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meta-expression


words

Naturally our words refer to our experience and to our understanding; however, exclusively defining those such as 'intelligence', 'language', 'feeling', and 'perception' in this way, hobbles their use and, through broadcasting, embeds anthropocentrism into everyday thought and conversation.

Through their daily use, languages evolve organically and pragmatically, the meaning of their words branching to support multiple meanings. In order to describe language, as in a scientific inquiry, it is necessary to clarify the words required. Common words used here in a particular way are also then emphasized.

semiosis

open quotation markWords in their primary or immediate Signification, stand for nothing, but the Ideas in the Mind of him that uses them.    John Locke, 1689.

Words are not necessarily a pre-requisite for language — physical gestures are body-language — any semantic system available for communication may be a language. A language is simply a system of signs. And semiosis is the understanding of these.

Anything that a being recognizes is a sign of some thing; it is this recognition that gives rise to, or is in fact, the sign. Kant used a loanword, 'noumenon', to refer to 'the thing-in-itself,' to the underlying reality of it, in order that this could then be distinguished more readily from the recognition of it by its observer and its role as a sign.

Noumena may function as signs of themselves — as being rocks, or holes, or hands, etc., or as qualities that they are associated with — green, danger, food, etc. They may also signify things distinct from themselves — a woman: may signify a mother, or "Mum!"; a sound may be of a river or of a phoneme; marks may signify words, or symbols like pi; a drawing or photograph might be of a pie, or a pipe.

Clouds may frown, girls might tease, red skies at night might delight, and a swallow may mean love.

A noumenon can be a being, or an inanimate or non-figurative entity; and every static or dynamic aspect of it is an expression. An expression refers to any aspect of a noumenon that in some manner 'transmits' information — as an expression is classically defined as anything that noumenon'communicates'.

A language is social and specific; a mutually recognized system of expression employed to convey information. An expression is both an individual and a universal quality. Beings develop their fluency in both during their ontogeny — from their individuation at 'conception' to their maturation; and to their death.

Both expression and language refer to signs. And biosemiosis (or semiosis) is the recognition of these.

biosemiosis

A metalanguage is a language that defines or contextualizes another. Meta-expression is then the metalanguage of expression. It defines the process of biosemiosis; the recognition by a being of something present; that it is the same or similar to something it has perceived before. Endosemiosis is recognition of self. and Exosemiosis is recognition of other.

meta-expression.
 biosemiosis — the recursive process of embodied meaning.

A — The quality and insistency of the spacio-temporal presence of external noumena.

EXPERIENCE — Exosemiotic reaction. Sense-data generated from A by sensory receptors.

B, C, D & I — Endosemiosis, for instance, through endocrine, immune, and nervous systems.

PERCEPTION — The aggregation, and recognition of sense-data e.g. as an object, a hole, a noise, heat, etc.

MEANING — The aggregation of perceptions, and their recognition e.g. as food, a person, a candle, etc.

E — Exosemiotic expression; a being's embodied reactions to internal, and external environments.

    NB:

Parallel processing multiple threads of endosemiotic and exosemiotic information, every being reflects its experience as well as its inheritance.

quote leftThe endocrine apparatus (the hormone system) .. should not be seen as an isolated regulatory system .. but rather as an integral part of both the immune system and the nervous system. Together, .. these endosemiotic tools are collectively responsible for the interaction of the organism with its social and physical world and constitute the fundament out of which so-called psychological reality, if any, of the organism will emerge.

from "The Great Chain of Semiosis. Investigating the Steps in the Evolution of Semiotic Competence." Jesper Hoffmeyer & Frederik Stjernfelt, 2015, Biosemiotics 9(1) DOI:10.1007/s12304-015-9247-y


Multicellular beings — all animals and land plants, most fungi, and many algae — regulate their physiologies and behaviors by secreting signaling molecules, called hormones, These 'messengers' of their endocrine systems, enable their co-ordination of the various parts of their anatomies.

The signaling molecules of beings — such as social amoebae or slime molds — that live in both unicellular and multicellular forms, are called acrasins. These support exosemiotic communication between individuals, when they live as unicellular beings, enabling their cooperative response to environmental change and to combine into a single, large cell; then to support the endosemiotic interactions of the 'new' individual being that they form, coordinating its development and enabling it to hunt for food, and to reproduce.

To detect external and internal environmental change, multicellular, and unicellular beings have either nervous systems, nerve nets, or proto-neuronal systems, in addition to their endocrine systems.

