Approaching a semiotics of exaptation: At the intersection between biological evolution and technological development

  • Davide Weible Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu
Keywords: action, combination, exaptation, function, organs, selection, semiotics, technology, tools


This paper recognizes a specific correspondence between biological evolution and technological development and on this basis tries to set up a semiotic approach to the evolutionary phenomenon of exaptation. To do this, the existence of a historical-structural and pragmatic analogy between organs and tools is shown, which in turn implies on a communicative ground the dissolution of some of their traditional distinctive attributes. Finally, a philosophical-analytical approach to natural and cultural functions is applied to define three types of exaptations.