Available Positions for Doctoral Studies in Semiotics, the University of Tartu

The University of Tartu accepts two students for doctoral studies in semiotics, beginning from September 2014. The admission deadline for documents is June 3, 2014. For more information – Katre Väli (katre.vali@ut.ee), and http://www.flfi.ut.ee/en/admission

Collection for the portrait painting of Professor Eero Tarasti – University of Helsinki

Collection for the portrait painting of Professor Eero Tarasti –

To complete the portrait gallery of the professors at the University of Helsinki, Galleria Academica, we invite you to congratulate Professor Eero Tarasti on his 65th birthday on September 27, 2013 by participating in the portrait project.

The portrait of Professor Tarasti will be painted by well-known Finnish artist Daniel Enckell. Professor Tarasti has been acting as Professor of the Musicology Department at the University of Helsinki since 1984, and he is an internationally known scholar of classical music and semiotics. The portrait will be unveiled at his birthday celebration, the date of which will be announced later.

You can take part in the birthday present collection before June 5, 2013 by answering this e-mail. Please let us know the following:

(1) the names of the congratulators; the names will be published in a table of congratulators Tabula Gratulatoria;

(2) the amount of your donation; for example, 20-30 €.

We kindly ask you to send your contribution to the following Nordea bank account:

FI13 1572 3500 8033 90

In the message field, please write the name(s) of the congratulator(s), and the place of origin.

PayPal account can be used as well, by using e-mail tarasti65@gmail.com

With kind regards,

Portrait Committee:

Professor Pirjo Kukkonen
Departmental Amanuensis Irma Vierimaa
Subeditor Paul Forsell

For more information: irma.vierimaa@helsinki.fi


Collecte d’argent pour le portrait en peinture du professeur Eero Tarasti

Pour compléter la galerie de portraits des professeurs de l’Université de Helsinki, Galleria Academica, nous vous invitons à féliciter le professeur Eero Tarasti à son 65ème anniversaire le 27 septembre 2013 en participant au projet de portrait.

Le portrait sera peint par un célèbre artiste peintre finlandais, Daniel Enckell. Le professeur Tarasti est Professeur titulaire de la chaire du Département de Musicologie à l’Université de Helsinki depuis 1984. C’est un spécialiste de renommée internationale en musique classique et en sémiotique. Le portrait sera dévoilé à la réception de l’anniversaire du professeur Tarasti dont la date sera communiquée ultérieurement.

Vous pouvez participer à la collecte d’anniversaire jusqu’au 5 juin 2013 par réponse à ce courriel. Pour cela, veuillez indiquer :

(1) les noms des personnes présentant leurs félicitations ; ceux-ci seront publiés dans la liste Tabula Gratulatoria;

(2) le montant de votre contribution, par exemple 20-30 €.

Nous vous prions d’envoyer votre contribution sur le compte bancaire suivant de la banque Nordea :


FI13 1572 3500 8033 90


Dans la case « message », veuillez écrire le(s) nom(s) du/des personnes qui présentent leurs félicitations, ainsi que le lieu d’origine de la contribution.


Le comité portrait :

Professeur Pirjo Kukkonen

Secrétaire académique du Département de Musicologie Irma Vierimaa

Rédacteur Paul Forsell

Pour plus de renseignements, veuillez vous adresser à : irma.vierimaa@helsinki.fi


Colecta para el Regalo de Cumpleaños para el Profesor Eero Tarasti 

Retrato para la Galería de Profesores de Musicología de la Universidad de Helsinki.

Lo invitamos a felicitar al profesor Eero Tarasti en su cumpleaños 65 a celebrarse el 27 de septiembre de 2013, contribuyendo con el proyecto de la elaboración de su retrato, que formará parte de la galería de profesores de musicología de la Universidad de Helsinki. El retrato será realizado por el reconocido artista finlandés Daniel Enckell. Eero Tarasti ha sido profesor del departamento de Musicología de la Universidad de Helsinki desde 1984 y es un renombrado investigador de la música clásica y la semiótica. El retrato será develado en la celebración de su cumpleaños, la fecha será anunciada más tarde.

Usted puede contribuir con el regalo para el profesor Tarasti respondiendo a este e-mail antes del junio 5 de 2013, a la dirección: irma.vierimaa@helsinki.fi. Por favor, envíenos los siguientes datos:

-Nombres de los contribuyentes; los nombres serán publicados en la tabula gratulatoria

-El monto de su donación, por ejemplo 20-30 euros

Le pedimos hacer su contribución a la siguiente cuenta del Banco Nordea:

FI13 1572 3500 8033 90

En el campo de mensaje por favor escriba el nombre(s) del donante(s) y su lugar de origen.

