the level to deal with differences: “The next step in the evolution of the senses may be defined as the coordination of the activity of the specialised organs of senses with each other and with the motor reactions of the body” (414) He distinct between the self sensations of the child and of the self-consciousness of the adult. “Ordnendes Diskriminationsvermögen” and its expressions according to different evolutionary levels

If we use such an “extended view” of a human person in which we have to give names to the output of the evolutionary process we have the need to distinct between the level of living beings with different levels of psychic activities.

  • Maybe it is helpful to use the term “ability to organize” to summarize to order discriminations on the level of basic life processes.
  • Higher living beings including the primates are able to cause phenomena which are adequately logically explainable if we attribute to them the intention that the relationship to another object which can be characterised by morphology persists (e.g. the sexual partner). Therefore we need a term to handle this higher level to “make order in differences”. I propose the term “Emotionsfähigkeit” (ability for emotions).
  • Then there is an addition need for a term because of the fact that we can observe phenomena which are realised by living beings because of their intentions to be in relation to an entity which can not be expressed adequately with matter, time and space and to act with regards to the consequences of the individual relationship to such aspects. Such phenomena are to attribute to human beings we can observe now. In respect to the 2nd Copernicaniean revolution I propose the term “Kritikfähigkeit” (“ability for critics”).
  • Now a have to add the term for the level of this ability to deal with nonliving processes. I propose the term “Diskriminationsvermögen” (“discrimination ability”). These four levels are understood as a rough discussion basis for and artificial differentiation of the “basic ability “Ordnendes Diskriminationsvermögen“ which is seen equivalent to the term “energy” to deal with changing of position within an (e.g. Euclidic) room.

If we analyse the available data from human beings in the history of men and we accept only reproducible phenomena as the basis for the need to create addition terms we have to distinct two phases to characterise the morphologically identical representatives of the species Homo sapiens. The Homo sapiens Linné when he occurred as distinct species within the “primates” and therefore without confirmed observations of the use of “Kritikfähigkeit” and the human person of today with such reproduced observed activities: According to this definition the painter in the cave of Laseaux (about 15th century B.C.) has to be counted to “homo sapiens finalis”, too:

 You remember the famous painting of the killed hunter lying close to the killed buffalo and the spear of the hunter with a bird on its top. This bird is understood – by the vast majority of scientists – as the first painting of an immortal soul. To believe in a mystic cause outside of matter, time and space and the attribution of an immortal soul to the persons is such an expression of the use of “Kritikfähigkeit”. The question about the existence of a God or an eternal soul is not a scientific question. But the consequences of the assumption that they exist is a scientific question. This assumption is the basis for the understanding for the evolutionary process to built social structures, culture, science etc. (if you follow e.g. E. Durkheim, see above). So there is a need to distinct between Homo sapiens Linné and Homo sapiens Finalis. Then we can count the hunter of Laseaux into this set of human beings. [19]

These conclusions seem to me not in contradiction to the basic data and conclusions of Sechenov, especially if we respect his basic position that all activities of a human person must be seen in a way that any level of his activity are enabled and limited by his physiological possibilities. They are enabled and limited by its chemical and physical principles but within an evolutionary understanding. And there is an agreement that the evolutionary process did not stop with the separation of homo sapiens Linné. And there is no scientific argument to limit the progress of the creation of emergent on the creation of morphologically emergent. Sechenov accepted the evolution of not morphologically characterized emergent aspects. And Sechenov focussed on the relevance of the permanent interactions of the person with all types of his abilities and his environments too – including social and cultural aspects of them.


3.2. The contribution of Sechenov and his followers to realise his visionary goals

3.2.1. An overview

According to this analysis Sechenov was a visionar but with both legs on this earth. He followed these visions with all the possibilities he had but all the time within the boarders of sciences. But the possibilities offered by sciences were quite limited. But Sechenov could realise some of his goals by his personal experimental activities using the changing paradigms and increasing epistemological offers as tools.

Additional to this he has done the most relevant step which a “realistic visionar” can do: He founded a school. And so we can say that more or less all physiologists in Russia are followers of Sechenov. They had the possibility to use his wisdom and knowledge. Not all directions and doors which were opened by him could be filled up in the same intensity. But this must be seen from the available scientific techniques too. So it is understandable that the well equipped idea of reflexes systems were used and were brought foreword by many of his pupils and followers in different aspects. The work of Pavlov and e.g. his differentiation between inborn reflexes and conditioned reflexes is known all over the worlds. It is a pity that the extended view of reflexes as permanent processes for different fundamental functions is not so commonly understood and used outside of Russia as it should be done because of the clear results.

It is impossible for me to point out all the relevant contributions of Sechenov. I will only count same aspects which are relevant for my personal work. So it is remarkable that he could clear up the origin of sensations with their seat not in the related organ (e.g. in the muscles for tiredness) but with the seat in the central nervous system. His contribution to the understanding of inhibition is indispensable for the progress in this field. We are proud that a relevant part of this research work he has done in the laboratories of his teacher and friend Ludwig in Vienna and during his two years in Graz. His experiments to demonstrate the combined effects of chemical, physical conscious and willing stimuli on physiological reflexes can be seen as a work of a pioneer in a very relevant but more or less forgotten research field. Here a revival of Sechenov would be extremely needed.

His focus on the basic relevance of movement is up to date, especially of we remember that Sechenov was not a reductionist: He expressed the relevance of movement as expression for communication: Therefore any good conductor of a symphonic orchestra confirms the position of Sechenov: e.g. Karajan who was able to guide their members to a level that the individuals did not know that they are able to reach this level. And this just with the messages he could transfer by moving his baton and his body.

All Russian scientists know the relevance of Sechenov for the better understanding of sensory organs and bodily reactions. His fundamental work for the understanding of the reflexes of the brain cleared up that the morphological structure of the brain is indispensable for the understanding of mental activities.

3.2.2. The integration of the concept of reflexes into a general view of physiology: The Functional Systems Theory

This concept was started by Anokhin and is now extended by Sudakov and his school to more or less all general aspects of physiology with a focus on the adaptive processes.

Anokhin´s theory integrates the so commonly accepted principles of cybernetics, which is linked commonly with N. Wiener. But Anokhin published these ideas earlier, which was confirmed by N. Wiener too. But more relevant than the discussion about the priority of cybernetic ideas is that N. Wiener used only the epistemological technique to use a “comprehensive term” which covers all the inner causes of the new quality in the understanding of the process within the definition: “Information is information and not energy or matter” and “Information is a difference which makes a difference”. This was a correct ongoing according to the principles of a science which is oriented just on positivism and does not accept to introduce terms for unobservable. And the inner causes “to make a difference” and aspects different from energy or matter are unobservable. Therefore the power of these cybernetic concepts was and is limited. This was the reason why Bertalanffy could not solve the problem with his General System Theory and why Uexkyll and Wesiack could not fill the blueprint from a biopsychosocial model of a human person which was asked by Engel in his famous work[xxvii]. Tress and Junkert pointed out the principle problems if cybernetic principles and just the term “bio-psychosocial model” is used but the techniques is available to link the different evolutionary levels within a person and its organism.[xxviii]

Anokhin and Sudakov did this step in principle: They introduced ability (as I described above) with the assumption that this ability enables different exactly definated dynamic processes with distinct “comprehensive terms”. This is a general accepted way. But there is a need to prove the applicability of the used terms. Anokhin and especially Konstantin Sudakov and his school have formulated such outputs which can produce functional systems because of the assumption that they have this dynamic ability. In experiments this could be confirmed e.g. the following outputs (Sudakov 2002, 5: 1. self-organisation, auto-regulation, selective mobilisation of organs and tissues, mutual cooperation of the elements in order to achieve adaptive results, informational properties, plasticity etc.) Therefore the Theory of Functional System allows the handle such processes as long as within the experimental procedure the quality or qualities of variables do not change the accepted output which is covered with the “comprehensive terms”.

