Saturday, February 3, 2007

Introduction to the biosemiosis blog

Here is an ultra-brief intro to what biosemiosis is, that is, the natural processes of biosemiosis, and the scientific study of such processes.

The process of sign ("information") production, transfer, modification, translation, and interpretation are all called semiosic processes. They involve living beings, and life is only possible because of semiosis - biosemiosis. As one of the pioneers of biosemiotics, Tom Sebeok said, the process of message exchanges, or semiosis, is an indispensable characteristic of all terrestrial life forms. It is this capacity for containing, replicating, and expressing messages, of extracting their signification, that, in fact, distinguishes them more from the nonliving than any other traits often cited. (Of course, human agents can make artifacts such as computers or robots, and use these to simulate communication). "The study of the twin processes of communication and signification can be regarded as ultimately a branch of the life science, or as belonging in large part to nature, in some part to culture, which is, of course, also a part of nature." (Sebeok 1991: 22) "The life science and the sign science thus mutually imply one another." (Sebeok 1994: 114)
The term biosemiotics is a label of the scientific and scholarly study of biosemiosis. See also more on definitions on the international website of Biosemiotics:

This blog is intended as an additional communication channel for all interested in research (scientific and scholarly) into biosemiosic processes. As a blog, it is more informal than standard university web pages — contributors and commentators can feel free to participate in the debate and to exchange information without having to go through any process of evaluation by peers or experts first. We'll try to keep a sober, deliberately cool and focused form of discourse, and the blog will be a moderated one (by Claus Emmeche, Jesper Hoffmeyer, Kalevi Kull, Don Favareau and Marcello Barbieri). If you like to be technically 'inscribed' allowing you to make new postings and not only comment on preexisting ones, please contact one of us).

We welcome contributions from persons outside the team listed, suggestions for new contributors, and comments from all blog readers. Comments may be posted with a little time delay as they may have to be approved by one of the team members, to avoid advertisement spam. Have fun!


Paul Matthew St. Pierre said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Claus Emmeche said...

Hello Paul,
thanks, and two brief questions: Would you also reveal how interested fellows might get into contact with you? And would you mind if I moved your comment to a place on the blog where we could for more self-introductions?

Claus Emmeche said...

I removed the greetings of Paul Matthew St. Pierre as I could not get back to Paul to verify some details, and I made a space for future (and friendly moderated) self-introductions here.