Con los mejores deseos,

El Comité del Proyecto del Retrato:

Profesora Pirjo Kukkonen

Irma Vierimaa, secretaria del Departamento de Musicología de la Universidad de Helsinki

Paul Forsell, subeditor

Para mayor información escríbanos a: irma.vierimaa@helsinki.fi

Ph.D. course in Cybersemiotics – 12.-16. of August 2013 in Copenhagen

5 ETCS one week PhD-course in

Cybersemiotics and Transdisciplinarity:

Applications in linguistics, communication, semiotics, culture analysis and biosemiotics

Time: 12.-16. of August  2013. Place: Copenhagen Business School, Dalgas Have 15, Frederiksberg (close to the centre of Copenhagen)

Organized by Professor Søren Brier (CBS) sb.ikk@cbs.dk – with lectures by Jesper Hoffmeyer, Fredrik Stjernfelt, Claus Emmeche, Torkild Thellefsen, Sara Cannizzaro.

The main idea of the course

The course is first of all an explanation and exploration of the integrative transdisciplinary framework Cybersemiotics. See a short description of Cybersemiotics in Glossarium-BITri: http://glossarium.bitrum.unileon.es/glossary/cybersemiotics. The primary curriculum is:  Cybersemiotics: Why Information is not enough first published in 2008 at Toronto University Press and again in 2010 (find it cheapest on www.bookfinder.com )[1]. You can also find it as a Google book. You are expected to have read it carefully plus the following papers by Brier and the other speakers.

We will study the integrative synthesis in Cybersemiotics and how it is carried out in two steps: The first is to accept two major and very different transdisciplinary paradigms as both being legitimate: 1. The cybernetic-informational approach leading to cognitive science’s information processing paradigm and second order cybernetics, autopoiesis theory and Luhmann’s system science 2. The Peircean phaneroscopic, triadic, pragmaticistic, evolutionary, semiotic approach to meaning, leading to modern biosemiotics. Of these 1. is based on an entropic and mathematical definition of information and self-organization in a material and informational world or in autopoietic systems, but with no concepts of first-person conscious experience and meaningful linguistic intersubjective communication; 2. is based on a phenomenological intersubjective world of partly self-organizing triadic sign processes in an experiential embodied, meaningful world.

The second step involves following and explaining the development from first order cybernetics to second order cybernetic and autopoiesis theory from Gregory Bateson through Heinz von Foerster to Maturana and Varela, ending with Niklas Luhmann’s threefold autopoietic system theory. Furthermore, embodiment theory from Lakoff and Johnson plus Merleau-Ponty is discussed. An integration of these views with a Peircean biosemiotics is shown in a transdisciplinary philosophy of science model that will be explained and discussed. All this will be lectured on by Søren Brier during the first part of the week in interaction with the course participants. The second part of the week will bring in researchers who have contributed to the development and applications of the idea of Cybersemiotics.

The objective of the course is to

  • Enable the student to critically examine the transdisciplinary practices in doing research in the area of information, cognition and communication.
  • Understand communication research as providing an account of semiotic and autopoietic organization of meaning.
  • Carry through analysis of various types of theories of cognition and communication in relation to key organisational processes such as decision making, development of meaningful practises and accountability.

You are expected to be engaged in a PhD or postdoctoral project, which can be inspired by or will use aspects of transdisciplinarity and Cybersemiotics. You are expected to contribute by bringing your interpretation of and questions to the framework in order to fuel our discussions. Every student will get 2o min to talk about methodological problems in their project using a Power Point show followed by a 25 min discussion with the other students and teachers present. We are expecting a lively interdisciplinary workshop environment giving insight into the other PhD researchers’ problems, finding commonalities and supplementing information about other projects and angles on the same interdisciplinary problems. We expect to get as much diversity as possible connected to this transdisciplinary field to be able to share as many perspectives as possible. Do not worry, therefore, if you have just started on your project or if you are at the end of it or you think you have a unique approach or problem. All contributions and questions are welcome.

We will do our best to recommend cheap accommodation nearby in order to make your stay in Copenhagen pleasant. Every day there will be lectures with questions, mixed with student presentations and discussion of projects. We will run from 9-17 with a lunch break and coffee breaks and a shared dinner and get together the first day.

Your written contribution: You are expected to send us a 2 page description of your project plus 2 pages describing the methodological aspects/problems of your project that you would like to discuss with your peers. All contributions will be collected into a document which will be sent to everybody for sharing in order to feed the group’s methodological exchanges. It is important that you read the other participants projects in order to contribute to the discussion. These papers and your presentation and active participation in the course are necessary to get the course certificate.

Cybersemiotics 2013:
Course Program August 12-16

Monday August 12

9.00-10.30: Short presentation of the course and its idea.
Five minutes presentation about where you come from personally, intellectually and your project?
10.30-11.00: Coffee & Questions
11.00-12.15: Søren Brier (SB) 1:

Why is objective information not enough to build a transdisciplinary theory of information, cognition and communication?
The paradigmatic problem of physicalism and informationalism. Cybersemiotics star.