Sudakov has integrated the theory of functional systems into an evolutionary concept with his concept of quantum of action. I understand Sudakov in this way, that his quantum of action is a living autonomous actor restricted by its own nature and the surrounding conditions with own intentions which he can initiate and realise by the use of subunits which he can organise to functional systems. According to the principles of evolution the biological quantum of action must consist from non biological units too finally up to the level of quantum according to the definition of physics. If you use this model then you can use the principle of quantum of action for the understanding of more complex biological entities too. That’s what I do in my theory. So Konstantin Sudakov´s “quantum of action” can be understood as a special expression of a restricted autonomous actor. Quantum of action could be used from this point of view if you discuss the processes guided by a single cell for their purposes of any multi cellular up to the organism of a human person. I do not know if Konstantin would agree to this interpretation but it would be consistent from its definition.

4. Why reflections about the used epistemology and ontology are indispensible

As Sechenov pointed out any scientist is using a worldview. He has only the chance to do this consciously and then with respect to the limitations by it. But he can do this unconsciously without knowing the limitations which are inevitable. This situation we can compare with a scientist who is using a microscope and believes that he has nothing to do with principles of optics. We know the consequences: All conclusions of scientist are limited by the limitations of the used tolls and the adequate handling of the limitations. And ontology and epistemology are such tools, too.

This should be demonstrated on an example presented by B. Russell to explain the difference between the world view of Einstein from the common view[xxix]: “The theory defines what we can observe” and in which way we have to interpret the observations. If a scientist can use only terms and techniques of classical physics then he can express any movement only with the terms of this scientific frame:

Such a person is observing the masses M1 – M6 situated around a greater mass T. At the time point 1 a sound (which can be measured as a mixture of different frequencies) occurred and then a shift in the position of M1 – M6 away from T. The explanation for this phenomenon would be that at time point 1 a repulsing power from T has moved the masses M1 – M6. Their movement is therefore passively and caused by an unobservable quality of T.

If the scientist is a biologist then he has the tools to distinct masses according to biological criteria too. So he is able to describe T as a tiger, sitting in a cage with a door, and M1 and M6 as persons. At time point 1 a sound was produced by the door of the cave which was opened by the wind. According to the principle of orientation reflexes the persons look to the door because of the unusual sound. Therefore all see that the door is open and the tiger could come out. Therefore each person was running away as quick as possible and directly away from the tiger. This movement has to be explained as an active and refectory movement caused by an existing outer stimulus from the environment.

Then Russell extended the “mind experiment”: What would be if the testing person would be able to create just the assumption of such an existing free tiger in the mind of the persons. This design is easy to realise: e.g. If you inform the people in the newspaper that a tiger from a circus is free in the town and the testing scientists is using a tape recorder behind a big bush which starts at time point 1 to play the sound of a tiger, we should expect that all persons would run: The expectation of the tiger is enough to cause this active movement. This process has to be explained again as an active movement based on a perception but with a wrong – but for everybody as normal accepted – assumption about reality.

Now we can extend the experiment: The radio is starting playing Beethoven behind the big bush. Just one person is starting to run away as quick as possible. This movement causes an orientation reflex too. All persons are looking to the running person and thinking over what could be his reason. If the answer would be: “Oh good that the music has interrupted my thinking. I have forgotten to turn off the tube in the bath”, everybody would understand him. But if he would assume that the music of Beethoven is caused by a tiger, maybe a psychiatrist would call him his patient.

We see: all this explanations are conclusive. But depending on the theory and according to the paradigm which is used the same phenomenon must be explained as an active or a passive movement, as caused by an observable real stimulus (outer cause). Or the paradigm must allow integrating inner causes too. Then the subjective valuation can be based on a generalizable – and therefore “normal” – misinterpretation so that th I am specialist for Social Medicine and Hygiene and not physiologist according to the actual definition. But at the time of Sechenov the term “physiology” covered a much wider field, as we know from Nobel prize: “physiology” and “scientific theoretical part of medicine” were more or less the same at the time of Nobel (and Sechenov). So it is not a surprise that my goal to built a comprehensive theory of the “human person as a social being and its interactions with and expectations on his environment” (this is the title of the Honour Lecture 2004) is very close to the vision of Sechenov: to built a physiologically based theory integrating all scientifically researchable aspects of the human, his body and his environment – and therefore the social environment too. At the time of Sechenov the link to the social environment and the aspects which are specific for the modern human and different to Homo sapiens Linné had to be excluded more or less from the physiological experimental research because of the lack on theories and basic data. But I have the luck of late birth: I can start with the knowledge of much more empirical data. And for my special position fruitful discussions with my Russian colleagues especially about the Functional system theory are indispensable. But our discussions have been very relevant about different experiments dealing with the physiological principles to modify the information, coming from the “outside”, too. e observe does not need the (unobservable) process within the objects. Or this phenomenon is not to explain without the knowledge about the individual valuation. This subjective valuation can be classified according to the expectation of the average of a high number of similar cases as normal, but as an individual but pathological reaction, too.

This demonstrates: The physicist would not be able to exclude that any movement could not be an active movement as long as he has not an instrument to distinct between active and passive movement. There is only the agreement between the scientists not to ask the question about other possibilities. Einstein asked.

So it is relevant to look for an adequate theoretical frame for a theory which allows integrating all possible aspects of a human person as a social being with material and mind aspects in different types of environments including “Realität und Wirklichkeit” (there is no term in English for “Wirklichkeit “reality covers both”, physical reality and psychical reality) .


 5. Some aspects of the “extended view”

 5.1. Further principles of the “extended view”

I was asked to link the “extended view” with the work of Sechenov and to present related principles of my theory. Some aspects were presented above. Please have a look there. But the “extended view” is now a wide and complex theory which could be enforced in different fields of applied medical aspects. There is not time enough to point out all of them. Therefore I will focus on three aspects only:

1) The convergence of the “extended view with the principles which should be answered by a comprehensive theory according to the position of Sechenov as far as this can be deduced from his papers (5.2.)

2) To clear up same limitations of the “extended view” (5.3.)

3) The principles which are used to enforce the positions of Sechenov: This deals primarily on his request to bridge the gap between the different evolutionary levels of objects in nature and within the human person. (5.4.) Key points will be

  • the explanation for the postulation of “Restricted Autonomous Actors (RAAs)” and their two abilities, to modify as well the relational position within a geometrical room as the position within a “value room”,
  • the deduction of the creation of “emergent” by such RAAs (including the self-creation of more complex RAAs)
  • a sketch of a blueprint for the understanding of an evolutionary process which covers all health relevant aspects within the same theory (from “Big Bang to Big Mac”) with a special focus on the organisation of RAAs as “Pseudo-Autonomous Actors (PsAA)” by individuals and the construction of “Para-Autonomous Actors (PaAA)” by persons.

