The Juarrero Emails

June 5

Dr. Price:
As per Dr. Broughton's request that I forward to you any additional
information not provided to her that supports my charge that T. Deacon
misappropriated my ideas in his recent book (Incomplete Nature), I
attach images of the Index pages in Murphy, Nancey & W.S. Brown Did My
Neurons Make me Do It? (Oxford, 2007) that contain the entries
corresponding to Deacon and to Juarrero.
Murphy & Brown's analysis of Deacon & Juarrero's respective
contributions to date on the subject matter provides an impartial and
unbiased reading of who the original source of the central arguments
involved really is. Although the entire book should be read carefully, I
especially call your attention in Murphy & Brown to pp 80-90; 94-96; and
160-174.
Thank you.
Alicia Juarrero


May 27

ALICIA JUARRERO <JUARREAX@pgcc.edu> Sun, May 27, 2012 at 5:15 PM
To: broughton@berkeley.edu
Cc: crubino@hamilton.edu
Dr. Broughton:
It is my belief that the numerous parallels between Terrence Deacon's
most recent book Incomplete Nature and my own 1999 Dynamics in Action
cannot be attributed to mere coincidence. In particular, the seriatim
nature of the parallels listed in the spreadsheet I sent Dr. Robert
Price reveals more than a merely a failure to cite an isolated idea or
two, which can happen to any scholar. While it is true that no two
sentences in the books are identical, the spreadsheet speaks for itself:
I believe it supports a charge of misappropriation of ideas and of an
entire pattern of argumentation.
The Introduction to Rubino and Juarrero eds. Emergence, Complexity and
Self-Organization (ISCE 2008) should also be compared with Deacon and
Cashman's 2011 paper on Complexity, Emergents, and Eliminativism. The
relevance of Immanuel Kant to the problems of self-organization and
finality -- which first appeared in Juarrero-Roque 1985 Review of
Metaphysics -- should also be compared with the passages on Kant in
Deacon and Deacon & Cashman.
Finally,since evidence of awareness of these ideas speaks to this
charge, I point out that approximately 50 witnesses can place Deacon in
attendance at my talk at a STARS Conference in Cancun in January 2007. I
can provide hard copies of the power point slides for the Cancun talk,
which should be compared with his presentation.
I hope the University of California will give this matter the serious
consideration it deserves.
Thank you,
Alicia Juarrero, PhD
Professor Emerita of Philosophy
Prince George's Community College
Largo, MD 20774-2199
Tel: 202-342-6128
FAX: 202-342-5160

