——Alfred Lang
—–University of Bern,
––-SemEco Essay Overview
–-00. SemEco Outline
––-Essay Chapter: Abstracts of and Links to all Chapters
–––––This text is from langpapers.net ———————————————>>>> Navigation Outline
–––––© 1961ff. by Alfred Lang———————————————————>>>> SemEco Outline
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To the Reader, Ch. 80 at the end of this book offers more advice on dealing with some peculiarities of reading this Essay. This Outline abstracts the core ideas of the whole Essay and supplies links to the 80 full chapters of the Essay from 01 to 80 and to the Glossary of Terms which is also an Index of Subjects. Each full chapter has its own file. You can access them either from the present SemEco Outline in the links at the end of lower black title field or from the bluechapter titles from the Navigation Outline of the LangPapers. This Outline was drafted in 1993-2007.Though writing here from the more general to more specific issues I have found no way to write so as to obviate the reader needing to go back and forth at times; the Glossary of Terms with Index may help. More Details are also given in the SemEco Genealogy Book (in prep.) that treats the set of ideas in the order of their origin and points to my sources.
01. About Evolutive Semiotic Ecology
01.01 About presents some of my motivation for developing Semiotic Ecology and summarizes some of its major ideas and their relations and what one can do with them. In my lifelong attempts to conceive reasonably and wisely of the Human Condition, I have, with increasing urge, come to the conclusion that this cannot be done with the traditional dualistic conceptual tools and with the connected thinking habits cultivated in the Western world, such as body and mind, matter and spirit, object and subject, etc. All of them lacking a clear relation between the two opposed notions. I think it is the major task of any comprehensive scientific endeavor whatsoever to understand or take into account the Human Condition. For humans are involved in getting any knowledge and also in whatever they and their machines can do.
01.02 These dualisms have produced and left us scores of problems open in this two-worlds-ideology and never solved in any validatable way in more than two and a half millennia. There are no facts or observations confirming the existence of two worlds. Thus our conception of both opponents may be wanting; they base on opinion and tradition only. All philosophical, scientific, or technical activity, since done by humans and for humans, should thus respect any understanding of the Human Condition only insofar it has proven valid. Today we can be easier aware than earlier generations of the pitfalls of speculative assumptions about "the essence of man" and similar believes and thus feel the need to avoid them. It is not to deny that our basic set of concepts and principles of understanding have been gained under conditions far away from what we presently understand with good evidence. For the concepts of the tradition are made to deal with a world bisected, set forever, and believed to be guided by an eternal instance having total oversight, lastly allmighty and benevolent power; a world divided for two and one half millennia into one ideal or spiritual/mental realm connected with some freedom and one material/energetic and universally lawful separate universes, both lastly thought or wished to have an enduring character or at least an enduring, a timeless and fixed foundation in spite of observable change.
01.03 By dualism/dualistic I mean the separation of stuff, matter, or body, etc. in one, and spirit, mind, or form, etc. in another world. This two(-or-more)-worlds-dogma has probably entered with the Greek philosophers of the 6th century B.C. and since heavily dominated the Western world; it has been strongly enhanced with the distinction between secular and heavenly worlds in Christianity; then sort of definitely fixed by Descartes for the Enlightenment and the modern sciences. The problem of the relation between the two worlds has never been solved or dissolved so far. A few philosophers like La Mettrie, Nietzsche, or Heidegger have been attacking it, but never given any valid solution. There is no solution; for problems feigned; it can only be dissolved. No solution has gained ground after the reduction of spirit/matter to mind/body dualism, and thus of the spirit to the mind; this extends the problem, since there are billions of private worlds, yet obviously one only material. Unfortunately these teachings have been taken over in general everyday-thinking of almost everybody in the Western World and beyond. In my opinion there is simply no reliable observation or argument for dualism; yet great damage has been done to our understanding of the world and our place in it by this ideology. In addition, there is the problem of primacy: Materialism of idealism? It is a matter of “taste” and habit. Human thinkers have become split as to which of the two great realms is more true and real and which only specious and subservient. From the insight that there is no spirit or the like without some incorporation at the least in some word, formula or a brain process, I have thus concluded, that everything we are used to put in this incorporated world of meaning is better understood to be of the general character of symbols. This frees me of all unresolvable problems of any version of dualism. Obviously, dealing with so-called spirit or mind as symbol process in a suitable non-dualistic Semiotic does not run into these problems. The present book can also be seen as a manifestation of a-dualism; for it does not imply any sort of materialism or monism at all. Instead, it leads to a different conception of what we call matter and distinguishes it from its organization or form in which energy plays an important role; for there is no unorganized matter and no matter without energy. Matter is always organized and this organization cannot be separated from whatever organization of matter with energy it is, because organization cannot exist outside some incorporation. What we call a person is a very complex enhancement of livingly organized matter and can only be approximated in characterizations outside its proper incorporation. Obviously, living matter cannot be understood with concepts of modern natural science as long as it assumes all organization to be already in smallest particles of matter.
01.04 Our world, the whole world of which humans are a small, yet have become an most influential part, is better conceived as an unitary evolutive world with many parts and facets enmeshed in open-ended interactive processing instead of the idea that everything be determined by universal law. What we are used to call "spirit", using different words in different languages for different presumed entities, is then simply the organization and Interaction or Transaction of things and their parts and no separate real entity whatsoever. For we cannot point to anything "spiritual" in any broad sense except by further words and other symbols. And these Symbols again are Matter-Enery-Formations, although different ones than what they may refer to. These symbols of things obviously cannot directly interact with the things, except by mediating humans or machines taking the human's place. We have been and are often prone to take the such symbols for their referents and so mix up the two realms we have separated at first. So, thinking in view of one world, we need new and different conceptual tools to understand our situation to be of organized and open evolutive character, conceptual tools to replace those our Western tradition has emerged with the Greek and that have been perused by religious Christianity and scientific Enlightenment to think and evoke an eternally stable world or some supposed universal though hidden foundation thereof. From the outset, it is clear that things can interact by themselves, whereas symbols cannot and need mediating humans or machines for their Transacting.
(01.04.01 evolutive) Note that I use the neologism "evolutive" formed in analogy to "nation"—"native","regulation"—"regulative", etc. as an adjective for some generic notion of evolution. The adjective "evolutionary" is reserved here for a present neodarwinian or New Synthesis version of conceiving of bioevolution only. Bioevolution can and should not become a model for all Evolution; especially not in the case when these conceptions imply notions of presumed function rather that of observation.
01.05 In long years of research I have come to the conclusion that there is great fault in our present understanding of the Human Condition. For we think our surroundings subjected to a timeless plan, whether it is made by a God or given in Natural Law ostensibly found or stated, in part even made by ourselves. At the same time we tend to except ourselves from this plan least in part by constituting ourselves as free and responsible, as stated by our constitutions and implied by our criminal laws. In attempts to solve this obvious contradiction we have split the total world including ourselves in two parts, matter (and energy) and spirit and claim or maintain either the latter to govern the former or the former to govern the latter. And whenever we touch evidence of this contradiction we take refuge to spiritual instances or deny them. Psychology is a case in point. One of its major modern starting points (Fechner's psychophysics) was intended to bridge the two realms by mathematical relation. It obviously has failed. But without considering consequences from this fact, psychology took party with those who not only denied spirit but also attempted to understand the Human Condition with purely mechanistic means. So another expression of this ontological split is the separation of the sum total of sciences. That modern academic psychology is excluding human culturality, i.e. what makes homo sapiens to humans, is particularly absurd.My conclusion from this state of affairs is that neither Natural Science nor the so called "Humanities" (Geisteswissenschaften) can attain a comprehensive understanding. This split both in matter of fact as well as in approach to things is our invention. And so I wonder whether it is possible to proceed without and give it a try to to find out, how far I can go.
01.05.01 Looking at similar words in some main languages, it is clear, they are not equivalent. Geist in German, ésprit in French or spirit in English obviously do not refer to the exactly the same.
01.06 In this book I propose a conceptual toolkit and show how it could work in conceiving our world as thoroughly evolutive and open-ended rather than forever determined by one or a few basic agencies or forces claimed to be universal. Be aware all the time, that Semiotic Ecology is not itself a theory, although it procures conceptual tools that allow construction of a variety of theories on various levels. Yet there are leading ideas in those tools; in particular these are not concepts defined each in itself and separate. Rather there is a heuristic producing these tools as a set, determining the items from the set. This heuristic rests on one single assumption, the Evolutive Assumption. There are two sides of the Evolutive Assumption: firstly, I generalize the many clear indices for an evolutive world to everything we can observe or conceive and secondly, I suggest how evolution might work, viz. by interaction of two for a third (see below, 03. Evolution Logic, in particular). All the rest can be developed from applying the Evolutive Assumption to observation and inference. It is an assumption in spite of its being naturally evident; for no inductive procedure can ever substantiate it. The conception is comprehensive and can serve as a powerful heuristic for the sciences as well as for everyday practice in living together. Note that that the second part of the assumption implies that the basic Relation in everything must be triadic rather than dyadic, the latter being essentially implied in the basic notion of law or function (given A, there is B, of necessity). There are two reasons for preferring triadic Relations. Firstly, dyadic Relations cannot generate Evolution, but imply a definite and planned or programmed world sooner or later returning to beginning the same pattern. Secondly, only triadic Relations can account for Events that are not simple instances of a sequence given. My intent in writing this essay is to find out how far these new tools can carry me and everybody critical and willing to give it a try.
01.06 This introductory chapter gives sketches of some major features of Semiotic Ecology. Of course, SemEco is in no way privileged like it is postulated for the truths of revelation or of scientific or natural law; it simply is a part of the world, in particular of of the sub-world of words or other symbols, which is itself a part of the world as a whole. It claims no privilege, and thus is subject to being read and checked against honest experience, accepted in principle, and pursued on and on. I know, it will have little chances nowadays, since there are heavy interests invested in schemes of knowledge, affiliation, and in the traditions and mighty forces to support these interests. Large groups of people are highly dependent on them in terms of knowledge, and revenue. But once you compare the great simplicity of my evolutive SemEco approach with the problems remaining insoluble for centuries in the traditional approaches, you may gain the courage needed to pursue this other road. Not being a theory, SemEco can enable the construction of a bundle of theories on various levels of complexity; thus it is a general methodology, a constructive methodology, in particular (see 02. Constructive Strategy): it presents a set of related concepts including their genuine relationships. For all these concepts are constructed in view of their being part of an ensemble.
