Further considerations on semiosis in evolution: Arbitrarity plus semiotic fitting, and/or mutability plus natural selection
This essay attempts to combine some recent theoretical results in (bio)semiotics on arbitrariness, semiotic fitting, umwelt, choice, and extended theory of evolution into a more coherent whole. The proposed model describes a living being through its subjectivity and the ability to create meaning, which are often overlooked in models based on replicability. The concept of the umwelt is divided into two – the synchronic umwelt and the distributed or diachronic umwelt. For the latter, a new term ‘umweb’ is introduced. A mechanism of evolution is described in which arbitrary relating followed by semiotic fitting is somewhat analogous to the neo-Darwinian mechanism of random mutations followed by natural selection. The paper proceeds to discuss the alternativity and coexistence of these two radically different ways of evolution and learning.