January 25

ALICIA JUARRERO <JUARREAX@pgcc.edu> Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 9:57 AM
To: Thomas.Bartlett@chronicle.com
Cc: michael.lissack@gmail.com
Michael Lissack requested I send the attachments to you.
I need to emphasize that Deacon's theses -- and the arguments he
presents to back up those theses-- track mine practically from
beginning to end (without my emphasis on action theory, and certainly
without his neologisms!). We're not just talking of a few selected
passages here and there that are similar. My central ideas and
argumentation permeate Deacon's book from beginning to end, as the
spreadsheet shows.
Here are the two books' main theses:
1. Newtonian mechanical (efficient) causality cannot account for
end-directedness and goal-directedness (teleology, purposiveness) -- or
agency, intentionality (consciousness, sentience). So attempts to
reduce the latter to the former won't work.
2) Aristotelian formal and final causes used to serve this purpose but
not an option since the Enlightenment/Scientific Revolution -- Kant knew
that, however, and associated teleology with intrinsic
finality/self-organization. Prigogine's discovery of dissipative
structures provide a scientific respectable understanding of teleology
as self-organization. I published this material in 1985.
3) Best to reconceptualize causality in other terms
4) Consider information theory and entropy in Thermodynamics can help --
especially Prigogine/self-organization/far from equilibrium
thermodynamics (complex systems), and self-organization, especially
autocatalysis. Autocatalysis embodies formal cause and constitutes a
proto-self through the implementation of intrinsic constraints. Far from
equilibrium thermodynamics do not violate the first law.
5) Part-whole and whole-part context-sensitive/dependent constraints
(redundancy) can account for mereological causality (bottom up
constraints are enabling, expand degrees of freedom); top-down
second/higher order constraints -- from whole to part -- are
restrictive) -- differences between physical, chemical and biological
constraint production & operation do not obviate the similarities and
both can account for "whole to part causality" -- these in turn embody
formal and final causes without reduction or remainder.
6) The workings of constraint in both cases are changes in
probability/frequency distribution -- this dissolves the Maxwell demon
problem by making the demon an internal. Second law of thermodynamics is
thereby upheld too.
7) 5 and 6 above are best understood as ontogenetic and phylogenetically
constructed dynamical attractors and can be pictured topologically.
Doing so dissolves the semantics/syntax (meaning-grammar) problem --
answers Searle's Chinese room objection.
8) The self, free will, and individuality are best reconceptualized and
understood as the operations of complex dynamical constraints.
9) Dynamical constraint operation is irreducible to matter/energy
considerations. THere is decoupling between levels due to multiple
realizability feature of higher level constraints. Hence emergence is
ontological.
10) Agency and intentional causation are the exercise of whole-part
dynamical constraints
11) Biological constraints are semiotic; interpretive
Since there is no sentence by sentence or paragraph by paragraph
identities, in order to make a determination that my main claims and
arguments have been appropriated there is no other way than to read both
books carefully and in their entirety --using the spreadsheet's
identification of specific page references in both books for assistance.
Thank you.
Alicia Juarrero
Sent from Verizon.net phone
Alicia Juarrero, PhD
Professor of Philosophy
Prince George's Community College
Largo, MD 20774-2199
Tel: 202-342-6128
FAX: 202-342-5160

December 12

From: ALICIA JUARRERO <aliciajuarrero@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 6:10 PM
Subject: Two quotes from the two books
To: Robert Price <rprice@berkeley.edu>

Dr. Price:


Although it is very difficult for anyone not in the specific field (philosophy of science) of the two books to appreciate appropriation of ideas from a cursory reading of a few pages or paragraphs, I am trying to reply to your request. Are the following the kind of quotes you are looking for? These two go to one of the central theses (concepts, claims) of both books:

“We can posit the dynamical self-organization of aneurological hierarchy. Progressively higher levels of neural organizationself-assemble, each exhibiting novel properties and greater degrees of freedom.In turn, the higher levels impose second-order constraints on the lower ones.This is what self-consciousness and intentional action are all about. But Ianticipate.” (p 143, Dynamics in Action)

“The riddle was not the result of any problem with theconcept of consciousness but of our failure to understand the causal relevanceof constraint. With the realization that specific absent tendencies – dynamicalconstraints – are critically relevant to the causal fabric of the world…” It isbecause of how [molecular] interactions are constrained, that there is agency,sentience, and valuation implicit in their patterns of interaction… Theintentional properties that we attribute to conscious experience are generatedby the emergence of these constraints – constraints that emerge fromconstraints…” (p535 Incomplete Nature).

I take it it is obvious that intentional action = agency, and that sentience = consciousness.
Thanks.
Alicia Juarrero

December 6

From: ALICIA JUARRERO [mailto:aliciajuarrero@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 3:19 PM
To: Robert Price
Subject: RE: Evidence of Possible Plagiarism


