Codes can be viewed as mechanisms that enable relations of signs and their components, i.e., semiosis is actualized. The combinations of these relations produce new relations as new codes are building over other codes. Structures appear in the mechanisms of codes. Hence, codes can be described as transformations of structures from some material systems into others. Structures belong to different carriers, but exist in codes in their “pure” form. Building of codes over other codes fosters their regulation. There are several ways to add codes: by types of transformation of structures involved in codes; by dimensions of pragmatics, semantics, and syntactics; through “abstract universals versus precise forms” relations; and by regulation levels in the “organism – environment” relations. More complicated codes are formed based on the interrelations of codes built over. These interrelations are presented as a conceptual chart, which reflects the way typical semiotic formations emerge in mind based on the interrelations of various codes. It also presents the related sociocultural semiotic systemities: motives, needs, aspirations, moral values, purposes, language-like systemities, fundamental frames, patterns of culture, etc.
The late twentieth century saw the “rapid expansion of the idea of codes” (Nöth 1998). Linguists (Baissans and others) analyzed the ideas based on the theory of information elaborated by Shannon. They tried to reveal codes both in verbal languages (Baissans, Prieto, Jacobson, and others; see Nöth 1998) and nonverbal semiotic systems. Models of codes were regarded as the core of semiotics development (Eco 1968). The ideas of codes of double articulation produced the models of “double articulation” by Martinet, forms and substances of planes of expression and planes of content (Hjelmslev 1961), three levels of verbal units (Prieto 1964; Sharov 1999). After Francis Crick’s book explaining the “double spiral” (the principle of DNA molecule structure) was published, Jacobson pointed out the similarity between this principle and the model of double articulation in linguistics. Thus, there appeared ideas of common interrelations between codes in culture, the problem of general systematization of codes, identification of types and interrelations (Eco 1968; Danesi 1994; Tchertov 1996).
At present, the objective of systematization and interrelation of codes in semiotics gains a new impetus. First, there is a need to correlate the empirical data, accumulated by semiotics in the study of nonverbal sign systems, between each other, and with knowledge of linguistic codes and signs, the data of cognitive sciences and neurology. Codes are based on the activity of neurons, synapses, and other material systems of the brain and organism as a whole. The correlation of codes with the activity of these systems is broadly investigated in the field of sensory information production in the central nervous system of mammals and humans (Somjen 1972; Pribram 1971). A number of authors (Ivanov 1972, 2008; Chernigovskaya 1999) pointed out the need to connect semiotic models and neuroscientific knowledge. In this sense, the systematization of the links between various codes in semiotics can be viewed as a theoretical approach that makes it possible to model material brain systems. Second, the issue of code interrelation is determined by inner semiotic problems, basically the need to regard semiology as a part of semiotics by Deely and others. Therefore, there is a special need for integrating models of signs and semiosis with code models and with ideas of structures in structuralism and post-structuralism. The related issue is further investigated based on this assumption.
The suggested conceptual chart of code interrelation is explained by examples of nonverbal systems. The most extensive semiotic reality is the artificial human-made environment. It embraces fundamental communicative situations, communication channels, natural and cultural systems of pre-linguistic and linguistic type, and various processes of human behavior and activity. Therefore, it appears reasonable to substantiate the models of code description based on the data in this field.
2 Basic concepts and principles of the approach
2.1 Fundamental universals: Relations and structures
The fundamental universals that are typical for codes arise from the relations between something and something. It is nothing but structures. The ideas of structures are cognate in a number of sciences. At the same time, the category of structure is interpreted in different ways in the systems thinking approach, in various branches of structuralism, and in various concepts of languages and texts (Kubryakova and Mel’nikov 1972). The interpretation of structure accepted here is slightly different from the generally used ones and regards structure as a side of interactions, as a way of communication that is implemented in interactions (Il’in 1972; Somov 1990, 2008, 2012). Accepting the fundamental role of structures is in line with the foundations of the sign theory elaborated by Peirce: his acknowledgement of general “structures of reality” (Stjernfelt 2013: 79); with the basic “object – representamen” relation of a universal similar to Plato’s ideas by Peirce; as well as with interpretations of codes as transformations of structures by governing structures (Lefebvre 1973 ; Hoffmeyer and Emmeche 1991). The statement about the fundamental role of structures also correlates with the ideas of hypothetical structures compared with real structures in the thinking and perception processes in Gestalt psychology, cognitive psychology, the theory of metaphor (Piaget 1979; Lakoff and Johnson 2003; Baranov 2008), and the ideas of structural transformations as the basis of creative thinking and design in heuristics and design theory (Barbyshev and Somov 1972, 1976; Voronin et al. 1982; Somov 1990).
The origin and existence of structures can be viewed based on Peirce’s phaneroscopy, in the following way: the appearance of qualia and formation of stable relations and ways to relate structures (firstness); structure relations (secondness); and replication, consolidation of relations, structures (thirdness).
2.2 Codes as regulations of structures
Codes can be regarded as relations in semiosis chains, models of which are presented in semiotic research works (Ponzio 1993; Hoffmann 2001; Lang 1993; Sarbo and Farkas 2013). In particular, these are the following chains of semiosis: icon → index → symbol; regulation cycles (information selection → reaction → action); levels of integration (abstract universals → frame → pattern). These code chains create various directions of semiosis. To sum up, structures are formed in accordance with the “firstness → secondness → thirdness” principle and build upon each other in various directions of semiosis.
According to some theories, the formation of codes includes structures building over others similar to governing structures building over the governed ones (Emmeche and Hoffmeyer 1991; Hoffmeyer and Emmeche 1991; Hoffmeyer 1996). Thus, the “underlying” structure can be regulated by one or several added structures, which are formed in various directions of semiosis. Codes can work separately by building upon governed structures and can be interrelated due to transformations of structures. A structure can be a result of a structural shift from some heterogeneity to another heterogeneity. It can be also integrated in relations and combinations with other structures. Thus, code functioning enables various transformations of structures which can be described based on the systematization of these structures and types of their transformations. The models of these transformations correlate with more specific – the empirical fields of science. First of all, structural transformations can be observed in models of biochemical reactions. A molecule is combined with another molecule due to identification of a structure which is suitable for interaction based on charge, valence, configuration, the number of elements, and other structural features of these molecules. This identification was described in philosophic research of biochemical processes (Quastler 1964). Structural mechanisms of relations, transformations are implemented in the work of the RNA, DNA, and the production of various enzymes. They are also implemented in developed regulation processes: in animal behavior and human activity, thinking, cognition, and communication. This idea is consistent with the general idea of unified sign systems of organism and human (Sebeok 1999). However, there is a structural aspect in this unity. The structural aspect of regulation is noticeable in adaptive behavior. Moving closer, withdrawing one’s hand, i.e., changing the body’s position in space is simple regulation. This is regulation of some governed parameters-structures by the governing criteria-structures. Such regulation is typical for both adaptive behavior and activity. For example, moving along a certain line at minimum loss of resources is nothing but choosing a structure of actions performed by an organism: an insect, an animal, or a human. The dependence of such “optimum” structure on the governing structures is also manifested in activity – the development of action plans. Choosing the route to get from one part of the city to another one can serve an example. The city’s map is a structure. The points marking the start and the purposes of movement, distance and transport routes are structures aimed at choosing the fastest, smoothest, and cheapest route. Another code regulating the value of resources: the consumption of time, energy, and money – is also involved in decision-making. Purposes, goals, drives, and criteria for evaluating the possible solutions appear in various human fields of thinking. These components of thinking can be described as structures and their relationship. In particular, factors can be represented as a selection of some structures, while goal-setting and decision-taking – as results of relations between structures that are typical for factors. At the empirical level, such relations are presented in urban design. The urban design theory by Lynch can serve an example. It includes criteria, typical parameters and structural characteristics, which is reflected in the term “urban form” (Lynch 1981). In the models, close to Lynch, urban design solutions are implemented in efficient functional zoning, in the placement of separate processes and objects and organization of traffic between them. The city plan is an integration of these structures and others. Human activity and behavior, the processes of production, housing, transport, trade, sport, etc., are implemented in their systems and the relevant structures.
