The Biosemiotic Approach in Biology : Theoretical Bases and Applied Models

In George Terzis & Robert Arp (eds.), Information and Living Systems -- Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives. MIT Press. pp. 91-130 (2011)
Authors
Kalevi Kull
University of Tartu
Joao Queiroz
Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora
Abstract
Biosemiotics is a growing fi eld that investigates semiotic processes in the living realm in an attempt to combine the fi ndings of the biological sciences and semiotics. Semiotic processes are more or less what biologists have typically referred to as “ signals, ” “ codes, ”and “ information processing ”in biosystems, but these processes are here understood under the more general notion of semiosis, that is, the production, action, and interpretation of signs. Thus, biosemiotics can be seen as biology interpreted as a study of living sign systems — which also means that semiosis or sign process can be seen as the very nature of life itself. In other words, biosemiotics is a field of research investigating semiotic processes (meaning, signification, communication, and habit formation in living systems) and the physicochemical preconditions for sign action and interpretation. (...)
Keywords Biosemiotics  biological information  Peirce
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