(01.06.01) "SemEco" often stands short for "Semiotic Ecology". "Evolutive" is necessarily implied and thus omitted most of the time.
01.07 Another important of those dualisms in the West I dismiss is the almost complete separation between facts and values. I have come to the view, that values could and should be conceived as Relations between facts, including possible state of affairs. Thus I can describe and relate facts and potential facts, their desirability or undesirability, their possible or impossible consequences, etc. in the same terms and evaluate situations in the light of other real or imagined situations. You shall find then in this book chapters that pertaining to value questions in terms of outcomes rather than of general principles that have little or week connections to concrete situations.
01.08 In the Western tradition we have become used to state things in terms of classes. This may be appropriate and convenient when individual things are interchangeable, such as in atoms or simple molecules. However, more complex Structures in an Evolutive world are singularities in all probability. This certainly pertains to living beings and most other composite Structures.
01.07 Evidently, SemEco is a radical departure from our common world view. The reader should be aware of this. I have restricted my writing to a few allusion of the differences between these ways of thinking throughout the book, except in a chapter at the end I make Comparative Reflections. SemEco not only dissolves various postulations of dualism and proffers a new conception of causation, it is constructed thoroughly evolutive and dispenses with a lot of separate presumption made within the greco-christian-enlightenment tradition. It also seems capable of replacing presumptions made in other high cultures of the known world.

02.The Human Condition:

"Geschöpf und Schöpfer seiner selbst".

02.01 The Human Condition amounts to everything of concern to ourselves and our future: whatever may condition humans and whatever humans can condition partakes of the Human Condition. I think we understand ourselves and our condition, in both senses, least of all we believe to understand. Not only are we creatures of the set of Evolutions bringing our world including ourselves along; we have also become a major factor or creating role (as Herder called it in the later 18th century) in the further evolutions on planet Earth. Insofar we are making ourselves to objects of our wishes and desires or interests, it appears that we are on the verge of destroying our kind and more. Understanding the Human Condition realistically rather than by myth or interest is urgently important. I think the key to human existence to lie in human self-understanding. Our Western tradition opposing humans to the rest of the world and attempting to master the latter by building on fixating presumptions is leading us into offside. Modeling exactly an evolutive world forever is impossible in principle; we cannot know, how it exactly evolves, however good expectations as to what is unlikely or likely or impossible or not to be expected we can have. But we should no longer isolate things or ourselves from their respective contexts and model them separately, disregarding the many connections that can productively work among many of them. An Evolutive Human Condition must be thought of as an open System. Things and their Relations we can know or think of belong to the Human Condition in degrees of pertinence. The possible in the form of symbols of our own making are reals too. But our words cannot interact with the things; only with ourselves and with special machines. Yet our symbols need connections to the realities they are to present, if they are not to mislead us. By our shared imagination and valuation of what could be or should be or not be and by our furthering the former and hindering the latter we, single and collectively, become responsible for the consequences of our actions.
02.01.01 Condition, both as a verb or a noun, is used in the broadest thinkable sense as the generic premise of both what is the case and what can be the case.
02.01.02 The words creature and creator or create do not necessarily imply a religious connection for me today, although in Herder, who used these double words first, may have implied it sometimes. For Herder the double sense was an essential character of humans, "the first beings let free". I want to honor him so, while I could as well say: "generations and generators". The terms should emphasize the productive powers present in humans, both personal and impersonal and in passive and active respects.
03. Constructive Strategy
03.01 Constructive Strategy is an essay on methods and methodology. Th proposed procedures are intended to replace traditional attempts to trap the timeless essence of objects selected and decontextualized by some subject. An Evolutive world cannot be modeled, its highly stable parts excepted. Yet the principles governing its Becoming can be specified. Only the principles according to which it evolves can be described; the Evolutive Process itself only after it has happened. But as a whole it evolves unpredictably, although its more steady parts operate quite reliably, while something unexpected can happen anytime. In addition, in an Evolutive World, there can be no one Archimedean Point allowing any so-called "objective" observer to perceive or conceive a subject of inquiry independent of, yet in relation to other things. For whatever is the case, may interact with something resulting in something new, i.e. unknown before. Hopefully we can overcome the limitations of one only perspective without falling victim of a plethora of perspectices. The notions of an objective epistemology or of ontology have then to be abandoned. What we can understand, is always in a perspective and may be in change. In consequence Methodology should be Constructive or explain at best elucidating why and how things come about rather than what they are. When the world is evolving, principles describing it and its becoming must follow suit by evolving also and we should attempt to gain comprehensive understanding about how everything comes about and what effects it may exert rather than what isolate objects of our selection are. We cannot model an evolving world. What we can, however, is finding principles according to which our world has evolved and most probably will evolve on. Instead of representing things directly our methods should base in concepts whose operation are constructing things and how our world was built and does maintain itself and how we can succeed to bring that evolutive Process into concepts that can describe in symbols how the real world operates. This also eases to specify our place and our role in it. I suggest or propose in this book radically new concepts of a kind, that when their referents operate together, they generate the world we are in as well as ourselves in all known as aspects. These concepts are thus constructive in the sense that they allow following the real relational systems of things observable and imaginable in their connectons rather than explaining separated phenomena or classes of objects. Semiotic Ecology is an essentially methodological essay: it provides tools for understanding Evolutive Systems in general and their interconnections and exemplifies their use in a particular way of mine. Since the tools allow other concretizations, SemEco is neither ideology nor Weltanschauung. It rather presents a basis for a new philosophy of science or of understanding in general. But SemEco leaves behind traditions of both philosophy and science while holding to principles of careful thinking as well as controlled observing. If the world is evolutive, our understanding of it must be evolutive too. This leaves little room for eternal and universal law. This idea has been risen first by Charles Peirce in
(03.01.01 objective) Any object must be taken out of its own context and be regarded in a particular way and so is highly "subjective" whenever other perspectives are possible.
(03.01.02 understanding) This word should be taken in its everyday sense rather than in any of its philosophical variants. Understanding usually provides a basis for adequate
(constructive) Constructive Methodology has a long and venerable history, but could be transferred from domains of idealizing constructed entities such as geometry or the number system to real domains such as our real world and ourselves, since none of the world's things and certainly not ourselves are in a final or definitive state.
03.02 There is a radical contrast, indeed, between the above sketched constructive methodology and the dominating idea that the total of our world or at least almost all of it is thought to be universally lawful and that these laws can eventually be stated in order to gain complete control over ouor world. Universal lawfulness when first stated explicitly has been thought to be an assumption or methodological postulation, thought to be required to underlay all research activity. For if the world was not orderly, it makes no sense to attempt to research it. Unfortunately, more and more———
I. Evolutive Principles
        To ease orientation for the reader, I have found it convenient to divide my almost 80 chapters in 10 or 11 sections or parts entitled in italics and denoted with Roman numbers. While the three beginning chapters introduce my purpose and my basic concepts and procedures, the first section presents Evolution generically as Structure Formation by Structure Interaction, the latter eventually turning into Structure Transaction or Generative Semiosis when at least one living Structure is involved. In addition to treating here of evolutive basics emphasis is on basic conceptions in general; some methodological issues such as a new conception of concrete reality or its real symbolization are also introduced.
04. Evolution Logic
04.01 substantiates the general character of the (generative and regulative) Process of Structure Formation and Change which is called Evolution generically. In an Evolutive World, Process and Structure are not two different entities but rather two phases of anything we can conceive, no matter whether a given Structure or Process lasts a tiny fraction of a second or scores of millennia, stable as Structure, in change as Process. Often, Structures with parts in Interaction or Transaction are or embrace Processes and many Processes are repeating or re-occurring so that they are in fact integrated Systems operating like Structures as wholes. Whether some entity is called a Structure or a Process should not be decided by how we perceive it (we know well enough that other living beings may distinguish differently due to constants in their senses) but rather by its role in the evolutive stream it is involved: is it stable and interacting with something or is it changing something? Evolution consists in the Process of Structure Interaction generating new Structures and modifying or dissolving extant Structures?
04.02 Analytically, any evolutive Interaction can be conceived of as a composite Triad, i.e. of two Structures encountering and generatinga third (or modifying one of the two). Interestingly enough, Triadic Interaction accounts for both stability and change by one and the same type of Process and thus provides for both Variation (Innovation) and Selection (Valuation). This elucidates the increase of diversity by the former as well as its restriction to regularities by the latter. Attributing the former to law and the latter to chance amounts to denying one by the other and is missing the problem of their Relation. Triadic Interaction is proposed as the new generic form of causation or law replacing the idea that anything arises directly from some other thing by necessity, but often disturbed by chance. For there are both systematic and contingency moments in encounters. The latter stem from spatio-temporal coincidence and Affinity of certain Structures having originated in a common evolutive stream, the former base in varying ecological neighborhood and in degrees of Affinity and disaffinty. Higher order causative Relations can usually be reduced to Triads. Dyadic causative relations may amount to degenerated triads; but it is impossible to conceive of Evolution out of Dyads, since Triads cannot be derived from Dyads while higher order Relations can well be composed of Triads (Peirce). The notion of immanence simply contradicts the Notion of (generic) Evolution; probably immanences can be reduced to very likely encounters.
(04.02.01 Peirce) Charles S. Peirce (1839-1911) has argued for theses these relationships and has seen but not really elaborated the intimate connection to Evolution, because he had adopted the dualistic metaphysical fixation, that the world was evolving from pure spirit to pure matter.
04.03 Evolution Logic suggests three threads of understanding running through all of our world and of its understanding: 1. Whatever is the case is evolutive and most of it is both result and condition of the Evolutive Process. 2. Evolutive Processes base on ecological Interaction among neighboring entities (far connections such as by field-effects may be implied) and are generating Structures and building Evolutive Systems and Systems of Systems of relatively high relatedness or Affinity. 3. When Evolutive Structures become Systems and differentiate internal or hidden properties from surface qualities Interaction can become transactional or semiotic, i.e. transcending here and now by emerging Meaning or Memory and carrying it from the past into the future.
04.04 On this basis I propose the Evolutive Assumption. It is the only and single Assumption I have to make. All the rest is either observed or infered. It combines a generalization and an assumption: I generalize from so many evolutive facts known from all domains that our world is thoroughly evolutive, i.e. that everything we can observe or infer or invent has arisen from an Evolutive Process and that there is nothing else in Human Condition apart from what further living beings may generate. And I assume that every evolutive Process is of interactive nature, i.e. everything we can observe or infer or invent arises from or is modified by Interaction of two pre-existing Structures.
