I present a response to T. v. Uexküll’s attempt to complement J. v. Uexküll’s theories by incorporating concepts from structural linguistics. I more closely compare structural linguistics and J. v. Uexküll’s theories, noting significant differences unmentioned by T. v. Uexküll, leading to the claim that J. v. Uexküll’s theories need further development in relation to cognitive learning. I suggest that learning has a higher status and different conceptualization in a bio- or eco-semiotic approach than it does in structural linguistics. Bateson’s concepts of proto- and deutero-learning are found to be complementary to Jakob von Uexküll’s theory at the intra-specific level, while Hoffmeyer’s notions of semethic interaction and semiotic freedom are useful to describe interspecific relations and semiotic capacities of organisms.
© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston