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Terrence W. Deacon [25]Terrence William Deacon [1]
  1.  40
    How Molecules Became Signs.Terrence W. Deacon - forthcoming - Biosemiotics:1-23.
    To explore how molecules became signs I will ask: “What sort of process is necessary and sufficient to treat a molecule as a sign?” This requires focusing on the interpreting system and its interpretive competence. To avoid assuming any properties that need to be explained I develop what I consider to be a simplest possible molecular model system which only assumes known physics and chemistry but nevertheless exemplifies the interpretive properties of interest. Three progressively more complex variants of this model (...)
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  2.  58
    Reciprocal Linkage between Self-organizing Processes is Sufficient for Self-reproduction and Evolvability.Terrence W. Deacon - 2006 - Biological Theory 1 (2):136-149.
    A simple molecular system is described consisting of the reciprocal linkage between an autocatalytic cycle and a self-assembling encapsulation process where the molecular constituents for the capsule are products of the autocatalysis. In a molecular environment sufficiently rich in the substrates, capsule growth will also occur with high predictability. Growth to closure will be most probable in the vicinity of the most prolific autocatalysis and will thus tend to spontaneously enclose supportive catalysts within the capsule interior. If subsequently disrupted in (...)
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  3.  26
    Multilevel selection in a complex adaptive system: the problem of language origins.Terrence W. Deacon - 2003 - In Bruce H. Weber & David J. Depew (eds.), Evolution and Learning: The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered. MIT Press. pp. 81--106.
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  4.  98
    The hierarchic logic of emergence: Untangling the interdependence of evolution and self-organization.Terrence W. Deacon - 2003 - In Bruce H. Weber & David J. Depew (eds.), Evolution and Learning: The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered. MIT Press. pp. 273--308.
  5. From Biology to Consciousness to Morality.Ursula Goodenough & Terrence W. Deacon - 2003 - Zygon 38 (4):801-819.
    Social animals are provisioned with pro-social orientations that transcend self-interest. Morality, as used here, describes human versions of such orientations. We explore the evolutionary antecedents of morality in the context of emergentism, giving considerable attention to the biological traits that undergird emergent human forms of mind. We suggest that our moral frames of mind emerge from our primate pro-social capacities, transfigured and valenced by our symbolic languages, cultures, and religions.
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  6. Teleology for the Perplexed: How Matter Began to Matter.Jeremy Sherman & Terrence W. Deacon - 2007 - Zygon 42 (4):873-901.
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  7.  50
    Postscript on the Baldwin Effect and Niche Construction.Peter Godfrey-Smith, Daniel Dennett & Terrence W. Deacon - 2003 - In Bruce H. Weber & David J. Depew (eds.), Evolution and Learning: The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered. MIT Press. pp. 107.
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  8.  31
    Prefrontal cortex and symbol learning: Why a brain capable of language evolved only once.Terrence W. Deacon - 1996 - In B. Velichkovsky & Duane M. Rumbaugh (eds.), Communicating Meaning: The Evolution and Development of Language. Hillsdale, Nj: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. pp. 103--138.
  9. Ga 30322, usa.William Bechtel, Marc H. Bornstein, Stevan Hamad, Terrence W. Deacon, Angela D. Friederici, Alexandra Maryanski, Alberto Piazza, Duane M. Rumbaugh, E. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh & Eckart Scheerer - 1996 - In B. Velichkovsky & Duane M. Rumbaugh (eds.), Communicating Meaning: The Evolution and Development of Language. Hillsdale, Nj: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
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  10.  35
    Reconsidering Darwin’s “Several Powers”.Terrence W. Deacon - 2016 - Biosemiotics 9 (1):121-128.
    Contemporary textbooks often define evolution in terms of the replication, mutation, and selective retention of DNA sequences, ignoring the contribution of the physical processes involved. In the closing line of The Origin of Species, however, Darwin recognized that natural selection depends on prior more basic living functions, which he merely described as life’s “several powers.” For Darwin these involved the organism’s capacity to maintain itself and to reproduce offspring that preserve its critical functional organization. In modern terms we have come (...)
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  11.  20
    Biological functions are causes, not effects: A critique of selected effects theories.Miguel García-Valdecasas & Terrence W. Deacon - 2024 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 103 (C):20-28.
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  12.  33
    Abandoning the code metaphor is compatible with semiotic process.Terrence W. Deacon & Joanna Rączaszek-Leonardi - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42.
    We agree with Brette's assessment that the coding metaphor has become more problematic than helpful for theories of brain and cognitive functioning. In an effort to aid in constructing an alternative, we argue that joining the insights from the dynamical systems approach with the semiotic framework of C. S. Peirce can provide a fruitful perspective.
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  13. Emergence, Ethics, and Religious Naturalism.Ursula Goodenough & Terrence W. Deacon - 2006 - In Philip Clayton (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science. Oxford University Press.
     
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  14. Hidden Concepts in the History of Origins-of-Life Studies.Carlos Mariscal, Ana Barahona, Nathanael Aubert-Kato, Arsev Umur Aydinoglu, Stuart Bartlett, María Luz Cárdenas, Kuhan Chandru, Carol E. Cleland, Benjamin T. Cocanougher, Nathaniel Comfort, Athel Cornish-Boden, Terrence W. Deacon, Tom Froese, Donato Giovanelli, John Hernlund, Piet Hut, Jun Kimura, Marie-Christine Maurel, Nancy Merino, Alvaro Julian Moreno Bergareche, Mayuko Nakagawa, Juli Pereto, Nathaniel Virgo, Olaf Witkowski & H. James Cleaves Ii - 2019 - Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 1.
