, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 169–184 | Cite as

Recurrences and Human Agential Meaning Grounding: Laying a Path in Walking

  • Sergio RodríguezEmail author


This article addresses the semiotic problem of how meaning is agentially grounded: how actual meaning is possible and is justifiably supported by agents’ capabilities and purposes. This article is particularly focused on human agential grounding; however, to a great degree, insights presented here can be extended to other living beings. Specifically, agential meaning is examined here inside the framework of agentive semiotics and embodied, situated and enactive cognition theories, in line with the mind-life continuity general thesis (which intends to naturalize mind and experience). To offer clarity and methodological precision about agential grounding, three explanation categories (called recurrences) are proposed: phylogenetic recurrence, the evolutionary basis for corporal/embodied grounding; ontogenetic recurrence, the developmental basis for individual meaning grounding; and collective recurrence, the basis for meaning recognized, attributed and assigned inside social contexts. These recurrences are conceived as three types of general processes that constantly enclose possibilities for purpose and meaning emergence in humans. As a result of these types of recurrences, two categories of human agendas or purposes are also proposed: individual and collective. Finally, remarks about how these categories can be useful for semiotic analysis and further research are suggested.


Agentive semiotics Meaning grounding Agency Recurrences Embodied cognition Enaction 



This work was financed with funding from ‘Jóvenes investigadores e innovadores COLCIENCIAS’ program, under the special cooperation agreement No. 0189 of 2014 established between Fondo Nacional De Financiamiento para la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación Francisco José de Caldas and Fundación Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Colombia. This work was discussed inside Mente, Lenguaje y Sociedad Research Group with significant support from the Master in Semiotics’ professors from Fundación Universidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de HumanidadesUniversidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo LozanoBogotáColombia

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