The Emergence of Natural Hierarchies as an Analog/Digital Driven Process


Eugenio Andrade

Department of Biology

Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Mailing address: A.A. # 330413. Bogotá, D.C.  Colombia.



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This paper shows how semiotic agents (SA) capable of selectively recording a partial description of their environment account for the emergence of hierarchical organization. SA reveal an analog/digital duality and convert these two informational codes. The varying weights of each informational source provide an explanation of emergence throughout a developmental trajectory. In this manner, Taborsky’s identification of six spatiotemporal codal zones is applied. Two types of emergence will be considered, analog driven and digital driven. The former deals with the exploration of a new shape space and their very basic work-actions, so leading to the emergence of a qualitative new instance by self-organization; the latter deals with the exploration of fine-tuned shapes and work-actions in the previous shape space through expansions in the digital informational space as a result of increasing neutral differentiation within an existing level. The former requires openness and starts as measurement in the Firstness-as-Firstness mode, while the latter profits closure and is a measurement in the Thirdness-as-Secondness mode. However, digital driven emergence can only be recognized as such when systems open up and manifests a new behavior. In consequence, evolving individuals keep their autonomy and evolvability by compromising between external circumstances and inner constraints, so to say by the introduction of a new level as a means to open it up and expand in the new shape space.


(Keywords: hierarchical organization, emergence, analog, digital, shape space, Peirce)

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