Codes and Interpretation in Nature and Culture

  • Paul Cobley
Part of the Biosemiotics book series (BSEM, volume 15)


Although biosemiotics stresses continuity of semiosis, it is also concerned with systematic patterning in semiosis, the points where recognition given rise to meaning, the appearance of invariants, habit formation and the exercise of constraints. Its main concern is with interpretation, in which the agency of the organism in some way progresses semiosis; but, as discussed in Chap.  4, above, certain digital codes in the biosphere, identified in the concept of ‘code-duality’ do produce invariance and are important in biosemiotics. Because the idea of ‘codes’ is so prevalent in culture, cultural analysis and demotic speech, as well as having a part in the history of general semiotics, the current chapter will interrogate the kind of code notion that biosemiotics entertains in relation to interpretation.


Genetic Code Digital Code Verbal Code Organic Code Regular Correspondence 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Cobley
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Distinguished Visiting Professor, School of Foreign Languages and CulturesNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.President of the International Association for Semiotic Studies; and Professor in Language and Media, School of Media and Performing ArtsMiddlesex UniversityLondonUK

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