19 de junho de 2010


A Naturalistic Approach to the Question of Meaning

Seminário de Filosofia Analítica, Jesper Hoffmeyer
21 de Junho 16:00 – 18:00
Sala Matos Romão, Departamento de Filosofia

Signs, whether of natural or cultural origin, act by provoking receptive systems - human or non-human - to form interpretants (e.g. a movement or a brain activity) that somehow relates the system to this "something else". Semiotics sees meaning as connected to the formation of interpretants. In a biosemiotic understanding living systems are basically engaged in semiotic interactions, i.e. interpretative processes, and organic evolution exhibits an inherent tendency toward an increase in semiotic freedom. Mammals are generally equipped with more semiotic freedom than are their reptilian ancestor species, and fishes are more semiotically sophisticated than are invertebrates. The evolutionary trend towards the production of life forms with an increasing interpretative capacity or semiotic freedom implies that the production of meaning has become an essential survival parameter in later stages of evolution.

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