Ultrametric model of mind, I: Review

F. Murtagh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


We mathematically model Ignacio Matte Blanco’s principles of symmetric and asymmetric being through use of an ultrametric topology. We use for this the highly regarded 1975 book of this Chilean psychiatrist and pyschoanalyst (born 1908, died 1995). Such an ultrametric model corresponds to hierarchical clustering in the empirical data, e.g. text. We show how an ultrametric topology can be used as a mathematical model for the structure of the logic that reflects or expresses Matte Blanco’s symmetric being, and hence of the reasoning and thought processes involved in conscious reasoning or in reasoning that is lacking, perhaps entirely, in consciousness or awareness of itself. In a companion paper we study how symmetric (in the sense of Matte Blanco’s) reasoning can be demarcated in a context of symmetric and asymmetric reasoning provided by narrative text.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-206
Number of pages14
JournalP-Adic Numbers, Ultrametric Analysis, and Applications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


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