From bacteria to fish, from slime molds to primates, all cellular beings also possess immune systems. Modern research has shown that these systems are complex and integrated with other endosemiotic systems, in a manner fundamentally similar to our own.

quoteleft.. contrary to traditional views, jawless vertebrates, protochordates and invertebrates have also evolved sophisticated RAG-independent strategies to effect recognition and facilitate elimination of pathogens, to respond to stress, and to distinguish self from non-self.

It is becoming ever more clear that the co-ordinating, and protective endosemiotic and exosemiotic systems of beings, have evolved together, forming the fundamentally integrated semiotic structures found now in virtually all extant cellular phyla.

quoteleftNumerous studies .. have begun to uncover profound interrelationships .. (that) blur traditional distinctions between adaptive and innate immunity, and emphasize that, throughout evolution, the immune system has used a remarkably extensive variety of solutions to meet fundamentally similar requirements for host protection. ..relentless pressure from genetic variation in pathogens probably drove the evolution of .. innate immune protective molecules towards diversification and, in parallel, towards integration of signalling pathways to regulate cellular responses to external stimulation.

Despite our continuing denial of the profound and extensive similarities of beings, and our defence of anthropocentrism, evolutive science as a whole continues to reveal the holistic nature of life, and to confirm the place of our species in it as a microcosm.

Content of n_Einstein_HumanDelusion.php included in e_Einstein_HumanDelusion.php. NB: Must be used with 'footnotes file' n_Einstein_Translation.php

open quotation markHuman beings are spatially and temporally limited parts of the whole that we call "universe"; yet we experience ourselves and our feelings as separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness.    Albert Einstein, 1950.


open quotation mark
Words have ancestors, Deeds have masters. If people don't understand this, They don't understand me.
from: Tao Te Ching, 70, Lao Tzu, 300 BCE, translated by Stephen Aldiss and Stanley Lombardo, 1993, Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.



pragmatic — dictated more by practical consequences than by theory or dogma — after the Collins English Dictionary.



Taken from: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, I.ii.2: 405, John Locke, 1689. (emphasis added.)



Aristotle and Plato wrote of signs and symbols, over two thousand years ago; signs in the world of nature, and symbols in human culture. The terms semiosis, and its study semiotics, come from the Ancient Greek, semeion — 'a sign, mark, or token'.

A thousand years after Aristotle, symbols were understood to be just a type of sign; and now, semiosis is understood as the process by which any word, object, symbol, or nonverbal cue is recognized as being a sign.

Semiosis, from the greek, semio-, meaning sign, plus suffix -sis, equivalent to -ing , literally meaning sign-action, is the recognition of noumena as having significance — as being, in some form or manner, signs.

For a being, anything can be a sign. All beings are signs and, in whatever manner, make signs; these are then recognized by others. Life and semiosis are co-extensive.

Despite these simple, ancient roots, Nazi eugenicists claimed semiotics as the scientific foundation for their xenophobic ideology; but semiosis is elementary and ubiquitous, whereas xenophobia is a mental illness.




Nazi scientists believed there was a one-to-one, fixed relationship between the biological characteristics of individuals and their emergent characteristics. But organisms are not simple biological machines. Their ontogeny and emergent qualities develop as a consequence of interactions with their environment, their biological components, including DNA, only statistically approximating physical traits and racial origins. Race is a category of convenience, not an absolute class of discrete individuals.

In classifying organisms, biology often identifies patterns that seem to indicate a common underlying characteristic when in fact they do not —and vice-versa. Science can only address the behaviour of reality, especially in regard to multicellular organisms, such as human beings, through probabilistic explanations - the inferences that are made from statistical relationships that are deduced from data that has been observed.

Reality is dynamic, every moment a new beginning, a new set of initial conditions. The infinitesimal differences between this one and that which preceded it, transforms its 'final' outcomes - as chaos theory demonstrates. The future evolves through probabilistic states; deterministic approaches have no ability to predict or define it. Our choices emerge from a system of inheritance but this system is made up of cultural as well as genetic components, between which information is exchanged via complex and diverse pathways. The Nazi's simplistic belief, that race could be an absolute measure of behaviour and preference, was merely incorrect.

Science is simple and absolute, neither human nor divine. It has no need or place for faith. Faith corrupts it.


contents of n_A1pre_Chaos.php inserted into footnote 'Chaos' in e_Preface_Footnotes.php via PHP-include, - called from e_Preface.php#infoHum and A1-Footnotes.php#A14..

chaos


edit: 17 Oct 2023, written: 15 Jan 2022.

