Course Content


The course is first of all an explanation and exploration of the integrative transdisciplinary framework Cybersemiotics. See a short description of Cybersemiotics in Glossarium-BITri. The primary curriculum is: Cybersemiotics: Why Information is not enough first published in 2008 at Toronto University Press and again in 2010 and a paperback in 2013 (find it cheapest on You can also find it as a Google book. You are expected to have read it carefully and some papers provided by the guest speakers. We advise to use two months to read the book. The last summary of the theory is Brier, S. (2013): Cybersemiotics: A New Foundation for Transdisciplinary Theory of Information, Cognition, Meaningful Communication and the Interaction Between Nature and Culture, INTEGRAL REVIEW, June 2013, Vol. 9, No. 2

We will study the integrative synthesis in Cybersemiotics and how it is carried out in two steps: The first is to accept two major and very different transdisciplinary paradigms as both being legitimate:

1. The cybernetic-informational approach leading to cognitive science’s information processing paradigm and second order cybernetics, autopoiesis theory and Luhmann’s system science

2. The Peircean phaneroscopic, triadic, pragmaticistic, evolutionary, semiotic approach to meaning, leading to modern biosemiotics. Of these

1. is based on an entropic and mathematical definition of information and self-organization in a material and informational world or in autopoietic systems, but with no concepts of first-person conscious experience and meaningful linguistic intersubjective communication;

2. is based on a phenomenological intersubjective world of partly self-organizing triadic sign processes in an experiential embodied, meaningful world.

The second step involves following and explaining the development from first order cybernetics to second order cybernetic and autopoiesis theory from Gregory Bateson through Heinz von Foerster to Maturana and Varela, ending with Niklas Luhmann’s threefold autopoietic system theory. Furthermore, embodiment theory from Lakoff and Johnson plus Merleau-Ponty is discussed. An integration of these views with a Peircean biosemiotics is shown in a transdisciplinary philosophy of science model that will be explained and discussed. All this will be lectured on by Søren Brier during the first part of the week in interaction with the course participants. The second part of the week will bring in researchers who have contributed to the development and applications of the idea of Cybersemiotics.