5.2. Prerequisites for a “comprehensive theory for humans” according to Sechenov

From the analysis of Sechenov’s work different perquisites for such a theory can be deduced. A comparison of this list with the postulated assumptions shows that all the prerequisites are taken into consideration within the “extended view”:

  • The model has to integrate all health relevant aspects.
  • It should integrate the evolutionary aspect
  • The assumptions should allow a linkage between the up to now unlinked different levels according to the evolutionary view of natural objects.
  • It should be compatible with the indispensable offers of modern medicine

If we would be able to create a theory which allows understanding the evolutionary process as the result of the “acting entities” (= RAAs) which were present at any related phase of evolutionary process, then we should expect linkages between the different health relevant aspects of them, too. (5.4.1.)


5.3. Limitations of the frame of the “extended view”

5.3.1. The theory is focused on applied aspects of medicine

Now some conclusions which were made in connection with the application of the theory: It should be used within medicine only. Therefore it is not necessary to integrate all aspects but only all health related aspects. This does not influence the time span which has to be covered within the model: The oldest entities which can be observed are the beams of light. And light is health relevant. Therefore we need a theory which covers the period from “Big Bang to Big Mac”. But the restriction to the health relevance allows us to start with the draft of a blueprint because of: There is no need to explain all physical, chemical and biological phenomena in detail but to create just a frame for the health relevant aspects. But the model should be powerful enough for the following: The self-creation of the different levels starting with the occurrence of the oldest health relevant entity (the beams of light) to not living physical and chemical objects, to deduce from their evolutionary level the self creation of simple living beings, go forward to multi-cellular life and from these to sense oriented living beings and from them to final oriented human persons.

5.3.2. Scientific basis and the relationship to religious argumentation

The model should be a scientific one. Therefore this process is assumed as not predetermined and not influenced by an actor from outside who is defining any change or any direction of modification. Of course: this is a definition you can accept or not. Maybe it is different and all activities are predetermined or the output of a permanent decision of an “outside actor”. Then you would have a religious model. A scientific model can not cover all aspects, only such one, which can be handled with the used frame. It is remarkable, that the “extended view” does not exclude the creation of the most basic entities and not the possibility of unobservable influences in the decision making processes: This would not be possible by this theory: As any scientific theory including mathematics the “extended view” has to accept the axiom – analogue basic assumptions. Therefore it is not possible to make a scientific statement about their origin. And it is not possible to exclude an additional unobservable influence in the decision making process, because of the assumption, that this process is unobservable for the outside observer and often for the decision making person, too.

5.3.3. By definition: the goal of the evolutionary process was never be determined

Therefore there had been many different possible processes all the time. It was never predictable which process of the theoretically possible would proceed. According to the recommendation of Einstein we can use the assumption that there is just one evolutionary process. Therefore we have to look at the phenomena which one of the many theoretically (and mathematically correct) possibilities were realised in consequence of the former process. So we can exclude the not realised possibilities and we have to create names for the “emergent” more complex entities and the special applications of the given abilities to the now “higher” form. We need an additional terminology (which can be expressed with mathematical formulas too) to deal with the relationship between the entities. So the confirmed natural laws, and natural constants are understood as expressions of the consent between the higher and even higher entities which created themselves within this process.

5.3.4. Statement of comprehensive simplicity

Doing this we accept an additional technical proposal to minimize the danger of unacceptable reductionism and simplification: All the observable must be deducible by the basic assumptions on the basis of inner and outer causes and the introduced terms which can be deduced from them within the follow up of the evolutionary process. If this is not possible because of a lack of abilities and their basic assumptions within the theory, we have to modify the used definition of terms or we have to introduce an additional term. (Satz von der Umfassenden Einfachheit – Statement of the comprehensive simplicity) If this is not possible with the given qualities, we have to start again from the very early beginning: With a new characterisation of the “basic actors” in medicine. The quanta are the oldest health relevant entities and the must fundamental observable actors: They have to be seen from such a comprehensive view, so that all phenomena of this world can be deduced from them. It is obvious that this is not possible just with characteristics which can be “caught with the methods of physics”. According to the “statement of comprehensive simplicity” we have therefore to introduce additional terms: “Kwanta” – to deal with the qualities which can not be “cached” by physical methods, and “Qwanta” – to deal with all aspects and the entity as a whole.

[Maybe the “qwanta” are not “fundamental enough”, if we are interested to explain with this model all the phenomena (including e.g. the curvature of the universe including the dark energy etc). Then we could introduce on the basis of logic a more basic entity (the Noeitons)].

5.4. Answers to accepted aspects of humans which could not be handled adequately in the past because
 of a lack on empirical data and an adequate paradigm

 5.4.1. Harry Potter and the “existing” and the “assumed given”

First we have to clear up same definitions: Do you know Harry Potter? Yes – the hero of the famous book serious which made his creator to the richest female of UK. We can speak about him similar as about the book which contents the stories about him. But there are obviously differences between the real existing book and the created figure of Harry Potter. Both “are”. The book exists – but Harry Potter does not exist. But he is effective, too : Because of the influence of the information about him on existing persons. They go and pay their money for the next volume. So it makes sense to use different terms to deal with the book and Harry Potter: Both are part of the “given world”. The book is an “existing given”: It causes permanently effects even without a person reading it: It causes a pressure to the surface, modifying its position in time and space continuously with the earth and the expending universe. So the book is understood as an “autonomous actor”. All “autonomous actors” modify permanently because of their nature. “Harry Potter” seems to be active but only if a person reads the book. This means that the person links the “structured matter of printing colour” with information to words with meaning: So the reader is the “autonomous actor” – and not Harry Potter. Therefore we can make the conclusion: No Harry Potter without a reader, but any matter without a reader (or a person) which is all the time acting: e.g. matter is pressing on the surface and modifies its position in time and space independently of existing persons, too! The existing person asserts herself/holds her ground and changes her position in space and time and can create assumptions with relevance for modifications in the use of its resources.

If we have to think over the causes for modifications in reference to the evolutionary process we should conclude: Only the existing entities can be the explanation for the evolutionary process. We can deal with their modifications if we attribute to the acting entities abilities thanks them they modify permanently their positions. These entities we call “autonomous actors”. But they are able to be efficient in two in principle different versions:

  • to modify its position in relation to the position of other actors in a geometrical grid (thanks “energetically abilities” according to the different levels reached within the evolutionary process)
  • and to modify the meaning of assumed given and modify the own position in a grid of meaning (thanks the “ordnendem Diskriminationsvermögen” according to the different levels reached within the evolutionary process)
  • and / or within a geometrical grid (thanks the “energetically abilities” guided by the “ordnendem Diskriminationsvermögen”).

We can explain modifications caused by autonomous actors accepting these characteristics. But we can not explain “emergent” which was created in the history of the universe and can be observed up to now. For this we need additional characteristics of the abilities of the autonomous actors.

5.4.2. Restrictions of the Autonomous Actors allow the understanding of an evolutionary process

Figure 1: Father – Mother – daughter

How many faces you can differentiate? One, two or all three: Only the young woman? Then you are – maybe -a young man: The highest percentage of them see the young lady – as they like to see nice girls. But with the help of the colours (environment!) you see the old man too! If you have learned to see all three faces, then you see them without help, too: So you can see now the young lady too – with the colours of the moustache!