12.15-13.00: Lunch
13.00-13.45: I. Student presentation and discussion of project and its methodological problems.
13.45-14.45: SB 2: The phenomenological-semiotic-intersubjective point of departure for transdisciplinarity. The Cybersemiotics star.
14.45-15.15 Coffee & Questions
15.15-16. 00: II. Student presentation and discussion of project its methodological problems.
16.00-17.00: Torkild Thellefsen: C.S. Peirce’s theory of information.
18.00: We eat a buffet dinner together with meat, fish and pure vegetarian dishes right after the course at CBS.

Tuesday August 13

9.00-10.00: SB 3: Second order cybernetics from Bateson to von Foerster and Spencer Brown.
10.00-10.30: Coffee & Questions
10.30-11.30: Claus Emmeche: The research political problems of inter- and transdisciplinarity.
11.30-12.15: III. Student presentation and discussion of project and its methodological problems.


12.15-13.00: Lunch
13.00-14.45: SB 4: Autopoiesis from Maturana to Luhmann. What’s the paradigmatic idea?
14.45-15.15 Coffee & Questions
15.15-16. 00: IV. Student presentation and discussion of project and its methodological problems.
16.00-17.00: SB 5: Ethology and the problem of a scientific theory of the animal mind and its evolution.

Wednesday August 14

9.00-10.00: SB 7: The ideas of the semiotic paradigms: Saussurian and Peircean.
10.00-11.00: SB 8: Embodiment, consciousness and evolution.
11.00-11.30: Coffee & Questions
11.30-12.15: V. Student presentation and discussion of project and its methodological problems.


12.15-13.00: Lunch
13.00-14.00: Frederik Stjernfelt: C. S. Peirce’s view of inter- and transdisciplinarity.
14.00-14:30: Coffee & Questions
14.30-15:15: VI. Student presentation and discussion of project and its methodological problems.
15.15-16.15: SB 9: Peircean synechism, tychism, agapism and hyloism and how it leads to pragmaticism.
16:15-17:00: VII. Student presentation and discussion of project and its methodological problems.


Thursday August 15

9.00-10.15: SB 10: The development of the biosemiotic idea. Uexkull, Sebeok, Hoffmeyer.
10.15-10.45: Coffee & Questions
10.45-11.30: VIII. Student presentation and discussion of project and its methodological problems.
11.30-12.15: IX. Student presentation and discussion of project and its methodological problems.


12.15-13.00: Lunch
13.00-14.30: Jesper Hoffmeyer: Biosemiotics as a bridge between science and humanities.
14.30-15:00: Coffee & Questions
15.00-15.45: X. Student presentation and discussion of project and its methodological problems.
15:45-17:00: SB 11: The importance of ontological and metaphysical deliberations.


Friday August 16

9.00-10.00: SB 12: Science, semiotics and the religious dimension of meaning and rationality.
10.00-10.45: XI. Student presentation and discussion of project and its methodological problems.
10.45-11.15: Coffee & Questions
11.15-12.15: XII. Student presentation and discussion of project and its methodological problems.


12.15-13.00: Lunch
13.00-14.30: Sara Cannizaro: Biosemiotics as Systems Theory: an Investigation into Biosemiotics as the Grounding for a New Form of Cultural Analysis.
14.30-15:00: Coffee & Questions
15.00-16.00: Collective discussion with Cannizaro and Brier of the transdisciplinary knowledge and problems dealt with so far by participants.
16:00-17:00: Evaluation and suggestions for improvements plus suggestions for follow up courses.


Literature list

First priority

Brier, S. (2008). Cybersemiotics: Why Information is not enough first published in 2008 at Toronto University Press and again in 2010 with small corrections. READ THAT FIRST! YOU NEED TWO MONTH!

Cobley, Paul: “Second-order thinking, first-class reasoning”. Signs 3, pp. 69-107 (2010; ISSN: 1902-8822. (11,000 words) A deep review of: Cybersemiotics: Why Information is not Enough.

http://vip.db.dk/signs/Articles_Signs_International_Section/2010/Paul_%20Cobley_Second-order_thinking_24_June_2010.pdf). This is a good overview and discussion of the book. The best review produced.

Thellefsen et al (2011): From First to Third via Cybersemiotics: A Festschrift Honoring Professor Søren Brier on the Occasion of his 60th Birthday (Scandinavian Book, 2011; 978-87-7071-028-3), Copenhagen: SL books. The book can be purchased http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=From+First+to+Third+via+Cybersemiotics&x=12&y=15  (In this unique book there are chapters by Ole Nedergaard Thomsen, Paul Cobley, Winfried Nöth and Lucia Santaella, Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic, Philip Guddemi and Marcel Danesi developing and commenting on Cybersemiotics plus two chapters by Thellefsen and Bent Sørensen on Peirce’s philosophy.)

Each lecturer will present an article to every one for reading before the corse.

Supplementing reading:

Brier, S (2004) Cybersemiotics and the problems of the information-processing paradigm as a candidate for a unified science of information behind library information science,  Library Trends Wntr, 2004  , http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1387/is_3_52/ai_n6080408

Brier, S. (2006): “The foundation of LIS in information science and semiotics”, Libreas: Library Ideas 1 http://www.ib.hu-berlin.de/~libreas/libreas_neu/ausgabe4/pdf/001bri.pdf

Brier, S. (2008a): “Bateson and Peirce on the pattern that connects and the sacred”, Chapter 12 pp- 229-255 in Hoffmeyer, J. (ed.) (2008): ‘A Legacy for Living Systems: Gregory Bateson as a precursor for biosemiotic thinking, Biosemiotics 2, London: Springer Verlag.

Brier, S. (2008b):“A Paradigm for Biosemiotics”, Signs 2008, pp. 30-81. http://vip.db.dk/signs/artikler/Brier%20(2008)%20the%20paradigm%20of%20peircean%20biosemiotics.pdf

Brier, S. (2008c). A Peircean Panentheist Scientific Mysticism. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies; vol. 27, p. 20-45 http://www.transpersonalstudies.org/ImagesRepository/ijts/Downloads/A%20Peircean%20Panentheist%20Scientific%20Mysticism.pdf

Brier, S. (2010): Cybersemiotic Pragmaticism and Constructivism, Constructivist Foundations 5(1): 19-39. http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/journal/5/1/019.brier

Brier, S. (2001d): Cybersemiotics: An Evolutionary World View Going Beyond Entropy and Information into the Question of Meaning, in Wheeler, W. (ed.) Biosemiotics: Nature/Culture/Science/Semiosis. JISC, Open Humanities Press. http://www.livingbooksaboutlife.org/books/Biosemiotics

Sørensen, B., Brier, S. and Thellefsen, T. (2011): Cosmos and creativity: Man in an evolving universe as a creative, aesthetical agent —some Peircean remarks, Semiotica 187–1/4 (2011), 213–227.

Brier, S. (2011): “Cybersemiotics:  A New Foundation for Transdisciplinary Theory of Information, Cognition, Meaning, Communication and Consciousness” Signs, vol. 5 (2011): pp. 75-120, 2011 ISSN: 1902-8822, http://vip.iva.dk/signs/Articles_Signs_International_Section/2011/Brier%202011%20Cybersemiotics%20Whole%20article%20short%20version%20version.pdf

Cobley, Paul: “Cybersemiotics and Human Modelling”. Entropy 2010, 12(9), pp. 2045-2066. http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/12/9/2045/

Johansson, K. E. L. (2012) “Instances of Consciousness – An essay on the signs of evolution” approved for Cybernetic & Human Knowing, Vol. 19, no.4.

Sørensen, B., Brier, S. and Thellefsen, T. (2011): “Cosmos and creativity: Man in an evolving universe as a creative, aesthetical agent —some Peircean remarks”. Semiotica 187-1/4 (2011), pp. 213–227.

Background literature.

G. Bateson.

Bateson, G. (1973): Steps to an ecology of mind, Paladin, USA, Great Britain.

— (1980): Mind and Nature: a Neces­sary Unit. USA: Bantam Books.

Bateson, F. and Bateson, M. C. (2005/1987): Angels Fear: Towards an Epistemology of the Sacred, New Jersey: Hampton Press.

Hoffmeyer, J. (ed.)(2008): A Legacy for Living Systems: Gregory Bateson as a precursor for biosemiotic thinking, Biosemiotics 2, London: Springer Verlag.

C. S. Peirce and theories based on his semiotics

Bertilsson, T. M. (2009): Peirce’s theory of inquiry and beyond, Berlin, New York: Peter lang.

Sherif, J.K.(1994):  Charles Peirce’s Guess at the riddle: Grounds for human significance, Blomington: Indiana University Press.

Colapietro, V.M (1989): Peirce’s Approach to the Self: A Semiotic view on Human Subjectivity, New York: State University of New York Press.

Esposito, J.L. (1980): Evolutionary Metaphysics: The development of Peirce’s Categories, Ohio: Ohio University Press.

 Murphy, M. G. (1993). The development of Peirce’s Philosophy, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.

Kultgen, J.K. (1959-60). The “future metaphysics” of Peirce and Whitehead”. Kant-Studien 5 (1959-60): 285-293.

Liszka, J. J. (1996). A General Introduction to the Semeiotic of Charles Sanders Peirce. Bloom­ington: IndianaUniversity Press.

