Semiotica, 1999, vol. 127 (1/4)
special issue: Biosemiotica

edited by Thomas A. Sebeok, guest editors: Jesper Hoffmeyer and Claus Emmeche.

(Semiotica, Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies. Published by Mouton de Gruyter - Berlin, New York)

VIII, 655 pages
DM 210,- / EUR 107,37 / Fr 187.- / öS 1533.- / approx. US$ 131.-

Biology and semiotics traditionally belong to opposite scientific camps in the divided conception of the world we have inherited from the Cartesian tradition. One is supposed to deal with living systems in terms of matter and energy, the other with mind-processes of signification and communication. In recent decades it has, however, become increasingly clear that this division can no longer be sustained. Organisms are inherently informational and communicational structures, and minds are always corporeally embodied. All true symbols in the world are, in the end, dependent on biological organisms, whether for communication, control, or construction, and whether at a cellular, organismic or social level. We cannot understand signs fully until we understand their role in the organization of life.

Biosemiotics is the heading given to a series of recent attempts at integrating these two knowledge areas into a coherent theoretical structure studying semiosis as life and life as semiosis. In this special issue on biosemiotics we present a selection of original approaches to this new and still largely unexplored area of research.

Also forthcoming as a special issue in 2000: Jakob von Uexküll: A paradigm for Biology and Semiotics. edited by Kalevi Kull. (Semiotica 131 -1/4)


Thomas A. Sebeok ... p. 1
Editor's note: Towards a prehistory of biosemiotics

Biosemiotica I (ed. by T. A. Sebeok)

Lucia Santaella Braga ... p. 5
Peirce and biology

Susan Petrilli ... p. 23
The biological basis of Victoria Welby's significs

Susan Petrilli ... p.67
Charles Morris's biosemiotics

Laura Shintani ... p. 103
Roman Jakobson and biology: `A system of systems'

Kalevi Kull ... p. 115
Towards biosemiotics with Yuri Lotman

Biosemiotica II (ed. by J. Hoffmeyer and C. Emmeche)

Luis Eugenio Andrade ... p. 133
Natural selection and Maxwell's demon: A semiotic approach to evolutionary biology

Sabine Brauckmann ... p. 151
On genes, cells and memory

Søren Brier ... p. 169
Biosemiotics and the foundation of cybersemiotics

Berit O. Brogaard ... p. 199
An Aristotelian approach to animal behavior

Sergey V. Chebanov ... p. 215
Biohermeneutics and the hermeneutics of biology

Tatiana V. Chernigovskaya ... p. 227
Evolutionary perspective for cognitive function: Cerebral basis of heterogeneous consciousness

W. John Coletta ... p. 239
Literary biosemiotics and the postmodern ecology of John Clare

Claus Emmeche ... p. 273
The Sarkar challenge to biosemiotics: Is there any information in a cell?

Arantza Etxeberria and Jesús Ibáñez ... p. 295
Semiotics of the artificial: The `self' of self-reproducing systems in cellular automata

Jesper Hoffmeyer ... p. 321
Order out of indeterminacy

Tuomo Jämsä ... p. 345
The concept of nature in ancient Finns and Karelians

Yoshimi Kawade ... p. 369
The two foci of biology: Matter and sign

Kalevi Kull ... p. 385
Biosemiotics in the twentieth century: A view from biology

Manfred D. Laubichler ... p. 415
A semiotic perspective on biological objects and biological functions

Koichiro Matsuno ... p. 433
The clock and its triadic relationship

Floyd Merrell ... p. 453
Living signs

S. N. Salthe ... p. 481
A semiotic attempt to corral creativity via generativity

Lucia Santaella Braga ... p. 497
A new causality for understanding of the living

Alexei A. Sharov ... p. 521
The origin and evolution of signs

Frederik Stjernfelt ... p. 537
Biosemiotics and formal ontology

Rod Swenson ... p. 567
Epistemic ordering and the development of space-time: Intentionality as a universal entailment

Edwina Taborsky ... p. 599
Semiosis: The transformation of energy into information

Gertrudis Van de Vijver ... p. 613
Psychic closure: A prerequisite for the recognition of the sign-function?

Barend van Heusden ... p. 631
The emergence of difference: Some notes on the evolution of human semiosis

Thure von Uexküll ... p. 647
The relationship between semiotics and mechanical models of explanation in the life sciences


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