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  1. Autopoiesis, Autonomy and Organizational Biology: Critical Remarks on “Life After Ashby”.Leonardo Bich & Argyris Arnellos - 2012 - Cybernetics and Human Knowing 19 (4):75-103.
    In this paper we criticize the “Ashbyan interpretation” (Froese & Stewart, 2010) of autopoietic theory by showing that Ashby’s framework and the autopoietic one are based on distinct, often incompatible, assumptions and that they aim at addressing different issues. We also suggest that in order to better understand autopoiesis and its implications, a different and wider set of theoretical contributions, developed previously or at the time autopoiesis was formulated, needs to be taken into consideration: among the others, the works of (...)
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  • Code Biology, Peircean Biosemiotics, and Rosen’s Relational Biology.Marcello Barbieri - 2019 - Biological Theory 14 (1):21-29.
    The classical theories of the genetic code claimed that its coding rules were determined by chemistry—either by stereochemical affinities or by metabolic reactions—but the experimental evidence has revealed a totally different reality: it has shown that any codon can be associated with any amino acid, thus proving that there is no necessary link between them. The rules of the genetic code, in other words, obey the laws of physics and chemistry but are not determined by them. They are arbitrary, or (...)
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  • From Biosemiotics to Code Biology.Marcello Barbieri - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (2):239-249.
  • A Theory of Life as Information-Based Interpretation of Selecting Environments.David Rohr - 2014 - Biosemiotics 7 (3):429-446.
    This essay employs Charles Peirce’s triadic semiotics in order to develop a biosemiotic theory of life that is capable of illuminating the function of information in living systems. Specifically, I argue that the relationship between biological information structures , selecting environments, and the adapted bodily processes of living organisms is aptly modelled by the irreducibly triadic relationship between Peirce’s sign, object, and interpretant, respectively. In each instance of information-based semiosis, the information structure is a complex informational sign that represents the (...)
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  • Composite Agency: Semiotics of Modularity and Guiding Interactions.Alexei A. Sharov - 2017 - Biosemiotics 10 (2):157-178.
    Principles of constructivism are used here to explore how organisms develop tools, subagents, scaffolds, signs, and adaptations. Here I discuss reasons why organisms have composite nature and include diverse subagents that interact in partially cooperating and partially conflicting ways. Such modularity is necessary for efficient and robust functionality, including mutual construction and adaptability at various time scales. Subagents interact via material and semiotic relations, some of which force or prescribe actions of partners. Other interactions, which I call “guiding”, do not (...)
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  • Germ Cells Are Made Semiotically Competent During Evolution.Franco Giorgi & Luis Emilio Bruni - 2016 - Biosemiotics 9 (1):31-49.
    Germ cells are cross-roads of development and evolution. They define the origin of every new generation and, at the same time, represent the biological end-product of any mature organism. Germ cells are endowed with the following capacities: to store a self-descriptive program, to accumulate a protein-synthesizing machinery, and to incorporate enough nourishment to sustain embryonic development. To accomplish this goal, germ cells do not simply unfold a pre-determined program or realize a sole instructive role. On the contrary, due to the (...)
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  • Assimiliating an Associative Trait: From Eco-Physiology to Epigenetics.Andres Kurismaa - 2018 - Biosemiotics 11 (2):199-229.
    The possible evolutionary significance of epigenetic memory and codes is a key problem for extended evolutionary synthesis and biosemiotics. In this paper, some less known original works are reviewed which highlight theoretical parallels between current evolutionary epigenetics, on the one hand, and its predecessors in the eco-physiology of higher nervous activity, on the other. Recently, these areas have begun to converge, with first evidence now indicating the possibility of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of conditional associations in the mammalian nervous system, and (...)
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  • Organic Semiosis and Peircean Semiosis.Marcello Barbieri - 2013 - 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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  • Information, Representation, Biology.Mark H. Bickhard - 2017 - Biosemiotics 10 (2):179-193.
    Biosemiotics contains at its core fundamental issues of naturalism: are normative properties, such as meaning, referent, and others, part of the natural world, or are they part of a second, intentional and normative, metaphysical realm — one that might be analogically applied to natural phenomena, such as within biological cells — but a realm that nevertheless remains metaphysically distinct? Such issues are manifestations of a fundamental metaphysical split between a “natural” realm and a realm of normativity and intentionality. This problematic (...)
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  • Fluid Biosemiotic Mechanisms Underlie Subconscious Habits.V. N. Alexander & Valerie Grimes - 2017 - Biosemiotics 10 (3):337-353.
    Although research into the biosemiotic mechanisms underlying the purposeful behavior of brainless living systems is extensive, researchers have not adequately described biosemiosis among neurons. As the conscious use of signs is well-covered by the various fields of semiotics, we focus on subconscious sign action. Subconscious semiotic habits, both functional and dysfunctional, may be created and reinforced in the brain not necessarily in a logical manner and not necessarily through repeated reinforcement. We review literature that suggests hypnosis may be effective in (...)
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