How Is Meaning Grounded in the Organism?
- 191 Downloads
In this paper we address the interrelated questions of why and how certain features of an organism’s environment become meaningful to it. We make the case that knowing the biology is essential to understanding the foundation of meaning-making in organisms. We employ Miguel Nicolelis et al’s seminal research on the mammalian somatosensory system to enrich our own concept of brain-objects as the neurobiological intermediary between the environment and the consequent organismic behavior. In the final section, we explain how brain-objects advance the ongoing discussion of what constitutes a biosemiotic system. In general, this paper acknowledges Marcello Barbieri’s call for biology to make room for meaning, and makes a contribution to that end.
KeywordsMeaning Brain-object Nicolelis Somatosensory system
- Barbieri, M. (2008a). Has biosemiotics come of age? And postscript. In M. Barbieri (Ed.), Introduction to biosemiotics (pp. 101–113). The Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
- Baribieri, M. (2008b). Is the cell a semiotic system? In M. Barbieri (Ed.), Introduction to biosemiotics (pp. 179–207). The Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
- Edelman, G. (1987). Neural Darwinism: The theory of neuronal group selection. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Harnad, S. (1990). The symbol grounding problem. In Physica D, 42, 335–346.Google Scholar
- James, W. (1911). Some problems of philosophy: A beginning of an introduction to philosophy. New York: Longmans, Green, and Co.Google Scholar
- Nicolelis, M. (Ed.). (2008). Methods for neural ensemble recordings (2nd ed.). Boca Raton: CRC.Google Scholar
- Nicolelis, M., & Ribeiro, S. (2006). Seeking the neural code. In Scientific American, 295(6), 70–77.Google Scholar
- Pred, R. (2005). Onflow: Dynamics of consciousness and experience. Cambridge: MIT.Google Scholar
- Stillwaggon Swan, L., & Goldberg, L. J. (2010). Biosymbols: symbols in life and mind. Biosemiotics, 3(1), 17–31.Google Scholar