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A Proposal for a Biosemiotic Approach to Digitalization: Literacy as Modeling Competence

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Part of the Interdisciplinary Evolution Research book series (IDER,volume 6)

Abstract

The advantages of a biosemiotic approach to the social effects of digitalization are explicated. Biosemiotics is a semiotic modeling theory that is inherent to a phenomenology of the body. Even though it offers an encompassing and comprehensive account of meaning as modeling, it has only recently been employed in analyzing cultural and social matters, which are the traditional foci of semiotic theories that tended to overlook the role of the body and its relation to the environment in meaning-making. Here, it is argued that biosemiotics offers a theoretical framework that captures the multimodal and fast communication dynamics of digital societies as affordances of the human body. As such, the chapter explores a biosemiotic perspective on sustainable development as fostered by digitalization.

Keywords

  • Digitalization
  • Literacy
  • Embodiment
  • Text
  • Mediality

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Notes

  1. 1.

    As consensually accepted in semiotics, I take the meaning to be the product of interpretation. As interpretation continuously unfolds throughout an organism’s life, the meaning is never a complete and finalized product.

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Acknowledgment

This research was supported by the Estonian Research Council (grant MOBJD346 “Towards a joint environmental and digital literacy: An ecosemiotic approach to digitalization”).

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Correspondence to Alin Olteanu .

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Olteanu, A. (2021). A Proposal for a Biosemiotic Approach to Digitalization: Literacy as Modeling Competence. In: Pagni, E., Theisen Simanke, R. (eds) Biosemiotics and Evolution. Interdisciplinary Evolution Research, vol 6. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-85265-8_4

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