Propositions for a biocultural semiotics
The author has used the term ‘biocultural semiotics’ in her previous work, but has never defined this field. She presents twelve propositions that describe and motivate a biocultural semiotics. The author draws on thirty years of field work in Belize and her previous research in cultural and bio-semiotics in support of each of the propositions. Propositions include: biology and culture are so bound as to make a discussion of either without inclusion of the other impossible; both umwelt and the sign are central; every sign is an act of communication; every sign has many interpretant(s); perception is influenced by our physical and cultural umwelt; self is critical to our vision of our place in this umwelt; epigenetic phenomena influence how genes are expressed and effect/affect both phenotype and behaviour; body boundaries are cultural and political creations; the body is a political body and its ownership is always contested; disease and its congeners are cultural constructs; sickness and its signs are created as part of an ongoing personal, social, and political narrative; today we face both uncertainty and opportunity in the natural and cultural sciences. She argues that semiotics possesses the language and methodologies to achieve an understanding of the biological/cultural relationship.