A Critical Companion to Zoosemiotics:: People, Paths, Ideas (Biosemiotics)

A Critical Companion to Zoosemiotics:: People, Paths, Ideas (Biosemiotics)

Dario Martinelli

Language: English

Pages: 353

ISBN: 904819248X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A critical companion of zoosemiotics is the first attempt to systematise the study of animal communication and signification through its most important and/or problematic terms and concepts, and its most representative scholars. It is a companion, in that it attempts to cover the entire range of key terms in the field, and it's critical, in that it aims not only to describe, but also to discuss, problematise and, in some cases, resolve, these terms.

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photograph of a person, related to the real person it portraits, only via a visual-iconic relation). Lehr (1967), who found that rhesus and capuchin monkeys were able to recognize pictures of insects and flowers, or the different instances of problem-solving in different species discussed by Köhler, and – in chimpanzees – by Goodall (1968), are among the most interesting studies on the topic. Acoustic Channel The sensory mode (>channels) connected with the production, emission and reception of

zoosemiotician” is almost an utopia. So, finally, where is zoosemiotics going, and what will be its main concerns in the near future? What can be noticed at the moment are at least the following seven points: (1) Zoosemiotics, along with other semiotic fields, is acquiring more and more an ethically-minded approach. When one thinks of the establishment and the rapid spreading of such theoretical projects as Semioethics (proposed by the scholars of Bari University) or Existential Semiotics

this case, signs are used to refer to other signs, as occurs in playing, deception, or several forms of ritualization. In playing, particularly, the adoption of metalinsuistic signs is crucial, in that several forms of play are nothing but unserious imitations of “real 80 2 Ethological Zoosemiotics life” situations, most of which rather dangerous, as hunting or fighting. The signs of aggression, thus (running towards the receiver, displaying anger, etc.), must always be accompanied by other

they “see the world”, their Umwelt) involved in the construction of the pergola; (b) the levels of denotation (i.e., a place to mate and couple) and connotation (e.g., health conditions and resources of the male); (c) the physical resemblance between signifiers and signifieds (dark blue is the favoured colour, like the males’ plumage; surely, it is evolutionarily convenient that the female appreciates this colour, finding it an aphrodisiac, so to speak, for it to be all around the pergola). A

(the experiments conducted were of the most diverse types, and one might suggest that it is dangerous to draw one single conclusion from), there seem to be an almost absolute consensus on this point, especially among Sebeok’s followers who do not hesitate to label those experiments as anti- or pseudoscientific. Besides this book, Felice Cimatti (1998: 107–165) seems to be the only exception to this rule. In the present section, thus, it will be argued that these five pillars built upon our (i.e.,

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