Dear FIS Colleagues,

A brief note on the variety of exchanges. It is quite intriguing that fundamental questions on mathematics (geometry/algebra), computation, quantum mechanics, and biology converge on a pretty similar "information stuff". Considering the social sciences domain too, where information becomes obvious (helas, too obvious to inquire on it!), the timeliness of our discussions is exciting.

I disagree about putting "meaning" outside the scope of natural sciences. The current bio-info revolution concerning omic disciplines, evo-devo, ecology, etc. has stumbled upon meaning although most often in empirical, applied domains. What does mean this or that signal? Gene knockouts, microarrays, computational inference, etc. provide a massive response that has to be interpreted functionally via the new ontologies. Perhaps most theoretical interpretations have gone towards the "in silico" worlds and bio-computational perspectives, but there is plenty of stirring in most fields.

In neuroscience, a similar revolution has been occurring, although perhaps at a slower pace, via all the advancements in imaging, connectomics, massive modeling procedures, etc. Meaning is explicitly considered by authors such as Edelman, Fuster, Berthoz, Dehaene, Tononi, Sporns, Frinston, etc. Well, one would like to see how the different notions of info, meaning, memory, knowledge, etc. are elegantly cohered, articulated, and well connected --in my view, always around the advancement of a life cycle. And that should also include the origins and evolutionary path of nervous systems (curiously, they did not appear for info concerns but for osmotic/trophic functions).

In both biological and neuronal sciences, this enterprise of linking the advancement of a life cycle with the communication with the environment needs philosophical commitment too, as the itinerary is full of "provincial" ways of thinking that have created artificial borders to the intercommunication of ideas. Some parties have argued that a new info philosophy should be framed, and that should include contribution of the closest schools of thinking (perspectivism/phenomenology for my personal taste).

The convergence with physics does not look so far away (as has been properly claimed by some discussants). Self-production via communication with the environment by assemblages of excitable elements, counting with algorithmic devices that mirror how the inner and outer worlds coalesce, in one case genomes and in the other mystical or Platonic "laws of nature" (what strange existentiality do they have!), may finally represent a common panorama.

About the ways and means to overcome the complexity crisis that surrounds even the more modest steps in the information adventure... I have no idea (but to establish a shield with basic consensus in "principled" matters).

Best regards--Pedro

El 07/04/2016 a las 13:05, Christophe escribió:

Dear Soren,
To avoid a possible misunderstanding let me say that the MGS has no ambition to reach a ’full Peircean semiotic framework’. The Meaning Generator System has been designed to introduce what looked to me as missing in the young ‘science of cognition’ in the mid 90’s. ‘Meaning’ was a key concept without any model for meaning generation in an evolutionary perspective. The MGS was designed to fill the gap. At that time I did not know about Peirce (was at IBM on very different subjects). Information on Peirce work came in later. The MGS has some compatibility with the Peircean approach as both rely on interpretation. But two key points of the MGS are not really present in the Peircean framework: the evolutionary story from animals to humans and the development of a meaning generation process (Peirce tells about the generated meaning (the Interpretant) but does not tell much about a meaning generation process (the Interpreter)). So my question about the MGS as a possible introduction to the concepts of meaning and experience is not to be understood as strictly part of the Perceian semiotic framework. And the question is still being asked.

*De :* Søren Brier <>
*Envoyé :* mercredi 6 avril 2016 02:04
*À :* 'Christophe'
*Cc :*

Dear Christophe

Never the less we consider that cats and dogs or dolphins –I have played with them all – to have an inner experimental life in order also to support their perceptual skills for instance and they have memory and recognition capabilities.

I do appreciate that you work with these things and try to move your modelling more towards a Peircean biosemiotic paradigm. But in what I have seen from you so far I do not think you have moved to a full Peircean semiotic framework.

But even if, then biosemiotics is certainly not (yet?) accepted as a natural science, which for instance is the reason that Barbieri left biosemiotics and is trying to establish his own code-biology.

But of cause we need to work with growing amounts and quality of awareness.

Frederick Stjernfelt sometimes with Kalevi Kull and Jesper Hoffmeyer has tried to flesh out a hierarchy of semiotics levels in the plant and animal kingdoms in several articles.



Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Aragón (CIBA)
Avda. San Juan Bosco, 13, planta X
50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 (& 6818)

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