Book review: Paul Cobley 2016. Cultural Implications of Biosemiotics

Karin Boklund-Lagopoulou

Punctum, 3(2): 136-140, 2017
DOI: 10.18680/hss.2017.0019


Paul Cobley’s book is designed as a layperson’s introduction to biosemiotics. It combines a roughly historical overview of the development of the field with a series of chapters on what the author argues are the main implications of biosemiotics for the study of culture.
The central argument of the book, the continuity (or synechism, as Cobley calls it) between nature and culture, is in itself scarcely new, 160 years after Darwin published The Origin of Species. The difference is that biosemiotics makes the argument in terms of the processes of semiosis, which it sees as continuous, though increasingly complex, from the simplest living organisms up to humans, their societies and cultures.

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