From biosemiotics to semiotics (2002)

Dissertation, Tartu Biosemiotics 2 (2002)
Abstract
Biosemiotics and Semiotics have similarities and differences. Both deal with signal and meaning. One difference is that Biosemiotics covers a domain (life) that is less complex that the one addressed by Semiotics (human). We believe that this difference can be used to have Biosemiotics bringing added value to Semiotics. This belief is based on the fact that a theory of meaning is easier to build up for living elements than for humans, and that the results obtained for life can make available some tools for a higher level of complexity. Semiotic has been encountering some difficulties to deliver a scientific theory of meaning that can be efficient at the level of human mind. The obstacles come from our ignorance on the nature of human. As it is true that we do not understand the nature of human mind on a scientific basis. On the other hand, the nature and properties of life are better understood. And we can propose a modelization for a generation of meaningful information in the field of elementary life. Once such a modelization is established, it is possible to look at extending it to the domain of human life. Such an approach on a theory of meaning (begininig in Biosemiotics and aiming at Semiotics), is what we present in this paper. Taking an elementary living element as reference, we introduce the bases of a systemic theory of meaning. Using a simple living system submitted to a constraint, we define a meaningful information, a meaning generator system and some elements related to meaningful information transmission. We then try to identify the hypothesis that need to be taken into account so the results obtained for living elements can be extended to human.
Keywords biosemiotics  semiotics  meaning generation  constraint  evolution  Meaning Generator System
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