J.R. ÁLVAREZ BAUTISTA (Universidad de León)

This work considers complementary attempts to handle both nature and culture from the derived perspectives of two types of sciences: semiotics and natural sciences. It may be considered as a critical attempt to place both of them in their proper space: on the one hand, the initiatives of the so called Biosemiotics (in which causality and signification are purportedly unified in the idea of communication in the whole biosphere); on the other hand, the theory of cultural selection -which most remarked version is the well known Memetics (an application into cultural frames intendedly analogue to the theory of natural selection). The former is a semiotization of biology at the cost of a previous naturalization of semiotics itself, while the second one is a naturalization of the cultural space in terms of the “universal Darwinism” which implies the application of the selection idea (mechanism, algorithm, etc.) to cultural dynamics, mediated by the idea of information.
The thesis here to be defended amounts to consider Biosemiotics -presented as an analytical method to study communication- as ontologically founding communication in causality. Meanwhile Memetics -presented as an application of methodology to selection of cultural processes of production, diffusion and conservation of unities and complex aggregates of information- studies cultural causality in the frame of communicative efficiency.

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