The additional characteristics are restrictions for any autonomous actors, even for the most fundamental ones. But therefore we should be able to observe them on the most developed actors too. Therefore they must be postulated on the one hand, because this should be done in agreement with given phenomena and indispensable stay of knowledge in related science. But on the other hand they should be helpful for the understanding of phenomena of persons too: This should be explained with figure 1: If you look at this picture, then you can see it as well as the face of an old man, of an old lady and of a young woman, too. Many persons, especially young men see the young girl (we see what we prefer to see), but not the old lady and often not the old man. You can learn with the help of a person, who explains the three possibilities, so that you learn to see all the different faces. This learning process can be supported by using colours or other changes in the environment. If you have learned to see all the three faces you do not need the former support furthermore: You can attribute the meaning to each figure you want or a person is ordering you. But you will see within one moment just one of them. So you see: Your are able to link information with matter, to distinct between different meanings of the same matter, you can solve the attributed meaning and link another meaning with the same matter, you can distinct different parts of the same matter (e.g. to see a moustache of the old man and shift from the moustache to a fur of the old lady. But the “ability to organize” is limited – as energy and matter according to the conservation laws.

So we postulate that any RAA is limited in all abilities. The abilities can not go lost, can not be gained but can be modified.

Now we postulate an “inner relationship” of limitedness: the (now) Restricted Autonomous Actor (RAA) is more restricted within the energetically based possibilities (to realise – so that it can be observed by others) then in the assumptions what could be realised (in constructions about realisable), then we have to expect three consequences for the permanent process:

1. The process itself can not be ideal: Therefore we have to expect permanent modification.

2. The RAA has to make decisions between the different assumptions about possible realisations: This is done weighing the expectations for the self with regard to consent and the other “given aspects” (simplified as weighing between “egoism – altruism – setting”). This ongoing needs (minimum) a three-valent logic. The RAA must be able to make (and change) intentions. We have to postulate that the RAA must be able to deal with the non-given (e.g. “future”, “the past”).

3. Then not all what could be realised with the given can be defakto realised. But only the realized can be observed by an outside observer.

So we can explain, why with the same possibilities even up to now never observed can be realised. If a possibility is realised the first time, then “emergent” is created. Therefore the first step for the emergent is the unobservable creation of the “new” and the second step the decision, to initiate the realisation. Then the new can be observed. As we know from our personal experience with the figure 1: We can observe the realized but there is no must to do this. And there is no must to attribute all possible meanings to the observed.

These two unobservable steps, followed by the observable realisation are the prerequisites for any evolutionary process – independently of the level of evolution. But these three steps and the following observation are not enough to explain the fact of a researchable evolutionary process: The “emergent” must persist over the “lifetime” of the inventor and creator.

5.4.3. The Petri-disc model and WIN-WIN strategies allow the understanding of the persistence of emergent  and the self-creation of more complex RAAs

The “observed new” must be “copied” by others. Then it could be persist. And if the “emergent” offers to reach the intentions of two (or more) actors who cooperate with another then more complex entities can be created by them: This can be explained with the creation of the game “chess”.

CHESS as an example

We assume that persons with a surplus on resources are interested on an intellectual use of their surplus, then they can create a new game. If this game offers two players the possibility of a win, both will be interested to use this offer: They agree to use their material surplus to build a field with 8 x 8 squares and figures which can be distinct by their form. Then they agree how to use the figures. So they have an agreement about material aspects and about the value system. Therefore both players must accept first restrictions which can not be explained by logic prerequisites, neither from the nature of the used material nor from the nature of the creators. The key-point is the agreement between both. Then both win by this lost: The win is a nearly unlimited possibility to move figures with open but restricted variations. And an outside observe can summarize them as “chess-players” and distinct them from other sportsmen. And the outside observer can predict within borders what kind of movement can be done by a chess player and what not.

The example of the chess opens the door for another relevant problem: Why a part of the processes in nature can be predicted but another part not – even in the relationship of the same objects.

The Petri-disc-model explains predictable and not predictable in the same object

The fact that same aspects of the same object are be predictable while others can not be predicted seems to be a principle which can be observed even in artificial products: This can be demonstrated with a Petri-disc. A Petri-disc consists of two open cylinders with little different diameters: So the cylinder with the wider diameter can be turned around and can be used as the top of the smaller one to close a chamber. This chamber is used to cultivate aerobe microbes: The culture medium is brought into the smaller disc. Then the microbes which should be cultivated were brought in. Then the chamber will be closed with the wider cylinder: The molecules of a gas (and therefore of oxygen) can move in any direction. Therefore the oxygen can move upwards between the top and the bottom within the camber because of the fact that there are small splits between the border of the smaller disc and the top. But microbes are not able to move against the gravitation: So microbes of the ambient air can not pass into the Petri disc. We use in the “extended view” the Petri disc not for cultivation of microbes but as an example that there are aspects which can be predicted exactly and other not: We can predict that any Petri-disc has two cylinders. We can measure e.g. their chemical structure and other scientist will find the same result if they control our data. But they can not predict where the border of the bottom has an open gap and how far away the side wall of the border is from the side wall of the top. This will change from experiment to experiment. This is the consequence of the passive movement of bottom and top by the scientist: Such movements are indispensable for the measuring process.

“Vereinfachen” – reduction and simplification of more complex

But what would be if movement would be caused actively by RAAs and the impression of the “whole” (= Petri-disc as a symbol) would be the consequence of another principle which we have to integrate into our statements about natural objects: The principle to reduce the complexity of the observed processes and the integrated entities? So we know from the theory that there are only discrete entities and all of them consist just from quanta. We know that e.g. an atom consists only of nucleus and electrons. Their volume is “neglectable” in relation to the volume of the atom. But we observe all objects as a surface, a form etc. A microscope, a camera etc are doing the same. The electrons and the nucleus in the atom are moving within the borders of quantum theory within well defined courses and with different spin. So the model of Petri-disc seems to be applicable to deal with their movements and the fact that we deal with electrons and nucleus (which are predictable in any atom) and their process relationships (which takes place in distances and relationships which can be understood as an agreement for the consent of them and therefore predictable just as borders of the possible, but not predictable for the single movement – similar to the chess-players) with the whole as an atom.

So the Petri-disc-model allows as – in combination with the assumption that any RAA “vereinfacht” [reduces] the observed to understand the self-creation of more complex entitites.

And these complex entities act as “Higher entities”: This is confirmed by the results of classic physics, chemistry, geology, but life sciences, too.

5.4.4. Evolutionary principles – deduced from Petri disc-model and the characteristics of RAAs

The WIN-WIN- strategy:

The principle to spent a part of the free available resources to modify the position of the player (or of its use of matter or energy) and of the free available amount on “ordnendem Organisationsvermögen” to built a consent which allows both players a win would explain, why both players would be interested to keep the agreement. Therefore formal WIN-WIN – agreements would have a good chance to persist. But you know from your experience: Just to keep the agreement about the form and rules without emphatic feeling about the situation of the partner will cause that you will be the winner all the time: But in this case you should not be surprised if the partner is never willing to play with you. He/She will look for another – more adequate – more sensitive – co-player. So a persisting WIN-Win- agreement should integrate an additional restriction not to “overcharge” the partner. But if both are in such a harmony there should not be any reason to use their liberty to change the partner. For an outside observe (with a restricted ontology) this would cause the impression that there is a natural law according to them both have to be permanently together. But please remember: The theory defines what you can observe and in which way you have to explain the observed.


