Publication 8112

Rodríguez Gómez S. (2016) Recurrences and human agential meaning grounding: Laying a path in walking. Biosemiotics 9(2): 169–184. Fulltext at
This article addresses the semiotic problem of how meaning is agentially grounded: how actual meaning is possible and is justifiably supported by agents’ capabilities and purposes. This article is particularly focused on human agential grounding; however, to a great degree, insights presented here can be extended to other living beings. Specifically, agential meaning is examined here inside the framework of agentive semiotics and embodied, situated and enactive cognition theories, in line with the mind-life continuity general thesis (which intends to naturalize mind and experience). To offer clarity and methodological precision about agential grounding, three explanation categories (called recurrences) are proposed: phylogenetic recurrence, the evolutionary basis for corporal/embodied grounding; ontogenetic recurrence, the developmental basis for individual meaning grounding; and collective recurrence, the basis for meaning recognized, attributed and assigned inside social contexts. These recurrences are conceived as three types of general processes that constantly enclose possibilities for purpose and meaning emergence in humans. As a result of these types of recurrences, two categories of human agendas or purposes are also proposed: individual and collective. Finally, remarks about how these categories can be useful for semiotic analysis and further research are suggested.

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