How cyborgs transcend Maturana’s concept of languaging: A (bio)engineering perspective on information processing and embodied cognition

  • Rasmus Gahrn-Andersen
  • Robert Prinz
Keywords: Languaging, Shannon-information, Biosemiotics, Evoneering, Radical linguistics


With the purpose of establishing life-mind-language continuity, the paper thematizes an important phenomenon missing from Maturana’s (1988) theory of languaging: the generative basis of second order consensual coordination. While Maturana suggests that coordination involving biological information is qualitatively different from coordination involving concepts, we make the case that the two should be seen as continuous. We critically expand on Clark’s (2003) point that language and technical artefacts extend human cognitive capacities while challenging Clark’s Shannon-based view on information. Rather than focusing on language as a representational medium we turn to how languaging is enabled by multiple, qualitatively different organizational levels in organism-environment systems. On our view, language is irreducible to the exchange of predetermined, conceptual meanings. Rather, we hold, human linguistic abilities are based in embodied hierarchies of molecular coding in the sense that some of these hierarchies rise to neuronal (electromagnetic) and cognitive patterns that enable meaning-making activities (including languaging) connected with a particular praxis. Our account is based on the case of synthetic evolution and engineering (Evoneering) of humans with intelligent (bio)nanomaterials and (bio)chips implanted into their body for medical purposes.


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How to Cite
Gahrn-Andersen, R. and Prinz, R. (2022) “How cyborgs transcend Maturana’s concept of languaging: A (bio)engineering perspective on information processing and embodied cognition”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, 15(2). doi: 10.4396/2021204.