The dynamical basis of information and the origins of semiosis

Every manifestation of information, semiosis and meaning we have been able to study experimentally has a physical form. Neglect of their dynamical (energetic) ground tends towards dualism or idealism, leaving the causal basis of semiosis and the causal powers of representations mysterious. Consideration of the necessary physical requirements for the embodiment of semiotic categories imposes a discipline on semiotics required for its integration into the rest of science, especially for the emerging field of biosemiotics, as well as any future extensions to chemistry physics or other realms that might constitute a general, primal semiotics. Without this discipline, or something equally strong, there is a risk of projection of anthropomorphic semiotic terminology onto unsuitable hosts, leading, if unchecked, to the sort of animism that biology in particular has only recently escaped. The problem is suspect whenever teleological notions are used outside of mental or social contexts.1 Although our animistic ancestors may have had a closer rapport with Nature than modern scientists, contemporary scientific explanation requires an understanding of causal structure (Salmon 1984). On the other hand, unless the causal rendition of semiosis can capture full blown cognitive semiosis, it is likely to be too restrictive for the evaluation of primal semiosis in general
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