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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.509

CiteScore 2018: 0.23

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.232
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.478

Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca: Classe A

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The construction of information and communication: A cybersemiotic reentry into Heinz von Foerster's metaphysical construction of second-order cybernetics

Søren Brier
Published Online: 2005-07-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2005.2005.154-1-4.355


This article praises the development of second order cybernetics by von Foerster, Maturana, and Varela as an important step in deepening our understanding of the bio-psychological foundation of the dynamics of information, cognition, and communication. Luhmann's development of the theory into the realm of social communication is seen as a necessary and important move. The triple autopoietic differentiation between biological, psychological, and social-communicative autopoiesis and the introduction of a technical concept of meaning is central. Finally, the paper shows that second order cybernetics lacks explicit and ontological concepts of emotion, meaning, and a concept of signs. C. S. Peirce's theory is introduced for this purpose. It is then shown, through Varela's development of Spencer Brown's ‘Laws of Form’ from a dual to a dynamic triadic categorical structure, that both theories are triadic and second order, and therefore can be fruitfully fused to a Cybersemiotics.

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Published Online: 2005-07-27

Published in Print: 2005-04-20

Citation Information: Semiotica, Volume 2005, Issue 154 - 1/4, Pages 355–399, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.2005.2005.154-1-4.355.

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