The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 19, Issue 1/4, 2003

Special Issue on Gregory Bateson

Yair Neuman
Pages 209-220

The Logic of Meaning-in-context

The idea that a sign has meaning only in context invites serious inquiry into the meaning of meaning, context, and meaning-in-context. In this paper, and following Bateson’s ecological approach to the mind, I suggest that meaning is a form of coordination between interacting agents, and that this form of coordination is orchestrated through context markers, the variability of the sign, and symmetric transformation of the agents. This suggestion is examined by using signaling processes across various animal species and by drawing specific attention to current conceptions of context and mind.