5. 5. A short version of conclusive evolutionary process from “Big Bang to Big Mac” [20]

5.5.1. Modifications of the abilities and actors and “Complementarity” (according to N. Bohr)

The starting point was to goal to create a model to deduce the evolutionary process as the unintended [therefore not pre-determined] consequence of intended actions of “restricted autonomous actors”. These autonomous actors (RAA) are understood as enabled by the ability to handle (observable) movement – commonly associated with the epistemological term “realisation” and the physical term “energy” ) and the ability to observe and to distinct possibilities to realise, to valuate them und put them into an order (to make and to change priorities of intentions) by an ability we call “ordnendes Diskriminationsvermögen”. This process is commonly associated with the epistemological term “construction”[21].

The abilities are seen within the borders of the conservation laws. I will focus your interest on two aspects: The consequences of modification and aspects of the limitedness.

a) Any ability is assumed to be modified within the evolutionary process as we accept this for the energetically based abilities (based on “fields” and “physical and chemical powers”). The terms for the expression of this ability, which we use to make and to handle with distinction and to bring the distinct and evaluated into an order (“ordnenden Diskriminationsvermögen”), are for the different levels: “discrimination ability” (for non living entities), “ability to organise” (living beings), “emotional ability” (“Emotionsfähigkeit ” – for living beings with organs) and “Kritik-Fähigkeit” (for humans as social beings).

The actors, which can use these abilities on different levels are named by the different sciences: e.g. as quanta, “mass”, particle, atom, molecules, cells, multi-cellular beings incl. individual representatives of species (incl. their subunits organs and tissues) and as persons (incl. their manmade tools etc.)

b) A consequence of the restrictions is the phenomenon which is called “complementarity” (according to the proposal of N. Bohr): Bohr solved the former assumed incompatibility of light according to the 3rd statement of Aristotelian logic. According to them light can not be at the same time a particle and a wave. Bohr has taken the position that light is light and neither a particle nor a wave: Light has the two expressions which are all the time given, but – because of the nature of any observer and of the light – only one of them can be observed at one moment: Similar a gold coin which has in principle all the time an upper and a bottom side because of its nature as a coin. And because of your nature as a restricted observer you he can only observe either the upper side or the bottom side. This phenomenon is in good agreement to the conclusions on the basis of the “extended view”.

5.5.2. Modification of “critically reduced intentions”

According to the “Statement of comprehensive simplicity” we have to introduce “intentions” of the actors. We are human persons and not animals, stones, atoms or qwanta. Therefore it is in principle impossible for us to discover the intentions they have. And there is no need to know this. It is enough to attribute to them “intentions” which are acceptable for us to have as simple as possible but conclusive chain of arguments for our observables: Here we can use the position of Sechenov, but of Heraclites too: Panta rhei – all is moving, but all the time in relation to others. And “movement in relation” can be a goal by itself, but it can be the instrument to express meaning, but final goals too, like the smiling of Garibaldi.

Therefore I propose: : As long as our phenomena are not in contradiction we can attribute to our actors the intention to optimize the possibility of movement in relation to “others” as simple as possible. For the qwanta it seems to be enough to attribute to them the intention to increase the number of possible self guided movements (with regards to consent and the “given”). For simple living beings we have to attribute intentions e.g. to reach areas with food and gens, but to characterize the actor as identical with itself but different fro others – even such ones which are members of the same consent. For higher animals we have to add the intention to motivate partners to accept the actor e.g. as sexual partner. For persons we have to add the possibility of the intention to use movement to express feelings, individuality etc., but abstract information too. If you look at Herbert v. Karajan who was able to motivate and guide a big orchestra of individual artists for a cooperative interpretation and activity just with the movement of his body and his baton, we see: “Movement in relation” is a simplification, but a helpful one.

The increase of the comprehensive expression of “movement in relation” allows us to distinct – within this draft – the most remarkable steps of the evolutionary process.

5.5.3. Evolution within limitations: From “Big Bang toBig Mac”

No progress without limitations (and intentions). If we accept the characteristics we have described above, then at the very early beginning (“the Big Beng” or a similar process) the limiting factor for acceptable modification of the permanent active but restricted autonomous actors was the lack of space between them (and not of the available energy or discrimination ability) Therefore the actors had only one possibility (within this model): Strait a hade. With the highest possible speed and with respect to the given nearly in an ideal way. Therefore an outside observer should be able to observe phenomena which are like them of an inflationary universe with the consequence of the principle of cosmology (in any direction more or less the same density of energy).

More space allowed variability and consents with others (on the basis of the Petri-disc model and the “simplification” of the observed “others”). So we should expect other phenomena which seem to be in agreement with the occurrence of the speed of the light and of qwanta, but of all particles and the atoms too. This realisations should be nearly ideal (just nearly but in principle in difference to all next steps).

Then we have to expect that the limitation of the capacity must be reached to realize so many different (relational) movements at the same time. But according to the characteristics we have to expect that the limitation of the capacity to construct additional realisation is not reached. This should be linked with a new type of phenomena: Such new types of phenomena occurred together with the self-creation of molecules. Now we have to observe e.g. a follow up of relational movements – expressed e.g. by different structures of matter.

How to handle the situation in which there are more theoretically possible realisations then practically can be realised. Then the given environment should influence the decision which realisation has priority. But not all what is observable can be integrated into the realisation. Then we have to expect settings in which a change in the decision about the priority for the next realisation is influenced by the presence of e.g. a chemical which is influencing the change in the priority but is not integrated into the next process. Such a chemical is called “catalyst”.

We postulated that the first steps for the creation of the emergent is an increase in the level of discrimination ability. But we made the agreement to accept only such assumptions about the increase in the level of discrimination ability which bring the progress one step forward: “To see, was everybody see, but to recognize what never has recognized before.” The application of this progress should be confirmed with phenomena of the real world. If we accept these limitations (or offers) then it is correct to assume that an actor was able to recognize the not intended effect that a catalyst can influence the direction of a chemical process. This increase to deal with the given information could be used by them with the consequence to increase their possibility to initiate predictable movements: To influence the priority for movements of other actors by changing the environment with catalysts. And there are many confirmations that this principle was and is used. According to the Statement of comprehensive Simplicity we have to introduce a new term to distinct actors with this level to deal with information from them without this level. The additional term we have used above: These actors can use there ability to deal with information on the level of the ability to organize. All living beings use this level.

But the prize of this evolutionary win was the need to deal with an extremely high amount of information, what kind of the possible interactions of other chemical structures with catalysts and the possibilities to influence them in a predictable way (The chemists and chemical technologists know how difficult this is). So the capacity of ability to organize was reached. But there is a possibility to “store” information: The observable structure is a help to remind the observe the meaning which is linked with this structure. Remember the experiment with mother, father and daughter and the experience many of us have with the handkerchief. You can make a nut in it to remind you to a free selectable information. And you can change the meaning of the nut if you like. So a Petri-disc-consent can be made for the meaning of well definated structures within “living beings”. But they need a structure which is creating itself and reproducing itself in the same way. This is typical for all crystals. So we can understand DNA as the “handkerchief” with well definated “nuts” of the living beings.