(04.04.01 pre-existing) Note that I hold that the issue of origin or the formation of first Structures is not an interesting Question which need keep us busy realistically or formally. At present speculations and assured knowledge we can assume that the forming of the first light atoms arises from the primal plasma and its cooling or spreading which also constitutes space and temporality by repulsion and subsequent Interaction respectively. All further Structures arise from their Interaction: by fusion and fission to heavier or lighter atoms or isotopes, chemically to molecules, or by mass binding such as electro-magnetic forces and gravity to constellations. Whatever details of this may change with better knowledge, the reality of elementary Structures capable of Interaction remains and is sufficient for the Evolutive Assumption to be a reasonable assumption.
05. Structure Formation
05.01 is the generic evolutive event or instance of generation and regulation of Matter-Energy-Formations of which our world obviously consists, whether these are simple Formations or organized Structures or Systems. But my stance is not one of materialism; it is impossible to reduce Relations to Matter alone, although Energy may play a role. My stance is neither one of idealism or spiritualism of any kind, since there is to my understanding no such entity without a Symbol. Only other Structures build new Structures. There is no good reason to assume anything to exist that is not a Matter-Energy-Formation and composites thereof. Of all such Formations some nearly replicate, are replicated, or are otherwise highly articulate, among them also Symbols, and so can be "recognized" by some other structures, including ourselves observing. They are often named Structures because of their distinct and integer character differing them from Formations in general. All Formations including Structures, are real, that means (can) have effects. Also Symbols are such Structures, no matter whether they are on paper, in computers or in the heads or other parts of organisms such as in the form of neural or humoral processes or orderly form. What Symbols refer to may be but need not be reals. I believe that most Symbols have not clear-cut referents, although some highly artificial Symbol Systems may allow for exceptions. But, usually, most Symbols are understood or interpreted Symbols at least slightly different by different people and even by the same Person at different times. Symbols can well point to possibles and even to impossibles such as a real or a thought only thing or imagination such as the Unicorn or a plan of a not yet built house. Obviously, knowledge in the sense of recognizing and knowhow, i.e. Interaction capabilities, is not a human privilege; for the plant and animal realms would not be functional without.
05.02 Complexes of Structures with Interactions occurring within, i.e. among their parts, as well as of the whole with Structures in their environment may be called Systems. Many Structures and all Systems are of processual nature in that they are regularly running in the same or very similar ways. Indeed this distinction is relative in that it depends on the senses making the distinction. These Complex Structures or Systems, especially organism, are of greatest importance and should be taken serious. They cannot be understood from their elementary parts or on the basis of what they are composed of. Any Complex Structure or System that operates as an Integer has Potentials for Interaction which its parts do not have. This is another way of stating the old principle of the Gestalt: a whole is not equal to the sum of its parts. This is valid for external Things, too, not only for perceptual and other internal entities.
(05.02.01) Examples of Structures may be: atoms and their constituents, simple molecules, stellar bodies or constellations, gravitation and electro-magnetic fields, crystals (but mixtures are only Formations), large molecules such as DNA and proteins, cells, organs, organisms, taxes, tropisms, instincts, ecosystems, groups, psychical and cultural procedures or products, such as works and Symbols and texts of all kinds, in particular, whether they are marks or names, tokens or types, etc.
05.03 Structure Formation is a triadic Process in that (analytically) two Structures encounter and are thus generating a third or modifying, even dissolving one of the encountering Structures. It is the basic triadic Process of all Evolution. Obviously, many Structures arise from a series or a bundle of Triads. My contention is that the Triad cannot be reduced, since Dyads would only produce the same, time and again, and so turn circles while all higher order Relations can in principle be reduced to a set of Triads. Of course, for certain purposes, they not be so reduced. For either Dyads are necessary or arbitrary; so should a world resulting from dyadic causation not become either. Only Triads or higher order causative Relations can achieve new Structures and at the same time constrict infinite diversity by selective encounters or valuation. Triadic relations are my choice because there is no simpler Relation that can account for Evolution.
06. Realism
06.01 Real is what has or can have effects ("Wirklich ist, was wirkt" (Lewin) oder wirken kann). E.g. Structures encountering are Reals and so is the product or effect of their Interaction and also the Interaction itself. Yet it makes no sense to denote something as real without specifying its character or potential, i.e. understanding the Interactions it is involved in. Qualities realized, however, are not of things but of their Relations. An Interaction is needed to get at some qualities of a Structure. Qualities not realized are Potentials No quality of a Structure can be "known" – to be sure: to some other Structure given – exactly, before it is realized. Before that, you can only have expectations about the kinds of qualities realizable in possible encounters. Describing a quality implies a gauge, so to say, or an Interpretant in SemEco terms.. And since for most Structures Interactions with different others are possible they may and do bring to the fore different qualities.This implies, that quality is of the Relations and not of an object and that it is risky to reduce anything to one presumed essential quality. Thus Reals must be said to exist as this or that potential, i.e. qualities realizable. Reals, thus, and nominals are not either- or, but a matter of degree: the more assured observation on something is available, the more you can take for a Real; the less so, the more you will have to take it for a nominal, i.e. an entity we conceive of, rather the things around it.
06.02 Following Peirce, that a real is what has its effects no matter how anybody conceives of it suggests the old controversy of things being either reals or nominals. In Peirce's terms, it seems more difficult to conceive of nominalism because that notion in opposition to that of realism is historically connected with universals since the European middle ages. I use the two terms in a wider sense independently of general or universals. For any singular Structure, no matter whether completely replicable or not is a real and as a symbol is a real symbol, but ca refer to a reality or However, in SemEco, it appears more adequate to connect the real to observation and the nominal to inference or symbolic construction. Reals, thus, and nominals are not either- or, but a matter of degree: the more assured observation on something is available and taken into account, the more you can take it for a Real; the less so, the more you will have to take it for a Nominal, i.e. an entity we conceive of. For instance, the content of much of what happens in the mind-brain except in direct experience, cannot usually be observed independently and is therefore largely nominal. It is only possible to observe, but barely to really report, what enters private awareness. Also, what takes longer stretches of time, e.g a life course or history, can only indirectly be observed by comparing repeated records of parts of it; so our treating of it will play a considerable role. It will therefore also be largely nominal. The most obvious occasion for nominals is on higher horizons, for reals on relatively low horizons.
(06.02.01Lewin) In German, to effect and real have te same word root. Kurt Lewin has taken that saying from the Chicago sociologist Thomas. It has impressed me early and has remained important. As has Charles Peirce's insights about our conceptual contributions. What we conceive of some original reals, is often not at all real. Our conceptIons of something, however, and whether adequate or not, may have a great influence upon ourselves as individuals and collectively. But I abandon the dichotomy between real and nominal or, worse, antireal, and take it for a matter of degree. And, of course in SemEco, when observing, there is inevitably a contribution from within; so we in principle can never observe, what is out there, but only how we can observe. Thus our phenomena slightly differ from true reals. Yet since we can act successfully in the real world, our observations can be quite adequate, while our chances to fall victim to illusion are always great.
07. Generic Evolution
07.01If our whole world is evolutive we need a conception of Evolution of generic character to cover every known, hopefully every possible kind of evolution. The phenomena to be covered, at present knowledge, range from the basic physico-chemical particles and their simple combinations over the cosmic, mineral and biotic to the most elaborate psychic and cultural achievements. The ways Matter-Energy-Formations attain structural character with a relatively small number of elementary Structures that can combine to build more combinations and aggregations are certainly precondition to everything. The biotic evolutive phenomena are obviously of greatest import because they introduce integrated integer Structures of increasing complexity which together overform the mineral environment of the hydro-, atmo- and lithosphere into the highly complex systems of selective interdependencies known as the biosphere, organism and their in large part organismic environment, and the new kinds of Structures emerging with them.
07.02 Thus four principal kinds of Evolutive Systems and Processes can be differentiated: Proto-Evolutions including the physico-chemical Evolution of elementary particles and smaller molecules, the cosmic Evolution of nebulae and stellar bodies and galaxies, and the "mineral" Evolutions on the planet(s) forming a large variety of more or less structured formations in the hydro-, litho- and atmospheres; On planet Earth, at least, there are: Bioevolution, comprising the emergence of all organismic Structures as well as their environments; Psychoevolutions, emerging Structures within individual organisms of some complexity on the basis of individual experience and covering both the accumulation of knowledge about and skills for dealing with their environment; and cultural Evolutions building traditions in communicative social systems by cultivating. Whereas Proto-Evolutions are quasi-linear: bringing forth ever new but a limited number of kinds of Structure, the latter three are branching, bringing forth often new kinds Structures such as plant and animal forms and new environments, and new Persons and Forms of Living together.
07.03 In view of becoming capable to making comparisons among these Evolution kinds and for understanding the Evolution of Evolution and to conceive of their dependencies and interplay a generic conception of Evolution is indispensable.
(07.03.01Earth) The Question, whether there is or is not (intelligent) life on other planets, may be fascinating, but is insofar vain, that the nearest already are light years away. So communication with them is practically restricted. To know whether there is or not, would not change our situation.
08. Structural Processes
08.01 In order for Evolution to take place there must be Structures capable of Interaction. Structures can either be independent, stand-alone, or embedded in other Structures, one being a part of another. The former are Integers, and so are those of which the latter are a part; the latter are named integrated (integers); as wholes they are also integers. All parts integrated can together form again an Integer and they undergo the common fate of their whole. Integrated Structures are restricted to interact with Structures that are in direct contact or connection with them. Integrated integer Structures move around, either moved by some foreign force or moving by their own capacity, so they may have encounters with any one of a larger set of other Structures.
08.02 Structures and Processes appear commonly as two different phenomena. But we should not take that serious because the criterion to distinguish between them is nothing but our sensory organisation, which is different for different species and in fact arbitrary. What appears as an unit and operates as an Integer, e.g. a living organism, is in fact a large set of Structures and Processes and would not be living without Processes, although it appears to us as a quasi-Structure. Conceive of the phenomenon factually as two phases of one: a Process involving Structures or a set of Structures in Process. Such structural Process of processing Structures is the real unit of any evolutive stream.
08.03 However relative then the distinction between Structure and Process really is, it is essential for Evolution to proceed. For the structural phase is needed as much as the processual one to carry an effect of building a Structure by encounter of two at one point in time into a fourth Structure later on when some effect of the first event comes about. In some general sense, then, Evolution amounts to building (structural) memory in one Process and bringing it to an effect in another Process or it amounts to many Structures, all brought about by Processes.