Dr. Price:
By itself, any one of the eleven ideas or concepts in my email would mean nothing. But the overarching conclusion ---that it is possible to reconceptualize teleology (purposiveness, goal directedness) in terms of the intrinsic dynamical constraints of complex dynamical systems theory (complexity theory) is my idea of 12 years ago, which Deacon heard me explain in Cancun-- as is also the suggestion that Kant foreshadowed this solution. I also claim that Deacon's premises in support of this conclusion appropriate my own: that autocatalytic processes embody the two types of redundancies (constraints) developed in information theory (Shannon & Boltzmann). That these constraints also thereby embody teleological (final) causation; that higher order, whole-part constraints dissolve the Maxwell demon objection re the second law of thermodynamics; that selfhood, free will, personal autonomy, etc. can also be reconceptualized in terms of such contextual constraints and are irreducible -- hence supporting the concept of emergence. Finally, cashing out these part-whole and whole-part contextual constraints as changes in probability distributions  -- and even the claim that at the lowest level it's a question of the geometry of the molecules and their proximity -- is also original to my book.
The conclusion by itself might be excused as a coincidence; each premise could also be dismissed as a coincidence. But the probability that Deacon came up with the entire argument (conclusion and those specific premises) on his own is infinitessimal, especially when one adds the numerous examples used to illustrate the ideas (as noted in the spreadsheet).
Please let me know that the 20 page fax arrived.
Thanks,
Alcia

December 5

From: ALICIA JUARRERO [mailto:aliciajuarrero@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2011 2:43 PM
To: Robert Price
Subject: Re: Evidence of Possible Plagiarism

 

I need to emphasize that Deacon's theses -- and the arguments he presents to back up those theses--  track mine practically from beginning to end (without my emphasis on action theory). We're not just talking of a few selected passages here and there that are similar. My central ideas permeate Deacon's book from beginning to end, as the spreadsheet shows.
Here are the two books' main theses:

1. Newtonian mechanical (efficient) causality cannot account for end-directedness and goal-directedness (teleology, purposiveness) -- or agency, intentionality (consciousness, sentience).  So attempts to reduce the latter to the former won't work.
2) Aristotelian formal and final causes used to serve this purpose but not an option since the Enlightenment/Scientific Revolution -- Kant knew that, however, and associated teleology with intrinsic finality/self-organization. Prigogine's discovery of dissipative structures provide a scientific respectable understanding of teleology as self-organization.
3) Best to reconceptualize causality in other terms
4) Consider information theory and entropy in Thermodynamics can help -- especially Prigogine/self-organization/far from equilibrium thermodynamics (complex systems), and self-organization, especially autocatalysis. Autocatalysis embodies formal cause and constitutes a proto-self through the implementation of intrinsic constraints. Far from equilibrium thermodynamics do not violate the first law.
5) Part-whole and whole-part context-sensitive/dependent constraints (redundancy) can account for mereological causality (bottom up constraints are enabling, expand degrees of freedom); top-down second/higher order constraints -- from whole to part -- are restrictive) -- differences between physical, chemical and biological constraint production & operation do not obviate the similarities and both can account for "whole to part causality" -- these in turn embody formal and final causes without reduction or remainder.
6) The workings of constraint in both cases are changes in probability/frequency distribution -- this dissolves the Maxwell demon problem by making the demon an internal. Second law of thermodynamics is thereby upheld too.
7) 5 and 6 above are best understood as ontogenetic and phylogenetically constructed dynamical attractors and can be pictured topologically. Doing so dissolves the semantics/syntax (meaning-grammar) problem -- answers Searle's Chinese room objection.
8) The self, free will, and individuality are best reconceptualized and understood as the operations of complex dynamical constraints.
9) Dynamical constraint operation is irreducible to matter/energy considerations. THere is decoupling between levels due to multiple realizability feature of higher level constraints. Hence emergence is ontological.
10) Agency and intentional causation are the exercise of whole-part dynamical constraints
11) Biological constraints are semiotic; interpretive

Since there is no sentence by sentence or paragraph by paragraph identities, in order to make a determination that my main claims and arguments have been appropriated there is no other way than to read both books carefully and in their entirety --using the spreadsheet's identification of specific page references in both books for assistance. How should we proceed?

