Dear Koichiro and colleagues,

The ancient Greeks had several notions of time. The main point for our discussion seems to me the distinction between historical time and event time. Trajectories, for example, can be formed in historical time by series of relations; trajectories are observable. Among other things, they can be shaped by languaging.

I agree that language uses another time. It is not a trajectory, but a regime. The difference is that a trajectory can be shaped, for example, along a life-cycle, whereas a regime is a next-order change like life or death. The next-order operation leaves a footprint in historical time; however, it is part of an evolutionary dynamics. This dynamics is not directly observable, but only available as an informed hypothesis which can be tested against the events/non-events in historical time.


Loet Leydesdorff

Professor emeritus, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) <>; Associate Faculty, SPRU, <>University of Sussex;

Guest Professor Zhejiang Univ. <>, Hangzhou; Visiting Professor, ISTIC, <>Beijing;

Visiting Fellow, Birkbeck <>, University of London;

------ Original Message ------
From: "Koichiro Matsuno" <>
To: "Fis," <>
Sent: 2/15/2018 5:53:23 AM
Subject: Re: [Fis] The unification of the theories of information based on the cateogry theory

On 8 Feb 2018 at 4:05 PM, Loet Leydesdorff wrote:

From a biological perspective, not language itself, but “languaging” behavior is considered the system of reference.

On 13 Feb 2018 at 7:01 PM, Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic wrote:

As in biology thre are different kinds of organisms there are also different kinds of “languages”.


Focusing upon languaging comes to shed light on the communication in time between whatever parties. The issue of time then reminds me of the oft-quoted Aristotelian aphorism on the vulgar nature of time. As calling attention to the nonexistence of both past and future at the present moment of now, Aristotle observed “the present now is not part of time at all, for a part measures the whole, and the whole must be made up of the parts, but we cannot say that time is made up of ‘nows’ (Physics Book 4, 218a)”. Thus, “there is a something pertaining to time which is indivisible, and this something is what we mean by the ‘present’ or ‘now’ (234a)”. One outcome from these observations is simply a metaphysical aporia as pointing to that time both does and does not exist.

One common-sense strategy getting out of the metaphysical impasse, which Aristotle would also seem to ‘reluctantly’ share, might be to view time as a linear succession of the now-points thanks to the additional idea of the levelling-off of the now points. This limiting procedure may help us to forget about the underlying aporia for the time being. But the contrast between languaging and language may revive our concern on whether we could dismiss the vulgar nature of time in a sweeping manner in a positive sense. So far, language has seemed to be quite at home with time as the linear succession of the now points. That is so even in physics as we know it today. However, once the aspect of languaging is called up, the temporality of languaging may be found to differ from that of language. Languaging is not continuous, but distinctively discontinuous in distinguishing between the utterer and its potential respondent. Alternation of the role between utterer and respondent proceeds discretely temporally. (Bio)semiotician may seem to be sensitive to this issue of time.

   Koichiro Matsuno

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