There are two approaches for understanding reality: The Cartesian and phenomenology.
The first was introduced by Rene Descartes (1596-1650 ) who applied rationality
to understand reality. His declaration: “I think, therefore I am” implies
that thinking is rational. Three centuries later Heidegger (1889-1976)
realized that Descartes’ seemingly straight forward declaration, which
seems to us so obvious, conceals a stumbling block. He therefore asked,
what does Descartes mean by his “am”? and concluded that reality ought
to be studied from the “am” perspective, known as phenomenology. The term
was coined by his teacher and friend Edmund Husserl ( 1859-1938).

Modern medicine still trots the Cartesian way, with unpleasant consequences
as illustrated by the following example on the relationship between effort
(E) and heart rate (H). It is linear H(E) = H(0) + b*E + error. H(0) stands
for the resting heart rate, b, for the slope of the line. The error term
accounts for the fact that observed data are spread around the ascending
line. In previous sections of this thread it was shown that “error” or
noise does not exist as such in nature. It is a (rational) construct to
understand nature. Yet the error term actually conceals some vital heart
characteristics which ought to be expressed by a separate function f(x)
so that H(E) = H(0) + b*E + f(x). Since f(x) is non-linear and chaotic,
medicine lacks means to handle it and ignores it. This is where phenomenology
steps in.

v. Iatrogenic Medicine

The first encounter of the exact sciences with phenomenology was shocking.
The first fractal, the Koch snowflake (1904) was regarded as a monster curve.
Later on it gained its respectability within Mandelbrot’s fractal geometry
(1975). Then came Chaos, whose name reflects the horror of a physicist
who is barred from reducing it to some elementary whatsoever. Why call it
Chaos when in reality it is a manifestation of Heidegger’s “Dasein” and
may be understood only by phenomenology.

Then came Wolfram (2002) who conjured all kinds of complexities with CA.
Apparently he is not aware of the phenomenology trap which lures even in
his reductionistic NKS book. He classifies his constructs into four classes
of behavior (p.231), which is clearly a phenomenological approach. Yet why
only four? His class four is an Eden of fascinating structures (monsters).
Why didn’t he classify it further? Since he was anxious to avoid the slippery
slope leading to phenomenology. His credo is “I generate complexity therefore
I understand!” Does he really? In view of the fact that the real issue
is how to reduce complexity without losing its meaning.

v. Autopoiesis

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