•  1146
    Symbols are not uniquely human
    with Sidarta Ribeiro, Angelo Loula, Ivan Araújo, and Ricardo Gudwin
    Biosystems 90 (1): 263-272. 2006.
    Modern semiotics is a branch of logics that formally defines symbol-based communication. In recent years, the semiotic classification of signs has been invoked to support the notion that symbols are uniquely human. Here we show that alarm-calls such as those used by African vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops), logically satisfy the semiotic definition of symbol. We also show that the acquisition of vocal symbols in vervet monkeys can be successfully simulated by a computer program based on m…Read more
  •  358
    Semiosis and intersemiotic translation
    Semiotica 2013 (196): 283-292. 2013.
    This paper explores Victoria Welby's fundamental assumption of meaning process (“semiosis” sensu Peirce) as translation, and some implications for the development of a general model of intersemiotic translation.
  •  334
    Intersemiotic translation (IT) was defined by Roman Jakobson (The Translation Studies Reader, Routledge, London, p. 114, 2000) as “transmutation of signs”—“an interpretation of verbal signs by means of signs of nonverbal sign systems.” Despite its theoretical relevance, and in spite of the frequency in which it is practiced, the phenomenon remains virtually unexplored in terms of conceptual modeling, especially from a semiotic perspective. Our approach is based on two premises: (i) IT is fundame…Read more
  •  331
    Intersemiotic translation and transformational creativity
    with Daniella Aguiar and Pedro Ata
    Punctum 1 (2): 11-21. 2015.
    In this article we approach a case of intersemiotic translation as a paradigmatic example of Boden’s ‘transformational creativity’ category. To develop our argument, we consider Boden’s fundamental notion of ‘conceptual space’ as a regular pattern of semiotic action, or ‘habit’ (sensu Peirce). We exemplify with Gertrude Stein’s intersemiotic translation of Cézanne and Picasso’s proto-cubist and cubist paintings. The results of Stein’s IT transform the conceptual space of modern literature, const…Read more
  •  296
    In his 1903 Syllabus, Charles S. Peirce makes a distinction between icons and iconic signs, or hypoicons, and briefly introduces a division of the latter into images, diagrams, and metaphors. Peirce scholars have tried to make better sense of those concepts by understanding iconic signs in the context of the ten classes of signs described in the same Syllabus. We will argue, however, that the three kinds of hypoicons can better be understood in the context of Peirce's sixty-six classes of signs.…Read more
  •  155
    A semiotic analysis of the genetic information
    with Charbel El-Hani and Claus Emmeche
    Semiotica - Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique 1 (4): 1-68. 2006.
    Terms loaded with informational connotations are often employed to refer to genes and their dynamics. Indeed, genes are usually perceived by biologists as basically ‘the carriers of hereditary information.’ Nevertheless, a number of researchers consider such talk as inadequate and ‘just metaphorical,’ thus expressing a skepticism about the use of the term ‘information’ and its derivatives in biology as a natural science. First, because the meaning of that term in biology is not as precise as it …Read more
  •  145
    The Biosemiotic Approach in Biology : Theoretical Bases and Applied Models
    with Claus Emmeche, Kalevi Kull, and Charbel El-Hani
    In George Terzis & Robert Arp (eds.), Information and Living Systems -- Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives, Mit Press. pp. 91-130. 2011.
    Biosemiotics is a growing fi eld that investigates semiotic processes in the living realm in an attempt to combine the fi ndings of the biological sciences and semiotics. Semiotic processes are more or less what biologists have typically referred to as “ signals, ” “ codes, ”and “ information processing ”in biosystems, but these processes are here understood under the more general notion of semiosis, that is, the production, action, and interpretation of signs. Thus, biosemiotics can be seen as …Read more
  •  131
    Semiosis as an emergent process
    with Charbel Niño El-Hani
    Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (1): 78-116. 2006.
    : In this paper, we intend to discuss if and in what sense semiosis (meaning process, cf. C. S. Peirce) can be regarded as an "emergent" process in semiotic systems. It is not our problem here to answer when or how semiosis emerged in nature. As a prerequisite for the very formulation of these problems, we are rather interested in discussing the conditions which should be fulfilled for semiosis to be characterized as an emergent process. The first step in this work is to summarize a systematic a…Read more
  •  123
    A Peircean Approach to ‘Information’ and its Relationship with Bateson’s and Jablonka’s Ideas
    with Emmeche Claus and El-Hani Charbel Niño
    American Journal of Semiotics 24 (1/3): 75-94. 2008.
