A&O 2022 meeting 3 – Feb 8




notes for meeting 3

TUESDAY February 14, 2023

including likely agenda & Outcomes from previous meeting


  • CHECK-IN: a few comments identifying yourself to the rest of us PLUS, be sure to have a specific behavioral pattern in mind for your first powerpoint: the DEEP ETHOLOGY of …. what you’ve selected.
  • COMMENTS: Today’s key ideas from CORE CONTENT–our scaffold, always mindful of PERSONAL CONNECTIONS to the content and FREE ASSOCIATIONS (mind-maps) about it.
  • CHECK-OUT: what stood out for you (from notes taken during seminar) if there are doodles and/or a mind-map, attach to e-mail after class

SOME IDEAS THAT STOOD OUT FOR YOU LAST WEEK  from your check-out postings after last week’s discussions — items in bold type had multiple mentions



SCAFFOLD: as in the temporary structure necessary to construct (or reconstruct as in here at Notre Dame) … like the rules you learn for mastery of a field, and then can set aside for creative transcendence of the field…

  • FILLING-IN:  a concept that many of us seem ready for: from blind spot/scotoma through neural interpolation; god of the gaps…
  • Looking at your diary entries when you share them led me to want to share these notes: MORE ABOUT DOODLING in YOUR A&O DIARY
  • TRUTH.

We should speak of the cognitive mechanisms of reality-testing — the means by which we validate our perceptions or beliefs: correspondence and coherence … and the idea of folie a deux (Wikipedia on Folie a deuxand a classic 19th century book came to mind: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.


“DOES IT MAKE SENSE? ” READ “Newton on Gravity”.

  • CLASS RULES:  look in on my attitude about RULES
  • BEAUTY: a major emerging theme: can there be TOO MUCH beauty? I mentioned JERUSALEM SYNDROME (details at Brit Journal Psychiatry) –is it the same as STENDHAL SYNDROME ?
  • DYSFUNCTION: look in on our website that speaks more to chronic rather than acute disturbances; I mention there an idea we mentioned last week: the idea of KINTSUGI — makes some fascinating connections (perhaps a great expression of facis de necessitate virtute”)
  • Things brought up in a specific context by one student where my response seems potentially important for everyone: for example, how is it some things can be recognized intuitively, others must be thought about? is that the difference between feeling and knowing??
    • feeling and knowing:  does SUBATIZING have anything to do with this? (“The ability to instantly recognize the number of objects without actually counting them.”)
    • SENSORY DEPRIVATION at a critical time during development (infant monkeys deprived of parents; young birds deprived of hearing adult song; kittens deprived of visual stimulation)


THINGS TO DO or THINK ABOUT BEFORE MEETING 3 (be prepared to comment on this during check-in or discussion):

Building on last week’s discussion speaking of visual phenomena (such as how our perceptions change as we stare at ourselves in a mirror) and the idea that artists, like magicians, understand and use their knowledge of human perception to further their communication with themselves or (usually) others.    With this in mind (and you must have suspected that an assignment like this was inevitable in our seminar) LOOK at a You Tube video essay, about Leonardo de Vinci and his  Mona Lisa 

TO START OUT, with your phenomenological attitude, comment on personal experiences (be detailed and specific about biological and psychological  experiences… e.g., learn about frisson (A&O notes)) And consider if it is related to Stendhal Syndrome (Jerusalem Syndrome)

And then let’s discuss “PLEASURE”

AND THEN ask DEEP questions with you ethological attitude:  Be specific: ask any four questions, but one from each of four areas: development, ecology, evolution, and biology.  This can actually be a very easy assignment

AND THEN ask DEEP questions with you ethological attitude:  Be specific: ask any four questions, but one from each of four areas: development, ecology, evolution, and biology.  This can actually be a very easy assignment

Looking ahead? connected?  think about EYE CONTACT seemed a good first phenomenon to bridge gaps between disciplines: if you have not yet seen it, look at  the Abramović art “performance” at MOMA, and a recent BBC article, “WHY MEETING ANOTHER’S GAZE IS SO POWERFUL” (what about meeting your own gaze in a mirror??) And (from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows): Look in on OPIA(Do you notice its resonance with SONDER?)  Deeper dive: (more about eyes and how they communicate at A&O website for Emotion and its communication and from there go to: A&O NOTES about how eyes contribute to communication)

  • BUT… to follow this into OUR CANONICAL SCAFFOLD of integrative biology, DEEP ETHOLOGY asks us to look at the development of vision in an individual, the ecology–context in which vision takes place, its evolution, and its physiology— What is the sensory organ? how does light stimulate it? what is the path from the sensation to the perception, and what happens to the information on the way to its destination, deep within the brain?


Computer simulations represent … ART represents … but using computer simulations as an art medium?  Look in on Markos Kay’s Quantum Simulations


SEMINAR COMMUNITY.  From your check-outs and conversation it is already clear that many of us share connections with each other and with our respective subjects.  with your permission I’ll put in a table of mutual contact information.