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Displaying: 1-20 of 48 documents


1. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Claus Emmeche, Jesper Hoffmeyer, Kalevi Kull Editors’ comment
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biosemiotics
2. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Claus Emmeche The chicken and the Orphean egg: On the function of meaning and the meaning of function
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A central aspect of the relation between biosemiotics and biology is investigated by asking: Is a biological concept of function intrinsically related to a biosemiotic concept of sign action, and vice versa? A biological notion of function (as some process or part that serves some purpose in the context of maintenance and reproduction of the whole organism) is discussed in the light of the attempt to provide an understanding of life processes as being of a semiotic nature, i.e., constituted by sign actions. Does signification and communication in biology (e.g., intracellular communication) always presuppose an organism with distinct semiotic or quasi-semiotic functions? And, symmetrically, is it the case that functional relations are simply not conceivable without living sign action? The present note is just an introduction to a project aiming at elucidating the relations between biofunction and biosemiosis.
3. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Claus Emmeche Kana ja Orpheuse muna: tähenduse funktsioonist ja funktsiooni tähendusest. Kokkuvõte
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4. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Mihhail Lotman Umwelt and semiosphere
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In the paper an attempt is made to treat the basic concepts of biosemiotics and semiotics of culture in a wide intellectual context. The three leading paradigms of the current intellectual discourse are distinguished, which could be conventionally designated as “classical”, “modern” and “postmodern”: Peirce’s semiosis stands for the classical, Umwelt for the modern and semiosphere for the postmodern semiotic space.
5. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Mihhail Lotman Omailm ja semiosfäär. Kokkuvõte
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6. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Kaie Kotov Semiosphere: A chemistry of being
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The concept of semiosphere coined by Lotman in analogy of Vernadsky’s biosphere can be considered as a starting point for the new model in the semiotics of culture that enables us to conceptualise the human culture in its great diversity, as well as a certain single system as a part of this diversity. Present article will clarify some points of dissonance between Lotman and Vernadsky, as well as consider the dual influence of Vernadsky and Prigogine on the workings of the semiosphere in relation to the cultural dynamics. As a conclusion, the article entertains the idea that if we take the comparison with Vernadsky a bit further, the concept of semiosphere could be reinvented rather as a main transformative force of the (human) environment.
7. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Kaie Kotov Semiosfäär: olemise keemia. Kokkuvõte
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8. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Donald Favareau Beyond self and other: On the neurosemiotic emergence of intersubjectivity
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The explosive growth over the last two decades of neuroscience, cognitive science, and “consciousness studies” as generally conceived, remains as yet unaccompanied by a corresponding development in the establishment of an explicitly semiotic understanding of how the relations of sign exchange at the neuronal level function in the larger network of psychologically accessible sign exchange. This article attempts a preliminary foray into the establishment of just such a neurosemiotic. It takes, as its test case and as its point of departure, recent discoveries from the neurobiological research on viuso-motor transformations and on the widespread cortical phenomena of selectively tuned, single-neuron response to argue for a vision of “intersubjectivity” whereby the ens rationis arising as a function of the neuronal semiosphere may be abstracted, constructed, and shared mutually across agents.
9. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Donald Favareau Teispool oma ja võõrast: intersubjektiivsuse neurosemiootiline ilmumine. Kokkuvõte
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10. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Tom Ziemke On the epigenesis of meaning in robots and organisms: Could a humanoid robot develop a human(oid) Umwelt?
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This paper discusses recent research on humanoid robots and thought experiments addressing the question to what degree such robots could be expected to develop human-like cognition, if rather than being pre-programmed they were made to learn from the interaction with their physical and social environment like human infants. A question of particular interest, from both a semiotic and a cognitive scientific perspective, is whether or not such robots could develop an experiential Umwelt, i.e. could the sign processes they are involved in become intrinsically meaningful to themselves? Arguments for and against the possibility of phenomenal artificial minds of different forms are discussed, and it is concluded that humanoid robotics still has to be considered “weak” rather than “strong AI”, i.e. it deals with models of mind rather than actual minds.
11. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Tom Ziemke Tähenduse epigeneesist robotitel ja organismidel: kas inimsarnasel robotil võiks areneda inim(sarnane)-omailm? Kokkuvõte
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12. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Søren Brier Intrasemiotics and cybersemiotics
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The concept of intrasemiotics designates the semiosis of the interpenetration between the biological and psychological autopoietic systems as Luhmann defines them in his theory. Combining a Peircian concept of semiosis with Luhmann’s theory in the framework of biosemiotics makes it possible for us to view the interplay of mind and body as a sign play. The recently suggested term ‘sign play’ pertains to ecosemiotics processes between animals of the same species stretching Wittgenstein’s language concept into the animal world of signs. With intrasemiotics there is an inner interplay. Lorenz in ethology has used the concept of motivation, and Uexküll the concept of tone, mostly describing the outgoing effect on perception and the reactions on perception. One could view intrasemiotics as the interplay between Lorenz’ biologically defined motivations and Freud’s Id, understood as the psychological aspect of many of the natural drives. In the last years of development of his theory Lorenz studied how emotional feedback can introduce just a little learning through pleasurable feelings also into the instinctivesystems because, as he reasoned, there must be some kind of reward going through instinctive movements, thus making the appetitive searching behaviourfor sign stimuli possible. But he never found an acceptable way of modelling motivation in biological science. A cybersemiotic model may combine these approaches, defining various concepts of thoughtsemiotics, phenosemiotic and intrasemiotics, combining them with the already known concepts of exosemiotics, ecosemiotics, endosemiotics to an approach which studies the self-organising semiotic processes in living systems.
13. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Søren Brier Intrasemiootika ja kübersemiootika. Kokkuvõte
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14. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Anton Markoš, Fatima Cvrčková Back to the science of life
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We give a survey of epistemological and ontological approaches that have left traces in the 20th-century biology. A common motive of most of them is the effort to incorporate biology into the realm of physical sciences. However, such attempts failed, and must fail in the future, unless the criterion for what science is becomes biologically oriented. This means broadening the realm of classical natural sciences, incorporating at least part of the thesaurus of the “humanities”. We suggest three mutually complementary candidates for further development in this direction: modular biology, the hermeneutics of the living, and the semiotic disciplines.
15. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Anton Markoš, Fatima Cvrčková Tagasi eluteaduse juurde. Kokkuvõte
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16. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Stefan Artmann Three types of semiotic indeterminacy in Monod’s philosophy of modern biology
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Synthesizing important research traditions in information theory, structuralist semiotics, and generative linguistics, at least three main types of semiotic indeterminacy must be distinguished: Kolmogorov’s notion of randomness defined as sequential incompressibility, de Saussure’s principle of contingency of sign which ensures the possibility of translation between different sign systems, and Chomsky’s idea of indefiniteness in generative mechanisms as a requirement for the explanation of semiotic creativity. These types of semiotic indeterminacy form an abstract system useful for the description of concrete sign processes in their syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic dimension. In his philosophical reflections on modern biology, Jacques Monod used the conceptual opposition chance versus necessity to analyse several phenomena of indeterminacy (especially in molecular biology). The biosemiotic approach to life permits to apply the suggestedsystem of semiotic indeterminacy on these phenomena.
17. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Stefan Artmann Semiootilise määramatuse kolm tüüpi Monod’ kaasaegse bioloogia filosoofias. Kokkuvõte
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18. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Peter Harries-Jones Where bonds become binds: The necessity for Bateson’s interactive perspective in biosemiotics
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The paper examines important discrepancies between major figures influencing the intellectual development of biosemiotics. It takes its perspective from the work of Gregory Bateson. Unlike C. S. Peirce and J. von Uexküll, Bateson begins with a strong notion of interaction. His early writings were about reciprocity and social exchange, a common topic among anthropologists of the time, but Bateson’s approach was unique. He developed the notion of meta-patterns of exchange, and of the “abduction” of these metapatterns to a variety of other phenomena, in both biology and in game theory. Later, Bateson’s concept of ecology of mind, the product of interactive phenomena, was modified by a non-purposive cybernetics. Biosemiotics has yet to adopt Bateson’s interactive stance, which is absent from Peirce’s approach to communication, of Uexküll’s functional cycles, and of Hoffmeyer’s discussion of the relation between culture and environment. Rather than pursuing notions of appropriate “subjectivity” through changed ethical response to ecological conditions (Hoffmeyer’s discussion of empathy), the paper discusses the advantages of an approach that continues to focus on conditions of paradox and pathology. Specifically, Bateson’s resolution of the relation between culture and environment arises from situations of blocked communication where ecological bonds become binds.
19. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Peter Harries-Jones Kui seosed muutuvad siduvateks: Batesoni interaktiivse vaate olulisusest biosemiootikale. Kokkuvõte
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20. Sign Systems Studies: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Andreas Weber Feeling the signs: The origins of meaning in the biological philosophy of Susanne K. Langer and Hans Jonas
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This paper describes the semiotic approach to organism in two proto-biosemiotic thinkers, Susanne K. Langer and Hans Jonas. Both authors develop ideas that have become central terms of biosemiotics: the organism as subject, the realisation of the living as a closed circular self, the value concept, and, in the case of Langer, the concept of symbol. Langer tries to develop a theory of cultural symbolism based on a theory of organism as a self-realising entity creating meaning and value. This paper deals mainly with what both authors independently call “feeling”. Both authors describe “feeling” as a value-based perspective, established as a result of the active self interest manifested by an organic system. The findings of Jonas and Langer show the generation of a subject pole, or biosemiotic agent, under a more precise accent, as e.g. Uexküll does. Their ideas can also be affiliated to the interpretation of autopoiesis given by the late Francisco Varela (embodied cognition or “enactivism”). A synthesis of these positions might lead to insights how symbolic expression arises from biological conditions of living.