Publication 6343

Cariani P. (2020) In Defense of Biosemiotics. Constructivist Foundations 15(2): 155–158. Fulltext at
Open peer commentary on the article “A Critique of Barbieri’s Code Biology” by Alexander V. Kravchenko. Abstract: My commentary criticizes Kravchenko’s objections to Barbieri’s biosemiotic theory. Because Kravchenko holds that concepts of signs, codes, and languages should be applied only to humans, his position, which is neither clearly explained nor defended, completely rules out any semiotics that would apply to biological construction in organisms (genetic codes and their expression), intra-organismic communication processes (molecular signals and their interpretations), informational processes in nervous systems (neural codes and how they are read out), and animal communication. I argue that most of the critique is about unproductive disagreements over word usages rather than an attempt to develop an alternative biosemiotics. Kravchenko’s critique also misconstrues how biosemioticians think about signs, codes, interpretation, meaning, and epistemology.


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