Publication 2830

McCulloch W. S. (1945) A heterarchy of values determined by the topology of nervous nets. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 7: 89–93. Fulltext at
Because of the dromic character of purposive activities, the closed circuits sustaining them and their interaction can be treated topologic­ally. It is found that to the value anomaly, when A is preferred to B, B to C, but C to A, there corresponds a diadrome, or circularity in the net which is not the path of any drome and which cannot be mapped with­out a diallel on a surface sufficient to map the dromes. Thus the appar­ent inconsistency of preference is shown to indicate consistency of an order too high to permit construction of a scale of Values, but submitting to finite topological analysis based on the finite number of nervous cells and their possible connections.
Reprinted in: McCulloch R. (ed.) (1989) Collected works of Warren S. McCulloch. Intersystems, Salinas CA: 467–472

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