Chaos refers to the apparently random states of disorder and irregularity exhibited by complex, nonlinear, dynamical systems actually governed by interconnectedness, underlying patterns, and self-organization. While these systems are deterministic, their predictability is limited as it is is impossible to completely know their actual state at any point in time and the smallest difference in this from what has been assessed leads to behaviours that diverge exponentially over time from that foecasted —a characteristic often referred to as the Butterfly Effect.




Semiosis, from the greek, semio-, meaning sign, plus suffix -sis, equivalent to -ing , literally meaning sign-action; the perception of noumena as having significance — as being, in some form or manner, signs.



Noumenon, is a Greek word meaning "that which is perceived". It is used here in that simple sense. Although Kant was first to use it as a loanword,/a> it is not used here to refer to his philosophy.

Kant used the word to refer to the thing-in-itself. Having a word for it helps distinguish this from the recognition of it. Kant referred to this recognition as perception, and to the perception of the thing-in-itself as a phenomenon. The term perception is used here to refer, perhaps more specifically, to an element in the process of biosemiosis.



Ce n'est pas une pipe, Rene Magritte 1929.



It is self-evident that the initiating individuation of a being from any eukaryotic species, is its conception, in the fusing of the gametes that form the zygote, but this is simply the psycho-biological reality of it. No socio-legal choice is dictated by it — for instance to accord rights to an embryonic individual which supersede those of the adult that is its mother.

The relentless and inescapable force of early ontogeny distinguishes it from the supremacy of the individual's will and recognition, in later development. While the focus of the former is purely the experience of it, the focus of the latter is to improve performance and status.



As a placeholder for this diagram, I posted a photograph of an initial hand-drawn sketch and noticed the Post-It note in it. Although referring to another task, it seemed prescient, pointing out that my diagram is an echo of the schema of biosemiosis published over one hundred years ago by Jakob von Uexkull and that I should acknowledge this — particularly as his work was subsequently so violently embraced by the Nazis, and by their 'scientists'.



Uexkull's original schema
 Schema of biosemiosis, 1920, by Jakob von Uexkull.

Meta-expression need not have a fixed, one-to-one correlation with its underlying biological constructs. In simpler beings, for instance, experience and perception, and meaning and expression, may be represented by two biochemical processes, or by one. Additionally, for instance in animals, perception, and meaning may be fluidly sited rather than fixed.



Inheritance here refers to cultural as well as ancestral information or knowledge.



Hormone, from the Greek, hormon, meaning 'that which sets in motion'.



from the Greek, akrasia, meaning 'loss of free will'.



See for example, A Slimy Start for Immunity?, Science, 2007, Vol 317, Issue 5838, p. 584, DOI: 10.1126/science.317.5838.584



from: Reconstructing Immune Phylogeny: New Perspectives, (authors' manuscript), Gary W. Litman, John P. Cannon, and Larry J. Dishaw, in Nat Rev Immunol., available 17 Jun 2013 in PubMed Central at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine.



see, for example:

Chimpanzees apply 'medicine' to each others, CNN, 2022.

Many species, one health., PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 10 Feb. 2015.

Embodied cognition: dimensions, domains and applications, Mirko Farina, 2020.


footnotes of n_Einstein_Translation.php included in entryNote.php, e_Einstein_HumanDelusion.php, and e_personalMeta.php.

translations


8 Mar. 2023, written 26 Feb. 2023.
open quotation markEin Mensch ist ein räumlich und zeitlich beschränktes Stück des Ganzen, was wir „Universum“ nennen. Er erlebt sich und sein Fühlen als abgetrennt gegenüber dem Rest, eine optische Täuschung seines Bewusstseins. Das Streben nach Befreiung von dieser Täuschung ist der einzige Gegenstand wirklicher Religion. Nicht das Nähren der Illusion sondern nur ihre Überwindung gibt uns das erreichbare Maß inneren Friedens.    Albert Einstein, 1950.

Einstein wrote the above words in ink (bold emphasis added) in a note now held in the Albert Einstein Archives, Jerusalem. The translation I have made of them, and quoted from, is made in light of the translation that appears underneath them on the note and written in another hand.

There seemed to me several reasons to make another translation; to reflect the gender neutrality of the German more consistently, to echo Einstein's use of both the words delusion, and illusion, and to better reflect the certitude of the note's opening argument — carried in the brevity of the original German yet somehow stunted in the translation on the note itself in English.