So we can explain within our “extended view” the self creation of life: As a special form of organisation of actors with (minimum) two different levels of ability to deal with information: The net of actors who organize the not living actors who do not know that the act not only according to their own priorities but for a “higher” intention, too.

The demands to motivate these “lower level actors” within the cell are quite complex. The output of the activities to take care for them must be observable. And there are such phenomena which are conclusive if we accept the additional demands of the “lower level actors” and of the “players within the cell”: We can call it “metabolism”. With the increase of the complexity of the living beings the demands on quality of the surrounding environment increased more and more: So we have two directions for the intentions of the living beings:

  • To increase the possibility of their inner cellular activities, which is linked with the exchange of adequate “stores of information” i.e. exchange of genes.
  • To deal with the environment: active movement in relation to the outside is one output. The selection of representatives which were not able to reach early enough an adequate environment is another.

So we are coming closer and closer to the principles of Darwin’s evolution.

With the increase of the relevance of the environment an additional aspect can be attributed (in just one step – as accepted for the creation of an acceptable model for the evolution of reality): To attribute values to the relationship to another existing actor. I said “to the relationship”, not to the other actor as a prerequisite for the persistence of the relating actor (e.g. the other actor as food or as a possible function unit). This is the step which is done – according to the proposed model – by the individuals of higher living beings, such ones with organs and tissues. This progress is linked with an additional increase in the use of the ability to deal with information: We named this ability above as “emotional ability”. (To reach this level is quite difficult: The prerequisite is a model to explain the evolutionary process from the single cellular to a multi-cellular. This is linked with the effect of a fundamental lost, which is not easy to link with the basic assumption of Darwin: the multi-cellular living being can physiologically die, the single cellular not: Its physiological “end” is the partition. A prerequisite for an acceptable proposal for the evolutionary process within this model does not allow a progress without an obvious win of the emergent for the creator. But it would be allowed that the lost is an unintended consequence of an intended obvious win. An answer to this problem is presented later and will bring us to the “pseudo-autonomous actors”)

On the level of individual representatives of higher animals we have an additional need for the intention linked with movement: To inform others about the offered (positive or negative) relationship which is given or offered. This is the field of ethology.

Now the new intention is an unobservable: Nobody can observe the relationship of value systems. But the relationship of value systems is the intention of emotion.

Therefore we have to accept the attribution of an additional aspect of accepted causes: Unobservable values which not deal with morphological functions can be the cause for observable phenomena. Therefore we have to expect a shift in the most remarkable characteristics of the progress in evolutionary process: The increase in the ability to deal with information – even such ones which deal with values outside of matter, Euclidic space and time. For this step no additional morphological modification is needed – if the available organ to deal with information as adequate for this progress. But the system of the classification of different species is based just on morphological changing.

The step to integrate (additional to all older intentions) values dealing with intentions outside of the really existing and observable world was done – according to this model – by Homo sapiens Linnè with the assumption of a mystic religious cause and the immortal soul. With this increase of accepted relations the step from Homo sapiens Linné to Homo sapiens finalis was done.

With these assumptions the creation of societies, science, religion, arts etc can be handled.

5.6. The health relevance of “Pseudo-autonomous actors”

5.6.1. All cells are autonomous actors focussed on self and win, but on consent too – to solve environmental
 problems in a WIN- WIN conception

The key problem was to find an answer to the following phenomenon: All cells are “autonomous actors”, even the single cells in tissues and organs. This can be confirmed with experiments (e.g. with the cultivation of individual cells). But the tissues and organs are “autonomous actors” too: Even isolated tissues and (same) organs can be cultivated artificially outside of an organism. The healing of wounds and the physiological growing processes confirm these statements too. But at the same time any higher living being is able to use these cells, tissues and organs like machines for their intentions. Therefore the organs and tissues seem to be at the same time “pseudo-autonomous actors” for the autonomous actor “biological individual and person” and “autonomous actors” for themselves within their level of intentions as organs and tissues.

There is another phenomenon we should take into consideration. Scientists can observe only the effects which can be observed by an outside observer. The key for understanding the observable processes of living beings are therefore often their interactions with the outside and therefore with their given reality. [This “reality” should be assumed as different according to the different levels of entities we observe.] From this point of view an additional difference has to be taken into consideration between the individuals (and persons) on one hand and tissues, organs and cells of these individuals and persons on the other hand. It makes sense to say: An individual can observe its reality by the use of sensory organs. But it makes no sense to make the same statement about organs and tissues: They have no other information about their “outside” then the information which comes in a long cascade of translations and modification – starting with the basic external stimulus (e.g. of light) going to the brain and from the brain with another cascade to the cells in organs and tissues. The organs and tissues have no possibility to get any “unfiltered” information about their external situation. This is in principle different to the position of the individual and the person: Individuals and persons have– restricted by the quality of the sensory cells and the brain – an unfiltered information about their outside reality, organs and tissues don’t.

The solution for the problem of the “pseudo-autonomous actors” which are at the same time “autonomous actors” should be deducible from the given model which allowes handling non-living and living processes within one scientific frame. Therefore it was to assume that cells, tissues and organs should have priorities and intentions too. But the level of these intentions should be different – according to the evolutionary age when they occurred first within the evolutionary process: Therefore the intentions of cells should be different from the tissue-specific intentions of cells and the organ- specific intention of cells in tissues. And these intentions should be different from the level of the intention of biological individual “homo sapiens Linné” and they should be different from the human person as a social being with his final intentions.

5.6.2. A co-operation is an acceptable argument to built a multi-cellular entity: The “Schleimpilz”

There is no reason why the brain should be able to oblige organs and tissues to act for intentions which are not part of the intentions attributable to the acting organs and tissues. (The proposed model allows such form of interactions just on the level of individual and higher). But the model allows the assumption that “evolutionary higher developed entities” can motivate “less evoluted ones” for a special priority within the list of their given priorities of entities which is a intended function for the “higher entity” too. This is the evolutionary principle which was assumed to be helpful to understand the autopoiesis of a living cell from not living beings. But any cell knows the “trick” and can not be motivated for an action which is obviously against the self-oriented intentions. Therefore this principle can be used to explain the co-ordination of the activities of single cellular to act like a cooperative to solve problems of all integrated entities: The experiences of organelles in unicellular demonstrates: The efficiency of an action which is focussed to repeat a special type of function with specialised structures is much higher then the non-specialist action. Therefore there are acceptable arguments to assume that single cellular can be motivated to build a multi cellular to solve problem of any individual cell. But this co-operation should take place just as long as it is needed to solve the common problem – like in cooperatives of farmers in our time. There are some phenomena in biology which confirm such a view (e.g. the “Schleimpilz” – a special species of Myxomyceta, a multi-cellular living being which creates itself by many unicellular amoeba: In the case of an environmental problem one of the amoebas emits cAMP and other amoebas with the same problem move to the emitter. They change their form to different specialised cells and build together a multi-cellular you can see without microscope. Each cell can play any role. After solving the problem the rhythmic emission of cAMP will be stopped. The specialised cells change again back to the form of the amoeba and move away.)

This is an explanation for the autopoiesis of a multi-cellular autonomous actor built by the intention of many unicellular autonomous actors. This phenomenon can be used as a principle to explain a hierarchical organisation of many cells to solve joint problems.

But it need just one step to come from the co-operative of many single cells, observable as temporary or permanent multi-cellular living being, in which – in principle – any cell can play any role, to an organism with a hierarchical structure of subunits which can be handled like machines.

