p1-Emergence and Evolution of Meaning-TripleCBy José María Díaz Nafría (University of León, Spain), Rainer Zimmermann (Munich University of Applied Sciences)

The category of meaning is traced forward starting from the origin of the Universe itself as well as its very grounding in pre-geometry. Different from many former approaches in the theories of information and also in biosemiotics, we will show that the forms of meaning emerge simultaneously (alongside) with information and energy. Hence, information is always meaningful (in a sense to be explicated) rather than its meaning would show up as a later specification of information within social systems only. This perspective taken has two immediate consequences: (1) We follow the GDI as defined by Floridi, though we modify it somehow as to the aspect of truthfulness. (2) We can conceptually solve Capurro’s trilemma. Hence, what we actually do is to follow the strict (i.e. optimistic) line of UTI in the sense of Hofkirchner’s. While doing this, we treat energy and information as two different categorial aspects of one and the same underlying primordial structure.

  • Full article published in TripleC, 11(1), 13-35,  Special Issue: The Difference that Makes a Difference 2011, published in Dec.2012
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By Rainer Zimmermann (Munich University of Applied Sciences), José María Díaz Nafría (University of León, Spain)

In this first part of the paper, the category of meaning is traced forward starting from the origin of the Universe itself as well as its very grounding in pre-geometry. Different from many former approaches in the theories of information and also in biosemiotics, we will show that the forms of meaning emerge simultaneously (alongside) with information. Hence, information is always meaningful (in a sense to be explicated) rather than meaning showing up as a later specification of information within social systems only. This perspective taken has two immediate consequences: 1. We follow the GDI as defined by Floridi, though we modify it somehow as to the aspect of truthfulness. 2. We can conceptually solve Capurro’s trilemma. Hence, what we actually do is to follow the strict (i.e. optimistic) line of UTI in the sense of Hofkirchner’s. While doing this, we treat matter, energy, and information as three different categorial aspects of one and the same underlying primordial structure. We thus demonstrate the presently developing convergence of physics, biology, and computer science (as well as the various theories of information) in some detail and draft out a line of argument eventually leading up to the further unification of UTI and biosemiotics.

Juan Ramón Álvarez (Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science, Universidad de León, Spain)

Pretensions of Biosemiotics as a unified approach to biological information are critically scrutinized within the study of different projects of semiotisation of nature and naturalization ot cultural processes. Main textual references and arguments are presented and critically pondered. Biosemiotics is here presented as an analytical method to study communication as founded in causality.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?
  • Spanish article published in ¿Qué es información?, 2008

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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