Transliteration is the process of substituting the characters used in one language with the characters used in another e.g in order to facilitate pronunciation. Translations I have made here (of Einstein and Nietzsche) might then be called 'transverbations'; addressing issues of punctuation, prosody, and inference that in prior translations, I feel, detract from the originals.

While in a sense faithful, in those translations I found, transliteration of punctuation resulted in an English that makes their authors seem coarse and uneducated; similarly, 'grammatical transliteration' replaced gender neutrality with bias.

Quotations are necessarily stripped of their context, robbing them of much of their meaning. Although I am not a professional translator or writer, the edits I have made here have been made with due diligence, and are faithful; required here, in my opinion, so that the fluency, erudition, and sensibility in the originals is made explicit — I have provided originals so readers may draw their own conclusions.

The translation I offer here is based on the translations I retrieved from Google on 6 March 2024, as well as on the note's original translation:—

open quotation markHuman beings are spatially and temporally limited parts of the whole that we call "universe"; yet we experience ourselves and our feelings as separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of our consciousness. The striving to be free of this delusion is the only object of real religion. It is not nurturing the illusion but only overcoming it which gives that measure of inner peace which is attainable.    Albert Einstein, 1950.



open quotation markA human being is a part of a whole, called by us "Universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of pure religion, not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.

This translation, in pencil on the original note, became the text of the condolence letter sent from Einstein to Dr. Marcus on 12 February 1950. The first two sentences of it were then used to open the letter of condolence sent on the 4 March 1950 to Norman Salt.



delusions and illusions


Einstein spoke the refined German of the Bildungsbürgertum, a language characterized by its precision. It might the be reasonable to assume, as an inspection of Einstein's note also suggests, that his use of the word Täuschung (delusion) twice and Illusion once, was considered not careless.

Tauschung.
 The German word Täuschung in the original note, meaning 'delusion'.

Etymologically the word delusion implies an action, a deceiving, referring here to that suffered by human beings through our consciousness, through which we perceive a deceptive appearance, the illusion of being "separated from the rest".

open quotation markTechnically, delusion is a belief that, though false, has been surrendered to and accepted by the whole mind as a truth; illusion is an impression that, though false, is entertained on the recommendation of the senses or the imagination. Illusion (n.), developed in Church Latin from the late 14c. onwards to mean: a "deceptive appearance".
On delusion, and illusion; from the Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved: 4 October 2022.


Footnote {delusion01a} of n_Einstein_Translation.php.


open quotation mark..as free-spirited and anti-bourgeois as Einstein may have appeared to be all his life, his language remained the refined German of the Bildungsbürgertum of his time, a language he mastered with virtuosity.
from a 2008 essay by Barbara Wolff, Albert Einstein Archives, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.



Beings, here includes those that are unicellular (e.g. bacteria, archaea, and some algae); and those that are both unicellular and multicellular (e.g. slime molds) as well as those that are multicellular and, therefore, societies —cellular metasystems (e.g. humans, ants, jellyfish).




Bioemiosis proceeds through recognition — through current sense-data that a being perceives being recognized by it as being the same as, or belonging to the same class as, something the being has sensed or perceived before. This then is a recursive process, its first iteration (or 'base case') generating meaning by matching current sense-data and perceptions to those that have previously been recognized, recorded, embodied, and inherited.

Embodiment here then refers to the biophysical expression of semiosis — and to the semiosis of biophysical expression. In this, embodied cognition is simply a dimension of biosemiosis.


NB. While the definitions used here may vary considerably to those used elsewhere, both in degree and specificity, nonetheless they may, even considerably, overlap with them.


A language is a system of arbitrary signals used to communicate information. To communicate, is to convey information through a system of arbitrary signals. Semantic means of or relating to meaning, and meaning refers to the sense or reference of an expression. To recognize, is to know something as the same as, or belonging to the same class as, something known before.

Definitions referred to, and given above are after those in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language; apart from meaning and recognize, that are after those in the Collins English Dictionary.



quoteleftHydrozoa show great diversity of lifestyle; some species maintain the polyp form for their entire life and do not form medusae at all Polyps of some species propagate vegetatively, forming colonies.. polymorphism occurs in colonies of some species of hydrozoans and anthozoans, the polyps being specialized for functions such as feeding, defense, and sexual reproduction.



Ruppert, Edward E.; Fox, Richard, S.; Barnes, Robert D. (2004). Invertebrate Zoology, 7th edition. Cengage Learning. pp. 148-174; cited in Jellyfish, Taxonomy (list item: Staurozoa), Wikipedia..