Nöth, W. (2002). Semiotic Machines. Cybernetics and Human Knowing, Vol.9, No. 1, pp 3-22.

Nöth, W. (2009): On The Instrumentality And Semiotic Agency of Signs, Tools, and Intelligent Machines”, Cybernetics & Human Knowing, Vol. 17, No. 3-4.

Parker, K. A. (1998). The Continuity of Peirce’s Thought.Nashville and London: VanderbiltUniversity Press.

Peirce, C. S.(1892a). The Doctrine of Neces­sity Exami­ned. The Monist, Vol. II, No. 3, April 1892. (April 1982):321-337.

Peirce, C. S. (1892b). The Law of Mind. The Monist, Vol. II, n. 4, July, pp. 533-559

Peirce, C. S. (1893). Evolutionary Love. The Monist, Vol. III, No.2, January 1893, 176 p.

Peirce, C. S. (1931-58): Collected Papers vol. I-VIII. (eds.) Hartshorne and Weiss. CambridgeMA: HarvardUniversity Press.

Peirce, C. S.  (1955): Philosophical Writings of Peirce: Selected and Edited With an introduction by Justus Buchler,New YorkDover Publications.

Peirce, C. S.  (1958): Selected writings: Values in a universe of chance, ed. with an introduction and notes by Philip P. Wiener, New York: Dover Publications.

Peirce, C. S. (1980). New Elements of Mathematics. Amsterdam: Walter De Gruyter Inc.

Peirce, C. S.  (1992). The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical, Volume 1 (1867-1893). (Eds.) Houser, N. and Kloesel, C., Bloomington: IndianaUniversity Press.

Peirce, C. S.  (1994 [1866-1913]): The Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce. Electronic edition reproducing Vols. I-VI ed. Charles Hartshorne & Paul Weiss (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1931-1935), Vols. VII-VIII ed. Arthur W. Burks (same publisher, 1958). Charlottesville: Intelex Corporation.

Potter, V. (1997): Charles Sanders Peirce: On Norms and Ideals, New York: FordhamUniversity Press.

Raposa, M. (1989): Peirce’s Philosophy of Religion, Peirce Studies number 5, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Turrisi, P. A. (Ed.) (1997): Pragmatism as a Principle and Method of Right Thinking: The 1893 Harward Lectures on Pragmatism, Albany: StateUniversity of  New York Press.


Spencer-Brown, G. (1972): Laws of Form, 2nd edition. New York: Julien Press.

Spencer Brown, G. (1993/94), “Self-reference, Distinctions and Time”, Teoria Sociologica, Vol 2-3 No 1, pp. 47-53.

Mysticism and Philosophy

Stace, W. T. (1960): Mysticism and Philosophy, Macmillan and Co, London (org. 1955).

Suzuki, D. T. (2002): Mysticism: Christian and Buddhist. Routledge Classics, London


Lorenz, K.  (1966): On Aggression, London: Methuen

Lorenz, K.  (1970-71). Studies in animal and human behaviour I and II, Cambridge: MA. Harvard University Press.

Lorenz, K.  (1977): Behind the Mirror: a search for a natural history of human knowledge, London; Methuen & Co Ltd.

Thorpe, V.H. (1979): The Origin and Rise of Ethology: The Science of the Natural Behaviour of Animals, Heinemann, London


El-Hani, Charbel Niño, João Queiroz and Claus Emmeche (2006). A semiotic analysis of the genetic information system. Semiotica 160 (1/4): 1-68.

El-Hani, Charbel Niño, João Queiroz and Claus Emmeche (2009).Genes, Information, and Semiosi.. Tartu: TartuUniversity Press. (ISBN 978-9949-19-038-6, ISSN 1406-4278)

Emmeche, C. (1998). Defining Life as a Semiotic Phenomenon. Cybernetics & Human Knowing, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 33-42.

Favareau, D. (Ed.) (2010).Essential Readings in Biosemiotics: Antology and Commentatry. Berlin and New York: Springer.

Deacon, T.W. (1997): The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain.New York: Norton.

Deely, J.(2001): Physiosemiosis in the semiotic spiral: A play of musement‘’ Sign system Studies 29.1, pp.27-48.

Emmeche, C. (1991). Modeling life: a note on the semiotics of emergence and computation
in artificial and natural living systems. pp. 77-99 in Biosemiotics. The Semiotic Web 1991

Emmeche, C. (1999).The Sarkar challenge to biosemiotics: Is there any information in a cell? Semiotica 127 (1/4): 273-293.

Emmeche, C. (2001).Does a robot have an Umwelt? Reflections on the qualitative biosemiotics of Jakob von Uexküll. Semiotica 134 (1/4): 653-693.

Emmeche, C. (2003). Biosemiotics. p. 63-64 in: J. Wentzel Vrede van Huyssteen (ed.): Encyclopedia of Science and Religion.New York: Macmillan Reference.

