Advanced

Meaning = Life (+ Culture): An outline of a unified biocultural theory of meaning

Zlatev, Jordan LU (2002) In Evolution of Communication 4(2). p.253-296
Abstract
The article presents the outlines of an integrative theory of meaning based on the concept of value, understood both as a biological and as a socio-cultural category, synthesizing ideas from evolutionary and developmental psychology, semiotics and cybernetics. The proposal distinguishes between four types of meaning systems, cue-based, associational, mimetic and symbolic, forming an evolutionary and epigenetic hierarchy. The theory is applied to phylogenetic and human ontogenetic development, pointing out significant parallels between the two processes, involving both continuity and discontinuity between the different levels. Since one of the basic tenets of the theory is that only living systems have intrinsic value, which is a necessary... (More)
The article presents the outlines of an integrative theory of meaning based on the concept of value, understood both as a biological and as a socio-cultural category, synthesizing ideas from evolutionary and developmental psychology, semiotics and cybernetics. The proposal distinguishes between four types of meaning systems, cue-based, associational, mimetic and symbolic, forming an evolutionary and epigenetic hierarchy. The theory is applied to phylogenetic and human ontogenetic development, pointing out significant parallels between the two processes, involving both continuity and discontinuity between the different levels. Since one of the basic tenets of the theory is that only living systems have intrinsic value, which is a necessary and sufficient condition for possessing the category meaning, negative implications are drawn for the meaning potential of (current) artificial systems. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
language, epigenesis, meaning, mimesis, robots, signs, conventions, value
in
Evolution of Communication
volume
4
issue
2
pages
253 - 296
publisher
John Benjamins Publishing Company
ISSN
1569-9757
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
967f6797-a7d9-4ebf-ac3b-e0e09a13c577 (old id 123718)
date added to LUP
2007-07-30 09:18:39
date last changed
2016-04-16 03:26:40
@article{967f6797-a7d9-4ebf-ac3b-e0e09a13c577,
  abstract     = {The article presents the outlines of an integrative theory of meaning based on the concept of value, understood both as a biological and as a socio-cultural category, synthesizing ideas from evolutionary and developmental psychology, semiotics and cybernetics. The proposal distinguishes between four types of meaning systems, cue-based, associational, mimetic and symbolic, forming an evolutionary and epigenetic hierarchy. The theory is applied to phylogenetic and human ontogenetic development, pointing out significant parallels between the two processes, involving both continuity and discontinuity between the different levels. Since one of the basic tenets of the theory is that only living systems have intrinsic value, which is a necessary and sufficient condition for possessing the category meaning, negative implications are drawn for the meaning potential of (current) artificial systems.},
  author       = {Zlatev, Jordan},
  issn         = {1569-9757},
  keyword      = {language,epigenesis,meaning,mimesis,robots,signs,conventions,value},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {253--296},
  publisher    = {John Benjamins Publishing Company},
  series       = {Evolution of Communication},
  title        = {Meaning = Life (+ Culture): An outline of a unified biocultural theory of meaning},
  volume       = {4},
  year         = {2002},
}