08.04 Structures per se are passive, they carry no immanence or teleology with them, although highly complex and symbolizing Structures may imply plans and purposes. In principle, they operate only in encounters with suitable other Structures. Integers, particularly integrated Integers, however apear to be self-active. So-called self-activity is simply due to Interaction among parts of integrated Structures, i.e, of Systems. I would find self-active organisms very important, but essential are also their parts.
08.05 Integrated Structures may interact on two levels, i.e. they can transact. At least one of the two Structures encountering must be so differentiated, having both a surface and a background or hidden substance in order for a Semiosis to occur. Traditionally this has been called a sign and defined by the fact that it has a meaning. But since this meaning cannot be known before an encounter and can be different for different encountering Structures, meaning cannot dwell within or be given with the sign Structure itself. Rather meaning is in the Relation arising in the encounter of some Structure with a particular other differentiated Structure, usually an organism (yet in cultures machines have been invented that ca also transact or operate semiotically).
09. Interaction, Transaction
09.01 Structural Processes are best conceived as Interaction and its result. Interaction presupposes relatively integer Structures encountering. Integer here means that most Structures capable of Interaction must be Matter-Energy-Formations with extension in space capable of motion, be it under influence from other Structure of by proper capability. Encounters then are on the one hand spatio-temporally contingent, on the other hand it is more likely that Structures encounter Structures in their vicinity than Structures far off, field-effects notwithstanding. If Structures, in addition, have substructures with properties that let them move towards attractive Structures and away from repulsive Structures, we can conclude that encounters of Structures are far from totally random but the majority of encounter really happen dependent on their affinities and neighborhood in addition to some spatio-temporal contingency. In other words, in addition to relative spatio-temporal contingency, there is a strong ecological restriction on pure randomness of encounters.
09.02For complex Structures with self-moving capabilities, animals and humans in particular, the latter implies an even stronger Affinity component, positive or negative, and will also contribute to forming Umwelten, especially for animals and also plants. Affinity is mostly a side-effect of being arisen in the same evolutive branch and then of additional experience with the respective entities. Animals have both, suitable instincts and individual experiences that enable them to rather well anticipate what to expect from encounters, for instance, what is good nourishing, what is poisonous or otherwise dangerous to them. Affinity thus is in important additional factor making encounter selective and far less than random. Neighborhood or Ecology and Affinities will be most important in the Genuine Evolutions where we can say that many Structures, having co-evolved and gathered experience, are capable of recognizing certain other Structures pertinent to them and either seek encounter or avoid it. This leads to semiotic Interaction which I call Transaction because it transcends the temporal limitations of simple encounter by building chains or nets of Semioses, their Semions being memory traces of their encounter history.
09.03 Transaction may begin with large molecules, certainly with cells, i.e. with life. Transaction goes beyond Interaction by introducing Meaning and Semiosis by the simple fact that some Structures differentiate: surface qualities determine recognition, but deeper and hidden characters will determine their Interaction which thus turns into Transaction. I speak of transaction, when at least one of the encountering Structures meet on the basis of their surface qualities, but interact in their deeper properties, of which they "know", either genetically due to common ancestry and/or by individual experience.
II. Ecological Principles
        The second major thread through Semiotic Ecology concerns what I name "eco-logical", the fact that all entities, Structures or Processes, i.e. Entities we can observe or infer or invent, are more or less strictly embedded in some surrounds. This is inevitably the case for all Processes, in that they become manifest in Interaction among Structures, and for all Structures in view of their origin and the realisation of their Potential by interacting with other Structures. No Entity is understandable outside its ecological contexts. This pertains already to the kind of Structures and their Interactions evident in the Proto-Evolutions; and even clearer so in the biotic, the individual or psychic and the cultural Evolutions that are treated here in their principles the most important one for the Genuine Evolution is Memory Formation and use. All Things are senseless outside their proper embedding.
10. Ecosystems
10.01 Once Structure Formation has started and built a structured universe showing spatial and temporal character it is obvious that Interaction among Structures must underlie restriction. Otherwise we would approach an infinite world. The ecological and affinity restrict bring about regularity, those regular events that have lead people to assume universal law. But all determination is local in the interactive encounter. As long many Structure are present in near or total replicates Interaction must lead to similar or equal results. At the same time some varie Structures will bring about new Structures, so that the present real mix of regular and unpredictable events or Structures results from some contingency. Temporally, any Interaction is the manifestation of an encounter of (analytically) two Structures which constitutes a singular moment of presence. Any particular event has never occurred before and will never occur again exactly while it can be repeated highly similar or equal with exchangeable Interactants such as atoms by similar or equal Structures and in principle it can be presented or even symbolized: foremost by the third Structure or Presentant perhaps remaining, secondly by any symbolic text that reconstructs some stretch of the stream this event is a part of and includes some antecedents as well as some sequels of it. Spatially, no encounter of two Structures and thus no Interaction can occur if the two Structures are not adjacent or otherwise directly connected (e.g. by field effects). This greatly reduces the possibility of encounters in relation to some theoretical fiction allowing any Structure to interact with any other one. The restriction of possible events so attained is a basic framing condition of the Evolutive Process in general with the strong consequence of Evolution being always a local affair. One way of conceiving of this situation is with the notion of neighborhood or ecology. This is primarily a spatial relation of many Structures at a given time which secondarily enables encounters leaving some contingency and some determinacy as to which encounters become actual and result in Interactions and their sequels. This view is what has incited the idea of eco-relation elaborated into the conception of Ecosystem. An Ecosystem is an ensemble of relatively neighboring Structures which are capable of interaction; it exists, is a reality over some stretch of time, some change notwithstanding. It is our view of any one Structure we discern and then think as a center of a system which we can only reconstruct from observations over larger periods of time. From such accumalation we can eventually infer what Interactions are possible in view of the Structures present.
11. Proto-Evolutions
11.01 presents a reconstruction of the origin of our universe, assuming an original state of everything starting with pure energy without spatial and temporal differentiation and a process binding the largest proportion of that pure energy in particles forming other particles, some of them attaining astonishing stability. Among the latter the atoms and small molecules are most prominent. This physico-chemical stem of Evolution brings about the side-effect of spatial and temporal differentiation, i.e. succeeding events building sequences taking place going in different directions. It is followed by the cosmic stem of Evolution which builds variations in density of the particles moving and attractive and repulsive forces bringing them to cluster forming stellar bodies and galaxies. The particles remain, more kinds of particles are formed by fusion and fission. The eventual cooling on smaller bodies such as planets allow a third branch building a great variety of aggregations of particles, some more random, some in partial order such as crystals which can collectively be called the mineral Evolution the total of which builds the lithosphere near the surface and the hydro- and atmospheres in their vicinity.
11.02It is remarkable that these three evolutive stems are heavily dependent, the second and third on the first. And while the first is going on within the second the products of the third have no back-effects on the other two. The Proto-Evolution bring about essentially three types of phenomena each one with relatively limited number of variations. These Structures do not really evolve themselves, the producing process remains mostly the same, whatever the variations become. Except for the mineral branch. originally within the hydrosphere, that has become the basis of the immense varieties of an infinite number of branches in the Genuine Evolutions. That these latter Evolution are permanently dependent on both, the strong stability on Earth of the physico-chemical in terms of atoms and small molecules and on strong evolutive physico-chemical activity in our sun in terms of atomic fusion is particularly fascinating.
12. Genuine Evolutions
12.01 Generating and maintaining singular Structures azand accumulating further singularities upon them implies a historical process radically different from the proto-evolution realm. For whereas all elementary particles manifest the same Interactions and Potential all along their existence, and all stellar and all mineral structures display essentially the same kind of effects in their environment all the time in spite of their actually being singular and mostly only Formations, the Structures involved in life processes and what follows upon them are truly singular.
12.02 Within the mineral systems, which include the hydrosphere and the lithosphere (under contributions from life also the athmosphere), we can infer some Structures to have been formed that have emerged two qualities never real before which are essential for life to come about and eventually shall bring to the fore the psychic and the cultural Evolutions. The first is replication from a model, e.g. a 3-dimensional crystal structure may break in one dimension and being added new layers which will replicate a random singular foreign element at some location. The second is producing from a program, e.g. proteins built according to procedures immanent in a DNA sequence, the latter being structurally entirely different from the former.
12.03 The origin of life is certainly an immensely peculiar evolutive emergence and still an open question, except for some principles that can be stated in retrospect. I believe it is not a single event; rather life originated stepwise with many streams contributing of which we have no traces left. There are mainly two achievements that must be considered essential: (1) the ability of some Structures (such as DNA and its precursors and relavites) to (near) replicate under certain conditions; (2) the ability of certain Structures (such as DNA and its messengers) to guide the synthesis of entirely different Structures (such as proteins). It is most interesting that, although this synthesis is a one way only Process, it achieves the multiplication of both. the same protein and DNA Structures time and again, because the DNA Structures are accompanying every set of proteins, i.e. every cell, and may even be retained after a cells death.
12.04 It seems important that the DNA and the protein Structures are bundled with the emergence of the cell membrane which assure a common fate of each set of DNA and protein Structures. Monocygotes existed and thrived under conditions on the Earth which multicelled organisms could not stand for billions of years; but multicelled organisms eventually emerged in well organized coordination among plants and animals, as is e.g. visible in the generation and consumption of oxygen and carbon dioxyd proportions that characterizes the Earth's atmosphere as a part if the common environment. The animal's organisms, in particular grew more complex emerging specific organs cooperating, again as a bundle, for various achievements. They developed end brains, in particular, which allowed an entirely new sort of Evolution, namely the making and using of individual experience.
12.05 Finally, when the Evolutions have evolved so far, some few animal species and human individuals in particular, living together in communicative groups have emerged culturality in addition. Probably such groups have become socially differentiated through acquired interindividual differences to an extent that the set of instincts they had inherited no longer were sufficient to regulate their living together; so they needed additional means in common, which bioevolution would and could not provide in time or at all, to counter individual differentiation that might have threatened normal group life. Prerequisite are finer tools of communication than all animals are equipped with. Early humans had biologically evolved linguistic capacities that needed specification by excercise in communicative settings. For although it is most interesting, that some animal species have acquired cultural features like tool behavior by imitating each other within a group, but only humans with language communication have emerged social traditions such as in social customs and rites like group dances or chants.