Emmeche, C. (2004). A-life, Organism and Body: the semiotics of emergent levels. Pp. 117-124 in: Mark Bedeau, Phil Husbands, Tim Hutton, Sanjev Kumar and Hideaki Suzuki (eds.). Workshop and Tutorial Proceedings. Ninth International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems (Alife IX), BostonMassachusetts, September 12th, 2004.

Hoffmeyer, J. (1992 b): Semiotic aspects of biology: Biosemiotic, in Posner, R., Robins, K. & Sebeok, T.A. (Eds.).

Hoffmeyer, J (1995): The swarming cyberspace of the body, Cybernetics & Human Knowing Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 16-15.

Hoffmeyer, J (1997): Signs of Meaning in the Universe, IndianaUniversityPress, Indiana, USA.

Hoffmeyer, J (1998). Surfaces Inside Surfaces. In Cybernetics & Human Knowing, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 33-42.

Hoffmeyer, J (2002): The central dogma: A joke that became real, Semiotica, 138-1/4, pp1-13.

Hoffmeyer, J. (2010): A biosemiotic approach to health,  pp. 21-41 in Cowley, Stephen J., Major, Joäo C., Steffensen, Sune V., Dinis, Alfredo (2010): Signifying Bodies, Biosemiosis, Interaction

Hoffmeyer, J. and Emmeche, C. (1991): “Code-Duality and the Semiotics of Nature” in M. Anderson and F. Merrell Eds. On Scientific Modeling, pp. 117-166, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Krampen, Martin (1981). Phytosemiotics. Semiotica 36(3/4): 187–209.

Kull, K., Deacon, Deacon, T., Emmeche, C., Hoffemeyer, J., Stjernfelt, F. (2010). Theses on Biosemiotics: Prolegomena to a Theoretical Biology, Biological Theory 4(2) 2009, 167–173.

Sebeok, T. (1976). Contributions to the Doctrine of Signs. Bloomington: Indiana University. Sebeok, Thomas A. (ed.) (1986): Encyclopedic Dictionary of Semiotics. Vol. 1–3. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Sebeok, T. (1989). The Sign & Its Masters. Sources in Semiotics VIII. New York: University Press of America.

Sebeok, Thomas A. (1990): Essays in Zoosemiotics. Toronto: Toronto Semiotic Circle.

Sebeok, Thomas A.(1992): ‘Tell me, where is fancy bred?’: The biosemiotic self. In: Sebeok, Umiker-Sebeok (eds.) 1992: 333–343.

Sebeok, T. (2000): Life Signs – Essays in Semiotics , Toronto: Legas.

Sebeok, T. A.; Umiker-Sebeok, Jean (eds.) (1992). Biosemiotics: The Semiotic Web 1991. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Sebeok, Thomas A.; Danesi, M. (2000). The Forms of Meaning: Modeling Systems Theory and Semiotic Analysis. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Autopoiesis and second-order cybernetics plus Luhmann’s system theory:

Leydesdorff, Loet (2012): Luhmann’s Communication-Theoretical Specification of the ‘Genomena’ of Husserl’s Phenomenology, Forthcoming in: Edmundo Balsemão Pires (Ed.), Public Space, Power and Communication, University of Coimbra, Portugal (received as PGF from the author by email 20. february 2012).

Leydesdorff, Loet (2009). Non-linear dynamics of meaning processing in social systems. Social Science Information 2009, 48; 5.

Luhmann, N. (1989): Ecological Communication, Polity Press, Cambridge.

Luhmann, N.  (1990): Essays on Self-Reference, New York: ColombiaUniversity Press.

Luhmann, N. (1992). What is communication? Communication Theory; Vol. 2. No. 3, August 1972. pp. 251-258.­

Luhmann, N. (1995): Social Systems.Stanford, CA: StanfordUniversity Press

Luhmann, N.  (1999): “Sign as Form” Cybernetics & Human Knowing V. 6 No. 3. Special Issue: Luhmann: Cybernetics, Systems and Semiotics. Pp 21-37.

Maturana, H.R. (1988): “Ontology of observing: The Biological Foundation of Self Consciousness and the Physical Domain of Existence” The Irish Journal of Psychology, Vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 25-82.

Maturana, H. (1981): “Autopoiesis”, in Milan Zeleney ed., Autopoiesis: A Theory of Living Organization (New York: North Holland).

Maturana, H. (1983): “What is it to see?” Archivos de Biologia y Medicina Experimentales, No.16, pp. 255-269.

Maturana, H & Varela, F. (1980). Autopoiesis and Cognition: The realization of the Living, Reidel, London.

Maturana, H. & Varela, F. (1986): Tree of knowledge: Biological Roots of Human Understanding, Shambhala Publishers. London.

