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  1. Claus Emmeche, Does a Robot Have an Umwelt?
    It is argued that the notion of Umwelt is relevant for contemporary discussions within theoretical biology, biosemiotics, the study of Artificial Life, Autonomous Systems Research and philosophy of biology. Focus is put on the question of whether an artificial creature can have a phenomenal world in the sense of the Umwelt notion of Jakob von Uexküll, one of the founding figures of biosemiotics. Rather than vitalism, Uexküll's position can be interpreted as a version of qualitative organicism. A historical sketch of (...)
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  2. Claus Emmeche, On Emergence and Explanation.
    Emergence is a universal phenomenon that can be defined mathematically in a very general way. This is useful for the study of scientifically legitimate explanations of complex systems, here defined as hyperstructures. A requirement is that the observation mechanisms are considered within the general framework. Two notions of emergence are defined, and specific examples of these are discussed.
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  3. Claus Emmeche, Videnskab Som Grundlag for Regulering Af Genteknologi.
    En af velfærdsstatens civiliserende virkninger har været forsøgene på at imødegå de trusler for menneske og miljø, som stammer fra den industrielle produktion, gennem indgående statslig eller korporativ regulering af virksomhedernes udnyttelse af materielle, menneskelige og samfundsmæssige ressourcer. Regulering af ny genteknologi ser umiddelbart ud til blot at være et nyt eksempel herpå, men samtidig er genteknologien her ved det 20. århundredes slutning også et eksempel på noget nyt.
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  4. Claus Emmeche, A-Life, Organism and Body: The Semiotics of Emergent Levels.
    1Center for the Philosophy of Nature and Science Studies (University of Copenhagen), Blegdamsvej 17, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark ( http://www.nbi.dk/~emmeche/ ). Published pp. 117-124 in: Mark Bedeau, Phil Husbands, Tim Hutton, Sanjev Kumar and Hideaki Suzuki (eds.): Workshop and Tutorial Proceedings. Ninth International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems (Alife IX).
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  5. Claus Emmeche, Code-Duality and the Semiotics of Nature.
    The final version of the paper is published pp. 117-166 in: Myrdene Anderson and Floyd Merrell (eds.): On Semiotic Modeling . Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin and New York, 1991.
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  6. Claus Emmeche, Closure, Function, Emergence, Semiosis and Life: The Same Idea?
    In this note some epistemological problems in general theories about living systems are considered; in particular, the question of hidden connections between different areas of experience, such as folk biology and scientific biology, and hidden connections between central concepts of theoretical biology, such as function, semiosis, closure and life.
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  7. Claus Emmeche, Causal Processes, Semiosis, and Consciousness.
    The evolutionary emergence of biological processes in organisms with inner, qualitative aspects has not been explained in any sufficient way by neurobiology, nor by the traditional neo-Darwinian paradigm — natural selection would appear to work just as well on insentient zombies (with the right behavioral input-output relations) as on real sentient animals. In consciousness studies one talks about the ‘hard problem’ of qualia. In this paper I sketch a set of principles about sign action, causality and emergent evolution. On the (...)
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  8. Claus Emmeche, Is Life as a Multiverse Phenomenon?
    When posing the question "is artificial life possible?", our immediate answer is that on the one hand : of course it is - people make it, and indeed very interesting and even breathtaking structures have already been constructed, such as `aminats', self-reproducing patterns and the other things, we have seen already. In this sense we are forced to take artificial life as a fact (at least as a fact about a new branch of research), nearly in the same way that (...)
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  9. Claus Emmeche, Life as an Abstract Phenomenon: Is Artificial Life Possible?
    Is life a property of the material structure of a living system or an abstract form of organization that can be realized in other media; artificial as well as natural? One version of the Artificial Life research programme presumes, that one can separate the logical form of an organism from its material basis of construction, and that its capacity to live and reproduce is a property of the form, not the matter (Langton 1989). This seems to oppose the notion of (...)
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  10. Claus Emmeche, The Agents of Biomass.