    The Peircean semiotic approach to information that we developed in previous papers raises several new questions, and shows both similarities and differences with regard to other accounts of information. We do not intend to present here any exhaustive discussion about the relationships between our account and other approaches to information. Rather, our interest is mainly to address its relationship to ideas about information put forward by Gregory Bateson and Eva Jablonka. We conclude that all t…Read more
  •  123
    Firefly Femmes Fatales: A Case Study in the Semiotics of Deception
    with Charbel N. El-Hani and Frederik Stjernfelt
    Biosemiotics 3 (1): 33-55. 2010.
    Mimicry and deception are two important issues in studies about animal communication. The reliability of animal signs and the problem of the benefits of deceiving in sign exchanges are interesting topics in the evolution of communication. In this paper, we intend to contribute to an understanding of deception by studying the case of aggressive signal mimicry in fireflies, investigated by James Lloyd. Firefly femmes fatales are specialized in mimicking the mating signals of other species of firef…Read more
  •  108
    Visualizando Signos
    with Priscila Farias
    Blucher. 2017.
    Os signos e as classes dos signos estão entre os tópicos mais importantes do sistema filosófico de Charles S. Peirce. As 10, 28, e 66 classes de signos são classificações desenvolvidas especialmente a partir de 1903 e representam um grande refinamento da divisão fundamental de signos – ícone, índice, símbolo. Nossa abordagem aqui define uma estratégia de visualização das classificações dos signos, com especial atenção para as 10 e 66 classes de signos. O livro está dividido em duas partes: (i) b…Read more
  •  102
    Multilevel poetry translation as a problem-solving task
    with Pedro Ata
    Cognitive Semiotics 9 (2): 139-147. 2016.
    Poems are treated by translators as hierarchical multilevel systems. Here we propose the notion of “multilevel poetry translation” to characterize such cases of poetry translation in terms of selection and rebuilding of a multilevel system of constraints across languages. Different levels of a poem correspond to different sets of components that asymmetrically constrain each other (e. g., grammar, lexicon, syntactic construction, prosody, rhythm, typography, etc.). This perspective allows a poem…Read more
  •  81
    Habit in semiosis can be modeled both as a macro-level in a hierarchical multi-level system where it functions as boundary conditions for emergence of semiosis, and as a cognitive niche produced by an ecologically-inherited environment of cognitive artifacts. According to the first perspective, semiosis is modeled in terms of a multilayered system, with micro functional entities at the lower-level and with higher-level processes being mereologically composed of these lower-level entities. Accord…Read more
  •  78
    This article presents some results of a research on computational strategies for the visualization of sign classification structures and sign processes. The focus of this research is the various classifications of signs described by Peirce. Two models are presented. One of them concerns specifically the 10-fold classification as described in the 1903 Syllabus (MS 540, EP 2: 289–299), while the other deals with the deep structure of Peirce’s various trichotomic classifications. The first is 10cub…Read more
  •  78
    We present here a digital scenario to simulate the emergence of self-organized symbol-based communication among artificial creatures inhabiting a virtual world of predatory events. In order to design the environment and creatures, we seek theoretical and empirical constraints from C.S.Peirce Semiotics and an ethological case study of communication among animals. Our results show that the creatures, assuming the role of sign users and learners, behave collectively as a complex system, where self-…Read more
  •  71
    Semiosis as an Emergent Process
    with Charbel Niño El-Hani
    Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (1): 78-116. 2006.
    In this paper, we intend to discuss if and in what sense semiosis can be regarded as an "emergent" process in semiotic systems. It is not our problem here to answer when or how semiosis emerged in nature. As a prerequisite for the very formulation of these problems, we are rather interested in discussing the conditions which should be fulfilled for semiosis to be characterized as an emergent process. The first step in this work is to summarize a systematic analysis of the variety of emergence th…Read more
  •  66
    Iconic semiosis and representational efficiency in the London Underground Diagram
    with Pedro Atã and Breno Bitarello
    Cognitive Semiotics 7 177-190. 2014.
    The icon is the type of sign connected to efficient representational features, and its manipulation reveals more information about its object. The London Underground Diagram (LUD) is an iconic artifact and a well-known example of representational efficiency, having been copied by urban transportation systems worldwide. This paper investigates the efficiency of the LUD in the light of different conceptions of iconicity. We stress that a specialized representation is an icon of the formal structur…Read more
  •  62
    Towards the emergence of meaning processes in computers from Peircean semiotics
    with Antônio Gomes, Ricardo Gudwin, and Charbel Niño El-Hani
    Mind and Society 6 (2): 173-187. 2007.
