Perimetric Analysis

Perimetric shouldn't be confused with parametric. Perimetric means to measure an object by measuring the surrounding system. In other words, the system at the perimeter. For example, suppose you believe that to move up high in US politics you need to essentially be a puppet to the policies of the rest of your political party. In other words, your party wouldn't have given you the funding and campaign support you needed to win your position unless they felt certain that you'd carry out their orders once you got in office. So, if you see this person, say, a president, acting nice or mean, smart or dumb, should you accredit this to the president's personal character? If you believed the above, you wouldn't. You'd figure that whatever he does was essentially handed down to him via his advisors and interests.

Suppose you wanted to determine if simple organisms like insects were conscious, something you can't directly measure. However, you notice that you seem to be most conscious when you're learning something or realizing something. You decide that it's likely you're only conscious when you're changing your current mental connections. So, since insects don't have the capacity to learn anything that's not genetically programmed into them, you might conclude also that they aren't conscious.

John LeFlohic February 10, 2003 Last Updated February 10, 2003