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[ontolog-forum] New Scientist Article

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From: "sean barker" <sean.barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 15:48:48 +0100
Message-id: <F296C763A85A47B79BA4CE679707C2DB@SMB>
FYI: The UK science magazine, New Scientist (www.newscientist.com) has an article this week entitle "A Meaningful Meadow" by Liz Else, (pp28-31) on Biosemiotics, a significant chunk of which is devoted to exponding Peirce's theory of signs.
The application of semiotics to, say, inter-celluar signalling suggests a resolution to the infinite regression of signs implied by Peirce's theory. That is, the sequence is terminated where the interpretant sign is directly used in some deductive mechanism in the interpreter - in the case of chemical signalling, the sign-vehicle (the chemical) takes part in the chemical reaction that  "is significant to" the interpreting mechanism. I believe this goes beyong the way Peirce would have interpretted his theory, since I think he expected some sort of "mind" would be the interpretting agent - although would Peirce have such a mechanistic view of mind that we have today?
This rather fits in with my comment (seemingly rarely understood) that the meaning of language is determined by the behaviour of the systems that use the language.
Sean Barker, Bristol UK

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