Biosemiotics and the cycle of explanation in the sciences
Seán Ó Nualláin Ph.D
Presentation for semiotics circle of California,
UC Berkeley 2pm 24 Jan 2015
Biosemiotics treats biology as a signalling system. It is often Perircean in its thrust. Hoverer, wider concepts of “code biology” are often implicit in biosemioticians' practise.
This paper argue that Biology indeed manifests discontinuity from the “merely' physical in the fact that syntax is intrinsic to biology. It goes on to show other attributes – the existence of hierarchies, the interaction of metabolic contextual material with the symbols, and much else – which distinguish the biological. Conversely, Schroedinger's' hallowed “negentropy” is now an archaism in a worldview that accepts dissipative systems.
The manner in which the above constrains cognitive science is the final topic in this paper. It is argued that scientific explanation must be reflected in the cognitive theories we use; for example, scalar quantities cannot explain a a brain that works in vectors and indeed higher-order tensors.