WORD – Mis en Abyme



notes only



A hall of mirrors in which one’s reflection seems to go on forever.

  • Recursion is the process of repeating items in a self-similar way. For instance, when the surfaces of two mirrors are exactly parallel with each other the nested images that occur are a form of infinite recursion. The term has a variety of meanings specific to a variety of disciplines ranging from linguistics to logic. The most common application of recursion is in mathematics and computer science, in which it refers to a method of defining functions in which the function being defined is applied within its own definition. Specifically this defines an infinite number of instances (function values), using a finite expression that for some instances may refer to other instances, but in such a way that no loop or infinite chain of references can occur. The term is also used more generally to describe a process of repeating objects in a self-similar way.  (Wikipedia on Recursion)

·        Repetitive ERROR DETECTION involves representation of a cognitive outcome … Look in on REAFFERENCE THEORY in the A&O notes on error-detection


·         “When Archimedes shouted Eureka, “I have found it”, he was experiencing self-consciousness of creativity. Understanding this phenomenon is the ultimate challenge for cognitive science, because it requires simultaneous solution of three of its major problems: the nature of the self, consciousness, and creativity. All three problems may have the same solution based on three fundamental computational mechanisms: neural representation, recursive binding, and interactive competition.” —summary of presentation 9/20/2013 (“Eureka! How Creative Intuition Results from Three Brain Mechanisms”) by  Dr. Thagars is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Cognitive Science program at the University of Waterloo.

     To these I have to add: in processing of data fields: interpolation (“filling in”) and    extrapolation (“extending out”)


  • … may be much more than a mere analogy …
    • Reentry and Recursion in Neuronal Network  —Re-entrant activity leading to recursion is a fundamental feature of …. This suggests that thalamocortical iterative activity is a main mechanism of brain function.
  • RECURSION is a major concern of linguistics: 
    • RECURSION AND HUMAN THOUGHT: WHY THE PIRAHÃ DON’T HAVE NUMBERSA Talk With Daniel L. Everett [6.11.07] “As I look through the structure of the words and the structure of the sentences, it just becomes clear that they don’t have recursion. If recursion is what Chomsky and Mark Hauser and Tecumseh Fitch have called ‘the essential property of language’, the essential building block—in fact they’ve gone so far as to claim that that might be all there really is to human language that makes it different from other kinds of systems—then, the fact that recursion is absent in a language — Pirahã — means that this language is fundamentally different from their predictions.”
    • The biology of language and the epigenesis of recursive embedding   www.ingentaconnect.com/content/jbp/is/2012/00000013/…/art00007‎   by RE Jennings – ‎2012 – ‎Cited by 3 – ‎Related articles  Jan 1, 2012 – The biology of language and the epigenesis of recursive embedding  of genotypes with the propensity to produce certain brain mechanisms.


  • And Keostler’s HOLON
  • Favorite example in CINEMA: Tesseract:  featured as time-bending feature in Interstellar … story of search for a new home for mankind.  I liked the You tube “explanation” makes point of Christopher Nolan’s (director’s) commitment to the viewer as a participant in making meaning.    Incorporated into my PPt on “Reconcilable Differences”