5.6.3. The brain creates a “matrix”- world for the cells of tissues and organs

It is just one step to recognize that the co-operative works as long as all integrated entities accepted the given situation as their priority for action and the information is the really relevant and not the real given situation. The co-operative should work as long, as the acceptable information is reaching the individual actors within. Therefore it was to take care, that this information could be influenced. Theoretically it should be possible to ceap such a cooperative working, if the flow of information from outside of the environment to the single cell integrated into the co-operative is filtered and can be modified by the “central helmsman” (the brain) according to the needs of the helmsman, but at the same time according to the priorities of the “pseudo-autonomous actors” (organs, tissues) too, with regards to their assumption of their actual outside information. The intentions of the “helmsman” can be (and will be) in principle different from the intentions of the organs and tissues. Using such argumentation the model would propose the possibility of multi-cellular with organs and organisms, if a network of cells (=brain) made the evolutionary progress from the level of the ability to organise to the next level. The must have learned

  • to separate the function units from the external direct information (which is done by the skin),
  • to modify the flow of information coming from outside in a way that just messengers give report from the outside situation (which is done by the physiological principle of the sensory organs and the translation into different “languages”)
  • to be able to influence the intensity of the ingoing stimuli – which is possible by the selection of the ganglia and the principles of active inhibition (Pavlov) and active enforcement (motivation – according to Anokhin)
  • to transfer this so selected and in their intensity modified information in a similar principle of cascades to the function units. (So the cascade of information can be seen like a chain of stones of Domino, which falls down if you push the first stone, but in a dynamic way: The falling can be dynamically inhibited or touched by the “central helmsman”.)
  • Then the situation can be given, in which the outside reality does not fit with the expectation of the individual brain about the outside situation. Then the helmsman can act according to his assumption only if he is able to produce the same follow up of Domino stones if he can start the chain by the sensory organ but without an external stimulus. And this paradox assumption can be confirmed by the biological facts: Any sensory cell can be activated not only by the specific external stimulus but by efferent innervations of the sensory cell – and therefore by the “helmsman itself!” All sensory cells have afferent and efferent innervations! Therefore the brain can create an imagination of any “reality”. (In my paper of the Honour Lecture I have included good examples for this phenomenon)

All this can be observed in the biological reality. So it is possible to enforce the “extended view” for the better understanding of the multi-cellular, the organism and the individual and the person.

5.6.4. There are relevant consequences for health

This model gives the (first) answer in which placebo phenomenon and Toxicopy can work: These are just special cases in the relationship between the priorities of the individual / person and the priorities of the organs and tissues. The special situation is not given from the view of the organs and tissues. They live in a “matrix-world” (have you seen this movie?”). The special situation of placebo is given for the scientists as an outside observer with a different valuation of the outside reality then the patient. For the scientist it is not explainable why the body shows unexpected reactions. But the outside observer is not able to explain why any biological process takes place. Scientists have only learned not to ask why such a biological process takes place, if the same phenomena are predictable observable because of the repeated observe-ability, if the observable conditions are standardized. In opposite to physics the biologist does not ask for an unobservable reason (like field, power) for the observable phenomena. The problem of the biologist or medical scientist in the case of placebo is that there is no significant correlation of the phenomena which are usually caused by chemical and physical stimuli. But in the situation of Placebo (or Toxicopy as an “Environmental placebo”) there are no outside physical and chemical stimuli to observe. But if the follow up of the “falling Domino stones” is started we are used to observe the “rest” of the chain of the domino stones in the same way in placebo as in the “common situation”. This is in a good agreement to the predictions.

The knowledge of the special relationship between the individual (and his goal) and his “pseudo-autonomous actors” can be used for a better understanding of many health relevant environmental situations: On one hand it is in a good agreement with the traditional toxicological view and with the view of psychosomatic. But on the other hand it allows predictions for “comprehensive combined situations”. Such situations are typical for daily life: Influences from physical, chemical and biological stimuli are offered at the same time, when the person is in psychosocial relationships and in a setting dominated by social structures.

5.7. The model allows the deduction of the creation of “Pseudo-autonomous actors”

Humans of today focus more and more on values which are based on assumptions of relationship to other humans and on the values of humans itself then to parts of the real physical, chemical and biological world. This shift from “the realized world” more and more to a world constructed by man made constructions allows to explain why such construct-constructions are so effective in influencing the wishes, goals and fears: The persons accept them as “causes” which act by themselves like the weather or gravitation, or as existing autonomous actors like lions or other humans. But these manmade constructions are not able to act by themselves – not only in energetically based aspects but in the aspect to be able to build new creations too. But such man made construct-constructions influence effectively the life of any social being: Therefore governments, ministries, universities, but NGOs etc. too can be understood as Para-autonomic actors: If there are no persons, they are unable to act on the level they have reached.


[1] In honour of I.M. Sechenov to the 175th anniversary of his birth 1829.

[2] I will express many thanks to Ingmar Kofler for his cooperation and many good ideas which are integrated into the
 model and into the presented paper.

[3] Morgan’s Canon recommends to handle the following doctrine like a natural law: Do not use an explanation for a phenomenon on the basis of a principle which is the expression of a higher evolutionary level as long as we can explain the phenomena with principles which are based on explanations for “evolutionary older” research objects. Therefore a psychological principle should take in consideration only if it can be excluded that physical and chemical explanations are sufficient. An example for such reproducible phenomena which are not sufficient to predict just with physical and chemical principles is toxicopy and it special case “placebo”.

[4] Shall we isolate the middle of an integral whole, calling it psychical, and opposing it to the rest of the whole, calling it material?” Sechenov, I.M: Who must investigate the problems of Psychology and how, Opera, p 349. This statement can be understood as confirmation for a monistic position of Sechenov.

[5] This is a relevant argument why scientific models, which not integrate such biological principles for the transfer of information, can be logically correct but not generally applicable on reality.

[6] P.K. Anokhin was the first to demonstrate that living matter possesses a dynamic ability to converge and form discrete autoregulatory functional systems, whose activity provided adaptive effects, useful for the organism. Physiology of functional systems – A textbook for medical students, in: Sudakov K (ed.) compiled by Sudakov S, Glazachev O.S., Vagin Y.E. and E.G. Ionkina, Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy, Moscow 2002.

[7] Heisenberg proposed a “Potentia” as an ability of the quanta to cause their changing in movement “between necessity and arbitrariness”.

[8] Muller started from the position that chemists generally accept that chemical structures are able to cause autocatalytic processes to reproduce themselves. Therefore he has seen it as correct to assume that they have an autocatalytic ability. But autocatalysis can not explain the phenomenon, that the organic structure of the genetic material is able to determine totally different structures, e.g. the colour of the hairs. This phenomenon needs a sufficient explanation. Therefore Muller brought in papers – published in Russian – an additional “hetero-catalytic” ability in discussion.

[9] From this point of view it would be correct to understand “energy” as the name for the “ability to move matter in space and time”.

[10]But if we examine the real essence of these aphorism ...the absurdity of most of them becomes evident: ..It follows, from this that whenever man is spoken as of an indivisible totality, a unit, the word “man” denotes the physical, material nature of man, and nothing else.” Sechenov I.: Who must investigate the problem of psychology, and how, Opera, 354 This confirms the assumption of a materialistic position in agreement to a materialistic evolution based monism.