2.3 Codes as transformations of structures in various heterogeneities
Fundamental structures, namely, symmetries, numbers, topological structures, and rhythms – are realized in elements of various physical nature – in various substances and heterogeneities. The analysis of semiotic systems reveals that structures produce features, identities, differences, groups of elements, and relations, i.e., various heterogeneities (Somov 2012). The structural organization of heterogeneity appears as a set of relations and features which produce differences and which are organized by structures and their manifestations – identities. Fundamental structures, i.e., those realized in various types of systemities, are discovered in various fields: mathematics, Gestalt psychology, cognitive psychology, and design models. Structures are usually differentiated into various types as logical, linguistic, mathematical, geometrical, etc. These types of structures are presented, for example, in IQ tests by Eysenck. But all these realities have common – fundamental structures. The author has already mentioned types of fundamental structures above (Somov 2012, 2014). To sum up, types of fundamental structures and their relations can be presented as a conceptual chart. This chart describes the idea of universalism typical for mathematical descriptions of physical and mental realities: string theory, fractal theory and methods, symmetry theory, and topology theory (Penrose 1999). An example from the field of urban design can be adduced to illustrate the point. Various transformations of basic structures of urban development systems in mental activity form the structures in the material space. In particular, urban forming structures of production, housing, transport, and road networks are materialized in the elements of material space. This is possible due to transformations of various structures in thinking. Similarly, urban perceptive spatial-visual systemities are produced. Perceptive systemities are also involved in mental activity as structures and their transformations. The key parts of this systemity include perceptive spaces, volumes, surfaces, planes, axes, centers, silhouettes of housing development, etc., and are characterized by various structures. But these are the same structures: symmetries, rhythms, numbers, topological constructions, etc. Structures and heterogeneities are implemented in various modalities depending on communicative channels – on carriers (Traffic mittels by Peirce), “material forms” of signs (Saussure 1959). For example, the same rhythm can be realized in music, dance, poetry, or architectural composition.
To sum up, structures form heterogeneities and are inseparable from codes. The fundamental character of structure realizations and their manifestations-identities among differences is a statement that correlates with a number of general scientific provisions: Saussure’s postulate that “in language there are only differences without positive terms,” the assumption on difference as the basic concept of cybernetics (Ashby 1956, 1960), and the concept of signal, which is in contrast with the environment in the semiotic interpretation of information theory (Bateson 1972). In the field of philosophic information issues, there was developed a more general statement on difference as an objective-material basis for information (Ursul 1971; Kucherov 1972; Tyukhtin 1977). In terms of accepted terminology, it can be stated that a heterogeneity that is structurally organized is the basis of information (Somov 2012).
Relations of codes of various types are realized in semiotic systems, which can be described in terms of relations between structures and the heterogeneities organized by them, according to what have been said above. First of all, it is necessary to point out the relationship of heterogeneities between levels: the directly perceived signals, representamens, signs, objects, interpretants (Figures 1 and 2). A structure built upon another structure governs it (Hoffmeyer and Emmeche 1991). Codes are based on the fixation of the mechanism of relations between these two structures. Within this relationship, there appear intermediate elements. Hence, one code produces two more codes, which is referred to the concept of “double articulation.” It correlates with various theories mentioning codes of double articulation and its interrelations with language (Nöth 1998). Like other relations of structures, it is realized in various domains of semiosis. Therefore, two groups of double articulation units can be found in quite different codes. This description can be also compared with the “figures – signs – semes” three-level model (Prieto 1964). The structures of these heterogeneities build upon each other. Some codes and structures are within a heterogeneity and organize it; other structures connect different heterogeneities. If one considers the relations between structures and heterogeneities in situation 1, this would correlate with the relations between form and substance (Hjelmslev 1961; Broadbent 1977; Barthes 1968, 1983; Stepanov 1971, 1975), while situation (2) would be in line with the relations between the plane of content and the plane of expression, structures of signs, representamens, figures (signals) and “semantic components” (for the term see Hjelmslev 1961). Heterogeneities of various levels are interrelated by structures due to their mechanisms – codes. It can be stated that structural relations are actualized as interrelations between the plane of expression and the plane of content forms; while the relations between heterogeneities – as interrelations of the substances of these planes, by Hjelmslev. The heterogeneities related to the substances of the planes of expression and planes of content are actualized in various communication channels. The layers of their heterogeneities are relative. These layers can be represented by senses, concepts, images and other psychic realities. These relations are made possible due to codes producing systems in various kinds of semiosis. This means that (1) the universals of the psyche can be described as relations between the planes of expression and the planes of content and that (2) this description reflects the actual work of codes and vice versa: the description of codes in terms of structure and heterogeneity reflects the relations between planes. In mental activity, structures are separate from material systems and a mental reality is formed in their relations.
Based on the model of relations between heterogeneities, the relations between codes can be constructed as its specification (Figures 3 and 4). These interrelations can be created through the systematization of various kinds of semiosis which enable structures to build upon each other (Figure 2). These relations are manifested in different realities depending on the types of the related systems, for example, through the “external reality systems – imagination systems – symbolic systems” line (Lacan). The imaginary and symbolic realities by Lacan can be regarded as relations of heterogeneities. Similarly, other possible formations of the psychic reality can be constructed based on the model of sign suggested by Peirce. It is essential that different realities are connected by codes and are produced based on codes (Eco 1968; Somjen 1972; S. Hall 1980 ; Fiske 1982, 1989; Biederman 1987; Bignell 1997; Chandler 2007). Codes of “simple” obvious relations generate codes of more “complicated” and unobservable relations. Thus, the relation of the ‘image-depicted’ heterogeneities is evident, but this relation generates the heterogeneity of the unobservable – imaginary reality (Deregowski 1980). This is easily illustrated by examples in various images. Structures of heterogeneity of representamens in images reflect structures of objects (situations), which is actualized in visual perception. Structures of objects, being related to structures of images, can generate new codes and signs. In particular, codes responsible for the perception of distance between objects are based on the clearness of close contours and the blurring of distant contours. For example, the thickness of object contours in photography denotes different planes of the depicted space. In the reality of an image, codes of thickness of lines as well as areas of large and small color elements appear in the painting in the fore- and backgrounds. There appears a conventional image code with its own structure, which triggers the generation of another code – the code of denoting non-existing objects and their structures. Typical examples can be revealed in well-known paintings by Escher.
3 Codes of structural transformations
Codes of structural transformations (1, 2, 3) are actualized in various ways: abstract universals – “schema – pattern,” “general – particular – singular,” “structure – integrity – form”. Codes are realized in the following basic ways: double articulation (1); complication of structures (2); integration (3).
Codes of double articulation (1) naturally appear when the added structure regulates the “underlying” structure. Structures, elements and relations of the “intermediate” level are formed in the regulation relationships and exist both in terms of spatial-temporal relations and in terms of the “governed structures – governing structures.” Codes of double articulation are viewed as fundamental in semiological linguistic theories (Nöth 1998). They are also revealed through the study of nonverbal sign systems. These are basically codes of spatial behavior in proxemics (E. Hall 1974, 1977; Watson 1974) and architectonic codes of architecture (Tchertov 1996). Based the principle of structures building over each other, double articulation can be explained by building over itself and the formation of intermediate elements in structural connections. Otherwise stated, code units, as well as language units, are interrelated as “figures – signs – semes” (Prieto 1964). Units like “morphemes – phonemes” appear (Martinet 1962), which is manifested in nonverbal systems as the creation and perception of artificial environment. All elements of buildings, architectural complexes, fragments of cities (figures) that are perceived directly produce independent elements and relations. Thus, codes and structures connecting the abovementioned relations between the planes of expression and the planes of content can be also represented in the model of double articulation. The diversity of spatial-visual heterogeneity creates a possibility for various codes of double articulation to co-exist and build over each other. This is represented in the composition of Western European cities. The structures of indices – the key directions of movement, crowds of people – are materialized in the elements of city spaces. These are market places, trapezium-shaped squares in front of cathedrals, and zigzag and curvilinear streets converging at different angles. At the same time, spaces, dimensions, masses, wall articulations are incorporated in the sign systems denoting the owners of the buildings and their social standing, denoting the processes happening on the squares and in the streets. In turn, the processes depicted in environment become the plane of expression for various situations, events, stories, myths, etc. Dimensions and other visual elements serve to symbolize the apostles and saint patrons of the city; the semiotic systems of state, religion or ethnos also possess their own “upper” signs. The structures of symbols are based upon the “underlying” structures of icons and indices. Stable socio-symbolic codes build over the codes of natural semiosis. In the composition of cities and architectural complexes, the “upper” structures start to ‘govern’ the “underlying” ones and vice versa: there are relations of the “plane of expression – plane of content” direction, with codes of double articulation realized in these relations (Figure 2).
