Biosemiotics 6 (1):105-123 (2013)

Authors
Abstract
This article explores the usefulness of interdisciplinarity as method of enquiry by proposing an investigation of the concept of information in the light of semiotics. This is because, as Kull, Deacon, Emmeche, Hoffmeyer and Stjernfelt state, information is an implicitly semiotic term (Biological Theory 4(2):167–173, 2009: 169), but the logical relation between semiosis and information has not been sufficiently clarified yet. Across the history of cybernetics, the concept of information undergoes an uneven development; that is, information is an ‘objective’ entity in first order cybernetics, and becomes a ‘subjective’ entity in second order cybernetics. This contradiction relegates the status of information to that of a ‘true’ or ‘false’ formal logic problem. The present study proposes that a solution to this contradiction can be found in Deely’s reconfiguration of Peirce’s ‘object’ (as found in his triadic model of semiosis) into ‘thing’ and ‘object’ (Deely 1981). This ontology allows one to argue that information is neither ‘true’ nor ‘false’, and to suggest that, when considered in light of its workability, information can be both true and false, and as such it constitutes an organism’s purely objective reality (Deely 2009b). It is stated that in the process of building such a reality, information is ‘motivated’ by environmental, physiological, emotional (including past feelings and expectations) constraints which are, in turn, framed by observership. Information is therefore found in the irreducible cybersemiotic process that links at once all these conditions and that is simultaneously constrained by them. The integration of cybernetics’ and semiotics’ understanding of information shows that history is the analytical principle that grants scientific rigour to interdisciplinary investigations. As such, in any attempt to clarify its epistemological stance (e.g. the semiotic aspect of information), it is argued that biosemiotics does not need only to acknowledge semiotics (as it does), but also cybernetics in its interdisciplinary heritage
Keywords Interdisciplinarity  Cybernetics  Deely  Thing and object  Constraints  History  semiotics  semiotic information
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s12304-012-9154-4
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

A Theory of Semiotics.Robert Scholes - 1977 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 35 (4):476-478.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Intrinsic Information.John D. Collier - 1990 - In Philip P. Hanson (ed.), Information, Language and Cognition. University of British Columbia Press. pp. 1--390.
Information: Does It Have to Be True? [REVIEW]James H. Fetzer - 2004 - Minds and Machines 14 (2):223-229.
Do Logical Truths Carry Information?Manuel E. Bremer - 2003 - Minds and Machines 13 (4):567-575.
Quantum Information Does Not Exist.Armond Duwell - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 34 (3):479-499.
Some Varieties of Information.Jaakko Hintikka - 1984 - Information Processing and Management 20 (1-2):175-181.
At the Foundations of Information Justice.Matthew P. Butcher - 2009 - Ethics and Information Technology 11 (1):57-69.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-04-11

Total views
408 ( #19,244 of 2,432,277 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #60,321 of 2,432,277 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes