Steven, 

In a few words, what I understand by “meaning”. 

1) We all agree that the Shannon theory of information addresses the
capacity of transmission of a communication channel. It does not deal at all
with the possible meaning associated with the information. A different
approach is needed.

2) The notion of meaning associated to information is a complex subject as
it covers a wide area of different applications (focusing on meaning
associated to human language may be misleading as it is one of the most
complex cases). 

First clarification is to define different domains of complexity. Gross
sizing: matter, life, human. 
Then, put aside for a while the case of matter and focus on life and human
in the context of a pragmatic approach.  

With this background, we can consider that a meaningful information (a
meaning) does not exist per se but comes from a system submitted to a
constraint that has generated the meaning in order to satisfy the
constraint. (stay alive for an organism, valorize ego for a human …). A
meaning can be defined only when a system submitted to a constraint is in
relation with its environment.

The environment of the system makes available a lot of information that the
system can receive. Only the received information having a connection with
the constraint of the system will generate a meaning within the system. And
we can consider that the content of the meaning is precisely that connection
existing between the received information and the constraint of the system.
A systemic approach can be formalized on this subject with the introduction
of a Meaning Generator System (MGS). See short paper
http://crmenant.free.fr/ResUK/index.HTM

3) As you may have noted, such approach on meaning generation is triadic and
can be part of the neighborhood of the Peircean  theory of sign (in a much
simpler and less elaborated form). 

The MGS is also in the domain of the Von Uexkull biosemiotics where a
meaning is generated by the connection of the constraints of the organism
(Internal world of the organism, Umwelt) with the external world.

4) Going from simple organisms to humans in the field of meaning generation
is not an easy task. The constraints to satisfy cumulate and are more and
more elaborated. The systems also become more complex and are inter-related.
And the mysterious function of human consciousness comes in. 

However, looking at MGS as a building block can offers some possibilities
(see  http://cogprints.org/4531/ ).

All the best

Christophe

-----Message d'origine-----
De : Steven Ericsson-Zenith [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
Envoyé : vendredi 5 octobre 2007 01:26
À : Christophe Menant
Cc : fis@listas.unizar.es
Objet : Re: SV: [Fis] info & meaning

 

 

I read Pedro's post differently. What definition of meaning are you  

using exactly?

 

I was going to express agreement with Pedro too, but I do not agree  

with either Soren of Christophe's interpretation of Pedro's posting.  

Can Pedro clarify? And can we be more precise in what we mean when we  

use the term "meaning?"

 

With respect,

Steven

 

 

--

Dr. Steven Ericsson-Zenith

Institute for Advanced Science & Engineering

http://iase.info

http://senses.info

 

 

On Oct 4, 2007, at 3:38 PM, Christophe Menant wrote:

 

> Dear Soren,

> I agree with your reading of Pedro’s  proposal as to start with  

> cellular meaning, and then go thru the higher levels of evolution.  

> It has the advantage of beginning with the simplest case and then  

> look at more complex ones. See (1) for a corresponding approach.

> But I’m afraid I disagree with your point regarding first person  

> consciousness as not representing anything real, as just being a  

> bio-cultural artefact as you say. I take human consciousness as  

> being a reality resulting from an evolution of representations. But  

> this is not our today subject.

> Coming back to it, Walter Riofrio, (New FIS member) has an  

> interesting approach to the notion of meaning where he groups  

> together the emergence of autonomy, function and meaning (2). I  

> understand his work as associating inside a system a meaningful  

> information with a function that needs it in order to use it, in a  

> background of autonomy. Such evolutionary link between meaningful  

> information and function looks as an interesting tool.

> 

> All the best

> Christophe

> (1) - Short paper: http://crmenant.free.fr/ResUK/index.HTM

>       - Full paper: http://www.mdpi.org/entropy/papers/e5020193.pdf

> (2) http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00114521/en/

> 

> 

> 

> > Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2007 22:13:27 +0200

> > From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]

> > Subject: SV: [Fis] info & meaning

> > To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]; fis@listas.unizar.es

> >

> > Dear Pedro

> >

> > Do I understand you right when I see your models as:

> >

> > 1. There is no meaning in inanimate nature.

> > 2. Meaning is constructed on a first level by life in the form of  

> single

> > cell life forms.

> > 3. Second level is (chemical) communication between cells.

> > 4. Third level is multicellular organisms as species with a gene  

> pool.

> > 5. Fifth level is their communication.

> > 6. Sixth level human construction of meaning in 'life worlds'.

> >

> > But there is no object of meaning in itself. Energy and mathematical

> > information are the basic reality. First person meaningful  

> consciousness is

> > a bio-cultural artifact useful for the construction of life and  

> culture, but

> > it is not an image of anything real.

> >

> > Best wishes

> >

> > Søren

> >

> >

> > -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----

> > Fra: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:fis- 

> [EMAIL PROTECTED] På

> > vegne af Pedro Marijuan

> > Sendt: 4. oktober 2007 14:23

> > Til: fis@listas.unizar.es

> > Emne: Re: [Fis] info & meaning

> >

> > Dear colleagues,

> >

> > What if meaning is equivalent to "zero"?

> >

> > I mean, if we backtrack to the origins of zero, we find those  

> obscure

> > philosophers related to Buddhism in India, many centuries ago  

> (Brahmagupta,

> > 600 ad). It was something difficult to grasp, rather bizarre, the  

> fruit of

> > quite a long and winding thought, and frankly not of much  

> practicity. Then

> > after not many developments during a few centuries, another  

> scholar in

> > central Asia (al-Kwarismi) took the idea and was able to  

> algorithmize the

> > basic arithmetic operations. Mathematics could fly... and  

> nowadays any

> > school children learns and uses arithmetics & algebra so easily.

> >

> > The idea is that if we strictly identify (we "zero" on) meaning as a

> > biological construct, work it rigorously for the living cell as a  

> tough

> > problem of systems biology (and not as a flamboyant autopoiectic or

> > autogenic or selftranscence doctrines of Brahmaguptian style),  

> then we work

> > for a parallel enactive action/perception approach in  

> neuroscience, and

> > besides pen a rigorous view in social-economic setting under similar

> > guidelines --and also find the commonalities with quantum  

> computing and

> > information physics... finally information science will fly.

> >

> > Otherwise, if we remain working towards the other direction, the

> > undergrounds of zero downwards, we will get confined into bizarre,

> > voluminous, useless discussions & doctrines on information.  

> Cellular meaning

> > is our zero concept: we should go for it.

> >

> > best

> >

> > Pedro

> >

> >

> >

> >

> >

> > _______________________________________________

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> > fis@listas.unizar.es

> > http://webmail.unizar.es/mailman/listinfo/fis

> >

> >

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> >

> >

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--

Dr. Steven Ericsson-Zenith

Institute for Advanced Science & Engineering

http://iase.info

http://senses.info

 

 

 

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