13. Generic Memory
13.01 The evolutive function of Structures is Memory, at least in the Genuine Evolutions; but already the Proto-Evolutions produce stable conditions which assure the higher differentiation of the genuine ones: the function of Evolutive Processes is to form Memory and to bring Memory to effect. The implied notion of Memory is one that goes much beyond any phenomenological or other conception usually connected with the term; yet the former is not meant in any way to be metaphorical. In Genuine Evolutions all structures are Semions and so can become effective as Memory. In the constructive strategy Memory is a term the notion of which is constituted by the two phases of (1) incorporating something or better: an aspect of something into another Structure and (2) bringing some aspect of that incorporated something to have further effects.
13.02 We may call that something a Potential, since it those further effects are not manifest until further Transaction. A Memory Structure is one thing, a Structure, and, conjunctively, it is another thing, a Potential. Such Potential is an instance of that essential of Meaning, which reflects its two phases of being involved: both being generated and being a generator; both being a creature and being a creator. Memory thus is conceived as something genuinly part of all Structures generated in theGenuine Evolutions; not as something that is added to some selected Structures under certain circumstances only, but in all human or organismic productions, transient or permanent. The sum total of Memory constitutes the continuity in as well as some degree of consistency of our world and of its parts.
13.03 Any Structure may have many Potentials which come about in interactions with other Structures. Meaning, however, is not given with any Structure; it lies in the Relation between two Structures and becomes manifest in the third Structure generated or modified in their Transaction (see also 19 Meaning).
14. Anaformation
14.01 Memory in semeco understanding is the basis rather than a late emergence of the evolutive streams. It is memory implying meaning in the genuine evolutions. Memory in this generic sense is constituted by any given Structures’ place in their Evolutive Chain, branching or rooting Tree, or Net. There is little memory that is the exact replicate of its predecessor (the memory of something or some event) or of its successor (the re-production of the memorized). Such is a limiting case among singularities: to be exactly alike and would better be called a replicate. The normal case of progression in evolutive streams is by anaformation: Structures formed in relation to their antecedents are called anaforms. Prefixes such as a-, an- and ana- point to both deviation and similarity, continuity and opposition; any kind of affinity between the entities involved may be subsumed. Anaformation implies that not too great deviations are normally possible among relative neighbors in the temporal sequences in evolutive streams. Anaformation warrants affinity.
14.02 The word transcendent appears to have three meanings: going beyond the ordinary in everyday, going beyond the knowable in philosophical, and going beyond the mundane in theological contexts. While I think the everyday use is easily misleading the second and third use have no place in semiotic ecology. However the idea of going beyond the immediately given is an important one. The conception of Transaction as a case of Interaction that is going beyond is a key process in the genuine evolutions. It marks nothing but the claim that, what is, is a member of series of nets coming from ancestors and going to descendents. Not by a linear process of something by itself, of course, but within the set of spiral stretches of influence going from individuals into their umwelt and from there to individuals again, the same among many other ones within a cultural system.
III. Generative Semiotic Principles
        presents the third major leading notion in Semiotic Ecology, Generative Semiotic. This is a Peirce inspired but radically new way of dealing with Meaning in its dynamics. Semiosis is conceived a-dualistic and does operate without the need for a mind involved. My concept of Semiosis is explained and the new concept of Semion is introduced as any Structure differentiated into surface and deeper parts which can be recognized by the former while Transaction with other Semions can base on the latter. It is made evident that Semions can be integrated into composed or more complex Semions while at some composed and integrated level they have gained some degree of autonomy in moving and in searching selectively for suitable encounters that implies both affinity, i.e. increases regularity, and spatio-temporal contingency, which latter accounts for unpredictability of the evolutions.
15. Semiosis and Semions
15.01 The roles of the structures and processes transacting and therewith developing meaning nets in genuine evolutions are called Semions and Semioses. The former refers to a (quasi-)static or Structural phase of any evolutive change, the latter to the dynamic or Process-phase mediating between one and another static phase. So Semions and Semioses are two different manifestations of one Evolutive step rather than two different entities. Structure make only sense, if they are evolutively connected by Processes; Processes make only sense, if they involve Structures by forming Triads. The dynamic phase allow
15.02 Semiosis is the triadic transactional process of causation based on meaning. All transactions that can directly contribute to the genuine evolutive stream are of semiosic nature. Indirectly non-meaning processes such as pure or brute physico-chemical incidents may change the evolutive conditions. The meaning structures involved in semioses are called Semions. The term unites a component of meaning derived from the Greek shma / sema (sign, signal, symbol) or semaino (to signify, to indicate, to make known) or semeion (the sign or mark, that by which something is known or somebody is lead to) with a component of dynamic relation derived from the active state of atoms or molecules that is called a ion. A semion is prepared and yearning to transact semiosically with an affine semion that it is contingently encountering. To be a semion is a role or function a structure attains in semiosis. Being a semion is compatible with being involved physico-chemically with other structures by contact or remote action. In semiosis then two semions encounter and this implies the generation a new semion or the modification, actualization or dissolution, i.e. the demise of one of the two transactants. Semiosis is the basic process unit of genuine evolutions. All more complex process should be capable of being analyzed into combinations of triadic semions. Semiosis is not itself a composite but an elementary process. It can only analytically be reduced to, say, a phase of encounter and a phase of generation/modification etc. Semiosis does not contradict nor in any way deny physical-chemical law of matter-energy. Semions as a rule are relatively complex units, beginning with the large molecules produced in life processes and including in particular cells of all kinds, organelles, organs, organisms, humoral and neuronal process-structures, movement pattern of animal bodies, social groups, and and environmental structures such as natural and cultural products of any kind. Looked at physico-chemically semioses comprise or consist of mostly rather large sets or configurations of physico-chemically elementary structures and processes. The way their semionic composites combine in semiosis cannot be construed of the potentials of the sum of their components. Semionic action, however, is in no way transcending what can happen to matter-energy-form constellations. The semiosic process is a spatial and directed temporal event. For practical reasons I denote the semionic roles in semiosis reference, interpretance, and presentence.
16. Reference (something…)
16.01 Semiosis can most easily be described as a mutual involvement of semions wherein a Referent is transacting with an Interpretant and thus generating a Presentant. The three terms refer to roles a semion can play in semiosis. These roles arise when two semions encounter and generate a third or one of them is actualized or modified or demising from the encounter.
16.02 A Referent is not a stand-alone Structure. Rather a Structure turns into a Referent when interacting with an Interpretant.
17. Interpretance (…in a certain way…)
17.01 It is easy to say than an Interpretant interprets its Referent into a Presentant. More difficult may be to understand what this means. While a Reference may be said to passively proffer itself to being interpreted, an interpretance may be described as actively grasping and working on the reference and thereby generating their (or their encounter’s) presentance, such is anthropomorphic parlance and acceptable under the condition of no erroneous sequels. There are situations such as translation of words or sentences or texts into another language or a musical idea into a score and this into a musical performance or interpretation and then by the listener into a musical impressions, and many more of such type, where such parlance makes sense. However, there are also situations, where reference and
18. Presentance (…made anew)
18.01 Having used the terms representance and representant in the first year or two of developing generative semiotic, omitting that prefix has become of some significance to me. In the fall of 1991 I gained the insight that in Evolutive Systems representation if a limiting case, only meaningful under certain circumstances, and certainly not something to be attained as a norm. Semiosis does not represent something; it proceeds on the basis of something in a certain way. Representation in the last consequence is a dead end. It is strange and does non comply with the evolutive character of things and ourselves but rather wants to fixate an ideal. Representation is the core of epistemology. But how can we justify to make an ideal of so-to-say duplicating the world in symbols? The result of such ideals is dualism of knowing and the known. Perception, cognition, or any other symbolic representation of something does as little represent that something as our action represents our state of mind. These processes create something that is related to its referent, true, but always, it is under certain perspective, a particular interpretant. The question of truth that is connected with this issue has been _________except does in the larger context of epistemological thinking (a thinking which is in a way normative and thus had to introcuce a generalized notion of “error”). Generative semiotic proffers a tool set to describe genetic relations in evolutive worlds of any kind without special distinction of the epistemological relation.
19. Generative Semiotic
19.01 Traditional semiotic of signs coordinates signified and signifier and is essentially dyadic. The crucial advantage of Transactions by Triadic Relation over a conception that presupposes something like a mind is the implied understanding of the evolution of Meaning. Semiosis of Semions is a generic form of all Genuine Evolutive Causation.
19.02 Another advantage of Triadic Causation is that it can cover both Branching or divergence and Merging or convergence by one and the same interactive Process. So it is capable of generically describing Evolution which must be diverging to account for innovation. The diverging effect is obvious in the notion of encounter of two generating a third. The converging effect arises when one Structure repeatedly interacts with several strongly related or nearly identical Structures; from such constellations evidently something strongly similar is generated. Thus the remaining effects of contingency are from chance. Obviously, the possibility of Convergence rests in the selective encountering due to Affinity. If Evolution would not at the same time restrict infinite diversion it would become disfunctional for diminishing occasions for selective encounter and even destructive of itself and for lack of material available to produce new Structures without destroying older ones. SemEco achieves this without requiring separate principles
20. Meaning
20.01 Meaning is usually attributed to things, i.e. objects or signs in particular. Yet to speak of the meaning of something makes only sense when that something bears some effect that is different from its effect without meaning. Meaning is expressed in Interaction. Thus meaning is a relational matter and implies its coming to use. Meaning is of any semion transacting with another semion manifest in a third semion or in a change of one or both transactants. Meaning attributed by a human mind to some object is a special case that should not at all be taken general.
20.02 Most things may develop various meanings, depending on the interpretant involved in the process. A sign in particular, usually understood to be a meaning carrier, and in principle any thing has at best a potential meaning, the development of which again dependes on the semiosis it is involved. It is perhaps one of the several great mishaps of Western thought that meaning has been attributed to things or signs rather than to their transactional involvement.
20.03But when
20.04 The kernel of meaning is some split between surface qualities or external properties and internal properties or potential realizable in Transaction. A transactant recognizes semions affine to it, may search some of the out and avoid others. That recognition implies something that is akin to what is knowledge in humans and higher animals. When they recognize food or things damaging to them, when they recognize ennemies or supporters, when they recognize mates and their state, when they recognize or anticipate and migrate to regions that support their needs well and avoid problematic places, etc. they don’t do it for the surface qualities of these situations they either sense or imagine; rather they do it for the potential of these situations to serve them some purpose. In other words, they have developed interpretants that “expect” certains effects that cannot themselves be perceived, yet are indicated to the informed by the surface qualities. Semiotically, we would recognize interpretances and references in some potential deep relation behind the surface qualities that bring them together. Both structures do something to make the encounter probable and real. A referent may present its qualities in the form of a visible or audible pattern or may deliver some distributable substance such as odor or pheromones; the affine interpretant will receive such indices induce a process of approach; or avoidance, of course. The process described here only in exemplary way prepares the transactional procedure. All of the phases whether of the preparatory or the fulfilling kind can, of course, be composed of many semioses, both on horizons and in sequences in time.
