Advanced

The semiotic hierarchy: life, consciousness, signs and language

Zlatev, Jordan LU (2009) In Cognitive Semiotics 4. p.169-200
Abstract
This article outlines a general theory of meaning, The Semiotic Hierarchy, which distinguishes between four major levels in the organization of meaning: life, consciousness, sign function and language, where each of these, in this order, both rests on the previous level, and makes possible the attainment of the next. This is shown to be one possible instantiation of the Cognitive Semiotics program, with influences from phenomenology, Popper’s tripartite ontology, semiotics, linguistics, enactive cognitive science and evolutionary biology. Key concepts such as “language” and “sign” are defined, as well as the four levels of The Semiotic Hierarchy, on the basis of the type of (a) subject, (b) value-system and (c) world in which the subject... (More)
This article outlines a general theory of meaning, The Semiotic Hierarchy, which distinguishes between four major levels in the organization of meaning: life, consciousness, sign function and language, where each of these, in this order, both rests on the previous level, and makes possible the attainment of the next. This is shown to be one possible instantiation of the Cognitive Semiotics program, with influences from phenomenology, Popper’s tripartite ontology, semiotics, linguistics, enactive cognitive science and evolutionary biology. Key concepts such as “language” and “sign” are defined, as well as the four levels of The Semiotic Hierarchy, on the basis of the type of (a) subject, (b) value-system and (c) world in which the subject is embedded. Finally, it is suggested how the levels can be united in an evolutionary framework, assuming a strong form of emergence giving rise to “ontologically” new properties: consciousness, signs and languages, on the basis of a semiotic, though not standardly biosemiotic, understanding of life. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Cognitive Semiotics
volume
4
pages
169 - 200
publisher
Peter Lang Publishing Group
ISSN
2235-2066
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
daa1c05f-b3ed-4826-9cdf-ee1e7fed8689 (old id 2337579)
date added to LUP
2012-02-02 14:20:56
date last changed
2016-04-15 21:55:36
@article{daa1c05f-b3ed-4826-9cdf-ee1e7fed8689,
  abstract     = {This article outlines a general theory of meaning, The Semiotic Hierarchy, which distinguishes between four major levels in the organization of meaning: life, consciousness, sign function and language, where each of these, in this order, both rests on the previous level, and makes possible the attainment of the next. This is shown to be one possible instantiation of the Cognitive Semiotics program, with influences from phenomenology, Popper’s tripartite ontology, semiotics, linguistics, enactive cognitive science and evolutionary biology. Key concepts such as “language” and “sign” are defined, as well as the four levels of The Semiotic Hierarchy, on the basis of the type of (a) subject, (b) value-system and (c) world in which the subject is embedded. Finally, it is suggested how the levels can be united in an evolutionary framework, assuming a strong form of emergence giving rise to “ontologically” new properties: consciousness, signs and languages, on the basis of a semiotic, though not standardly biosemiotic, understanding of life.},
  author       = {Zlatev, Jordan},
  issn         = {2235-2066},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {169--200},
  publisher    = {Peter Lang Publishing Group},
  series       = {Cognitive Semiotics},
  title        = {The semiotic hierarchy: life, consciousness, signs and language},
  volume       = {4},
  year         = {2009},
}