Cognition, Communication, and Co-operation in Living Systems. Biosemiosis in the Context of Self-organisation

  • Wolfgang Hofkirchner ICT&S Center - Advanced Studies and Research in Information and Communication Technologies & Society, University of Salzburg
  • Günther Ellersdorfer Unified Theory of Information Research Group, Institute of Design and Technology Assessment, Vienna University of Technology
Keywords: Autopoiesis, functions, subject-object-dialectic


In the perspective of an as yet-to-be-developed Unified Theory of Information as part of an as yet-to-be-developed theory of evolutionary systems semiosis plausibly coincides with self-organisation. A concept of sign processes that is flexible enough to perform two functions as follows is everything that is required for this framework. It must relate to the most various manifestations of sign processes, thus enabling a variety of scientific disciplines to use a common concept where it seems appropriate; at the same time, it must be precise enough to fit the unique requirements of any individual branch of science dealing with a concrete manifestation. Different types of sign processes have to be related to, if not derived from (albeit in a nonformal way), different types of self-organisation. The paper illustrates how the relationship between the genus proximum of semiosis in self-organising systems and the differentia specifica of semiosis in biota may be approached.