21. Autonomization
21.01 Evolution as ( beginning with bioevolution: semiosic) structure formation (by transacting semions) is only possible, if such structures emerging the process and entering other such process have a quality in some degree that I name autonomization. For want of a more suitable term and for pointing to some relation in that respect between simple structures such as free atoms and complex structures such as individual organisms and social institutions such as communicative groups. The opposite is embeddedness, complete dependence on the environing system of which the item in question is a part. It is most important that autonomization is seen as a process.
22. Integration
22.01 Semions transacting and so generating new semions are evidently involved in net-building
23. Contingency
23.01 Whatever level of autonomization and integration are descriptive of a set of given semions, their encounter for Transaction is not ordinarily a part of their being fated for but depends on spatio-temporal contingency.
IV. EcoSemiotic Evolutions
        This section aspires to show that there are commonalities and differences between the four Evolution kinds. I think we can understand the four known kinds of evolution only within a common conceptuality so generic that it covers all and so allows to specify the differences and the commonalities among them. Proto-Evolutions do not branch but show three quasi-linear types of Structure Formation, one building on the emergences of another: of atoms and small molecules, of stellar clouds and bodies, and of planetary minerals in solid, fluid, and gaseous states. The three Genuine Evolutions, of life, of individual experiences, and of cultural traditions, also build upon these and one upon another. But they branch to bring forth ever new Structures and Processes; and some emergences of later developments may also change the evolutive conditions of primordially earlier emergences, i.e. they may show recursion.
24. Organization, Reorganization
24.01 To say of a Structure to be alive amounts to saying that Structure to be in selective and indispensable exchange with specific parts of its Environment in addition to transaction among parts of that Structure. Such Structures may be organisms and the part of the Environment they thrive in is called their Umwelt. There are non-organic cultural Structures that are also in specific relationship with something akin to their Umwelt; but they are not alive although: they don't loose that quality to be alive when that exchange is interrupted
25. Biotic Evolution
25.01 SemEco adopts the principle of Darwinian and Neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory which claims Evolution to result the cooperation of variation and selection. Phenotype and genotype are separation structures and they succeed each other linearly. In the genotype external factors intrude and produce variation; in the phenotype external factors enter the scene and select, i.e. give some phenotypes better chances to have their genes survive. However, this theory has put too much emphasis on the Evolution of organisms and underrated the role of the environment; the fit between organism and its environment should not be reduced to the latter's role for survival. It is a much more intricate Relation, because many types of organisms usually contribute to constituting the one common environment for all of them. So the environment prepares also relations among species.what individual organism acqire
25.02 It seems to me that present-day Neo-Darwinian theory is much too functional. Yes, Evolution is essentially functional in the sense that its remaining emergences are mostly functional in some respect; but this cannot be turned into claiming only functional emergences remain and that further functionalities or dysfunctionalities are to be neglected. For function is not a quality of any emergence itself, but of the possible Relation of some Structures to others it may encounter. So the judgment of the researcher is unimportant, as long as he has not investigated really all possible encounters, and it should not be used as a criterion for understanding bioevolution. It is even less valid in individual and cultural Evolution, where any kind of absurdities such superstitions or ineffective rituals can be attained and maintained.
26. Individual Evolutions
26.01 At some time in the Evolution of the species the singuar organisms begin to acquire and make use of individual experience. Evidently, any experience must base on encounters of sensory devices with some minimal processing and memorizing capabilities for suitable sources, be they humoral or neuronal, from the environment and so be based on IntrO-Semioses. They may include one IntrO-Semiosis or a set of such and in addition perhaps one or many subsequent IntrA-Semioses or these "processing" capabilities probably include some comparative processes, since memorization can include both a singular or episodic trace of one particular encounter and a general trace subsuming several similar encounters in form of a type or scheme of events (see chapter 46 Comparison Logic)
26.02 Individual Experience making, i.e. memorizing or building traces of concrete events is a entirely new emergence found only in somewhat complex organisms, perhaps already in some plants growing smaller than usually and blossoming richer in situations of scarce or imbalanced resources, but otherwise mainly in animals with elaborated humoral but particularly with neuronal subsystems. This emergence is at the base of a new Evolution type. It builds upon bioevolution in that it presupposes biotically generated Structures. In some sense it it thus a biotic emergence; but since the process of experience making differs from the bioevolutive process in that the variation/innovation phase is not operating
27. Cultural Evolutions
27.01 What individual organisms acquire by experience, was definitely lost with their death, until they have found means to incorporate something thereof in Structures existing independent of their own body.
27.02 The ideas of cultural Evolutions and their connection with individual innovations and their evaluation also by others in communicative groups have for the first time presented in astonishing clearness around 1770, i.e. one century before Darwin by Johann Gottfried Herder among other occasions in his On the origin of language. Herder obviously understood the biotic background of the two latter Evolutions in their mutual interdependency although not using the term, as his descriptions of the process demonstrates; nyet he could not publicly discuss the topic due to a predominant Christian attitude in the social climate strongly repudiative of natural explanations still more consequential than in the decades after Darwins Origin of Species
28. Evolution Interplay
28.01 Evidently, the four Evolution types known coexist and are selectively dependent upon each other, not only in the sense that the later ones depend on at least some of the earlier, in that the later ones build upon emergences of their predecessors, but also in that some later emergences can intrude or even have a systematic effect on the earlier
29. Genetic Relations
29.01 In all Evolution Structures are what they are and what they can do because of their Genetic Relations. Genetic Relations between antecedent and emergent Structures are essentially Relations dependent upon and generating Qualities or Potentials of the Structures involved in any generative triad, interaction or transaction. Hereby, the potential of the third or generated Structure can be realized only in a new Relation later on. Genetic Relations do not arise if there is no Existential Relation between the Structures involved. Existential means: these structures must have effects or are effected in concreto. They do not happen without the interactant Structures encountering. So in essence it is a nuisance to formulate general laws on the level of abstractions in the sense of generalisations or non-singularities when Structures are in fact Singularities, i.e. not replaceable be their likes. Few complex Structures are not Singularities. Keep in mind that this does not apply to atoms and small molecules; but large molecules such as RNA- or DNA-Structures or Proteins, esxpecially when building complexes, such as in organisam, are mostly Singularities and should be taken as such.
V. EvoSemEco Spiraling
        The most important emergence of Bioevolution are preparing also corresponding features in psychic and cultural Evolutions in what I name the Semiotic Function Cycle spiraling through any living Ecosysytem. This connects all organismic Structures with their environment by bringing forth or changing Structures in both each individual organism and in its environment. This section introduces IntrO- and ExtrO-Semioses and elucidates evolutive branching and merging and the most important composed devices connecting any individual with its environment, Instinct and Communication.
30. Function Cycle
30.01 Semiosis is mostly realized in Ecosystems, i.e. system consisting of individual organism and their Umwelt. Semions involved may either part of the organisms and/or of its Umwelt. The crucial kind of Semiosis is between some organism or parts thereof and some part(s) of its Umwelt (i.e. from what they can receive and on what they can have effects). Or in Communication (see 40. Communication) where one organism changes the common Environment and so enables another suitably equipped organism to observe an interpret that change). It is best to imagine ever ongoing chains of Semioses going from an organism into its Umwelt and from there into the Organism leaving effects or traces in both realms. Also related Semioses within the organism, especially in more complex organisms like humans, are greatly important as well as Processes of change in the environment, semiosic or not.
30.02 This amounts to the phases of an ever ongoing FunctIon Cycle connecting any living organism with its Umwelt and thereby having effect upon the environment in which it can live and actually lives. Building upon Jakob von Uexküll's notion of the Function Circle connecting Merkwelt and Wirkwelt but emphasizing the spiraling Process and the role of Generative Semiosis leaving new or changing extant Structures in both the organism and its environment I introduce a special terminology that evokes both the location and the direction of the effective Process: IntrA- and ExtrA-Semioses take place within, respectively outside the organism in its environment, whereas IntrO- and ExtrO-Semioses operate from the environment into the organism, respectively from the organism into its environment. Remember that each semiosic Interaction involves two Structures, Referent and Interpretant generating a new third or modifying one of the two, the Presentant. IntrO-Semioses thus correspond to sensory or perceptive Processes, ExtrA-Semioses to executive Operations or action Processes, while IntrA-Semioses correspond to innerpsychic Events in the traditional sense and ExtrA-Processes may result from purely physical and/or chemical events of any kind as well as from actions of other living beings and can thus be semiosic or not. Note that the great advantage of this conception lies in the fact that innnerpsychic and mediating Processes as well as outerworldly Processes are conceived in one and the same kinds of concepts; this is not only economic, it also allows comparisons that are not thinkable on phenomenological basis. Action and perception, in particular, are both relating a worldly event (either a stimulus or an effect), a peripheral organismic subsystem ( receptive or executive), and and an innerpsychic state (the origin or basis of action or the result or reception) and thus no longer are entirely different things. Also, any organism is seen genuinely and specifically related to its environment rather than separate and in need of
(30.02.01 Function Cycle) I see this as an enhancement of Jakob von Uexküll's function circle, a concept originated in the early 20th century describing the connection of organisms with sensory systems to their Umwelt by pointng to complementary ingoing (Merken or noticing) and outgoing (Wirken or effecting) processes which von Uexküll named by his Neologism of Merkwelt (recepting world) and Wirkwelt (effecting world). The concept hast not originally been proposed as semiotically but later been interpreted as such. I enhance the idea to a four-phased Function Cycle and conceive it in terms of generative Semiosis, emphasizing the repetitive nature of the process and the fact that there are change processes also within any experience-making organism and in the Environment, the latter physical or semiosic (involving or organisms) and independent of the organism in focus.
30.02 In addition, Semions resulting from ingoing processes may transact with Semions already within and organisms and Semions generated by an organism may otherwise interact or transact with other organisms, i.e. with Structures already forming the environment. The result is a four-phased sequence cycling from an organism into its environment and back into the organism as long as the organism is alive. I call the four phases IntrO-, IntrA-, ExtrO-, and ExtrA-Semiosis. Obviously the Function Cycle amounts to the basic field where all Semioses take place and connect any organism with its Environment including the organims of the same and other species with which its has Relations.
