Sign-free Biosemantics and Transcendental Phenomenology: a Better Non-Metaphysical Approach to Close the Mind-body Gap

Biosemiotics 15 (2):325-356 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Attempts to close the mind-body gap traditionally resort to a priori speculations. Motivated by dissatisfaction with such accounts, neurophenomenology constitutes one of the first attempts to close the mind-body gap non-metaphysically. Nonetheless, it faces significant challenges. Many of these challenges arise from its abandoning of transcendentality and its dim view of bioinformation. In this paper, I propose a superior non-metaphysical alternative: a combination of a reformed biosemiotics and transcendental phenomenology. My approach addresses the difficulties of neurophenomenology, while retaining the merit of mutual constraints. Biosemiotics pays respect to bioinformation while imposing the sign-meaning duality on primitive forms of life, which is a relic of anthropomorphism. To avoid this unjustified commitment, I argue for a sign-free biosemantics which replaces Peirce’s semiotics with Husserl’s theory of meaning and exchanges naturalism for transcendentalism. Meaning, according to the resulting account, is the “intended as such”. The irreality of meaning results from what I term the ‘higher visibility’ of intentionality. I argue that the mind-body gap can be locally closed in a non-metaphysical manner as the result of reflection upon empirical biological investigations. Sign-free biosemantics uncovers the meanings for the organism that are implicit in biological research, while transcendental phenomenology analyses the experiences that biologists undergo when associating the physical with the biological level, while at the same time also analysing the very framework within which they work. Meanwhile, biosemiotics frees phenomenology from its methodological limitations, and the two domains establish mutual constraints in a more radical form than neurophenomenology.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 79,898

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Biosemantics.Ruth Millikan - 1989 - Journal of Philosophy 86 (6):281--297.
In What Sense Is Phenomenology Transcendental?Amie L. Thomasson - 2007 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (S1):85-92.
Intersubjectivity in life world of Husserl's phenomenology.Fahad Hayavi - 2011 - Philosophical Investigations: Islamic Azad University, Science andResearch Branch 7 (19):103-135.
A dilemma for Heideggerian cognitive science.David Suarez - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (5):909-930.
The phenomenology of free will.Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner - 2004 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (7-8):162-179.
On the naturalizing of phenomenology.Morten Overgaard - 2004 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 3 (4):365-79.
Husserl’s Transcendental Idealism and Its Way Out of the Internalism-Externalism Debate.Man-To Tang - 2014 - Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy 6 (2):463-483.
Negative attitude on Transcendental Ego in Kant.Masoud Omid & Behzad Hassanpoor - 2019 - Philosophical Investigations 13 (27):51-70.
A Tale of Two Gaps.Murray Smith - 2018 - Australasian Philosophical Review 2 (2):189-193.


Added to PP

10 (#910,591)

6 months
3 (#242,508)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind.Evan Thompson - 2007 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Uber Sinn und Bedeutung.Gottlob Frege - 1892 - Zeitschrift für Philosophie Und Philosophische Kritik 100 (1):25-50.
Neurophenomenology: A methodological remedy for the hard problem.F. J. Varela - 1996 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (4):330-49.

View all 26 references / Add more references