Codes of complication of structures (2) are actualized in the following directions of semiosis: repetition (translation) (2.1); combination (composition) of structures (bundles of distinctive features) (2.2); complication (combining) of structures (2.3). This differentiation correlates with the idea of interrelation between mathematical structures, fractals, symmetries, topologies, etc. (Penrose). Repetition of structures (2.1) can be regarded as a shift of a structure from some heterogeneity into another heterogeneity. For example, a simple force distribution in bearing constructions forms a symmetrical grid. This grid is translated into the structure of physical material heterogeneity, and then – into the structure organizing the spatial-visual heterogeneity. The structure of bearing constructions is transformed into a structural organization of visually perceived elements: columns, entablements, capitals, cornices as well as into structural organization of their metaphors. To sum up, structures of physical level form structures of signs (visible elements) and structures of semantic elements. The repetitions of structures are mainly manifested in metaphors, as cognitive structures and object (situation) relations are compared in them (Baranov 2008). This comparison is the central aspect of thinking, i.e., similar structural interrelations exist in mental processes and semiotic systems of various types. Interrelations of structures produce their combinations (composition) (2.2). Clusters of structures are realized, which is described in phonological models (Jakobson et al. 1967; Trubetzkoy 1969 ), models of pattern recognition. Structures connected in various heterogeneities can be observed in architectural composition. The formation of material spatial elements of a residential house incorporates the combination of structures of life processes and site space planning. Design and technology structures produce their combinations: frame modules and small-size parts. Structures of proper semiotic formations are iconic, indexical, and symbolic. An apartment building in a city is a combination of structures of a different level (2.2). There appears a cluster of planning elements of physical level, design and technology structures as well as structures of sign systems. Clusters of structures obtain the nature of units through repeated actualization in people’s thinking in certain cultures: the units which are stable for the epoch, ethnic territorial communities, and the related cultures and sub-cultures. Thus, relations between clusters turn into codes, and a more economical thinking is actualized. Probably, the clearest description of these mechanisms is provided by models of image recognition (Somov 2006). In the theory and methods of visual image recognition, there exist features that enable to relate an object to different classes (topological features of configurations and contours, groups and number of elements, relations of elements in terms of size (Fayermark 1974). These features are realizations of structures. The role of structural mechanisms of recognition is clearly seen in modeling artificial environment. These codes help recognize and model city environment; there also exists a phenomena called the originality of settlement. In particular, the urge for regenerating historical settlements leads to the need for the study and making use of structural features of the existing historical building: planning configurations of streets, squares, yards, silhouettes of house roofs, typical wall projections, divisions of wall surfaces, grouping of embrasure arrangement, etc. Codes of complication (combining) of structures (2.3) integrate codes 2.1 and 2.2. In thinking, these codes are apparently interrelated with complication of actions in behavior and activity. In particular, researchers of the origin of human thinking note an increase in the number of actions performed by the hand while processing stone implements. Solving two-move (or more) problems is explained by an increase in the span of short term memory, which can reach three actions with chimpanzees and seven actions (plus or minus two) with people (Markov 2015). According to neurophysiology, complications of this kind are fixed genetically and generally – in material structures that actualize codes: neurons, synapses, biochemical brain components, and body organs. The formation of new codes of structure combining is manifested in the historical changes of thinking and activity (new intellectual challenges, computer games, etc.). Mechanisms 2.1 and 2.2 serve the bases for the formation of codes 2.3 where the “representamens – objects” and “signified – signifier” relations are easily combined. This accounts for the role of articulated speech and linguistic systems in the development of thinking. The development of the system of codes in general acquires a crucially new nature with a shift to conventional – linguistic systems, which become totally separated from natural relations (Martynov). This conventionality enables combining the relations between the signified and the signifier and creating the signifiers which can be separated from the natural relations, according to Lacan’s theory. The difference between conventional codes and natural codes – iconic and indexical codes – determines the independence of the former. This makes it possible to clearly investigate the relations between verbal and nonverbal systems. Many nonverbal codes are secondary as compared to linguistic codes, which correlates with Bart’s semiological theory. Images can be also created based on linguistic codes rather than perceptive codes, which is in accordance with the ideas of perceptive categorization in visual perception. With codes of combining, conventional signs of articulated speech, there arise distinct differences in codes: pre-linguistic, linguistic, and post-linguistic (Somov 2014), nonverbal, verbal, and artificial. The fundamental nature of codes 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 and secondariness of linguistic codes is manifested in the difficulties arising when applying linguistic grammar to nonverbal areas (Scruton 2013 ). For these reasons, it would be appropriate to point out pre-linguistic nonverbal codes as more fundamental ones. On the whole, the differentiation between 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 enables one to specify the peculiarities of pre-linguistic and linguistic systems (Kristeva 1969, 1984) and nonverbal codes as preceding the verbal ones (Somov 2014; Figure 5).
As semiotic analysis of works of visual art reveals, identification codes, in particular, are fixed in underlying pre-linguistic systems. Relations between structures in them are similar to recognition in perception. In particular, underlying remembrances and aspirations are realized in metaphors and metonymies formed by cognitive structures. Structures are actualized in paradigmatics and syntagmatics in the text of a work (Somov 2014). This correlates with the idea of the universalism of metaphor in semiotic systems and human cognitive processes (Lakoff and Johnson 2003), as well as with the theory of cognitive structures as the basis of metaphors (Baranov 2008).
The codes of group 2 present some difficulties due to the diversity of theories on the connection between the sensory level and “unmotivated” linguistic signs. But it would be reasonable to consider this issue in connection with the entire classification of codes. Each of the abovementioned types of codes generates its units. In relations (intersections) of codes 2.1 these units appear as various structures (topological structures, sets, spatial-temporal localities); in relations 2.2 – as bundles of features, frames of situations; in relations 2.3 – as various patterns. They include both unconscious conditioned reflexes and conscious techniques of sign practice, including various habits, skills, canons. These levels are described empirically in the study of verbal semiotic systems: as social norms, moral rules, systems of legal documentation, art canons, structures of linguistic cultural texts – such are also the structures of myths in mythological thinking described by Levi-Strauss. These are, for example, items and their parts, which we see. To see means both to produce items by thinking based on metaphors as well as to realize them on the basis of concepts – logical results of verbal codes.
Codes of integration (3) are actualized in the following ways: specification: abstract universals – frames, patterns (3.1); structures – integrities – forms (3.2); general – separate – individual (3.3). Specification is interrelations of structures. Codes 3.1 are composition and decomposition of structures, according to the techniques of their formalization (Toda and Shuford 1965). Mechanisms 3.1 are most thoroughly manifested in the solution of mental problems, especially in intellectual games and in the solution of logical, geometrical, linguistic, and mathematical IQ tests by Eysenck. Based on interrelations of structures and formation of bundles, heterogeneities and codes of frames and patterns are produced.
The use and distribution of a pattern is preceded by structural transformation of codes that generated a specific formation, which is effective in some mental, communicative and behavioral situations. It is efficient to use this formation in similar situations. The levels of specification based on these types of codes are broadly represented in visual information. In particular, combinations of abstract and specific levels can be found in fine art works. In the art of modernism and vanguard in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the search for definitions and interrelations of abstract and specific levels are especially diverse. The shift to non-figurative art entailed the decomposition of structures and formation of more abstract codes. Codes of abstract structural features were intertwined with codes of specific levels. For example, works of cubists and artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in general were based on the search for the techniques for including specific icons in non-figurative rhythms of geometrical figures (Somov 2006). These interrelations and gradual shifts from specific signs to abstract ones are most clearly seen in the works by Vrubel and Picasso (Somov 2006). The combination of structural features forms the “abstract – specific” relationship. Codes of an image become similar to the heterogeneity of codes of recognition of reality.