    There were days in the 70s when studying a subject at university and participating in a cultural and social revolution seemed like one and the same thing. When you were studying something like biology there was nothing the least bit strange in the fact that `biomass' became political student slang for the mass of biology students who constantly had to be `mobilized' against the bourgeoisie's reactionary measures directed against the experimental Roskilde University, university Marxism, long student careers and other benefits (...)
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  11. Claus Emmeche, Transdisciplinarity, Theory-Zapping, and the Growth of Knowledge [*].
    The dense prose in Signs Grow by the distinguished semiotician Floyd Merrell draws on and connects multiform sources and repeatedly demands extremely careful reflection and interpretation by the reader, and so it illustrates a point often taken to be a hermeneutic truism, that the incipient meaning created by the reader is most probably very different from the meaning intended by the author. Fortunately not totally different, however. Shared meanings may increase by expanded access to common background knowledge, which is (...)
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  12. Claus Emmeche (forthcoming). Modeling Life: A Note on the Semiotics of Emergence and Computation in Artificial and Natural Living Systems. Biosemiotics: The Semiotic Web 1991.
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  13. Claus Emmeche (ed.) (2011). Towards a Semiotic Biology: Life is the Action of Signs. Imperial College Press.
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  14. Kalevi Kull, Claus Emmeche & Donald Favareau (2011). Biosemiotic Research Questions. In Claus Emmeche (ed.), Towards a Semiotic Biology: Life is the Action of Signs. Imperial College Press. 67--90.
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  15. Kalevi Kull, Terrence Deacon, Claus Emmeche, Jesper Hoffmeyer & Frederik Stjernfelt (2009). Theses on Biosemiotics: Prolegomena to a Theoretical Biology. Biological Theory 4 (2):167-173.
    Theses on the semiotic study of life as presented here provide a collectively formulated set of statements on what biology needs to be focused on in order to describe life as a process based on semiosis, or sign action. An aim of the biosemiotic approach is to explain how life evolves through all varieties of forms of communication and signification (including cellular adaptive behavior, animal communication, and human intellect) and to provide tools for grounding sign theories. We introduce the concept (...)
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  16. Donald Favareau & Claus Emmeche (2008). The IASS Roundtable on Biosemiotics. American Journal of Semiotics 24 (1/3):1-21.
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  17. Kalevi Kull, Claus Emmeche & Donald Favareau (2008). Biosemiotic Questions. Biosemiotics 1 (1):41-55.
    This paper examines the biosemiotic approach to the study of life processes by fashioning a series of questions that any worthwhile semiotic study of life should ask. These questions can be understood simultaneously as: (1) questions that distinguish a semiotic biology from a non-semiotic (i.e., reductionist–physicalist) one; (2) questions that any student in biosemiotics should ask when doing a case study; and (3) still currently unanswered questions of biosemiotics. In addition, some examples of previously undertaken biosemiotic case studies are examined (...)
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  18. Claus Emmeche (2007). A Biosemiotic Note on Organisms, Animals, Machines, Cyborgs, and the Quasi-Autonomy of Robots. Pragmatics and Cognition 15 (3):455-483.
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  19. Claus Emmeche (2006). A Semiotic Analysis of the Genetic Information System. Semiotica 2006 (160):1-68.
    Terms loaded with informational connotations are often employed to refer to genes and their dynamics. Indeed, genes are usually perceived by biologists as basically ‘the carriers of hereditary information.’ Nevertheless, a number of researchers consider such talk as inadequate and ‘just metaphorical,’ thus expressing a skepticism about the use of the term ‘information’ and its derivatives in biology as a natural science. First, because the meaning of that term in biology is not as precise as it is, for instance, in (...)
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  20. Claus Emmeche (2004). Organicism and qualitative aspects of self-organization. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 2:205-217.
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  21. Claus Emmeche (2002). Günther Witzany: Life: The Communicative Structure - a New Philosophy of Biology, Libri Books on Demand, Hamburg 2000. SATS 3 (1):155-162.
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  22. Claus Emmeche (2002). Kana ja Orpheuse muna. Sign Systems Studies 30 (1):32-32.
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  23. Claus Emmeche (2002). The Chicken and the Orphean Egg: On the Function of Meaning and the Meaning of Function. Σημιοτκή-Sign Systems Studies 1 (1):15-32.
