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Open peer commentary on the article “Consciousness as Self-Description in Differences” by Diana Gasparyan. Upshot: The account, in the target article, of consciousness as a self-contained, self-referential autopoietic system faces a potential problem when we seek to ground meaning and norms. I will discuss three ways in which meaning can be grounded, the last of which requires reasons for action to be grounded from a subjective point of view, with the qualitative character of affective valence performing a regress-stopping role. I will explore the implications of my conclusions for a methodological approach based on second-order cybernetics.
Pierce B. (2016) How can meaning be grounded within a closed self-referential system? Constructivist Foundations 11(3): 557–559. http://constructivist.info/11/3/557
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