Codes of structures – integrities – forms (3.2) are differentiated in terms of “direct relations of interaction – indirect relations, conditionalities.” Relations are typical for both physical reality and various thinking processes, being the basis for codes of these relations. Relations produce structures. More indirect relations appear as more ‘blurred’ and indefinite formations – integrities (Sapir 1930). Ever more generalized contours encompassing interconditionalities appear as certain forms (Barbyshev and Somov 1990). Therefore, it is reasonable to distinguish between codes of structures, integrities and forms (d, e, f, Figure 4). Different codes prevail in different spheres of thinking. Thinking in terms of structures is the most exact one. Thinking in terms of integrities is less strict and exact than the structural one, but more exact than thinking in terms of forms. This distinction is in line with the accepted division into “logical” and “visual” thinking, metaphors of logical and visual thinking. Codes of structures are differentiated by structures in the spatial-temporal terms. In architecture these codes connect, in particular, axes, centers, and planes organizing the heterogeneity of three-dimensional space. Universals are also correlated in time as intensive structures: rhythms and symmetries of a temporal sequence. Intensive structures produce codes of precedence relations. Codes of integrities are based on groups of features, combinations of units and relations. Such are, for example, planning configurations and their structural elements: lines, axes, centers, focal points, and configurations of architectural composition. Typical frames generate codes of integrities. For example, architectural systems of orders, systems like styles, idiolects in architecture are manifested in groups of units and relations; they are typical integrities in terms of accepted terminology. Codes of forms are based on object boundaries. Typical geometrical bodies are what visual perception and architectural form-making operate with: cube, sphere, cylinder, prism, pyramid, parallelepiped. The differentiation of these bodies and forms is similar to the difference in writing letters in phonetic writing. Based on codes of these geometrical bodies – representamens, semantic codes of forms are produced. Parallelepipeds and vertical planes become signs of facilitated building technology. Geometrical bodies are easily involved in the icon → index → symbol semiosis and acquire a symbolic nature. Simplified geometrical bodies help turn to a symbolic reality rather than the world of accepted codes of complicated forms. Geometrical novelty and giant scale of forms and images by Ledoux and Boulle contrast with their predecessors. These simplified and enlarged forms and their relations with symbolic codes contributed to the development of the Empire style, and later to the development of the styles of the social revolution epoch – modernism of the twentieth century. Simplifications of forms in various styles of modernism formed symbolic codes of the twentieth century. Codes of forms are well integrated with codes of combining, which is manifested in architectural combinations of style elements. These elements include, for example, cupolas, crosses, spires, rose-windows of Gothic cathedrals, typical for doors, portals, and window trimming in residential houses. Codes of forms are integrated with codes of paradigmatics and syntagmatics, which can be observed in the history of architectural styles.
Due to the differences in the “structures – integrities – forms” codes, essential peculiarities of thinking are produced. Thinking in terms of structures is on the one pole, thinking in terms of forms is on the other. On the whole, the differences in codes are manifested in the differentiation between logical and visual thinking. Apparently, it is thinking in structures that is reflected in the traditional concept of the independence of the world of abstractions and abstract thinking. Thinking in structures correlates with relations in verbal semiotic systems. This is reflected in the unity of structures in logics, mathematics, and business speech. The second type of thinking is observed in integrities – groups of language and speech units (Sapir 1930), groups of relations and elements of spatial-visual objects and situations. Thinking in forms is more specific and also more indefinite/blurred as compared to thinking in structures. Forms are close to indefinite visual metaphors and subtle visual images.
General – separate – individual (single) (3.3) is a group of codes which, like the other codes of group 3, are generated by integration of structures. Bundles of abstract structures enable actualization of certain peculiarities. In turn, actualizations of peculiar structural features or special clusters form the individual. Similarly to recognition of individuals, any individual objects are formed by specific sets of features. Recognition of an individual in biotic communities and human society is based on special alphabets of features and the relevant specific codes. This is confirmed by biosemiotic data. Recognition of individuals is determined by their importance in the life of other individuals. Similar is the significance of a native home representing family and friends for a human being. Therefore, codes of individual place, building, entrance, interiors, and plot arrangement are so important in dwelling house design. With repeating typical projects of residential houses, there appear specific means to individualize these projects based on structures of material systems. The individual is a result of specification (c) of codes (a) and codes (b) (Figure 4). However, according to the data of biosemiotics, recognition of individuals is based on individual codes.
The existence of codes of individual is essential. Bundles 3.3.3 differ from bundles 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 considerably. Recognition of wicked and kind faces is based on the combinations of the general alphabet of abstract features, recognition of a familiar face is based on a certain alphabet of features.
Codes 3.3.1, 3.3.2, and 3.3.3 are most easily implemented in literary texts. Also in portrait painting, famous historical people are endowed with various intentions, emotions, and personal traits. And vice versa – the general canonic features of a prototype can acquire individual peculiarities of a specific, real historical person, which has been reflected in the means to depict Jesus Christ in the European art from the Renaissance.
4 Codes of aspects of signs
Codes of aspects of signs (4, 5, 6) are differentiated based on Peirce’s model of sign (4). There exist intentional codes (4), identification codes (5), and organizational codes (6) (Somov 2014). Intentional codes (4) connect interpretants and representamens. They are differentiated in terms of basic intentions: motives, urges, wishes, needs, and aims. In particular, these are the codes of danger, presence of food and partners, the intention to possess a territory, orientation for efficient movement in the environment, urge towards communication with one’s likes, towards empathy, etc. Intentions are directed from interpretants towards signs, representamens and objects, i.e., they are interpretants in the sign model by Peirce (Somov 2012, 2014). This corresponds to the concept of the interpretation of signals (Deely 2014). This correlates with the “interpreter – sign” relations that form pragmatics (Morris 1971 ). It can be stated that intentional codes are the basis of pragmatics. They are rendered in responses to questions put to the environment. They are always implicitly present in the interpreter (organism) – environment pattern (Morris 1971 ). This idea complies with the idea of the environmental response to questions, according to McLuhan. Respectively, various interpretants can be presented as groups of interrelated intentions. An organism always puts the most relevant issues to the environment and receives answers. According to this theory, these answers-questions can be only produced based on codes. Codes select certain features and provide the reaction. Intentional codes 4.1 are especially broadly manifested in the questions and answers that are essential for survival: “is it dangerous here or not?”, where is the food?”, “what are the shortest ways to get it?”, “where are the enemies?”, “where are the partners?”, “what are the intentions of the congeners?” Let us repeat that codes are based on the heterogeneity of the communicative channel – features, differences and identities. The foundations of these codes are well-known due to the data collected in biosemiotic research. First of all, these are the foundations of animal codes, i.e., attractants, echolocation frequency range and rhythms of signals which are sent out and received back (signals from obstacles, predators, victims; signals about exciting chemical signals from the opposite sex. Simple features of visual perception are basically interrelated with basic motives and needs. Thus, danger is rendered by the following signs – features: abrupt movements, slopes of planes, overhanging of massive bodies, acute angles, etc. These features can be intensified in artificial human environment. In particular, they are the basis for various techniques of creating an emotional impact in architecture (the use of slopes, asymmetric space arrangement, the dynamics of dimensions and masses, etc.; Somov 1986a, 1986b). Codes used to render danger add the necessary emotional connotations to images – perceptions (Somov 2009, 2010b). The use of these means is closely connected with the development of architectural styles: baroque in the eighteenth century, the neo-Gothic style in the late eighteenth century, Art Nouveau, expressionism, brutalism, digital architecture. In fine arts, these codes are the basis of emotional impact, being actualized at different levels: the denoted objects and in the visual layer of an image.
Identification codes (5) connect representamens and objects. They are differentiated in terms of situations (objects), i.e., there are codes of identifying the size and functions of objects, distinguishing between the living and inanimate, friends or foes, recognizing social, ethnic or other groups of people, specific individuals and places, subcultures, religious confessions, political movements, etc. Objects of recognition – classes of situations organize the paradigmatics. Individual objects are related with classes of images (paradigmatics). If we recognize each other today, this means we have known each other for some time (we have met many times). Recognition of separate objects is the combination of classes of various codes in this group.