Information theory

Deacon, T. W. (2007), “Shannon – Boltzmann – Darwin: Redefining information (Part I)”, Cognitive Semiotics, 1.

Deacon, T W. (2008), “ Shannon – Boltzmann – Darwin: Redefining information (Part II)”, Cognitive Semiotics. 2: 169-196.

Hofstadter, Douglas (2007). I am a strange loop, New York: Basic books.

Küppers, B.-O. (1990). Information and the origin of Life, Cambridge, London: The MIT Press.

Levine, Joseph (1983). Materialism and the Qualia: The Explanatory Gap, Pacific Philosophy Quarterly 64, 1983.

Philosophy of science and transdisciplinarity

Latour, Bruno, 1993. We Have Never Been Modern. (translated by Catherine Porter), Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Latour, Bruno.2004. Politics of nature: How to Bring the Sciences Into Democracy, New York:  Harvard University Press

Latour, Bruno .2007. Reassembling the social: An Introduction to Actor Network Theory.New York: OxfordUniversity Press.

Nagel, Thomas (1974). What is it like to be a bat? Philosophical review 83:435-450.

Nagel, Thomas (1986). The view from nowhere. New York: OxfordUniversity Press

Nicolescu, B. (2002). Manifesto of Transdisciplinarity. Albany: State of New YorkUniversity Press.


Heelan, P.A. (1987). Husserl’s later philosophy of natural science. Phil. Sci. 1987, 53, 368-390.

Heelan, P.A. (1983). Space-perception and the Philosophy of Science. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Husserl, E. (1970) The Crisis of European Science and Transcendental Phenomenology. Translated by David Carr; Northwestern University Press: Evanston, IL, USA, 1970.

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1962). Phenomenology of Perception; Translated by C. Smith. Routledge & Kegan Paul: London, UK, 2002. Originally published as Phenomenologie de la Perception; Callimard: Paris, France, 1945, English 1962.

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1963/2008). The structure of Behavior,Pittsburg: Duquesne University Press.

Merleau-Ponty, M. (2003). Nature: Course Notes from the Collège de France.Illinois: North Weston University Press.

Spiegelberg, H. (1965), The Phenomenological Movement: A Historical Introduction,The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, two volumes, Pp. 765.

Thompson, Evan (2003) (Ed.).The problem of Consciousness: New essays in the phenomenological philosophy of mind.Alberta: University of Calgary Press.



Course language


Course fee: 6,500 DKK (covers the course, coffee, tea and lunch)

Deadline for registration: 1. May 2013

Administrative contact

Katja Høeg Tingleff
PhD Administration, Dean’s Office, Research


Kilevej 14A, 4
DK-2000 Frederiksberg

Tel.: +45 3815 2815

E-mail: kht.research@cbs.dk


contato cybersemiotics

[1] The concept of Cybersemiotics is mentioned in Handbuch der Semiotik (Nöth 2000, Verlag J.B. Metzler 2. auflage),  in Cobley: The Routledge Companion to Semiotics (2010) and  in Sebeok and Danesi:  Encyclopedic Dictionary of Semiotics, de Gruyter 2009 and under biosemiotics in Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd Ed., 2006, vol. 2, pp. 31-40, Elsevier  and in Glossarium-BITri : http://glossarium.bitrum.unileon.es/glossary/cybersemiotics . International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics Charles Francois (Ed.)(2004), K.G. Saur, München,p.148.

7. Encyclopedia of Science, technology and Ethics, Carl Mitcham (Ed.) (2005) Thomson, Gale, New York, p. 1747.

Invitation to join the Founding Meeting of The International Association for Cognitive Semiotics

Invitation to join the Founding Meeting of

The International Association for Cognitive Semiotics

The founding meeting of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics will be held in connection with the Eighth Conference of The Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies, NASS VIII, May 29th, 2013 at Aarhus University, Denmark.

Cognitive semiotics is the study of meaning-making writ large: in language and other sign vehicles, as well as in perception, and in action. Cognitive semiotics investigates the properties of our meaningful interactions with the surroundings in all domains, in the natural as well as in the social world. It integrates perspectives, methods and insight from cognitive science, cognitive linguistics and semiotics, placing signs and sign use (in the broadest sense) into the wider context of cognitive, social, and neurobiological processes.

The purpose of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics is to advance research in cognitive semiotics and facilitate scholarly discussion and exchange in what is a growing field, as well as organizing conferences and other academic events.

The founding of the association coincides with the re-launch of the peer-reviewed Journal of Cognitive Semiotics, which from 2014 will be published by de Gruyter-Mouton. Though the journal is independent of the association, we envision a close collaboration. Members of the association will benefit from an attractive subscription discount among other envisioned benefits.

All scholars interested in meaning-making – linguists, philosophers, anthropologists, and psychologists, among others – are warmly invited to attend the meeting, whose main purpose will be to elect a board. The board will be tasked with drafting a constitution and initiating the work of the association.

