Tuesday, 7 April 2015

First Biosemiotics editorial published online - "Towards Synthesis of Biology and Semiotics"

The first editorial by Alexei Sharov, Timo Maran and myself was published online in Biosemiotics on April 4th (full text here). Reference:

— 2015b, with Alexei Sharov and Timo Maran. Towards Synthesis of Biology and Semiotics. Editorial. Biosemiotics 8(1). Published online April 4th 2015 (DOI: 10.1007/s12304-015-9239-y).

Although some scholars consider biosemiotics predominantly as a philosophy, particularly within philosophy of biology/science, we would like to emphasize its scientific and often practical orientation. Biosemiotics can contribute to natural science, applied science and philosophy alike. Our scientific outlook does not mean, however, that we support mechanistic methodology, which currently dominates in physics, chemistry, and even in molecular biology. We believe that traditional approaches in science associated with studies of passive, isolated systems, as in physics and chemistry, should be complemented by a distinctively different study of complex agents such as living organisms and their components, people, human organizations, and technological artifacts. The radically different nature of these complex phenomena requires a substantial shift in scientific methodology. Biosemiotics considers the existence of entities that are not directly accessible for investigation (e.g., meaning, agency, goals, internal representations). It therefore seeks to identify or develop indirect methods that can help to evaluate these entities, and supports systematic approaches for their analysis. These efforts should be based on diverse heuristics, handling of multiple hypotheses, and complementarity of different descriptions as exemplified by the brief overview of papers presented in this issue (see below).

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