“There is nothing outside the text”
by Arran James
Through the lenses of biosemiotics, “semiosis” (as conceived by Peirce) is implicitly re-defined as that which is “meaningful”, “relevant” or “significant” to any living “thing” in terms of its survival in its particular environment or more accurately, it’s “Umwelt”. It is a central tenet of the overall biosemiotics approach that, to understand life, natural meaning can not be ignored. From this, it is but a short step to the conclusion that, as Gregory Bateson clearly saw, it is essential that the concept of mind can not be exclusively identified with a human mind. Mind is thus seen by biosemiotics as extensively perfused through out nature and not a property exclusive to human beings
In this regard, biosemiotics emphasises meaning and suggests that, inline with some current work in embodied/embedded cognitive science, it is grounded in a living organising’s embodied semiosis. Meaning is derived through biological signs. The basic forms of these biological signs are those exchanged between the organism and its environment, its Umwelt, It is argued that, as a fundamental principle, living things (from cells to organisms) are not purely mechanical processes, but rather, messages to be read and interpreted. Thus consider DNA which can be read, indeed is read, as message-bearing signs transmitted (via RNA) to protein for replication to occur.
From the Underrated philosophy blog. Here.