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  1.  26
    Marcello Barbieri (2003). The Organic Codes: An Introduction to Semantic Biology. Cambridge University Press.
    The genetic code appeared on Earth with the first cells. The codes of cultural evolution arrived almost four billion years later. These are the only codes that are recognized by modern biology. In this book, however, Marcello Barbieri explains that there are many more organic codes in nature, and their appearance not only took place throughout the history of life but marked the major steps of that history. A code establishes a correspondence between two independent 'worlds', and the codemaker is (...)
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  2.  15
    Marcello Barbieri (2010). On the Origin of Language. Biosemiotics 3 (2):201-223.
    Thomas Sebeok and Noam Chomsky are the acknowledged founding fathers of two research fields which are known respectively as Biosemiotics and Biolinguistics and which have been developed in parallel during the past 50 years. Both fields claim that language has biological roots and must be studied as a natural phenomenon, thus bringing to an end the old divide between nature and culture. In addition to this common goal, there are many other important similarities between them. Their definitions of (...), for example, have much in common, despite the use of different terminologies. They both regard language as a faculty, or a modelling system, that appeared rapidly in the history of life and probably evolved as an exaptation from previous animal systems. Both accept that the fundamental characteristic of language is recursion, the ability to generate an unlimited number of structures from a finite set of elements (the property of ‘discrete infinity’). Both accept that human beings are born with a predisposition to acquire language in a few years and without apparent efforts (the innate component of language). In addition to similarities, however, there are also substantial differences between the two fields, and it is an historical fact that Sebeok and Chomsky made no attempt at resolving them. Biosemiotics and Biolinguistics have become two separate disciplines, and yet in the case of language they are studying the same phenomenon, so it should be possible to bring them together. Here it is shown that this is indeed the case. A convergence of the two fields does require a few basic readjustments in each of them, but leads to a unified framework that keeps the best of both disciplines and is in agreement with the experimental evidence. What is particularly important is that such a framework suggests immediately a new approach to the origin of language. More precisely, it suggests that the brain wiring processes that take place in all phases of human ontogenesis (embryonic, foetal, infant and child development) are based on organic codes, and it is the step-by-step appearance of these brain-wiring codes, in a condition that is referred to as cerebra bifida, that holds the key to the origin of language. (shrink)
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  3.  27
    Marcello Barbieri (2013). The Paradigms of Biology. Biosemiotics 6 (1):33-59.
    Today there are two major theoretical frameworks in biology. One is the ‘chemical paradigm’, the idea that life is an extremely complex form of chemistry. The other is the ‘information paradigm’, the view that life is not just ‘chemistry’ but ‘chemistry-plus-information’. This implies the existence of a fundamental difference between information and chemistry, a conclusion that is strongly supported by the fact that information and information-based-processes like heredity and natural selection simply do not exist in the world of chemistry. Against (...)
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  4.  20
    Marcello Barbieri (2011). Origin and Evolution of the Brain. Biosemiotics 4 (3):369-399.
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  5.  19
    Marcello Barbieri (2009). A Short History of Biosemiotics. Biosemiotics 2 (2):221-245.
    Biosemiotics is the synthesis of biology and semiotics, and its main purpose is to show that semiosis is a fundamental component of life, i.e., that signs and meaning exist in all living systems. This idea started circulating in the 1960s and was proposed independently from enquires taking place at both ends of the Scala Naturae. At the molecular end it was expressed by Howard Pattee’s analysis of the genetic code, whereas at the human end it took the form of Thomas (...)
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  6.  29
    Marcello Barbieri (2012). Code Biology – A New Science of Life. Biosemiotics 5 (3):411-437.
    Systems Biology and the Modern Synthesis are recent versions of two classical biological paradigms that are known as structuralism and functionalism, or internalism and externalism. According to functionalism (or externalism), living matter is a fundamentally passive entity that owes its organization to external forces (functions that shape organs) or to an external organizing agent (natural selection). Structuralism (or internalism), is the view that living matter is an intrinsically active entity that is capable of organizing itself from within, with (...)
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  7.  6
    Marcello Barbieri (2009). Three Types of Semiosis. Biosemiotics 2 (1):19-30.
    The existence of different types of semiosis has been recognized, so far, in two ways. It has been pointed out that different semiotic features exist in different taxa and this has led to the distinction between zoosemiosis, phytosemiosis, mycosemiosis, bacterial semiosis and the like. Another type of diversity is due to the existence of different types of signs and has led to the distinction between iconic, indexical and symbolic semiosis. In all these cases, however, semiosis has been defined by the (...)
