The Primacy of Semiosis: An Ontology of Relations


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When this happens, the sign then triggers cognitive activity to interpret the data input and so convert it into meaningful information. This would suggest that, in the semiosphere , the process of semiosis goes through the following cycle:.

Cognitio-Estudos: revista eletrônica de filosofia

In biology , scout bees and ants will return home to tell the others where food is to be found, the fact of fertility must be announced to prospective mates from the same species, and the presence of danger must be passed as a warning to others in the group. Such transmission may be chemical, auditory, visual, or tactile whether singly or in combination.

There is a new field of research activity termed biosemiotics , and Jesper Hoffmeyer claims that endosymbiosis , self-reference, code duality, the availability of receptors, autopoiesis , and others are the general properties of all living systems. Thomas Sebeok suggests that a similar list of properties for life may coincide with the definition of semiosis, i. This has been called the Sebeok's Thesis. For humans, semiosis is an aspect of the wider systems of social interaction in which information is exchanged.

It can result in particular types of social encounter, but the process itself can be constrained by social conventions such as propriety, privacy, and disclosure. This means that no social encounter is reducible to semiosis alone, and that semiosis can only be understood by identifying and exploring all the conditions that make the transmission and reception of signs possible and effective. When two individuals meet, the ways in which they think, the specific identities they assume, the emotional responses they make, and the beliefs, motives, and purposes they have, will frame the situation as it develops dynamically and potentially test the legitimacy of the outcomes.

Primacy of Semiosis - E-bok - Paul Bains () | Bokus

All these elements are, to a greater or lesser extent, semiotic in nature in that prevailing codes and values are being applied. Consequently, where the line is drawn between semiosis and semiotics will always be somewhat arbitrary. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article includes a list of references , related reading or external links , but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations.

Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. This article is about the concept of semiosis in semiotic and sign processes theory. For the science fiction novel, see Semiosis novel.

Sign relation relational complex. Code Confabulation. Lexical Modality Representation. Salience Semiosis Semiosphere.

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Umwelt Value. Biosemiotics Cognitive semiotics. Morris Charles S. Or, as Spinoza insists, humans do not form a kingdom within a kingdom. While I accept that there are distinctions between zoo and anthropo semiosis, anthropo semiosis is irrevocably joined to zoo. It is zoo. And to this I would add that I do not stop there at the biotic world when I am speaking of semoitic processes. For me semiosis goes ALL the way down. I distinctly reject the notion that there are species-specific Umwelten, pretty much along the same line of reasoning that there are individual human mind-specific languages.

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Umwelten are thus species specific: No two types of organism live in the same objective worlds, even though they share the same physical environment. Just as there is no Beetle in the Box it gets crossed out there is no sphere of experience that necessarily is objectively distinct by species.


  1. Operators, oscillations, waves (open systems);
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For those unfamiliar with the variety I present a few of these, and article links which may prove interesting reading. Umwelt is the semiotic world of organism. It includes all the meaningful aspects of the world for a particular organism.

Studies in Ecocriticism

Thus, Umwelt is a term uniting all the semiotic processes of an organism into a whole. Indeed, the Umwelt-concept follows naturally due to the connectedness of individual semiotic processes within an organism, which means that any individual semiosis in which an organism is functioning as a subject is continuously connected to any other semiosis of the same organism.

At the same time, the Umwelts of different organisms differ, which follows from the individuality and uniqueness of the history of every single organism. Umwelt is the closed world of organism. The functional closer, or epistemic closer is an important and principal feature of organisms, and of semiotic systems.

This has been described by Maturana and Varela through the notion of autopoiesis. However, the relationship between the Umwelt of organism and the Umweltsof its cells requires further explanation and more detailed analysis. The whole becomes seen through functional circles which, for example, includethe body of the swarm- organism moving together, in one piece.

More generally, there are always at least two aspects processes which participate in making a multitude of pieces into a whole in living systems: 1 there are many individual processes which take part as steps in a functional circle, the latter being responsible for the appearance of intentional aspects of behavior, and 2 the functional circle always includes recognition, a matching of forms the pre- existing with the actual , whereas recognition does not work in an algorithmic way i. Thus, the principle of code duality can be extended to the principle of making wholes, Gestalts.

Semiosphere is the set of all interconnected Umwelts. Any two Umwelts, when communicating, are a part of the same semiosphere. The Umwelt may be defined as the phenomenal aspect of the parts of the environment of a subject an animal organism , that is, the parts that it selects with its species-specific sense organs according to its organization and its biological needs J. In that sense, the subject is the constructor of its own Umwelt, as everything in it is labelled with the perceptual cues and effector cues of the subject.

Does a robot have an Umwelt? Why just three and no others?

The Primacy of Ontology

The organism or interpreter receives signs from its environment, and these perceptual signs trigger specific action impulses or operation signs Wirkzeichen. The whole cycle is a process made not of static objects but rather of sign relations — a semiosis. The pumping movement of the swim bag on the non-compressible water propells the animal backwards. The rule of meaning that joins point and counterpoint is expressed in the action of swimming — an energetic interpretant.

The essential claim is that organisms interpret their environment and are not merely the passive objects of natural selection, as emphasized by much contemporary Darwinian evolutionary biology. Even the simplest of organisms forms a kind of musical echoing of aspect of nature, and does so as a distinction separate entity. We are told by many in Biosemiotics that this minimal exchange is what distinguishes plant and fungus from animal which are capable of more complex function cycles. And what distinguishes the animal from the human is that humans are able to actually perceive the relationships between counterpuntals, and therefore the very nature of Umwelten themselves.

While this event difference solicits this kind of reaction, and that event solicits that kind of reaction, we can never deny that the correspondence between the two does not leave some trace on at least higher animals. It is an epistemic judgment that has no location. The constellation itself presents itself to my organism. Now, my dog who is with me also senses something and the hair on her back is raised. I see this and the hair on my arms goes up. What variety of counterpuntals speaks to the knowledge of danger?

When is it merely the relation between counterpunctals that actually that which is reacted to? This is to say, just what difference an organism is fully responding it can never be precisely determined. When I look to my dog and see that she too is reading the world as dangerous the counterpuntal between her hair raised, and mine becomes expressive of other factors of the world. My dog has become an organ of my perception. The Exowelt is the manner in which contrapuntals open up to other differences that make a difference.

The reason why my dog can become an organ of perception for me is that our Exowelten overlap, and to a great extent.

The Primacy of Semiosis: An Ontology of Relations The Primacy of Semiosis: An Ontology of Relations
The Primacy of Semiosis: An Ontology of Relations The Primacy of Semiosis: An Ontology of Relations
The Primacy of Semiosis: An Ontology of Relations The Primacy of Semiosis: An Ontology of Relations
The Primacy of Semiosis: An Ontology of Relations The Primacy of Semiosis: An Ontology of Relations
The Primacy of Semiosis: An Ontology of Relations The Primacy of Semiosis: An Ontology of Relations

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