Organizational codes (6) connect signs and their elements (representamens, objects, interpretants). These codes correspond to syntactic codes (Eco 1968, 1976). Thus, a more convenient term, “intentional codes,” is used instead of pragmatics, “identification codes” instead of semantics and “organizational codes” instead of syntactics. In accordance with the general principle, these codes are based on the structural organization of heterogeneity. Thus, features, differences, groups of elements and their relations are manifested most clearly in the organization of representamens. According to some theories the organization of this level forms the area of aesthetic information (Bense 1971, 1982 ).
However, if the “representamens – objects” relations move to a ‘higher’ level of denotation, codes also move to a ‘higher’ level. There appear codes that organize the semantic components (terms by Hjemslev) of these higher levels. These are, for example, various hierarchic structures of semantic values: important events, heroes, gods, social groups, values of laws and legislative acts, rules of behavior, etc.
5 Codes of transformations
Codes of governing transformation changes (7) are formed based on codes of structural transformations 1 and 2. They include codes of preservation (7.1); codes of actions or reactions, including useful adaptations (7.2); and codes of development (7.3). Codes of preservation (7.1) are actualized at the level of material needs as preservation of the condition of an organism or a population (their structures and elements). Codes of actions or reactions (useful adaptation) (7.2) are evident at the level of physiological needs: to maintain metabolism in an organism under environmental changes, to move towards an object, to continue the genetic system (of species, genus or individual), to repeat the existing useful adaptations of organisms and populations. In particular, in the regulation models it is described in terms of homeostasis. At the level of orientational-cognitive needs of animals and human, codes 7.2 are manifested in behavior as maintaining the patterns of actions accumulated by the preceding generations. In natural codes, these patterns are rendered as instincts, in elaborated – cultural codes – as cultivated skills, regulations and norms of behavior. In human activity, these codes are rendered in instructions and skills imparted through education. Codes (7.2) are manifested, in particular, in the need for empathy – in maintaining unity, concord, faith and altruism in communities. The simplest and most evident manifestations of such structures are sign signals in communities. Based on them, translations of structures are produced: for example, dance rhythms which maintain individual activity and social unity. Such structures tune the general state of a community like a tuning fork. These codes are of special importance in the processes of individual autocommunication, in which they provide unity, smooth actions, and self-confidence. The importance of these codes promotes the development of superfluous semiotic systemities in narcissism, egoism and vanity. Individual inner life becomes filled with “vanity fairs” based on fundamental motives and needs, which is largely due to codes of useful adaptations.
The codes of maintaining (7.2) the needs of orientational-communicative level are characterized by their developed integration with codes of different types. Without being realized in the key areas of activity and behavior, these codes are constantly actualized in connotations and hypertexts of communication between people. In artificial environment, codes of level (7.2) are supported by various features and are actualized in semiotics systemities. Basic features, differences, and identities are established in an artificial environment and render functions and actions in the environment, comfortable conditions, main and secondary paths of motion/routes, and maintaining the existing social structures. This also refers to the techniques of self-realization, signs of wealth and social standing; regulations and laws enacting preferences and other class relations, etiquettes with exaggerated respect to VIP persons, etc. All these systemities are developed based on maintenance, stabilization and continuation, a sort of Modus vivendi.
Codes of development (7.3) are mechanisms that accompany building over of structures, i.e., the expansion of genome, species, and community of an organism. Any governing system building over the governed ones leads to quality changes – development, which is extremely noticeable in the expansion of governed actions. Building over of codes in the governing relations accounts for this development. An increasing number of actions leads to building over – generating codes. This is evident in material systems as well: the governing components are generated with the increased number of interneuronal connections. These codes are mainly realized at the level of orientational-cognitive human needs (4.2), which is the basis of human evolution in ontogenesis and phylogenesis. This is due to the fact that codes of survival imply building over of governing codes. In turn, these codes are connected with situation modeling – thinking, memory, and activity. It can be assumed that cognition has been the central course in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Therefore, the related codes of memory have been developed, which is possible as codes can build over each other in short- and long-term memories with the help of linguistic systems as well as artificial semiotic systems: images, writing, printing, etc.
6 Codes of regulation cycles and levels and their manifestations in semiotic systemities
Codes of regulation cycles (8) are actualized in the selection of information about situations – governing actions aimed at changing these situations. As a matter of fact, three types of these codes are singled out: codes of information selection (8.1); codes of reactions (8.2); codes of actions (8.3). This correlates with the semiotic and psychophysiological models. Codes of information selection (8.1) are based on a certain minimum of signals. These are, for many living organisms, dangerous environmental pulsation, radiation, thermal characteristics of the environment and victims, physical properties of the surrounding objects, the motions and actions of other objects. Codes of reactions (8.2) manifested primarily as emotions and emotive painted sensations – response to the information selection. Codes of actions (8.3) are typical unconditioned and conditioned reflexes, which are evident in simple motions and situations: runaway, moving to the target, pursuit, operations with tools. These codes are developed in the “action – behavior” or “action – activity” patterns, from simple relations like “stimulus – reactions” to complicated systems of activity and its means (9.1; 9.2; 9.3).
Codes of intentions (4) are obviously developed similarly to codes (9.3): “motives → interests, aspirations, wishes → system of values → purpose of activity.” Elementary intentions are transformed into developed aims and objectives based on modeling tools. This idea is in agreement with the widespread definition of an aim as “a model of necessary future.” The formation of semiotic systemities while selecting information about supposed situations is based on simple intentions – motives. Elementary codes of intentions (4.1) are integrated with codes of development (7.3). As “responses” to intentions, interpretants are realized as reactions: sensations, emotions, assessment of the situation, reactions to changes. Thus, regulation cycles acquire the nature of information processes which are usually differentiated into information selection, procession, and feedback – control actions. Clusters of structural combinations function in these cycles. The clusters are revealed as independent signs, which directs their semiosis towards the “icons → indices → symbols” course. Respectively, many emotions and actions acquire pronounced symbolic features and turn into rituals and etiquettes due to being repeated in society. Paragons of virtue – heroic deeds and heroes – are the patterns of actions aimed at changing situations at the higher levels of human semiotic systemities. Even these – unique sign formations – produce paradigmatic sequences and their peculiar organizing codes, as it has been already mentioned. This can be clearly seen in ideals which produce their codes, differences and identities, features of images, amd special hierarchies. For example, the heroes of Ancient Greece, medieval knights, romantic characters of the eighteenth-nineteenth centuries, people’s liberation defenders are specific patterns, and their deeds are more abstract patterns. Both of them produce their narratives.
The correlation between the environment (a situation) and a certain fundamental need is only possible due to intentional codes. These codes are reflected in feelings, sensations, emotions and actions. They are rendered as a dangerous situation, comfortable shelter, freedom or uneasiness in movements and actions, as individual attractiveness or aggression, empathy, etc. To sum up, it can be stated that, based on intentional codes, interpretants are actualized and emotional reactions, either positive or negative, appear depending on the correlation of a representamen to a certain intention. Regulation is most efficient with distinct correlation between situations and reactions, situations and actions, reactions and actions. Therefore, there arise positive, negative or neutral reactions to situations. In particular, three types of attitude between communicators can be singled out: anger, aggression (-); neutrality, indifference (+-); care, love (+). Codes of reactions reveal the connections between quantitative aspects of various properties. Temperature below and over the optimal range turns into a feeling of pain; a certain degree of danger intensifies fear; the communicator’s aggression results in fear or response aggression of respective intensity. Various types of meaning are rendered due to the functioning of codes of information selection, emotions or actions. Apparently, this complies with the levels of meaning theory (Brandt 2006). Generally speaking, it is essential that the search for and selection of information, reaction or action is realized based on codes of certain intentions and their actualizations in life situations.
Thus, stable and constantly operating intentions are related to stable reactions and actions due to codes. This correlates with the theories on the connection between motives, needs, emotions and actions in psychology and psychophysiology (Allport 1968; Leontyev 2009). Within the framework of this approach, emotions are defined as “reactions to information about the possibility to meet this or that need” (Simonov 1981). It can also be stated that emotion is an interpretant of sign, the object of which correlates with a vital intention. Emotion is assessing a certain type of situation. In particular, the search for sexually attractive partners is manifested in functioning of various codes involving emotions. These codes are actualized in both environmental features and reactions of an organism. They are mutually integrated, thus creating cultural codes.
