•  344
    A biosemiotic conversation: Between physics and semiotics
    with Kalevi Kull
    Sign Systems Studies 37 (1/2): 311-330. 2009.
    In this dialogue, we discuss the contrast between inexorable physical laws and the semiotic freedom of life. We agree that material and symbolic structures require complementary descriptions, as do the many hierarchical levels of their organizations. We try to clarify our concepts of laws, constraints, rules, symbols, memory, interpreters, and semiotic control. We briefly describe our different personal backgrounds that led us to a biosemiotic approach, and we speculate on the future directions …Read more
  •  64
    All sciences have epistemic assumptions, a language for expressing their theories or models, and symbols that reference observables that can be measured. In most sciences the language in which their models are expressed are not the focus of their attention, although the choice of language is often crucial for the model. On the contrary, biosemiotics, by definition, cannot escape focusing on the symbol–matter relationship. Symbol systems first controlled material construction at the origin of lif…Read more
  •  44
    The Physics of Autonomous Biological Information
    Biological Theory 1 (3): 224-226. 2006.
    The general concept of information does not belong in the category of universal and inexorable physical laws but in the category of initial conditions and boundary conditions. Boundary conditions formed by local structures are often called constraints. Informational structures such as symbol vehicles are a special type of constraint. It should be clear that the concepts of initial conditions and constraints in physics make no sense outside the context of the law-based physical dynamics to which …Read more
  •  42
    The necessary but not sufficient conditions for biological informational concepts like signs, symbols, memories, instructions, and messages are (1) an object or referent that the information is about, (2) a physical embodiment or vehicle that stands for what the information is about (the object), and (3) an interpreter or agent that separates the referent information from the vehicle’s material structure, and that establishes the stands-for relation. This separation is named the epistemic cut, a…Read more
  •  37
    Review of Gödel, Escher, Bach (review)
    International Studies in Philosophy 15 (1): 87-88. 1983.
  •  36
    Responses to 'computationalism'
    with 1Imre Balogh, Brian Beakley, Paul Churchland, Michael Gorman, Stevan Harnad, David Mertz, William Ramsey, John Ringen, Georg Schwarz, Brian Slator, Alan Strudler, and Charles Wallis
    Social Epistemology 4 (2). 1990.
  •  25
    Umerez’s analysis made me aware of the fundamental differences in the culture of physics and molecular biology and the culture of semiotics from which the new field of biosemiotics arose. These cultures also view histories differently. Considering the evolutionary span and the many hierarchical levels of organization that their models must cover, models at different levels will require different observables and different meanings for common words, like symbol, interpretation, and language. These…Read more
  •  14
    Gödel, Escher, Bach
    International Studies in Philosophy 15 (1): 87-88. 1983.
  •  13
    The Physics of Symbols Evolved Before Consciousness
    Cosmos and History 11 (2): 269-277. 2015.
    Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 The human brain appears to be the most complex structure for its size in the known universe. Consequently, studies of the brain have required many models and theories at many levels that involve disciplines from basic physics, to neurosciences, psychology and philosophy. For over 2000 years the two most controversial and unresolved models of brain phenomena involve what we call _free will_ and _consciousness_. I argue that…Read more
  •  13
  •  7
    Биосемиотическая беседа
    with Kalevi Kull
    Sign Systems Studies 37 (1/2): 331-331. 2009.
    In this dialogue, we discuss the contrast between inexorable physical laws and the semiotic freedom of life. We agree that material and symbolic structures require complementary descriptions, as do the many hierarchical levels of their organizations. We try to clarify our concepts of laws, constraints, rules, symbols, memory, interpreters, and semiotic control. We briefly describe our different personal backgrounds that led us to a biosemiotic approach, and we speculate on the future directions …Read more
  •  1
    Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (review)
    International Studies in Philosophy 15 (1): 87-88. 1983.
  • Response to E. Dietrich's “Computationalism”
    Social Epistemology 4 (2): 176-181. 1990.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Natural Man (review)
    International Studies in Philosophy 11 196-197. 1979.