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Sign Systems Studies

Volume 33, Issue 1, 2005

Marcel Danesi
Pages 53-72

The Fibonacci sequence and the nature of mathematical discovery
A semiotic perspective

This study looks at the relation between mathematical discovery and semiosis, focusing on the famous Fibonacci sequence. The serendipitous discovery of this sequence as the answer to a puzzle designed by Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci to illustrate the efficiency of the decimal number system is one of those episodes in human history which show how serendipity, semiosis, and discovery are intertwined. As such, the sequence has significant implications for the study of creative semiosis, since it suggests that symbols are hardly arbitrary products of human reason, but rather unconscious probes of reality.

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