Intentional codes of reactions are produced according to basic intentions – fundamental needs, and entail motives, emotions and actions (4.1; 6). Needs and motives can be regarded as some energy forces – impulses, aimed at activating the relevant codes of this type.
Codes of regulation levels (9) are formed as “elementary action → activity” relations. Codes of elementary actions (9.1), codes of behavior (9.2) and codes of activity (9.3) are singled out respectively. The differences in these codes are interrelated with the differences in codes of structural transformations (2). Codes of elementary actions (9.1) include comparison of structures (2.1), which is similar to recognition of a molecule by another molecule and their connection. Codes of behavior and activity are not that elementary and include codes of composition (2.2) and combination (2.3). Codes of behavior (9.2) are the unity of codes involving structural transformations of situations and actions aimed at changing the “organism – environment” relations. Codes of activity (9.3) are structural transformations aimed at changing objects (situations). Activity requires modeling structural changes of actual objects by means of actions aimed at these changes. This means it is necessary to separate identification codes from intentional codes and to differentiate between objects. To simplify, it can be stated that objects turn into sign systems themselves, i.e., the object is separated from subject and the relevant consciousness is built. Otherwise stated, the interpretation of these properly philosophical issues in semiotic models of codes would help specify the interrelation between activity and consciousness.
7 Codes realized in various motives and needs
7.1 Codes and classification of needs
As it has been already mentioned, codes are connected with repeated intentions – needs. Hence, the types of codes should be linked with the types of needs.
The existing classifications of basic needs have various foundations in psychology. Usually, it is instinctual objects that are regarded as these foundations (Maslow 1987 ). The connection between codes 4 and 6 can be specified when dealing with the domain of regulation. Based on the existing systematizations, intentional codes are in line with the classification of needs based on the internal and external cycles of the “organism – environment” regulation. This is related to codes, which integrate them (5 and 6; Figure 4). This is basically the definition for the internal – physiological and external – orientational needs (Obukhovskii 1972). Each need is actualized in codes. Breathing is the internal need of an organism. Codes of this need are mostly interrelated with intensive structures – rhythms. The need for exploring the environment is also reflected in spatial-temporal, topological cognitive structures. To orientate in the environment, the possible effective routes are essential: surmounting hurdles, forked routes like labyrinths, etc. Fundamental natural codes of this type shift to cognition processes: the search for solutions. Based on the experience of modeling the interrelations of needs and codes in perception and formation of artificial environment, three groups of intentional codes can be singled out: physiological (internal regulation) (codes 4.1); orientational (external-internal regulation) (codes 4.2); codes of regulation of relations between the codes of basic needs, which correlates with the concept “the need to find the meaning of life” (codes 4.3) (Obukhovskii 1972).
Identification codes are differentiated into codes of various domains based on the “object of physical reality – living creatures – material sign systems” relations (5): codes of the domain of physical objects (5.1), codes of direct communication (5.2), codes of socialization stable semiotic systemities – texts (5.3). These codes are manifested in common features of the environment. Codes of the physical object domain (5.1) incorporate the characteristics needed to regulate the “organism – physical objects” relations. These are mainly the spatial-temporal structural characteristics which are necessary to change relations: mutual arrangement of objects in space, resource-saving planning characteristics. These are, in particular, spaces arranged for people to move efficiently. Other codes of this type make it possible to recognize physical properties of surfaces, bodies, materials. Codes of direct communication between individuals (5.2) create sign systems needed to regulate communicators’ relations, interactions, the creation of social-semiotic systems. This sphere includes all ‘animate’ objects – people and animals. This domain involves the creation of all signs regulating changes in communicator relations. Various sign formations responsible for communication between people and social groups are created in artificial environment. They are integrated with a number of other codes. In particular, sign systems of spatial organization of cities are based on the establishment of authorities over a certain urban space (Lynch 1960). The codes singled out by semioticians of urbanism and architecture are in agreement with the idea of integration of these codes (E. Hall 1974, 1977; Watson 1974). Perceptive spaces which ensure efficient orientation when moving are based on the relations between physical objects; owners of buildings provide important information about themselves. Hence, some concepts describe social-symbolic codes (Tchertov 1996).
Codes of semiotic systemities proper (5.3) include structures that are formed and actualized in thinking, cognition, communication and memorizing. Various stable semiotic systemities that form the basis of texts – their understanding – are produced in the course of communication. Among the most well-studied systemities in semiotic research there are the ones called “views of the world” and structures that function in myths, according to Propp and Levi-Strauss. Stable structures in texts are known as tropes. Such systemities, for example, are typical for maps (images of the late Stone Age, worldviews of urban planning structures) and embrace the entire culture today. These stable structures support the life of key verbal texts of culture and thus strengthen the related models of world and semiosphere, according to Lotman. Either these models change due to changes in their codes, or the changes in models result in code changing is not absolutely clear. According to the idea of the fundamental nature of codes and their building over as the way of integration, it must be admitted that the changes occur on the basis of code changing.
7.2 Codes of physiological needs
Codes of physiological motives and needs (4.1) are connected with the organism-environment regulation: self-preservation, regulation of breathing, feeling of pain, warmth and cold, the states of danger and safety, safe shelters, comfortable environment, attractive food, attraction towards individuals of the opposite sex. The danger-safety codes and the related states of nervousness and calmness are fixed in the features of situations. Thus, fast-moving large unstable objects, abrupt movements, acute angles, dynamic pendent bodies, slopes to vertical-horizontal structures, and pits in earth – all these features become signs of danger and cause emotional states of fear or anxiety. This accounts for the frequent use of such signs in architecture and visual art. Oblique surfaces of house walls, trees bent under wind, storming sea waves, pendent rocks – these and similar signs awake anxiety and uncertainty. On the contrary, balanced masses, soft rounded surfaces and contours calm down and help relax. These codes and signs are based on simple features. The static character of vertical and horizontal lines is a sign of stability. Therefore vertical lines prevail, for instance, in the composition of tranquil and grand sculptures (Athena Parthenos or the Statue of Liberty). In visual art, codes of danger-safety are the core of emotional impact in a number of works. The features of these codes enable one to create the meanings of dynamism, uncertainty, anxiety, or on the contrary – stability, calmness and confidence. These codes and signs can be either specific or abstract. Calmness and comfort can be strengthened by designates of the pictures describing everyday life: people who are satisfied with their life, feasting and merry-making; comfortable interiors, picturesque plants. But these states are also formed by codes of the abstract level which is reflected in non-figurative art. For example, the dynamism of compositions in Malevich’s supremas represent the dynamic world of the revolutionary period.
Codes of sex appeal (4.1) are especially evident. These are essential natural codes in the life of organisms. A number of animals have them in the form of attractants. Male and female butterflies, some species of fish and other animals feel each other’s odors miles away. Males and females are objects here, odors are representamens; attraction towards each other which makes organisms move is intentions-intepretants. This pattern is realized in various communication channels. With humans, natural codes are transformed into cultural codes thus creating the delicate sphere of relationships between men and women. This is noticeable in visual communication as movements, poses, glances. There exist specific groups of abstract features, differences-identities of specific signs, which are well-studied in semiotics. Poses and gestures that hint at desirable contacts in hidden icons and indices gain special importance. These icons and indices are body movements demonstrating the wish of intimacy, dominance or submission, the signs of a caress or a kiss. Cultural codes and signs of this type are actualized in signs having no explicit sexual nature, which was yet described by Freud in “The Interpretation of Dreams.” Poses, gestures, mimicry and attractive body parts only hint at the possibility of intimacy at this level. In visual art, these systems are formed in connotative codes. The color range fairly reveals the features of naked bodies or their open parts. Pinkish-flesh colors are used in color configurations of paintings. These features are especially important in pictures with sexual-erotic meanings. Such are the bacchanalias by Rubens, erotic paintings by Fragonard, Boucher, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec. The shapes and colors of bodies and their attractive parts correlate with the composition and the color range. Woman’s key distinctive sign shouldn’t be necessarily depicted on her body. Artists can create it in a hidden manner, by introducing triangle-heart-shaped contours in different parts of an image. Such are, in particular, sign systems of some masterpieces: “Lady with an Ermine” by Leonardo (Somov 2008) or “Odalisques” by Matisse.
