The semiotic hierarchy: life, consciousness, signs and language

  title={The semiotic hierarchy: life, consciousness, signs and language},
  author={Jordan Zlatev},
  journal={Cognitive Semiotics},
  • J. Zlatev
  • Published 2009
  • Philosophy
  • Cognitive Semiotics
This article outlines a general theory of meaning, The Semiotic Hierarchy, which distinguishes between four major levels in the organization of meaning: life, consciousness, sign function and language, where each of these, in this order, both rests on the previous level, and makes possible the attainment of the next. This is shown to be one possible instantiation of the Cognitive Semiotics program, with influences from phenomenology, Popper’s tripartite ontology, semiotics, linguistics… 

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