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

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

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Volume 2013, Issue 197


A necessary condition for proof of abiotic semiosis

Marc Champagne
Published Online: 2013-10-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2013-0092


This short essay seeks to identify and prevent a pitfall that attends less careful inquiries into “physiosemiosis.” It is emphasized that, in order to truly establish the presence of sign-action in the non-living world, all the components of a triadic sign – including the interpretant – would have to be abiotic (that is, not dependent on a living organism). Failure to heed this necessary condition can lead one to hastily confuse a natural sign (like smoke coming from fire) for an instance of abiotic semiosis. A more rigorous and reserved approach to the topic is called for.

Keywords: physiosemiosis; semiosis; causality; John Deely; natural law; interpretant

About the article

Marc Champagne

Marc Champagne (b. 1976) is a teaching assistant at York University 〈 〉. His research interests include semiotics and philosophy of mind. His publications include “What anchors semiosis: How Descartes changed the subject” (2009); “Some semiotic constraints on metarepresentational accounts of consciousness” (2009); “Explaining the qualitative dimension of consciousness: Prescission instead of reification” (2009); and “Axiomatizing umwelt normativity” (2011).

Published Online: 2013-10-23

Published in Print: 2013-10-25

Citation Information: Semiotica, Volume 2013, Issue 197, Pages 283–287, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2013-0092.

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©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

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