Codes and signs of the need to possess (own) are interrelated with the need to possess resources and are manifested in the urge to take possession of something, for example, territory, food or power. At the same time, codes and signs of this type are closely connected with codes of other physiological needs. As a result, codes and signs of simple intentions of this type are integrated in the codes of thriftiness, greed. They also cover animate objects and turn into codes of lust for power. Such motives appear as codes of different needs are interrelated. To confirm this statement, let us recall the famous dilemma of Freud’s followers concerning what precedes the wish to have a woman: the wish to have a woman or to possess something in general (Fromm 1976). Fundamental codes and signs of possession are transformed from intentional ones into identification ones. This is most evident in territorial behavior and indicating one’s territorial possessions. The boundaries of one’s territory and the features of limiting it are essential both in animal behavior and the arrangement of human space. Codes of this type are mentioned in proxemics (E. Hall 1974, 1977; Watson 1974). In various periods and various cultures, physical limitation well as defining and indicating one’s own space have been extremely important for placemaking in settlements. It is not by chance that this subject is today’s key issue of urban design (Lynch 1981).
7.3 Codes of orientational needs and their expansion
In psychology, the term “orientational needs” is used to define mainly the need for cognition and emotional empathy (Obukhovskii 1972). From Plato to modern psychology, these, ‘spiritual,’ needs have been contrasted to the “material” ones. However, codes of this group are connected with the fundamental needs of an organism to orientate in environment. These needs can be specified in the models of codes. It is reasonable to assume that, to orientate in the environment, codes of the need for the freedom of choice (4.2) should be the basis of these codes. Any orientation is based on the search for routes. Therefore, spatial-temporal structures of situations and the choice of these routes are the foundations of the codes of cognitive nature. It is these structures and possibilities of choice that we usually call ‘freedom.’ The fundamental nature of the codes of the freedom of choice is connected with various types of situations involving various organisms; the necessity of choice appears fundamental.
Codes of the need for cognition “continue” the codes of the need for the freedom of choice. In these codes, the environment is “guessed” based on its structure, which helps adjust further orientation in the environment and the choice of routes. Orientation in the environment is basically realized in the urge to select structures in the heterogeneities of a certain environment. Emotional reactions based on the need for cognition are determined by the structures of the environment. These reactions are well-known. Environment can be perceived as simple, dull, monotonous, complicated, interesting, difficult, etc. These emotive meanings reflect the development of various codes of the cognitive need proper. The most evident code of this type is guessing structures in time, which is actualized in “statistical expectation” and reflected in theoretical information methods to measure it (Moles 1966; Jesberg 1972). In general, the codes of the need for cognition reveal essential relations and structures of objects and representamens. The manifestations of these structures are differences and identities. Therefore, differences-identities are mainly actualized in the arrangement of human environment in visually perceived objects. The actualizations of orientational codes of freedom and cognition promote, in particular, numerous hidden differences-identities – ‘understatements.’ This accounts for active search for humanistic urban environment, from Sitte to Lynch, in particular – the search for differences in the monotonous-looking residential areas of large-scale site development in the twentieth century cities (Lynch 1960; Krampen 1979; Somov 1986a, 1986b), diversity, complexity, and the kaleidoscopic look of streets and areas.
The codes in question are actualized in various intellectual-cognitive processes. These codes and processes are supported by positive emotions, which is in agreement with the results of neurophysiological research (Turner and Pöppel 1988). For these reasons, structural organization of heterogeneities, which is in relation with research motives, plays a major role in the sphere of information, being an invariant of well-organized information. Organized information presupposes the game of cognitive abilities of thinking by Kant. For this reason, differences, structures and features generating identities and other invariants of structural organization of information become an indispensable part of art masterpieces. In this sense, works of art are similar to IQ tests by Eysenck.
Emotional empathy is regarded in various theories of needs as a specific human basic need (Obukhovskii 1972). Codes of this need are developed as mechanisms of emotions and actions. The “altruism gene” is viewed as an important human peculiarity, related to endogamy (Markov 2015). Any individual is concerned about reciprocal attitude of other individuals, which is revealed when individuals are perceived as kind, aggressive, indifferent, sympathetic, etc. Codes of the need for empathy are mechanisms of the relations of organisms with their likes, including sympathy and empathy. Codes are modifications of the orientational-cognitive codes. These are codes of recognition and cognition of similar organisms, and familiar and kindred individuals among them. Codes of empathy are formed in the course of these processes. It seems that in human cultures these codes are most developed in the sign systems of mimicry and “eye expression”. In visual art, features of these codes become stronger in the depiction of poses, gestures, mimicry and eye expression. The image of a person in a portrait includes codes, attitudes to other people – sympathy, kindness, indifference, contempt, and vice versa – mockery, etc. The detailed depiction of processed surfaces, shapes and buildings, various items, clothes points to accuracy and facilitates expressing care of a person and his/her value (Somov 2005). But certainly, codes and signs of empathy are mainly based on major objects and representamens of communication. In information processes, codes of communications with one’s likes are the most essential. The relations pointed out are neither intentions, nor emotions and feelings, but communicative formations – codes. This is clearly seen in the formation and perception of artificial environment and various objects, which render warmth, care, breath of life, spirituality. This impact is easy to be achieved by introducing the features of life. These are the features related to human, among the most typical of them there are the features of living creatures showing that they are animate and good-natured. That is why lifelike shapes and contours, vivid metaphors of human figures, faces and hands are essential in architecture and environmental design (Somov 2006, 2010a). Codes of indirect nature are connected with the codes in question. Codes of empathy, like others, are based on heterogeneity and its features. The position of eyebrows and angles of mouth are features that render hostility towards a spectator, contempt, indifference, or vice versa – concern, sympathy, openness. The features of alien and aggressive creatures produce repulsive effects. Therefore, to create the effects of intimidation, the connotative features of such creatures – features of evil spirits, hidden images of lions, griffins, and malicious faces – are often introduced in an image (Somov 2006). These codes extensively produce the connotations of visual information.
Thus, codes of physiological needs are formed in relation with objects, while codes of orientational-cognitive needs are related to intentions. Codes regulating the hierarchy of intentional codes (4.3) belong to a separate group through regulating the realization of physiological and orientational needs.
7.4 Codes regulating the hierarchy of intentional codes: The need to search for the meaning of life
Codes must be governed by an overlying structure so that certain codes would “switch on” in various situations. There appear codes that establish, strengthen and regulate hierarchies of codes. At the level of material systems, these codes are mechanisms launching enzyme synthesis and other biochemical processes, mechanisms of excitation and inhibition in the group of neurons. At the level of paradigmatics of semiotic systems, codes are reflected in the systems of values and rules. The existence of codes regulating basic needs is reflected in the psychological category called “the need to search for the meaning of life” (Obukhovskii 1972).
The codes in question establish value priorities – the meanings of life of individuals, ethnic groups, states, cultures. The hierarchy of codes promotes building of the hierarchy of values and urges and prioritizing the criteria for choosing solutions in any situation. This is especially evident when there is a need to sacrifice the secondary for the main. Yet at the level of natural sensor codes, urges towards major vital objects are apparent: moving towards light, urge to produce new generations and live in healthy places, to strengthen one’s kindred communities. In human society, this is manifested mainly in the importance of preservation and strengthening of ethnosocial communities, in approving one’s role in society and a family as a part of it, as well as approving one’s actions, emotional estimates, etc.
Proving the meaning of life is generally realized in the materialization of key signs relating to a certain codes and denoting the top-priority meaning of life, including in semiotic systems of self-identification. Self-identification with family, ethnos, religion, state, social-political movements, any vital communities is organized in the hierarchies of semiotic systemities of psychic formations. This is clearly seen in sign systems of artificial environment, in various schools and styles. The need to find the meaning of life is referred to organizational codes (4.3). But it is basically the hierarchy of various intentional codes. The codes of the group in question also organize the hierarchic structure of identification codes that continue intentional codes. Thus, the values of an ethno-territorial community of people, kind, family are interrelated with the codes of peculiarity of their habitats. Therefore, in the environment of separate habitats, there appear various features which are traditional for these places and/or kindred for inhabitants (Marcuse 2002; Krase and Shortell 2009; Krase 2012). This is actualized in codes and signs of ethno-territorial and national individuality, in architecture. The latter are especially typical for romanticism and neo-romanticism. The actualization of codes of peculiarity gained special importance in sign systems of post-modernism as well after they were erased by the international, sterile stylistics of modernism. It should be noted that what was regarded in verbal languages as their original difference – “the manifestation of people’s spirit” by von Humboldt – is secondary codes for nonverbal semiotic systemities of linguistic type.
