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André
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#761
11-12-2012
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For some reason that post made me very happy. Hopefully that can help me with my Evolution exam tomorrow

And Marked, you should definitely go to Baltimore so you can hire me as your Not-So-Knowledgeable Assistant.

EDIT: In case Marked reads this in the near future, I got an 88% on the exam. Thank you

Last edited by André; 11-28-2012 at 08:41 PM.
PM
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#762
01-02-2013
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he's jewish isn't he
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Here's the problem - I am not a means to the end of rape culture, I am the end. I am literally the termination of this whole ordeal.
here's the problem
Two-One
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#763
04-09-2013
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Come back.
gotzeus
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#764
06-30-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two-One View Post
Come back.
its only a matter of time.
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Cynic
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#765
06-30-2013
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wtf you're 31?

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#766
12-13-2013
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I don't know if he'll see this, but wanted to congratulate Dr. MarkedAchilles for graduating today with his PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of Florida. He's certainly been someone I've always had a lot of respect for here, so it's cool to see THF's sexiest member earn another commendable title.

Congrats Dr. Ben!

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Thomasxp5
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#767
12-13-2013
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That is awesome, I've never talked to the dude but I know he's very passionate with what he's doing and I'm glad he found his calling.


WATCH MAI FINAL MAWNTAGE

PM
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#768
02-21-2014
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http://www.nbi.dk/~emmeche/cePubl/2002b.Wit.Sats.html
Quote:
... one big challenge I could think of is about how to integrate research into the origin and evolution of complex systems (physics, biophysics, molecular and evolutionary biology) with research into the semiotic nature and performance of such complex systems (biosemiotics, developmental psychology, consciousness studies, philosophy of mind, etc.).

An interesting example of this is pain. As with signification and meaning in general, pain must have a natural history. The Darwinian principle of continuity of our mental and sensorial faculties with the rest of nature tells us so. Yet, the neo-Darwinian picture of evolution of species by natural selection among populations of individuals with variation for the traits being selected upon could work just as well in a world of animals being insentient zombies, given that these zombies (in such a thought experiment) would have the same input/output relations to the environment (respond to the same stimuli but not feel anything) and thus have the same adaptive behaviour as their fellow beings, the real sentient animals. Neither strict neo-Darwinism nor an expanded version supplied with a theory of the interplay of self-organization and natural selection (a la Stuart A. Kauffman) seems to be enough to provide explanation for the evolution of the pain, or at least the evolution of the inner feeling of being in pain. Various versions of internalism (biosemiotics may be one of them) with its concomitant change in the very idea of what constitutes a scientific explanation of an evolutionary system, seems to be relevant in this whole discussion.

I was reminded of the query when I read the treatise Life: The Communicative Structure - a new philosophy of biology, by Austrian philosopher Günther Witzany (b. 1953), because this book is one of many works within a new, exciting and still heterogeneous trend within philosophy of nature attempting to attack directly a whole set of traditional metaphysical assumptions in bioscience about the nature of life, in particular the assumption that life processes are simply chemical processes that in principle if not in practice can be explained by reference to molecular mechanisms. This reductionist stance makes it almost mysterious how evolution of the physical universe can give rise to complex systems with cognitive, linguistic and experiential - in one word: semiotic - capacities. Let me first characterize this movement, biosemiotics, with a few more words, before comment upon Witzany's version of it.

It is only in the past decade that biosemiotics has become visible in the realm of natural science and philosophy as an emerging network of ideas, concepts and hypothesis of what constitutes life -- involving biologists, semioticians, philosophers and other scholars. Biosemiotics can be seen either as an alternative scientific paradigm in the making, or as an alternative philosophy of nature with special focus on the problems of biology. "Rather than understanding biology as a separate layer between physics and semiotics, we should then see biology as a science of the interface in which these two sciences meets, an interface in which we study the origin and evolution of sign processes, semiosis" (Hoffmeyer 1997). Biosemiotics provides a theoretical framework for understanding living systems very differently from the idea that cells and organisms are simply organized organic molecules. (On the history of biosemiotics, see Sebeok 2001, Kull 1999a). Biosemiotics attempts to provide a profound set of tools for thought to reevaluate biology as we know it, to reorganize data and empirical findings in a new architecture, that is, to envision a way to understand the evolution of micro-organisms, plants and animals on Earth which does not make it a mystery how the human mind could develop within the physical Universe, or how something with phenomenal properties, such as pain, can emerge. According to this view, life, signs, cognition, and interpretation are tightly interconnected, and thus biology (the science of life) and semiotics (the science of signs, their action and interpretation) may not only offer much to one another, but may even belong to one and the same ontological domain.