30.03 The most interesting consequences of the present terminology within the Function Cycle notion is probably its unifying four domains that have so far been treated separatly in different terminologies, to list: perception, cognition/emotion, bevaivor or action, and world events, whether semiosic or not. Only a common language allows to treat these obvious phases of one connection between organisms of all kinds to their surrounds and at the same time to deal with systematic changes of both, organisms and their Environment.
31. ExtrO-Semiosis
31.01 Looking at the Transaction going from an organism into its environment as a Semiosis we can make out two parts (Ref and Int) inside the organism and the result or Pre in its Umwelt. Generall spoken, Ref can be taken as a state of the organismic System or larger parts of it; Int may be a Subsystem of the organism taking the functioin of mediating from the system to its Umwelt and probably having effects, transient or permantent, upon the Environment that may also be accessible to other organisms. Le'ts call it the Action Subsystem: it can include extro-glands for pouring out pheromones and other substances into the Environment, muscles and their coordinated action changing the position of the organism in respect to the Environment or directly or indirectly changing the location, the form, the compositions and other qualities of certain parts of the Environment. E.g balance systems and leg behavior will lead to locomotion of the organims, coordinated arm and hand movements may modify parts of the Environment, coordinated movements of all limbs in relation to the ground may indicated some state that can be perceive as expressing some condition or readyness, or coordinated lung and throat behavior may produce utterances of sounds, articulated or not; a variant of the latter may even be uncoordinated movements that can be perceived as emotional disturbance or illness.
32. IntrO-Semiosis
32.01 The Transaction going from the environment into the organism is reciprocal but has also its specific substructures in all organisms.
33. Semiotic Horizons
33.02 It is impossible to follow by observation all semiosis by identifying any one semion involved
34. Semiotic Qualities
Semiosis is clearly a form of causation. Its distinctive difference is Mediation by Meaning. In the Proto-Evolution causation obviously is by direct Interaction of Structures: a) in the physico-chemical domain particles integrate to new Structures, because the particles have qualities that can bind them; this may require particular surrounding conditions, such as energy availabe for consumption or energy finding a form in that it can further exist. I am not enough specialized, and I don't know whether it is possible at all, to illustrate this for particles that unite to form what we call atoms. It is better known on the next higher level with atoms combining to small molecules depending on complementary electrical charges of the atoms. In the cosmic domain, we have concluded from indirect evidence
35. Furcating Continuity
36. Branching or Variation
37. Merging or Valuation
38. Affinity
39. Instinct
40. Communication
VI. Views from Within
        It is most important in Semiotic Ecology to understand how intimately the internal and the external subsystems of living Ecosystems are related and dependent of each other. In this and the following section I therefore propose to reconstruct aspects from the perspective of one part System upon the other. I first look at the common Environment from an organismic perspective and consider not only ExtrA-Semiosis and the Cultivation of the lastly Common Environment, but also the role of Social Differentiation and Functionality in general. A view on highly neglected Comparison Logic and a new look at Temporality or Time are also proffered.
41. Common Environment
42. ExtrA-Semiosis
43. Cultivation
44. Community
45. Social Differentiation
46. Functionality Reconsidered
47. Comparison Logic
48. Temporality
48.01 If the world in its totality is assumed to be evolutive, its temporality is a result rather than a precondition of its Process of Structure Formation and Change.
VII. Views from Without
        Looking at living organisms and how they operate from outside provides additional insight. IntrA-Semiosis in general is the so far ill understood key issue. It is argued that we should reconstruct the inner processes while giving immediate experience its proper and quite limited share and that we cannot make abstractions on facets of the inner process and take them for separate entities; for the great advantage of humoral and neuronal semionic subsystem is not only that they are basically symbolic, but that they connect most elegantly any Symbol with almost any other Symbol, which is not the case with external Symbol systems (except with suitable symbol typing in computers).
49. IntrA-Semiosis
50. Habit Formation
51. Individual Memory
52. CognEmot
1.5.1>>>>>>>>>>>> Einstieg mit perception, dann Cognitiono und Emotion/Motivation, Hinweis auf intra-Sekundärsysteme
53. Potentiality (was Actualization)
VIII. Internal Culture
        The human common Environment is in many parts a self-generated Environment; "self" here may refer to series of generations of human beings and implies start from that common environment including mineral and biotic givens. But this environment is in many parts not self-sufficient, as it is for plants or animals that are quite automatically, i.e. biogenetically, prepared for that selection thereof that constitutes their specific Umwelt; human beings need to be introduced to it and that means human beings need not only be equipped with capabilities to interact specifically with their environment but also introduction in living in that specific Umwelt which is made by humans themselves. So I need another round to treat of manifestations of both external and internal culturality and their interplay on a more concrete level, whereas more basic principles have been introduced in the foregoing sections. I proceed with aspects of internal Culture first.
54. Secondarization (internal)
55. Situatedness
55.01 It is a good idea in system theory to introduce as part of a (closed) system a secondary system that sort of presents the system itself or important parts of it in a simplified version, resulting often in immediate experience. But I do not think it a good idea to introduce an observer, i.e. something like a subject or an ego within the person, since this would be simply speculative, perhaps by analogy to social hierarchies implying absolute superiority and centralisation. Secondarization as I conceive it, can be both, internal an external and may include two structural and two presentation modes. There are many indices that it occurs in at least in some rudimentary forms already in some complex animals; but its more developed forms occur mostly in humans. Culturality in essence rests on both internal and external Secondarization.
56. Awareness
57. Imagination
58. Language
59. Personhood or Self
59.01 Becoming a human person is an emergence rather than a precondition of human individuals. What is given is the potential to become a person in the environmental conditions present in one or a few cultural systems.
60. Valuation
60.01 is the psychic and cultural equivalent in the evolutive streams of what Darwin has called selection in the case of bioevolution.
61. Freedom
60.01 is a side-effect of Secondarization, internal or external.
61.02 In particular, we are free to cultivate our living together or to defer the kernel of life into beyond.
62. Responsibility
60.01 is inseparably bound to freedom as freedom is the other face of responsibility
IX. External Culture
        After having introduced what constitutes humans as a special kind of animal, I also want to deal with what humans did and do and can do with their particularly human endowments. In this section I wander through the major institutional settings or modes of guiding their forms of living together in the various self-made Environments they have generated. I concentrate here on the Western forms, but also add some perspectives of possibilities they seem to miss because of their particular historical and actual self-understanding which conceives of themselves mainly as individuals in competition against each other.
63. Culturality
63.01 Culturality is the principal qualification of humans. A small number of animal species have emerged a couple of elements of culturality, but accoding to our present understanding only humans have attained systems of influence that allow some individuals to innovate collective comportment to the effect that all or many are eventually affected thereby. We can observe systematic differences of people living in communicative groups, each one of them we might call a culture. This takes place in pairs, in families, in villages and valley, in groups of communities or cities and towns and in what is called nations. The process of cultivation obviously involves both the IntrA- and the ExtrA-System of an individual. Both imply the accumulation of built Structures, the former over the lifetime, the latter over generations. None of them can be what it is without the other. Comparing the amount and variety of IntrA-Semions forming the IntrA-System of a human individual participating in modern culture – a liftime of living after years of formal education in a city with all its artefacts in the private and the public space and including media like newspapers, magazines, electronic media etc. – with those of people in small settlements centuries ago makes clear that a human IntrA-System would be quasi empty without the constant presence of human made civilization. Both the IntrA- and the ExtrA-Systems of a person are constituted and regulated primarily by her IntrO-, IntrA- and ExtrA-Processes; the ExtrO-processes originating from herself obviously contribute indirectly.
64. Secondarization (external)
64.01. In some loose sense, the external culture of a given groups then is a secondarization of the IntrA-worlds of the individuals involved.
64.02. The ways of making the many IntrAs accessible to the others
63.03. Any one discernible ExtrA-structure, however complex or simple, is a simplification of the IntrAs, that have contributed to it be creating, maintaining or modifying those presentants. At the same time, every individual living in the respective community of tha ExtrA is inevitably instigated to gain much of it and present it as part of his/her IntrA.
65. Cultural Modes
65.01. Culturality in toto is too diverse and rich to be treated in general in other than most abstract terms. Such is inevitable with the intent to develop concepts that pertain to everything. What can also be done and to what extent in view of cultural realities remains to be seen.
65.02. Culturality is obviously the crucial sphere of the human condition. To put to probe semeco concepts in understanding of and dealing with the concrete semiosic processes on all possible horizons from the very concrete to the highly nominal independent of their substance or content.
65.03. While I would not find it fruitful to categorize semions according to any criteria (it would require to bereave them of their relata) it may be interesting to look at domains of the cultural process the character of which is given by different approaches and thus, in an analogy to the sensory modes, generates semioses and semions with a certain cultural commonality.
64.04. The instincts can be typed according to what they attain in different life functions (nourishment, reproduction, shelter, secureness etc.). [The other aspect of Uexkülls function circle idea.]
64.05. Obviously, with culturality, it is not that simple. I have found it useful to distinguish the immediate organisation of everyday life in living together (practice to polity) from a number of more sophisticated institutions of a generic kind. They can be subdivided ad libitum but the approaches are in many respects different in the religions, the arts, the sciences and the techniques (roughly in the order of their emergence).
64.06. It goes without saying that these modes are in no way mutually exclusive; many single Transaction pertain to more than one, yet this or that mode may dominate.
66. Practice
66.01 is the immediate organization in the cultural mode of everyday life, probably the domain in which culturality originates.
66.02 Habit is the dominating pattern; and habits come about by somebody doing something in a certain way and others imitating that way and repeating it time and again. This process may be seen as the prototype of the formation of cultural tradition.
67. The Religions
67.01 While everybody seems to know what religion is, it is very difficult to agree on what distinguishes religious phenomena from other manifestations of culturality. Religion is as well social as private; it concerns living together here and now and contrasts that with another world, better or worse than, and held lastly more important than here and now; an essential force in advancing cultural developments of all kinds it is also a major source for often conservative evaluations. In essence, religion and the sciences are faith traditions, notwithstanding the essential difference that attempts at specifying differ suibstantially, the former basing upon some text declared sacred, the latter keeping to observation and experiment; but both are alleging certain basic assumptions such as that the world is orderly. Yet both, the religions and the sciences arise from the observation that some phenomena are in need of explanation that is not obvious.