Codes that produce hierarchies are formed “over the codes” of orientational needs, while the latter are formed over the codes of physiological needs. “Codes of searching for the ways to escape” are formed over the codes of the search for freedom of movement and the codes of cognition. Codes of a number of social norms regulating behavior in a society are produced over the codes of recognizing the levels of aggression in society and codes of social hierarchy. Codes of the hierarchy of needs combined with codes of surviving in dangerous situations and codes of dangerous situations become more specific codes of clusters and patterns of heroic deeds and heroes of a certain society. Therefore, with purposeful changes in codes of the hierarchy of motives, the propaganda also changes. As danger increases in semiotic systems of denoting and rendering situations in the media and other tools for propaganda, the hierarchies of values concerning one’s actions also undergo considerable changes in society. There appear martyrs, aggressive enemy-fighters, who suffer torments and hunger. The codes of their hierarchies generate legends. The fundamental semiotic tools of propaganda are based on inexhaustible possibilities of transformation of codes, building over codes of basic human needs. A hierarchy of codes is built in human’s mind, with some codes governing the other ones. Mass propaganda works at the level of overlying codes – it changes the existing value systems – rearranges the hierarchy of codes. A person begins to search for the ways to escape from this pressure, as thoughts lose harmony, which results in martyrdom, leaving for another country, etc. The hierarchy of codes is rearranged with choosing a different sphere. For example, switching to the semiotic system of irony in the period of post-modernism can be regarded as “building” of new codes over the existing ones.
8 Codes of orientational-cognitive need and transformation of structures in thinking processes
Following what have been said above, the codes of structural transformations are of special importance in thinking. They are differentiated as codes of their translation, interaction and combination of structures (2). The role of structural transformations is considerable in memorizing, recognizing objects and situations, in orientation and the choice of actions. These ideas correlate with the concepts of Gestalt psychology. On the whole, the orientational-cognitive need is reflected in finding the structures of situations requiring changes. The connections and structures that need to be changed are significant for these changes.
Structures of situations appear as identities – differences of objects, representamens, intentions (interpretants). A dangerous situation is basically a structure of objects that undergoes changes; on the contrary, a comfortable situation is when these objects are motionless – the surrounding objects are static and there are no signs that any unexpected trouble-making objects will appear. Such situations are interpreted by codes of danger and control. But efficient regulation requires codes which can facilitate defining the key relations of these situations and structures. Therefore, there appear codes of research of these structures (Piaget 1979).
Codes that are formed during cognition of the environment are materialized in the structural organization of the environment. These are, for example, the structures of efficient routes in the environment. The environment should have clear structures in its diversity: topological (structures of routes, node points, and landmarks), the division of space into common modules. The structures of groups of people and separate individuals are also investigated. Like in environmental orientation, structures also constitute the central core of codes, although the differential features, elements and relations are different. The structures hidden in the perceived heterogeneity in information processes are related to choice (yes, no, don’t know), i.e., are manifested as differences-identities. Therefore, the means of differentiation-identification are created in a complex heterogeneity, which is manifested mostly in the creation of artificial environment. Here, many differences-identities produce distinct structures: differences-identities in compositions of architectural ensembles and residential complexes.
The abilities to take effective solutions and to efficiently model situations – the abilities of effective thinking are interrelated with codes of structural transformations. These codes are mainly connected with orientational-cognitive needs, but are also developed in relation with codes of other needs, which is manifested in essential peculiarities of human thinking processes. In codes of basic physiological needs, with actions with inanimate (physical) objects, structural transformations are actualized in a simplified way – as codes of utilitarian solutions, rationality, and “practical mind.” If communicative and cognitive needs and codes prevail, utilitarian considerations give way to the spiritual mentality proper.
Various levels of specification can be observed in interrelations of intentional codes of various needs with each other and with codes of other types. The approximate solutions are linked with codes of abstract-general levels. More complicated and challenging situations require detailed transformations. Codes of the most specific level of patterns are results of the work of abstract mechanisms. But transformations become easier due to patterns. In repeated cycles of the work of abstract codes, stable clusters of interaction between structures and structural features are formed. They generate ever more specific levels of integration. Cycles of structural transformations of various levels of specification are realized in macroprocesses and microprocesses, in thinking processes and diachronic slices of culture, in inventions, design, art, etc.
9 Typical interrelations between codes of general needs and humanity semiotic systems
All identification codes (I-codes) that produce needs are interrelated with codes of various domains (4.2) differentiated by the same codes. In particular, various types of food and codes of its recognition are determined by intentional codes of hunger for food, various types of communicators – by I-codes of relations with one’s likes, various types of signs of self-content – by I-codes of self-assurance, etc. Identification codes of life objects are aimed at reflecting life situations and objects, hence – intentions, states, emotions, actions of living creatures, involved in these situations.
The following codes of domains (8) have been singled out above: codes of the domain of physical objects (5.1), codes of indirect communication between individuals (5.2) and codes of semiotic systemities proper (5.3). The difference between realities is most clearly seen in the interrelations of these codes: differences in perception of the physical world, indirect communication between people and the world of culture. Identification codes of the physical domain (5.1) allow for constructing interrelations of physical reality. Codes of domain 5.2 are generated in semiotic systems of communication. Codes of the textual domain (5.3) are constructed influenced by texts of imaginative realities: myths, verbal written texts, works of nonverbal art, etc.
A special role belongs to the boundary between the living and non-living spheres. Respectively, codes are differentiated in the relations with living and non-living. The abovementioned boundary is substantial in thinking, cognition and communication. The codes of the first type are limited to the “organism – environment” regulation in the sphere of inanimate objects. Here, regulation takes place within the range of features of stable situations. At the level of behavior and activity, a certain range of features of material objects is produced. The difference in the levels in question is substantial. What is important in the world of relations between material objects in the unity with intentional codes of motives, needs and purposes is manifested in a sort of a utilitarian world. This world is reflected in the concepts of “practical mind,” “sense.” If a model of material level gains intentions of life level, it can undergo considerable changes. For example, in a model of a settlement, the following features of territories can be important: prestige of an area, which determines the price for selling and renting housing, as well as the differences in prices on various territories. Attractiveness – “the aesthetic value” of landscape – is another complex combination of universals of several intentions. This attractiveness is partly related to the comfort of an area (availability of parks, water areas, leisure centers). The presence of historical places, monuments, pieces of architecture, unique views and picturesque landscape, etc., make an area more attractive as being involved in several vital human intentions. This example shows the realization of several intentional codes – the codes of material and communicative levels (Somov 1990). As codes and models which account for the “practical” solutions connect the characteristics of material objects, this sphere remains free of codes of communication between individuals and semiotic systemities proper. Here, elements of love or “mythological thinking” are inefficient.
This is why sensible – rational-practical solutions are often prudent and callous. Numerous situations in business, politics and everyday life often require taking decisions with tough economy of resources. But putting the situation and its objects to the “life” level transfers thinking activity and communication to the sphere of other codes.
The nonverbal nature of codes is revealed in mechanisms of structural transformations. Structural transformations are found in various semiotic systemities and processes, namely: the formation of motives, purposes, patterns of actions, image-perception, image-representation, etc.
Based on these patterns, groups of codes are produced which are differentiated in terms of both basic needs and types of objects, which is in line with the classification of needs in psychology. A number of the abovementioned codes, intentions, as well as their universals can prevail in people’s mental activity, communication, perception, depending on the hierarchy of codes.
This, in particular, accounts for frequent weak correlation between intelligence, conscience and culture, explains why and how the phenomena of altruism, fanaticism, disposition towards research activity, intellectual games are formed, etc. On the whole, it appears that exploring the ways of how the proposed models of codes are interrelated enable one to describe and explain the appearance of major human semiotic systemities that form human mental world (Figures 6–14).
The concepts of psychology and common speech are introduced in the proposed model. In the future these and other concepts may be formally described on the basis of specification of this model.
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