This view, deeply inspired by Peirce, may have the implication that life as well as consciousness may come in degrees, and that life a la biological cells (life in the normal sense of biology) is just one specific form of life, a form into which the universe has encoded a more general, potential, and inner property of matter (cf. Christiansen 2002).

More and more biologists are beginning to understand that the essence of life is to mean something, to mediate significance, to interpret signs. This already seems to be implicitly present even in orthodox Neo-Darwinism and its recurrent use of terms like "code", "messenger", "genetic information", and so on. These concepts substitute the final causes Darwinists believed to have discarded 150 years ago, they have become firmly established in molecular biology with specific scientific meanings; and yet they the semiotic content or connotations are rarely taken serious by the scientists to the extant that there is a tendency to devaluate their status as being "merely metaphors" when confronted with the question about their implied intentionality or semioticity (cf. Emmeche 1999). This secret language, where "code" seems to be a code for final cause, points to the fact that it might be more honest and productive to attack the problem head-on and to formulate an explicit biological theory taking these recurrent semiotics metaphors serious and discuss them as pointing to real scientific problems. This means that a principal task of biology will be to study signs and sign processes in living systems. This is biosemiotics -- the scientific study of biosemiosis. Semiotics, the general science of signs, thus becomes a reservoir of concepts and principles when it is recognized that biology, being about living systems, at the same time is about sign systems. Moreover, semiotics will probably not remain the same after this encounter with biology: both sciences will be transformed fundamentally while gradually being melded into one more comprehensive field.

Jakob von Uexküll (1864-1944), a master of biosemiotics, did not use the word semiotics. Those who wrote on 'biosemiotics' in 1960s and 70s -- e.g., Rothschild (see Kull 1999b), Stepanov 1971, Florkin 1974 -- were read by few. Thomas A. Sebeok (1920-2001) the great promoter, organizer, coordinator and author of many publications in the field, became acknowledged by his works in zoosemiotics, the study of animal communication (e.g., Sebeok 1972). Sebeok, a semiotician at large, and Thure von Uexküll, a leader of European psychosomatic medicine, had created in their interaction and dialogue a basic niche where biosemiotics itself started to be formed. This was supported by a major shift in the views on the scope of semiotics. A programmatic article by six leading scholars in semiotics (Anderson et al. 1984) paved the way by introducing a series of concepts from evolutionary biology in the context of zoo- and endosemiotics. However, a generation of professional biologists had to appear who could embrace all these contributions and apply their insights in a modern context in order to generate a field of knowledge, or even a whole new paradigm for biology and a biologically informed foundation for semiotics. This generation is alive and kicking, and Jesper Hoffmeyer (e.g., with his 1996 book) may be considered as one of the central figures (for an introduction to a Hoffmeyerian biosemiotics, see Emmeche et al. 2002 and Stjernfelt 2002). Biosemiotics is in the process of being transformed from a series of isolated attempts by individual scholars to wrestle with the semiotic problems of life and mind into a cross-disciplinary network of biologists, philosophers and semioticians gathering around international meetings, exchanging ideas and critiques, converging around a set of shared assumptions and central questions to be investigated (cf. the website http://www.zbi.ee/~uexkull/biosemiotics/ ). And indeed, there is a lot of work to do for serious philosophy, considering how many central philosophical topics -- of mind, language, epistemology, and metaphysics -- that cannot remain unaffected by the biosemiotic turn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Here's the problem - I am not a means to the end of rape culture, I am the end. I am literally the termination of this whole ordeal.
here's the problem

Last edited by PM; 02-21-2014 at 10:48 AM.
 

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