    In this review, we describe some of the central philosophical issues facing origins-of-life research and provide a targeted history of the developments that have led to the multidisciplinary field of origins-of-life studies. We outline these issues and developments to guide researchers and students from all fields. With respect to philosophy, we provide brief summaries of debates with respect to (1) definitions (or theories) of life, what life is and how research should be conducted in the absence of an accepted theory (...)
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  15.  28
    Minimal Properties of a Natural Semiotic System: Response to Commentaries on “How Molecules Became Signs”.Terrence W. Deacon - 2023 - Biosemiotics 16 (1):1-13.
    In the target article “How molecules became signs” I offer a molecular “thought experiment” that provides a paradigm for resolving the major incompatibilities between biosemiotic and natural science accounts of living processes. To resolve these apparent incompatibilities I outline a plausible empirically testable model system that exemplifies the emergence of chemical processes exhibiting semiotic causal properties from basic nonliving chemical processes. This model system is described as an autogenic virus because of its virus-like form, but its nonparasitic self-repair and reproductive (...)
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  16.  70
    Why a brain capable of language evolved only once: Prefrontal cortex and symbol learning.Terrence W. Deacon - 1996 - Zygon 31 (4):635-670.
    Language and information processes are critical issues in scientific controversies regarding the qualities that epitomize humanness. Whereas some theorists claim human mental uniqueness with regard to language, others point to successes in teaching language skills to other animals. However, although these animals may learn names for things, they show little ability to utilize a complex framework of symbolic reference. In such a framework, words or other symbols refer not only to objects and concepts but also to sequential and hierarchical relationships (...)
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  17.  20
    Anatomy of hierarchical information processing.Terrence W. Deacon - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (4):555-557.
  18.  21
    Confounded correlations, again.Terrence W. Deacon - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (4):698-699.
  19.  15
    Confusing size-correlated differences with phylogenetic “progression” in brain evolution.Terrence W. Deacon - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (1):185-187.
  20.  93
    Language as an emergent function: Some radical neurological and evolutionary implications.Terrence W. Deacon - 2005 - Theoria 20 (3):269-286.
    Language is a spontaneously evolved emergent adaptation, not a formal computational system. Its structure does not derive from either innate or social instruction but rather self-organization and selection. Its quasi-universal features emerge from the interactions among semiotic constraints, neural processing limitations, and social transmission dynamics. The neurological processing of sentence structure is more analogous to embryonic differentiation than to algorithmic computation. The biological basis of this unprecedented adaptation is not located in some unique neurologieal structure nor the result of any (...)
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  21.  88
    Language as an Emergent Function.Terrence W. Deacon - 2005 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 20 (3):269-286.
    Language is a spontaneously evolved emergent adaptation, not a formal computational system. Its structure does not derive from either innate or social instruction but rather self-organization and selection. Its quasi-universal features emerge from the interactions among semiotic constraints, neural processing limitations, and social transmission dynamics. The neurological processing of sentence structure is more analogous to embryonic differentiation than to algorithmic computation. The biological basis of this unprecedented adaptation is not located in some unique neurologieal structure nor the result of any (...)
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  22.  19
    Language as an Emergent Function.Terrence W. Deacon - 2005 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 20 (3):269-286.
    Language is a spontaneously evolved emergent adaptation, not a formal computational system. Its structure does not derive from either innate or social instruction but rather self-organization and selection. Its quasi-universal features emerge from the interactions among semiotic constraints, neural processing limitations, and social transmission dynamics. The neurological processing of sentence structure is more analogous to embryonic differentiation than to algorithmic computation. The biological basis of this unprecedented adaptation is not located in some unique neurologieal structure nor the result of any (...)
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  23.  4
    Language Evolution and Neuromechanisms.Terrence W. Deacon - 2017 - In William Bechtel & George Graham (eds.), A Companion to Cognitive Science. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. pp. 212–225.
    The first major advances in the understanding of the neurological bases for language abilities were the results of the study of the brains and behaviors of patients with language impairments due to focal brain damage. The two most prominent pioneers in this field are remembered because their names have become associated with distinctive aphasia (language loss) syndromes and the brain regions associated with them. In 1861 Paul Broca described the damage site in the brain of a patient who had lost (...)
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  24.  22
    À propos de l'homme, ou comment repenser la sélection naturelle du langage humain.Terrence W. Deacon - 2012 - Labyrinthe 38 (38):27-37.
    Il arrive qu’une complexité extrême mette le modèle de la sélection naturelle au défi d’expliquer quoi que ce soit. Depuis Darwin, l’aptitude humaine au langage est incessamment citée en exemple-type de ce cas de figure. Et ceux qui ont souligné les problèmes posés par cette faculté si spécifiquement humaine n’étaient pas tous des critiques du darwinisme. On sait l’argument avancé par Alfred Russel Wallace, co-instigateur de la théorie de la sélection naturelle, et réputé plus darwiniste que ..
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