The System of Interpretance, Naturalizing Meaning as Finality
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A materialist construction of semiosis requires system embodiment at particular locales, in order to function as systems of interpretance. I propose that we can use a systemic model of scientific measurement to construct a systems view of semiosis. I further suggest that the categories required to understand that process can be used as templates when generalizing to biosemiosis and beyond. The viewpoint I advance here is that of natural philosophy—which, once granted, incurs no principled block to further generalization all the way to pansemiotics—nearer to Peirce’s own very general perspective. This project requires a hylozooic framework, which I present in the form of a specification hierarchy, whereby physical dynamics subsume all other transactions at more highly developed integrative levels. The upshot of the paper is a proposal that meanings can be assimilated most generally to final causes.