I want to pick on Christophe’s post to make a general plea about FIS posting.
This is not a comment on meaning generation by agents. Christophe wrote:
"Keeping in mind that communications exist only because agents need to manage
meanings for given purposes”.
This seems to imply that we have such confidence that this premise is correct
that it is safe to assume it is true. However, the word “communication” is
sometimes used in ways that do not comport with this premise. For example, it
can be said that in the building of a structure, two beams that are attached to
each other with bolts are “communicating” with each other. This certainly fits
my notion of communication, although there are no “agents” or “meanings” here.
Energy (e.g., movement) can be transferred from one beam to the next, which
represents “communication” to me. I would personally define communication as
the transfer of information, and I prefer to define “information” without any
reference to “meaning”. If the claim above had been written as a contingency
(e.g., “If we assume that communications exist…”), then I could embrace the
rest of Christophe’s post.
I think the effectiveness of our FIS posts is diminished by presuming everybody
shares our particular perspectives on these concepts. It leads us to talk past
each other to a degree; so I hope we can remain open to the correctness or
utility of alternative perspectives that have been frequently voiced within FIS
and use contingent language to establish the premises of our FIS posts.
On Feb 13, 2018, at 5:19 AM, Christophe Menant
Dear Terry and FISers,
It looks indeed reasonable to position the term 'language' as ‘simply referring
to the necessity of a shared medium of communication’. Keeping in mind that
communications exist only because agents need to manage meanings for given
And the concept of agent can be an entry point for a ‘general theory of
information’ as it does not make distinctions.
The Peircean triadic approach is also an available framework (but with, alas, a
limited development of the Interpreter).
I choose to use agents capable of meaning generation, having some compatibility
with the Peircean approach and with the Biosemiotics
All the best
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