The role of semiotics for ecology is to constitute a certain theoretical frame that would allow to approach, without any dualism, the analysis of semiosphere as the nature-culture whole. This includes description and explanation of natural emergence of meaningfulness in organic communication, and of the communicative basis of organic forms and relations.
Sign processes are bound to living systems. Origin of life means the origin of reference, of codes, of meaning, of semiosis. According to a fundamental biosemiotic statement (expressed, e.g., by T. A. Sebeok), life process is identical to semiosis.
Semiotic approach in ecology means a description or study that pays attention to:
1. 'distinctions' the organisms themselves make, the ways organisms themselves see the world, that is, the study of umwelt or organic 'categorization';
2. 'intentionality' of organisms' behavior, the role and types of organic 'needs', and the changes resulting from organisms' search, individual learning, adaptation, 'habituation';
3. 'communication' and its role in all levels of living systems; the formation of organic forms as communicative structures;
4. production of ecosystem as the result of multiple 'organic design' by the organisms living in the ecosystem; and
5. 'types of sign processes' as they differ and vary in the processes of production and reduction of 'diversity'.
Was this article helpful?