Book Review: Signs of Science - Linguistics meets Biology

  • Robert Prinz
Keywords: Biosemiotics


„Biosemiotics“ is an integrative and interdisciplinary research effort that investigates living systems with concepts borrowed from linguistics and the communication sciences. Life is seen as an entanglement of communicative processes relating entities with each other by defined rules. Those “rules” are the very heart of (bio)semiotic analysis. A hallmark of life is the existence of rules that are very different from natural laws. We can find such rules embedded in the genetic code, for example, where a transfer RNA relates a codon in mRNA to an amino acid. Nevertheless, it could have evolved in another way as well as genetic code engineering shows. Apparently arbitrary relationships are inherent to all levels of biological organization: from cells to organisms. Parts are connected in ways that can hardly be inferred from physical (thermodynamic) principles and still await reconciliation in a reasonable manner.


Essential Readings in Biosemiotics
Anthology and Commentary
Series: Biosemiotics, Vol. 3
Favareau, Donald (editor)
1st Edition., 2010, 880 p., 219,94 €, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-4020-9649-5

Reflections (Non Peer-Reviewed)