Alicia



December 5


From: ALICIA JUARRERO [mailto:aliciajuarrero@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2011 11:09 AM
To: rprice@berkeley.edu
Subject: Evidence of Possible Plagiarism

Dr. Price:

            I write as a follow up to our telephone conversation in which I expressed my concern about possible academic research misconduct by Dr. Terrence W. Deacon (UCB Anthropology Department). Specifically, the MIT Press Legal counsel suggested I contact you to express my concern that the parallels between Deacon’s recent book Incomplete Nature (Norton, 2011) and my own Dynamics in Action: Intentional Behavior as a Complex System (MIT 1999) constitutes serious negligent scholarship at best, plagiarism at worst.

            According to the UC Berkeley website page on “Research Misconduct”:  “If an individual is unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of research misconduct… [she should] contact VCRO and ask to speak to the RIO so as to discuss the suspected misconduct informally…. The informal discussion of possible research misconduct, as well as all subsequent stages in this procedure will be, as far as is feasible, treated as strictly confidential.”

            That is what my telephone call to you today was intended to do. I trust at least this preliminary inquiry will be treated confidentially.

            U.C. Berkeley’s Research webpage defines plagiarism as “the appropriation of another’s person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.” Section Ia1 Requirements for Finding of Research Misconduct allows that the misconduct be committed “recklessly.” The allegation of plagiarism must be proven by a “preponderance of the evidence” and must constitute a “significant departure from accepted practices.”

            Defining plagiarism without reference to intent is consistent with judicial precedent. In Newman v Burgin, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the University of Massachusetts’s finding of plagiarism by citing MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations 4 (New York, Modern Language Ass'n 1977): “Using someone else's ideas or phrasing and representing those ideas or phrasing as our own, either on purpose or through carelessness, is a serious offense known as plagiarism.” The Court also cited IMC’s Knight Committee report as another academic source that defines plagiarism without reference to intent: “to plagiarize is to give the impression that you have written or thought something that you have in fact borrowed from another.” The Knight Committee report also states that “legally, if one can prove access, plagiarism is more easily proved.”

            As per our conversation I attach 1) a copy of my 1985 article on Kant and Teleology; 2) a STARS conference announcement with the abstracts for upcoming talks by Deacon and myself that addresses the issue of access to my ideas; and 3) a spreadsheet that lists in detail page by page parallels between Incomplete Nature and my own Dynamics in Action: Intentional Behavior as a Complex System (MITPRess 1999). I believe this sufficiently credible and specific evidence of research misconduct, as your procedures pertaining to a Preliminary Assessment require.

I am grateful for your commitment "not to cover up" any objective finding of plagiarism.
Thank you.

Alicia Juarrero

 

November 20

Terry:

Your friends at IRAS and Templeton, and your colleague Alva Noe at
Berkeley, know that no one had talked about constraints (1) in the
context of complexity science, (2) to account for downward causation
and emergence, and (3) as changes in probability distributions before I
did.

I know for a fact that you were alerted before publication to the
uncanny resemblance of your book with the contents of my own.
There are at least 50 persons who can place you in the audience of my
talk in Cancun-- a conference sponsored by Templeton -- where
precisely these topics were discussed.

I copy some of these folks so they can correct me if I am mistaken
about my impression of the extraordinary parallels between the contents of
Incomplete Nature and Dynamics in Action. If they agree with you, I
will say no more.

Alicia Juarrero

November 18
> Terry:
> The most glaring absential in Incomplete Nature is a citation to my own
> Dynamics in Action (MIT 1999). This is really disgusting, Terry. And you
> know my work well because we met in person in Cancun 3 years ago where I
> described reinterpreting downward causation and emergence in terms of
> constraints, and understanding constraints as alterations in probability
> distributions. It's all there in Chapter 9ff of Dynamics in Action.
> Alicia Juarrero
>
> Alicia Juarrero, PhD
> Professor of Philosophy
> Prince George's Community College
> Largo, MD 20774-2199
> Tel: 202-342-6128
> FAX: 202-342-5160