[11]Es versteht sich weiter von selbst, dass der dem Versuch unterliegende Mensch die Metronomschläge, welche die Zeit messen, wo seine Hand in der Säure bleibt, nicht hören darf. It is evident that the person in the experiment must not be able to listen the metronome which is counting the duration during the hand is in the acid, Sechenov I: Physiologische Studien über die Hemmungsmechanismen, Opera, S. 171

[12]Darwin’s great theory of the evolution of species has placed the idea of evolution, or successive development, on such a firm basis that this idea is at present accepted by the vast majority of naturalists. This logically necessitates the recognition, by the majority of naturalists, of the principle of evolution of psychical activities.” The elements of thought, Opera, S. 410

[13]Unter diesen Voraussetzungen würde das Geschäft der Nervenreizung nicht bloß in einer Erhöhung der Ladung der Nervenzellen mit lebendigen Kräften, sondern auch in einer Erhöhung der Erregunswiderstände bestehen“, in: Sechenov I.M. „Über die elektrische und chemische Reizung der sensiblen Rückenmarksnerven des Frosches, Graz 1868, reprint in „Opera“, p 193

[14]Dieser Fähigkeit liegt offenbar die Eigenschaft der Nervencentra zu Grunde, die ihnen zugetheilten Stösse eine Zeit lang in latenter Form zu conservieren.... bei bestimmten Reizstärken aber mit einer coordinierten Reihe von Bewegungen zu antworten“ detto, Opera. p 188, 189)

[15] Th. Kuhn came to a similar result after analysing the history of the scientific process.

[16] The terminus „reflex“is used with different contents. Especially in the western physiology and psychology a reflex is characterised as a one way road from the perceptor to the (usually neuronal) analyzer and from them to a functional organ. With its output the activity of the reflex is finished. From the “Russian point of view” this is only a special application of a permanent process between (simplified) two autonomous actors in which one actor (the neuron) has similar links to many other actors too, e.g. the links to the organ which produces the effect which is observable as “reflex”..

[17] „The realities of the outer and inner world which are inaccessible for our organs and sense”

[18] This fundamental progress in evolution does not need any morphologically obvious changing. So we should not expect a (n obvious) morphological characteristic for a “new species”. So we can distinct animals from humans with this criterion. On this basis it would be correct to distinct between Homo sapiens Linné as an animal and Homo sapiens finalis: the “real” ancestor of the actually living humans, which can be seen on their way to a Homo sapiens eco-socio-finalis.

[19] This would allow a distinction between humans with regards to religious criteria on an evolutionary basis, which is in principle exact to definite by a criterion, which – maybe – would not be incompatible with the self-understanding of religious societies.

[20] This text based on a correspondence with Nobel laureate Y.T. Lee 2004

[21] Therefore the model can be seen from the epistemological point of view as an application of constructive realism, from the view of ontology as an evolution based neutral monism.

[i] Kofler W.: A comprehensive model of humans as social beings and the health relevance of their interactions with and expectations on their environment, Th. Kuhn Honour lecture 2004,, 13th World Clean Air and Environment Congress, London, 27. 8.2004.

[ii] Kofler W.: letter to Y.T. Lee, 21.8.2004.

[iii] Kofler W., letter to Y.T. Lee and Vicepresident Lai, Academia Sinica, 13.9.2004.

[iv] Kuhn T.: The scientific revolution, 1962.

[v] DurkheimE. : Die elementaren Formen des religiösen Lebens, 2. Aufl. Frankfurt am Main, 1984.

[vi] Schmidt W: personal information, September 2004.

[vii] Bernard Cl.: review The de Monde 1865, LVIII, pg 645.

[viii] Sechenov I.M.: “Über die elektrische und chemische Reizung der sensiblen Rückenmarkensnerven des Frosches, Leuschner Lubensky, Graz, 1868.

[ix] Virchow R.: Alter und neuer Vitalismus, Arch. Path. Anat. Und Physiol u. klin Med, 1856, 9, 3 – 55.

[x] Virchow R: Über den vermeintlichen Materialismus der heutigen Naturwissenschaft, Stettin, 1853.

[xi] Virchow R: Cellular – Pathologie, Arch Path. Anat. Und Physiol u. klin. Med 1854, and Handbuch der speciellen Pathologie und Therapie, Enke, 1984.

[xii] Virchow R: Die Einheitsbestrebungen in der wissenschaftlichen Medizin, Ges. Abhandl z wiss. Medizin, 9, 3-55, 1856.

[xiii] Virchow R: Die Continuität des Lebens als Grundlage der modernen biologischen Anschauung, Arch path Anat u Physiol und klin Med., 1897, 150, 4 – 15.

[xiv] Secheneov I.M.: Physiologische Studien über die Hemmungsmechanismen für die Reflexthätigkeit des Rückenmarkes im Gehirne des Frosches, S. 153 – 176, 1863 Berlin, in I. Sechenov: Selected Works, E.J. Bonset – Amsterdam, 1968.

[xv] Sechenov I.M.: Who must investigate the problems of Psychology and how, in Sechenov I.: Opera 337 – 402, Moscow – Leningrad, 1935.

[xvi] Sechenov I.M.: The reflexes of the brain, S. 264, 1863.

[xvii] Heisenberg .Physiks and Philosophy, Ullstein, Ulm 1959.

[xviii] Muller H.J.: The Gene as the basis of Life, Proc. Int. Congress of Plant Sciences, Ithaka, NY, Aug 16- 23 . Duggar B.M. (ed.) George Banat Publ. Menasha Wisconsin, 1929, 879 – 921; Muller Physics in the attrackt on the fundamental Problems of Genetics, The scientific Monthly, 44, 210 -214, 1936.

[xix] Watson R.I.: The greatest psychologists from Aristotle to Freud, J.B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 377, 1963.

[xx] Stagner R.: A history of psychological theories, Collier Macmillan, London, NY, 164, 1988.

[xxi] Lazarus R., S. Folkman: Stress, appraisal, and coping, Springer, NY, 1984.

[xxii] Sechenov I.M.: Zur Frage nach der Wirkung sensitiver Reize auf die Muskelkraft des Menschen, first presentation., Moscow 1902, „Opera“, 253.

[xxiii] Uexküll Th., W. Wesiack: Theorie der Humanmedizin, Urban Schwarzenberg, München, Wien, Baltimore, 1988.

[xxiv] Lossky N.O. History of Russian Philosphy, Int. University Press, 1951, pp. 63 – 64.

[xxv] Sokolow J.N. Die reflektorischen Grundlagen der Wahrnehmung, in: Hiebisch H. et al. (ed) Ergebnisse der
 Sowjetischen Psychologie, Akademieverlag , Berlin 61 – 93, 1967.

[xxvi] Sechenov I.M.: Impression and Reality, in „Opera”, 392-402.

[xxvii] Engel G.L.: The need for a new medical model: A challenge for biomediciene, Science 196, 129-136.

[xxviii] Tress W., B. Junkert: Psychosomatische Medizin zwischen Naturwissenschaft und Geisteswissenschaft – tertium non datur?, Psychother. Psychosom. Med. Psychol., 42, 400-407, 1992.

[xxix] Russell B: The A-B-C of relativity theory, Fischer, Philosophie, Frankfurt am Main, 9. Aufl.,1989.

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