diagram depicts an ecosystem, i.e. a living being together
with its environment (Umwelt) in the surrounding world at large
and indicates the sequencing of structure formating processes within
that system. The idea is to conceive of the totality of the animal
and human condition as a becoming or evolving universe consisting
of a changing constellation of concrete structures formed, modified,
actualized or demised altogether by interaction among some of the
existing structures. Over time this results in changes both in the
living and the environmental subsystems and this changes their place
in the larger surround. The latter relation is not diagrammed.
that the diagram essentially depicts a concrete ecosystem
at a specific time stretching over one sequence of the four essential
interactional phases that constitute the system's continuous becoming:
interactions between and within the organismic and the environmental
subsystems. The diagram is, of course, intended to depict the general
structure and process of ecosystems that is characteristic of all
ecosystems however simple or complicated they are. The same diagram
may also present a general schema of the ecological system,
such as in the present context; this should be taken into account
inferring from the specific context.
interactions are in fact transactions insofar they results
in gradual changes of structures throught a sort of "dialogue".
Ecologically the basic transaction is between living organisms or
their parts and selected parts of the subset of their surrounds
which are their environments. These transactions are mutual and,
over time, constitute and regulate these two major parts of any
ecosystem, the individual and its environment. However, the "dialogue"
is progressive while dialoguing entities _____exchange, levels____
Formations and reformations go in both directions and thus come
about within the organismic and in the environmental subsystems
of the ecosystem. Note that any organism constitutes and is constituted
and regulated by its proper environment.
what respect and extent the involved structures are active or passive
is an empirical question and should not be presupposed by defintion,
if this is a meaningful question at all. While there are processes
among structures entirely within the individual and entirely within
its environment, in all transactional processes are based by an
encounter of structures from both subsystems. Semiotic ecology
as a theory operates on the concrete or singular process and concrete
or singular structure level. This conception of dialogical evolution
(in contradistinction to what is often called "self-organisation")
is well known in the biotic domain; in semiotic ecology it is transformed
into an abstract principle and then generalized to cover all evolution.
In particular, it deals with interweaving of biotic, individual
and cultural evolutions.
the diagram which refers on the type level to all singular concrete
ecosystems in operation, the organismic subsystem is represented
by the upper reddish background,
its environmental subsystem by the lower
greenish background. Any particular ecosystem
singled out occurs naturally within the larger surround or universe
which may be seen represented in the rest of the webpage on
screen or paper.
semiosic arrow (Ref - Int - Pre) represents the triad
of entitites involved in any process conceivable in any ecosystem.
It combines into an inseparable process unit the three roles partaking
in any transaction: a Referent (indicated by the circle),
an Interpretant (indicated by a ribbon) and a Presentant
(indicated by a rhombus). The semiosic arrow represents the process
of a referent structure being transcribed by an interpretant structure
into a presentant structure. The presentant incorporates thus the
referent in the light of the the interpretant. The semiosic arrow
symbolizes the basic causation or condition-effect process of any
evolution: an encounter of A and B resulting in C. It is to be distinguished
from the common linear notion of causation of an active A affecting
a passive B. Linear causation is a special case of triadic causation;
triadic causation or generation cannot be thought of as composed
of linear causation.
type of process covers all transactions in the ecosystem. It pertains
to transaction between organisms and their environment in both directions
(extro and intro) and also comprises change within organisms (intra)
and within the environmental subsystem (extra) of all ecosystems.
These four classes of semiosis actually occur in sequence and readily
form the four phases of the function circle comprising the sum total
of relations between organisms and their environment if seen as
laid out in time.
Structure formation and modification processes of the organismic
(sub)system itself result from encounters of a particular organismic
(sub)structure with some suitable or affine environmental structure;
organisms themselves and their understanding of and memories about
and their action potentials in dealing with their environment etc.
are formed that way. In terms of semiotic ecology: some organismic
subsystem interprets (IntrO-Int) some environmental reference structure
(IntrO-Ref) into some new, modified, or actualized internal structure
Ecology always deals with concrete discernible systems evolving
within a larger environmental setting, of which the observer/researcher
naturally is a part. The upper part reddish background in
the diagram points to such target system singled out by the researcher
for consideration. Usually it is a living organism or other symbolizing
system existing over time, in particular a human person. The target
system is always seen as a subsystem to its environmental system
here represented by the lower part greenish background. The
target system and its proximate environment (in the Uexküllian sense
of Umwelt) are evolving, and therefore virtual systems not
fully definable. Together they form what is called the particular
ecological system; it is determined by the means and ways the two
subsystems can specifically interact with each other.The ecological
system is itself part of the environment at large which may be thought
of as represented by the space surrounding it. This altogether forms
the individual-environment- or ecologica relation in its static
or structural aspect.
dynamic or process aspect is represented in the diagram by the function
circle and it four phases of semiosic structure formation. Each
phase consists of a triadic semiosis including a Reference, and
Interpretance, and a Presentance. The IntrA-Semiosis phase (top
horizontal semiosic arrow pointing to the right in green) stands
for the internal or psychological process in the traditional narrow
sense. ExtrO-Semiosis (right down arrow in blue) points to
the executive or acting phase. ExtrA-Semiosis (lower arrow in
red) refers to the processes of social, physical, or cultural
processes in the environment which are not immediately under control
of the individual. IntrO-Semiosis (left upgoing arrow in yellow),
finally, stands for the receptive or perceptual phase leading to
structure formation within the individual under influence from the