13 c. medieval medicine – veins





Every living thing is a sort of imperialist, seeking to transform as much as possible of its environment into itself… When we compare the (present) human population of the globe with… that of former times, we see that “chemical imperialism” has been… the main end to which human intelligence has been devoted.  (Bertrand Russell, 1960)

 “La fixité du milieu intérieur est la condition d’une vie libre et indépendante” (“Constancy of the internal environment is the condition for a free and independent life,” (Claude Bernard  1865)

Sensory–motor input-integration-output) systems are highly integrated in themselves and with the environment in which they occur. This is the view that energizes thinking about “embodied cognition” a central element in phenomenology [go to A&O website for EXISTENTIAL PHENOMENOLOGY]

in A&O I emphasize the flow of information within and between our competencies for sensation, perception, conception, and adaptive action



Representing and interpreting the multiple streams of information that flow through organisms is a “systems view” — typically, specific streams of input evoke varying amounts of arousal or receive differing amounts of ATTENTION  They are integrated with ongoing competitive streams or past experiences, and thereby affect the selection of one of an assortment of possible outcomes. 

We associate input with the senses, integration with the central nervous system, and output with the muscles, but there is more . . .

These will each and cumulatively be subject to the constraints of evolution (what equipment has the organism been provided with),   the changes that occur during development, the stimuli in the environment that affect the organism at a specific moment, and the physiology of how this information is received (input), processed (integrated), and acted upon (output)

This is all designed to help the organism maximize its fitness — ability to survive and thrive.

At every level of organization these general activities of input, integration, and output are convenient ways to categorize the diversity of interacting, interlocked processes that define life.   


Stimuli, sensation, perception …



Manifest as conscious and nonconscious SAPIENCE (thoughts ) and SENTIENCE (feelings) that ultimately affect other processes, most notably ACTIONS outside the body.

and within INTEGRATION, MEMORY is prominent element of sapience and sentience as many domains a pulled together and focussed:  Read about REDINTERATION


Efferent communications (information exits source and affects target(s)) … in the brain, these are neural pathways; in the body these are predominantly endocrine pathways.  In all events these manifest as the PHENOTYPE: all the overt traits such as behavior –which is what natural selection acts upon.



A&O is interested in the interplay of sapience and sentience (internal cause)  and actions (external effect upon which natural selection can act).


The great Bengali author and poet, Rabindranath Tagore, wrote


“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.

I awoke and saw that life was service.

I acted and behold, service was joy.”