    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 (...)
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  24. Claus Emmeche (2002). The Chicken and the Orphean Egg. Sign Systems Studies 30 (1):15-31.
    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 (...)
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  25. Claus Emmeche (2002). Taking the Semiotic Turn, or How Significant Philosophy of Biology Should Be Done. SATS 3 (1):155-162.
  26. Claus Emmeche, Jesper Hoffmeyer & Kalevi Kull (2002). Editors' Comment. Sign Systems Studies 30 (1):11-13.
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  27. Claus Emmeche (2001). Biology and the Unity of Science. SATS 2 (1):153-162.
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  28. Claus Emmeche (2001). Bioinvasion, Globalization, and the Contingency of Cultural and Biological Diversity: Some Ecosemiotic Observations. Σημιοτκή-Sign Systems Studies 1 (1):237-262.
    The increasing problem of bioinvasion (the mixing up of natural species characterising the planet's local ecosystems due to globalisation) is investigated as an example of an ecosemiotic problematic. One concern is the scarcity of scientific knowledge about long term ecological and evolutionary consequences of invading species. It is argued that a natural science conception of the ecology of bioinvasion should be supplemented with an ecosemiotic understanding of the significance of these problems in relation to human culture, the question of cultural (...)
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  29. Claus Emmeche (2001). Bioinvasion, Globalization, and the Contingency of Cultural and Biological Diversity. Sign Systems Studies 29 (1):237-261.
    The increasing problem of bioinvasion (the mixing up of natural species characterising the planet's local ecosystems due to globalisation) is investigated as an example of an ecosemiotic problematic. One concern is the scarcity of scientific knowledge about long term ecological and evolutionary consequences of invading species. It is argued that a natural science conception of the ecology of bioinvasion should be supplemented with an ecosemiotic understanding of the significance of these problems in relation to human culture, the question of cultural (...)
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  30. Claus Emmeche (2001). Bioinvasioon, globaliseerumine ja kultuurilise ning bioloogilise mitmekesisuse võimalikkused - ökosemiootilisi vaatlusi. Kokkuvõte. Sign Systems Studies 29 (1):262-262.
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  31. Claus Emmeche (2001). Book Symposium. SATS 2 (1):153.
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  32. Claus Emmeche (2001). Does a Robot Have an Umwelt? Reflections on the Qualitative Biosemiotics of Jakob von Uexküll. Semiotica 2001 (134):653-693.
  33. Claus Emmeche (2001). The Emergence of Signs of Living Feeling. Sign Systems Studies 29 (1):369-376.
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  34. P. B. Andersen, Claus Emmeche, N. O. Finnemann & P. V. Christiansen (eds.) (2000). Downward Causation. University of Aarhus Press.
     
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  35. Claus Emmeche (2000). Closure, Function, Emergence, Semiosis and Life: The Same Idea? Reflections on the Concrete and the Abstract in Theoretical Biology. .
    In this note some epistemological problems in general theories about living systems are considered; in particular, the question of hidden connections between different areas of experience, such as folk biology and scientific biology, and hidden connections between central concepts of theoretical biology, such as function, semiosis, closure and life.
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  36. Claus Emmeche, Simo Koppe & Frederick Stjernfelt (2000). Levels, Emergence, and Three Versions of Downward Causation. In P.B. Andersen, Claus Emmeche, N.O. Finnemann & P.V. Christiansen (eds.), Downward Causation. Aarhus, Denmark: University of Aarhus Press. 322-348.
    The idea of a higher level phenomenon having a downward causal influence on a lower level process or entity has taken a variety of forms. In order to discuss the relation between emergence and downward causation, the specific variety of the thesis of downward causation (DC) must be identified. Based on some ontological theses about inter-level relations, types of causation and the possibility of reduction, three versions of DC are distinguished. Of these, the `Strong' form of DC is held to (...)
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  37. Claus Emmeche (1999). The Biosemiotics of Emergent Properties in a Pluralist Ontology. In Edwina Taborsky (ed.), Semiosis. Evolution. Energy: Towards a Reconceptualization of the Sign. Shaker Verlag.