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  8.  7
    Marcello Barbieri (2008). What is Biosemiotics? Biosemiotics 1 (1):1-3.
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  9.  20
    Marcello Barbieri (2006). Semantic Biology and the Mind?Body Problem: The Theory of the Conventional Mind. Biological Theory 1 (4):352-356.
  10.  5
    Marcello Barbieri (2002). Has Biosemiotics Come of Age? Semiotica 2002 (139):283-295.
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  11.  4
    Marcello Barbieri (2012). Codepoiesis – the Deep Logic of Life. Biosemiotics 5 (3):297-299.
  12.  22
    Marcello Barbieri (2013). Organic Semiosis and Peircean Semiosis. Biosemiotics 6 (2):273-289.
    The discovery of the genetic code has shown that the origin of life has also been the origin of semiosis, and the discovery of many other organic codes has indicated that organic semiosis has been the sole form of semiosis present on Earth in the first three thousand million years of evolution. With the origin of animals and the evolution of the brain, however, a new type of semiosis came into existence, a semiosis that is based on interpretation and is (...)
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  13.  2
    Marcello Barbieri (2011). A Mechanistic Model of Meaning. Biosemiotics 4 (1):1-4.
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  14.  2
    Marcello Barbieri (2006). Life and Semiosis: The Real Nature of Information and Meaning. Semiotica 2006 (158):233-254.
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  15.  4
    Marcello Barbieri (2008). Life Is Semiosis. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 4 (1-2):29-52.
    The idea that life is based on signs and codes, i.e., that “Life is semiosis”, has been strongly suggested by the discovery of the genetic code, but so far it has made little impact, and is largely regarded as philosophy rather than science. The main reason for this is that there are at least three basic concepts in modern biology that keep semiosis squarely out of organic life. The first is the classical model that describes the cell as a biological (...)
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  16.  19
    Marcello Barbieri (2002). Organic Codes. Sign Systems Studies 30 (2):743-753.
    Coding characteristics have been discovered not only in protein synthesis, but also in various other natural processes, thus showing that the genetic code is not an isolated case in the organic world. Other examples are the sequence codes, the adhesion code, the signal transduction codes, the splicing codes, the sugar code, the histone code, and probably more. These discoveries however have not had a significant impact because of the widespread belief that organic codes are not real but metaphorical entities. They (...)
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  17.  1
    Marcello Barbieri (2013). Organic Codes and the Natural History of Mind. In Liz Swan (ed.), Origins of Mind. 21--52.
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  18.  4
    Marcello Barbieri (2008). The Scylla and Charybdis of Biosemiotics. Biosemiotics 1 (3):281-284.
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  19.  23
    Marcello Barbieri (2012). What is Information? Biosemiotics 5 (2):147-152.
  20.  20
    Marcello Barbieri (2003). Biology with Information and Meaning. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 25 (2):243 - 254.
    It is shown that information and meaning can be defined by operative procedures, and that we need to recognize them as new types of natural entities. They are not quantities (neither fundamental nor derived) because they cannot be measured, and they are not qualities because they are not subjective features. Here it is proposed to call them nominable entities, i.e., entities which can be specified only by naming their components in their natural order.
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  21.  13
    Marcello Barbieri (2014). From Biosemiotics to Code Biology. Biological Theory 9 (2):239-249.
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  22.  8
    Marcello Barbieri (2009). For a Scientific Biosemiotics. Biosemiotics 2 (2):127-129.
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  23.  5
    Marcello Barbieri (2002). Orgaanilised koodid. Sign Systems Studies 30 (2):754-754.
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  24.  2
    Marcello Barbieri (2014). Introduction to Code Biology. Biosemiotics 7 (2):167-179.
    The New World of the Organic CodesThe genetic code appeared on Earth at the origin of life, and the codes of culture arrived almost 4 billion years later, at the end of life’s history. Today it is widely assumed that these are the only codes that exist in Nature, and if this were true we would have to conclude that codes are extraordinary exceptions because they appeared only at the beginning and at the end of evolution. In reality, various other (...)
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  25. Marcello Barbieri (2015). Evolution of the Genetic Code: The Ribosome-Oriented Model. Biological Theory 10 (4):301-310.
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