Peer Bundgaard

Todd Oakley

Göran Sonesson

Kristian Tylén

Jordan Zlatev

Doctorate positions at Lund University

The Department of Semiotics at Lund University announces the availability of one or more doctorate positions in semiotics at Lund University.

According to Swedish law, doctorate positions are 4-year long salaried positions.
For more information and to apply electronically, go to: http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/o.o.i.s?id=24914&Dnr=523993&Type=E
For information about the Department of Semiotics at Lund University, see http://www.sol.lu.se/en/semiotik/
For information about our research environment, the Centre for Cognitive Semiotics, see: http://project.sol.lu.se/en/ccs/

Summer School 2013 – Autocommunication in Semiotic Systems: 40 years after the Theses on the Semiotic Study of Culture

Summer School 2013

Autocommunication in Semiotic Systems: 40 years after the Theses on the Semiotic Study of Culture

Summer School 2013 is five-day event taking place from August 18 to 23 in a secluded Kääriku in South Estonia.

Theses on the Semiotic Study of Cultures first appeared 40 years ago, in 1973. The title of this publication indicates that alongside with outlining a conditionally novel semiotic approach the authors were treating the Study of Cultures. Thus, besides establishing the theoretical boundary of cultural semiotics, that publication simultaneously assembled an actual methodological start-up toolkit for practical study of culture and individual cultural phenomena.

There lies a quintessential coincidence between cultural semiotics, Tartu-Moscow school, and the Theses which places this triplet amongst both the important and the amusing in the story of humanities. Besides considered as a classic in the history of semiotics marking the start-off the already born trend of cultural semiotics, Theses is an example to follow in its generation as a result of international collective effort. Our summer school’s topic involves a nuance that is seemingly minute, but connects the times of the Theses with today both formally and essentially. The Study of Culture gave birth to cultural semiotics on the basis of so-to-speak negotiated semiotics, and ever since that time it is hardly possible to find similar examples. We may speak of some semiotic subtrends associated with individual visions or decide over theses on (specific or general) semiotics presented by individual scholars.

Taking the example of Theses from the past, and reflecting over it together with its influences across times to today, the semiotic circles might take up reflective autocommunication in order to set future steps in organising both the paradigm of semiotics and communicate the institution of semiotics to neighbouring paradigms. It is noteworthy that autocommunication in the semiotics of today’s Tartu has already moved towards communication between also the soft and the hard sciences. Bridging cultural semiotics, biosemiotics, and sociosemiotics, there can be envisaged perspectives for a qualitatively new Tartu semiotics offering the general semiotic paradigm a holistic theoretical ground on which to build a coherent methodological toolkit for the study of man in his diverse environments.

On this object level, man’s communication with his surroundings leads to further autocommunication and reconceptualisation of himself as a semiotic subject. Thus, here is also the meeting point of autocommunication and reflection, or: self-description. The practical holistic study of culture and semiotic subjects in their self-descriptive, autocommunicative, and communicative functioning, leads to simultaneous holistic tendencies also on the metalevel. On such a basis of cultural semiotics, Tartu semiotics may have something to offer for the semiotic paradigm in general.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Theses on the Semiotic Study of Cultures, we call for reflections on the context and co-texts leading to and from that milestone in semiotic studies. Let us try to:

  • conceptualise developments in cultural semiotics ever since the Theses, as also clues to its applications in neighbouring disciplines and in its seeded trends;
  • position Tartu semiotics in cultural semiotics, as also in the general paradigm of semiotics and other disciplines in timeline associated with the ‘ground zero’ of the Theses;
  • contemplate on communication and autocommunication as a specific topic in cultural semiotics – also in exemplary case studies as a possibility to open discussion on cultural semiotics either as a coherent monolith or an open cumulative paradigm developed through ad hocresearch;
  • formulate terms in which to talk about contemporary Tartu semiotics and semiotics in Tartu?
  • hypothesise whether is it possible, both in cultural semiotics and semiotic research associated with contemporary Tartu, to gain the level of systemic coherence presentable in the form of a New Theses?


Important deadlines

Participants are invited to submit a description of their contribution to the topic of summer school (500-800 words) to semiotics@ut.ee by March 20, 2013.

We encourage participants to send the draft version of one’s paper by August 1, 2013. It will be made available for other participants to prepare for the discussions.

Decisions regarding acceptance will be made by April 20, 2013.


Please contact: semiotics@ut.ee

WWW for Summer School 2013: http://www.ut.ee/SOSE/conference/summer_school/index.html

“Meetings on Meaning”, the doctoral seminar in semiotics of the University of Torino

Following the PDF program of the “Meetings on Meaning”, the doctoral seminar in semiotics of the University of Torino.

Meetings on Meaning 2012-2013 Final

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