    In this work, we propose a computational approach to the triadic model of Peircean semiosis (meaning processes). We investigate theoretical constraints about the feasibility of simulated semiosis. These constraints, which are basic requirements for the simulation of semiosis, refer to the synthesis of irreducible triadic relations (Sign–Object–Interpretant). We examine the internal organization of the triad S–O–I, that is, the relative position of its elements and how they relate to each other. …Read more
  •  48
    Downward Determination in Semiotic Multi-level Systems
    with Charbel El-Hani
    Cybernetics and Human Knowing -- A Journal of Second Order Cybernetics, Autopoiesis & Semiotics 1 (2): 123-136. 2012.
    Peirce's pragmatic notion of semiosis can be described in terms of a multi-level system of constraints involving chance, efficient, formal and final causation. According to the model proposed here, law-like regularities, which work as boundary conditions or organizational principles, have a downward effect on the spatiotemporal distribution of lower-level semiotic items. We treat this downward determinative influence as a propensity relation: if some lower-level entities a,b,c,-n are under the i…Read more
  •  47
    Peirce’s classifications of signs started to be developed in 1865 and it extends up to 1909. I will present on the period that begins in 1865, and that has two moments of intense production - "On a New List of Categories"and "On the Algebra of Logic: a contribution to the philosophy of notation". It is an introductory approach whose intention is to make the reader be familiar with the Peircean complex classifications of signs.As classificações dos signos de C.S.Peirce começam a ser desenvolvidas…Read more
  •  46
    Towards a multi-level approach to the emergence of meaning processes in living systems
    with Charbel Niño El-Hani
    Acta Biotheoretica 54 (3): 179-206. 2006.
    Any description of the emergence and evolution of different types of meaning processes (semiosis, sensu C.S.Peirce) in living systems must be supported by a theoretical framework which makes it possible to understand the nature and dynamics of such processes. Here we propose that the emergence of semiosis of different kinds can be understood as resulting from fundamental interactions in a triadically-organized hierarchical process. To grasp these interactions, we develop a model grounded on Stan…Read more
  •  36
    On diagrams for Peirces 10, 28, and 66 classes of signs
    with Priscila Farias
    Semiotica 2003 (147). 2003.
  •  35
    Os diagramas de C. S. Peirce para as dez classes de signos
    with Priscila Lena Farias
    Trans/Form/Ação 36 (3): 155-172. 2013.
    Uma seção da Gramática Especulativa de C.S.Peirce – Dez classes de signos – recebeu, a partir de 1903, um importante tratamento diagramático. Neste artigo, são apresentados e discutidos dois diagramas desenvolvidos por Peirce para as dez classes, incluindo esboços desses modelos.
  •  19
    Based on formal-theoretical principles about the sign processes involved, we have built synthetic experiments to investigate the emergence of communication based on symbols and indexes in a distributed system of sign users, following theoretical constraints from C.S.Peirce theory of signs, following a Synthetic Semiotics approach. In this paper, we summarize these computational experiments and results regarding associative learning processes of symbolic sign modality and cognitive conditions in …Read more
  •  14
    Embodied semiotic artefacts: On the role of the skin as a semiotic niche
    with Breno Bitarello
    Technoetic Arts 12 (1): 75-90. 2014.
    The skin can be described as a niche structured by semiotic artefacts (tattoos) that work as symbolic–indexical devices (dicisigns). New biocompatible technologies responsive to organic and environmental variations change the role of the skin as a semiotic niche. New devices are transforming the skin into a niche of interactive interfaces. In this article we introduce a variety of techno-scientific artefacts, which are readily available, and their main characteristics. We are interested in the r…Read more
  •  13
    Dicent Symbols in Non-Human Semiotic Processes
    Biosemiotics 5 (3): 319-329. 2012.
    Against the view that symbol-based semiosis is a human cognitive uniqueness, we have argued that non-human primates such as African vervet monkeys possess symbolic competence, as formally defined by Charles S. Peirce. Here I develop this argument by showing that the equivocal role ascribed to symbols by “folk semiotics” stems from an incomplete application of the Peircean logical framework for the classification of signs, which describes three kinds of symbols: rheme, dicent and argument. In an …Read more