    Published in: Edwina Taborsky, ed. (1999): Semiosis. Evolution. Energy: Towards a Reconceptualization of the Sign. Shaker Verlag, Aachen. (pp. 89-108). The book is based on the meeting "Semiosis. Evolution. Energy, Third International Conference on Semiotics", Victoria Collage, University of Toronto, Canada, October 17-19, 1997 (programme and list of papers, see the SEE web page:http://www.library.utoronto.ca/see).
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  38. Claus Emmeche (1999). The Sarkar Challenge to Biosemiotics: Is There Any Information in a Cell? Semiotica 127 (1-4):273-294.
  39. Thomas A. Sebeok, Jesper Hoffmeyer & Claus Emmeche (1999). Biosemiotica. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter. Semiotica 127 (1-4).
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  40. Nils Baas & Claus Emmeche (1997). On Emergence and Explanation. Intellectica 2 (25):67-83.
    Emergence is a universal phenomenon that can be defined mathematically in a very general way. This is useful for the study of scientifically legitimate explanations of complex systems, here defined as hyperstructures. A requirement is that the observation mechanisms are considered within the general framework. Two notions of emergence are defined, and specific examples of these are discussed.
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  41. Claus Emmeche (1997). Aspects of Complexity in Life and Science. Philosophica 59.
    A short review of complexity research from the perspective of history and philosophy of biology is presented. Complexity and its emergence has scientific and metaphysical meanings. From its beginning, biology was a science of complex systems, but with the advent of electronic computing and the possibility of simulating mathematical models of complicated systems, new intuitions of complexity emerged, together with attempts to devise quantitative measures of complexity. But can we quantify the complex?
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  42. Claus Emmeche (1997). Autopoietic Systems, Replicators, and the Search for a Meaningful Biologic Definition of Life. Ultimate Reality and Meaning 20:244-264.
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  43. Claus Emmeche, Defining Life, Explaining Emergence.
    Bibliographical Note Abstract Explaining things - introductory remarks General attitudes and the standard view Requirements for a definition Life as the natural selection of replicators Life as an autopoietic system Life as a semiotic phenomenon Downward causation Implicitly well-defined general objects Emergence as explanatory strategy: the observer reappears Concluding remarks Acknowledgements Notes References Bibliographical note: Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the Princeton History of Science Workshop on "Growing Explanations", Princeton University, February 15, 1997; and at the meeting (...)
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  44. Claus Emmeche, Simo Koppe & Frederick Stjernfelt (1997). Explaining Emergence: Toward an Ontology of Levels. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 28 (1):83-119.
    University of Copenhagen University of Copenhagen University of Copenhagen Blegdamsvej 17 Njalsgade 80 Njalsgade 80 DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø DK 2300 Copenhagen S DK-2300 Copenhagen S Denmark.
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  45. Claus Emmeche (1994). Biologisk beregning og genets metafysik. Philosophia 23 (1-2):9-23.
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  46. Claus Emmeche (1994). The Computational Notion of Life. Theoria 9 (2):1-30.
    The present paper discusses a topic often neglected by contemporary philosophy of biology: The relation between metaphorical notions of living organisms as information processing systems, the attempts to model such systems by computational means (e.g., Artificial Life research), and the idea that life itself is a computational phenomenon. This question has ramifications in theoretical biology and thedefinition of Iife, in theoretical computer science and the concept of computation, and in semiotics (the study of signs in the most general sense, including (...)
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  47. Claus Emmeche (1991). A Semiotical Reflection on Biology, Living Signs and Artificial Life. Biology and Philosophy 6 (3):325-340.
    It is argued, that theory sf signs, especially in the tradition of the great philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914) can inspire the study of central problems in the philosophy of biology. Three such problems are considered: (1) The nature of biology as a science, where a semiotically informed pluralistic approach to the theory of science is introduced. (2) The peculiarity of the general object of biology, where a realistic interpretation of sign- and information-concepts is required to see sign-processes as immanent (...)
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  48. Claus Emmeche (1991). From Language to Nature: The Semiotic Metaphor in Biology. Semiotica 84 (1-2):1-42.