68. The Arts
68.01 Maybe the Arts root in particular aspects of the same deficiencies of understanding. Some people presume parts of the world to be richer than they appear and start or proceed with activities that emphasize such aspects in particular ways that founded their own cultural traditions, to say, they generate an a reality for the visual, auditory, tactile or textual senses in addition to the realities given. While some religious attainments may be important in founding these new esthetic traditions, these new realities have become values in themselves and are cherished by others. These activities and their products have become important parts of cultural traditionss to the effect that they are often taken for the manifestations of culture proper to the negelect of more everday activities.
68.02 In the preface to his Psychology of Arts (1925), Lew Vygotsky states his purpose to “study a pure and impersonal psychology of art without reference to either the author or the reader, looking only at the form and material of the work of art.” And he claims to, “by analyzing a fable, discover the psychological law on which it is based, the mechanism through which it acts; this we may call the psychology of the fable.” This contrasts strongly with the dominant use of psychology in the arts which is to attempt to infer from the work to its author or vice versa. Indeed, the author of a novel or a picture has put into the work some of his understanding of how the persons, things, colors, events and everything operates; and it is well possible to reconstruct the dynamics playing and so get insight into a world of fiction as a human product whether it may truly depict or describe the world of humans or not. While the latter, i.e. duplicating reality, would not be a reasonable purpose of an authochthonous author aspiring to go beyond documentation, the former, i.e. to construct a possible world of its own, would truly open new horizons for the peruser of such piece of art. It is how the ingredients of a piece such as the words of a poem, the actions in a drama, the parts of a landscape, the forms and colors or a composition, interact and transact,
69. The Sciences
69.01 Other aspects of the said deficiencies in understanding our world retained stronger reality orientation and appealed to conceptual rather than esthetic modes.
70 The Techniques
71 World Order
X. Humanity
        This concluding section sketches some views going beyond actualities concerning the Human Condition, speaking of freedom and responsibility, of morals an dignity, the consequences of them, and of the respective ethic and polity. I finally make some reflections on Semiotic Ecology both in comparative intention and on its potential role in future real world, as I envision it.
72. Humanity
72.01 Humans are presently the cultural beings on earth whatever a better look at some animal societies reveals of how much they operate on traditions in addition to social instinct. Culturality is something attained in degrees and nobody can know how it will develop in the near or far future. The crucial distinction we can make between humans and other animals should base on culturality, the possibly gradual rather than categorical difference notwithstanding. It is strange, therefore, that humans of recent define themselves biologistically, i.e. as members of the species homo sapiens sapiens; for this is only a necessary but not a sufficient condition to be human. There are many symptoms of this attitude. In most law systems human is who has been born of humans and thus is a member of the genus homo or of the species homo sapiens sapiens, no matter whether capable of being cultivated or not.
72.02 One consequence of this biologism is the putting the human individual in a position as individual that is unrealistic, both in biological and in culturological perspectives. Culturality is nothing that can be attained or realized by single individuals. Thus I find it odd that modern Western humans assume themselves to exist primarily as individuals. ……
73. Ethic
73,01 Ethic or Morals usually are relating to principles of good and bad. Attempting to specify either in terms of general principles often leads to difficulties due to the latter’s abstractness. In Evolutive Systems it is unwarranted because of the unforeseeability of future change.
73.02Mensch ist man doch erst im kulturellen Zusammenleben mit andern, mit Mitlebenden und mit Vor- und Nachlebenden. Denn ohne Kultur wären wir gewöhnliche Tiere. Die kulturellen Errungenschaften, welche Menschsein vom Tiersein unterscheiden, sind ja in einem einzelnen Individuum immer nur partiell erfüllbar. Jeder Einzelne ist nur eine Teilverwirklichung des Menschseins, eine Annäherung. Und da das nicht anders sein kann: warum sollte man dem zu entgehen suchen wollen mit ein paar mehr Jahren? Und nicht nur mit Jahren, welche dieses Menschsein unbeschwerter verwirklichen? Wesentliche Teile des Beitrags, den der/die Einzelne zum Menschsein leistet, ist nicht für einen selbst, sondern für andere, für spätere, egal wie wichtig oder banal dieser Beitrag von einem allgemeinen Standpunkt aus zu bewerten wäre; entscheidend ist seine Wichtigkeit für jene, die davon etwas haben. Unsterblich ist nicht das Individuum, langlebig aber der soziale Verband.
74. Polity
75. Living Together
76. Human Dignity
75.01In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the United Nations in 1948 Human Dignity together with Equality, Freedom, and Peace, are used for its foundation. Yet both terms are left undefined. A substantiation of these notions is wanting. For all five of these concepts, as they are usually used are postulates or derived from doubtful suppositions. Within a closed society organized around a religion giving human being special status this may attain its purpose; but in an open society with a variety of beliefs, collective or private and including non religious ones, such notions can and are easily used for political purposes. A declaration of human rights can only fail its intent without a universal foundation. {*}
75.02. If dignity is to refer to “the worth of the human person”, obviously including some preconditions thereof such as being alive and unharmed in body and possessions, the notion pertains to every human individual and is either a descriptor or a postulate, (to be) realized in degrees. Yet it remains unclear whether the valuation is from inside, one’s own sense of or pride in one’s worth, or from outside, the quality or state of being worthy, honored or esteemed by others, or both or even a worth simply involved in existing as a member of the human species. A weak foundation, indeed, for a key notion which is broken so easily and so frequently. If dignity is in the eye of the beholder, the dignity of venerate trees or impressive animals or even of particular landscape or city or art or any other possession is not to distinguish from that attributed to humans. Religions have a record of claiming dignity for humans in a supernatural perspective. But history and comparisons leave doubt as to what extent this can work in open societies. Finally, this precarious notion of human dignity is not fixed by saying, whether paradoxically or axiomatically, that human dignity stands its violation and is not necessarily abolished by concrete attacks. It is paradoxical to claim dignity to be intact in spite of its being violated; it is axiomatic to let dignity coincide with being born as a member of the human species.
75.03. As a consequence, human rights, insofar they are to be founded in human dignity, are wanting in legitimation. Yet dignity is perhaps the highest possible value humans have emerged. Obviously, it is a cultural attainment. It will therefore attain varying manifestation in different cultures. The same will be true for human rights in societies that strive to assure dignity by law.
75.04. Perhaps this lack of roots in reality of the idea of dignity has to do with not taking serious human culturality and instead positioning dignity in a supposed abstract universal. In addition, modern biologism, also universalistic, may have added its force. Isn’t it strange that contemporary conceptions reduce humans to members of the biological species homo sapiens sapiens?
75.05. Dignity, like freedom and responsibility, is undeniably of valuational nature and therefore is a relational concept, both socially and logically. Logically dignity relates present circumstances with a large set of possible future circumstances; and these relations root in past and enable future semions that reach way beyond any given individual. Socially it should go beyond any beholder and root in reciprocal relations and therefore is mostly a cultural emergence to be cultivated. So we have to reconstruct the conditions allowing dignity and the potential of the realities that underlie manifestations of dignity.
75.06 Michael Ignatieff (2001) in: Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry. Princeton Univ Press, gives logical as well as an empirical grounds demonstrating my cause. Yet I find Ignatieff’s own attempt at an exclusively secular foundation of the notion even weaker than the religious or the philosophical ones. That some humans are ready to risk their life to gain self-determined and self-responsible freedom does not justify that all humans have to be protected by internationally accepted norms ascertained by national constitations and law.
75.07 After I had myself made clear the most important consequences of the primacy of relations for human freedom, responsibility, and dignity I found Walter Schweidler’s (2001) Das Unantastbare – Beiträge zur Philosophie der Menschenrechte [The inviolable – contributions to the philosophy of human rights]. Münster Westf., LIT-Verlag. Essentials of his understanding of are: dignity is not a quality, but a relation; whoever violates somebody else does not berave that person of dignity but him-/herself; yet dignity does not rest on achievements, it is manifest as a duty of others rather than a priviledge. Though argueing metaphysically and non-evolutively Schweidler has confirmed my perspective and improved my understanding of human rights. And should only individuals have dignity and not also human groups and human cultural works as well as natural wonders which testify of distinguished generative events?
77. Reconstruction Logic
77.01 summarizes SemEco as a methodology to do research and practice in all circumstances of living together. Reconstruction Logic is to replace notions of epistemology and the approach of modeling the world or aspects of it in as simple formulas in order to possibly predict its course. It takes serious that in Evolutive Systems there can be no distinguished vantage point from where to conceive of everything more specific than the Evolutive Assumption and its particular specification chosen. The symbol world is a normal part of our world, but it is a nominal world. Within the symbol world symbols can only interact among their like; when they loose connection with reals they degenerate to games. Games are desirable, the can be satisfying and enjoyable; but they should not be mixed up with realities.
78. Comparative Reflections
78.01 Comparative Reflections bring some of my musings about how and why SemEco conceptions radically distinct from thinking our world and ourselves in the Greco-Judaeo-Christian-Enlightenment-Scientistic tradition of the West and the Far North Eastern tradition developed at about the same time sometimes often called Chinese Thinking (which embraces more that thinking). I have avoided polemics in this essay and want to keep to this also in the present chapter. But it is essential to understand how radically Semiotic Ecology deviates from both these traditions. Any mixture of dualistic ontology and epistemology can only misunderstand my intention as does the belief in immanences in things and any attempt to separate the ethical or the esthetical from the factual or to claim universals to govern details of the Evolutive Process. Among the topics to be discussed are issues of metaphysics, of epistemology, of scientific methodology, the conception fo causation and related concerns.
79. Reflections
79.01 I have presented in this essay some consequences of the decision to drop all presuppositions and postulations made and uphold in the Western history of ideas that are used in an explanatory role in spite of their being explananda rather than explanatory. One way to collectively characterize many such terms is to call them metaphysical in the sense that they are taken for granted and supposed to refer to entities that we cannot get hold of but whose referents are not sufficiently embedded in an ordered set of terms and their respective referents. I have replaced such terms by one single Evolutive Assumption. Since that assumption implies that anything we can discern or infer has (at least) two parents and may have offspring, metaphysical entities are outside the evolutive stream. For parents they thus must have metaphysical entities too and their offspring is doubtful.
80. To the reader
80.01 I describe here the logistics of the Essay, its context in other writings, and how best to deal with it as a Reader.
81. Name Index
of people of some import for SemEco. A short biographical note is included and citations of important or cited works. Often some comments on the person are added.
82. Glossary Index
All technical terms of the Essay are briefly commented. Terms I avoid are also included and marked with * reasons given why. The terms appear with my preferred German translations and are marked, when my meaning appears to deviate from their common use.