Fautin, Daphne G. and Sandra L. Romano. 1997. Cnidaria. Sea anemones, corals, jellyfish, sea pens, hydra. Version 24 April 1997. http://tolweb.org/Cnidaria/2461/1997.04.24 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/.



Anthropocentrism is the anthropocentric belief that the human species is the central fact, and final aim of a universe that should, therefore, be understood in terms of human experience, needs, and values.


Crows and flocking horses, otters and gorillas, clamour at our doors of reason. Geese and horses, chimps too follow the leader. Fungi on beetles, ribeiroia on herons, staph in our guts, win minds and hearts for their gods. What makes us human, or more so than our dogs?




scientism


open quotation markThe whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.    Albert Einstein.

Science is an elementary practice. Scientism is a belief. Eugenics and the Holocaust are among the brutal consequences and stark reminders of not recognizing this distinction..




from: Physics and Reality, published in the Journal of the Franklin Institute, Vol. 221, Issue 3, March 1936, pp. 349-382.


from: "The Great Chain of Semiosis, Investigating the Steps in the Evolution of Semiotic Competence." p.8, Jesper Hoffmeyer & Frederik Stjernfelt, September 2015, Biosemiotics 9(1) DOI:10.1007/s12304-015-9247-y (Emphasis added).


Beings, here includes those that are unicellular (e.g. bacteria, archaea, and some algae); and those that are both unicellular and multicellular (e.g. slime molds) as well as those that are multicellular and, therefore, societies —cellular metasystems (e.g. humans, ants, jellyfish).




Bioemiosis proceeds through recognition — through current sense-data that a being perceives being recognized by it as being the same as, or belonging to the same class as, something the being has sensed or perceived before. This then is a recursive process, its first iteration (or 'base case') generating meaning by matching current sense-data and perceptions to those that have previously been recognized, recorded, embodied, and inherited.

Embodiment here then refers to the biophysical expression of semiosis — and to the semiosis of biophysical expression. In this, embodied cognition is simply a dimension of biosemiosis.


NB. While the definitions used here may vary considerably to those used elsewhere, both in degree and specificity, nonetheless they may, even considerably, overlap with them.


A language is a system of arbitrary signals used to communicate information. To communicate, is to convey information through a system of arbitrary signals. Semantic means of or relating to meaning, and meaning refers to the sense or reference of an expression. To recognize, is to know something as the same as, or belonging to the same class as, something known before.

Definitions referred to, and given above are after those in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language; apart from meaning and recognize, that are after those in the Collins English Dictionary.



quoteleftHydrozoa show great diversity of lifestyle; some species maintain the polyp form for their entire life and do not form medusae at all Polyps of some species propagate vegetatively, forming colonies.. polymorphism occurs in colonies of some species of hydrozoans and anthozoans, the polyps being specialized for functions such as feeding, defense, and sexual reproduction.



Ruppert, Edward E.; Fox, Richard, S.; Barnes, Robert D. (2004). Invertebrate Zoology, 7th edition. Cengage Learning. pp. 148-174; cited in Jellyfish, Taxonomy (list item: Staurozoa), Wikipedia..



Fautin, Daphne G. and Sandra L. Romano. 1997. Cnidaria. Sea anemones, corals, jellyfish, sea pens, hydra. Version 24 April 1997. http://tolweb.org/Cnidaria/2461/1997.04.24 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/.



Anthropocentrism is the anthropocentric belief that the human species is the central fact, and final aim of a universe that should, therefore, be understood in terms of human experience, needs, and values.


Crows and flocking horses, otters and gorillas, clamour at our doors of reason. Geese and horses, chimps too follow the leader. Fungi on beetles, ribeiroia on herons, staph in our guts, win minds and hearts for their gods. What makes us human, or more so than our dogs?




scientism


open quotation markThe whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.    Albert Einstein.

Science is an elementary practice. Scientism is a belief. Eugenics and the Holocaust are among the brutal consequences and stark reminders of not recognizing this distinction..




from: Physics and Reality, published in the Journal of the Franklin Institute, Vol. 221, Issue 3, March 1936, pp. 349-382.


from: "The Great Chain of Semiosis, Investigating the Steps in the Evolution of Semiotic Competence." p.8, Jesper Hoffmeyer & Frederik Stjernfelt, September 2015, Biosemiotics 9(1) DOI:10.1007/s12304-015-9247-y (Emphasis added).

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