Volume 34, Issue 1, 2006
From materiality to system
This paper seeks to address the relation of materiality to structure and phenomena of signification or semiosis. It examines the logical consequences of several major lines of argument concerning the status of semiosis with regards to the human or broadly “organic” life-world and to the “zero degree” of base materiality — from Peirce to Lotman and Sebeok — and questions the classificatory rationale that delimits semiosis to the exclusion of a general treatment of dynamic systems. Recent investigations into neurosemiotics have provided salient arguments for the need to treat semiosis as a characteristic of systems in general, and to establish a more transverse understanding of signifiability upon the basis of what makes dynamic structures, as such, possible.