Synthesizing the findings from a wide range of disciplines - from biology and anthropology to philosophy and linguistics - the emerging field of Biosemiotics explores the highly complex phenomenon of sign processing in living systems. Seeking to advance a naturalistic understanding of the nature and evolution of sign processes and meaning, contemporary biosemiotic research and theory holds deep implications for all those interested in the origins and evolution of life and language, as well as those exploring related issues such as evolutionary psychology, artificial intelligence and the rich diversity of non-verbal human and animal communication processes.
This book has been designed to provide a single-source overview of the major works informing this new interdiscipline, including both historical and analytical commentary on each of the texts presented. The first of its kind, this book provides a primary text for students in biosemiotics, as well as a valuable resource to bioscientists and semioticians interested in this emerging new discipline.
Preface.- Introduction. 1. The Evolutionary History of Biosemiotics; D. Favareau.- Part 1: Sebeok's Precursors and Influences. 2. The Theory of Meaning; J. von Uexkull.- 3. The Logic of Signs; C.S. Peirce.- 4. Signs, Language and Behavior; C. Morris.- 5. Universe of Mind: The Semiophere; Y. Lotman.- Part 2: The Biosemiotic Project of Thomas A. Sebeok. 6. Biosemiotics: Its Roots and Proliferations; T.A. Sebeok.- 7. The Clever Hans Phenomenon; H. Hediger.- 8. Phytosemiotics; M. Krampen.- 9. Endosemiotics; T. von Uexkull.- 10. Signs and Codes in Immunology; G. Prodi.- 11. The Animal Mind; R. Thom.- 12. A Semiotic Perspective on the Sciences: Steps to a New Paradigm; M. Anderson et al.- Part 3: Independent Approaches to Biosemiotics. 13. Theoretical Biology on its Way to Biosemiotics; K. Kull.- 14. Laws of Symbolic Mediation; F.S. Rothschild.- 15. Concepts of Molecular Biosemiotics; M. Florkin.- 16. Form, Substance and Difference; G. Bateson.- 17. The Physics and Metaphysics of Biosemiotics; H. Pattee.- 18. The Symbolic Species; T.W. Deacon.- Part 4: The Contemporary Interdiscipline of Biosemiotics. 19. The Semiotics of Nature: Code-Duality; J. Hoffmeyer.- 20. Information and Semiosis in Living Systems; J. Queiroz et al.- 21. Readers of the Book of Life; A. Markos.- 22. The Cybersemiotic Model of Communication; S. Brier.- 23. The Logos of the Bios; G. Witzany.- 24. Biosemiotics: A New Understanding of Life; M. Barbieri.- Bibliography and Further Readings.-
From the reviews: "If my library were reduced to having one single monograph on biosemiotics, I would recommend this one. ! Essential Readings in Biosemiotics is no doubt a labor of love in which Favareau for several years invested considerable time and effort, driven by a desire to bestow a valuable and lasting gift on the practicing and prospective members of the biosemiotics community. ! a tool valuable to both teachers and students, including autodidacts without formal links to academia." (Eliseo Fernandez, Metascience, April, 2011) "A fascinating insight into the co-evolution of language, sign systems and the brain is given ! . a journey from parts to principles in the very sense. ! Libraries should provide this book to students and researchers as it is a unique resource of articles and book excerpts to which only few universities have access to. ! Everyone who wants to know more about biosemiotics should have a look at this compilation. Also, the very extensive referencing provides even more interesting literature on the subject." (Robert Prinz, tripleC, Vol. 9 (1), 2011)