What begins in the body ends up in the world. Different varieties of semiotics connect signs, the mind and the world in different ways, and while the important assumption that—by virtue of a naturalized Uexküllian paradigm—the body and the world are, at the least, connected by signs, the extension of this premise implies that signs are different from the mental entities that may exist either separately or in unison when considering body and environment within our analyses.
If signs are disembodied, that is, removed from a mentally signifying unit of analysis, then semiotic analyses incorporating a compatible framework in embodied cognition can recognize that on the opposite end of a body-environment unit there can be a sign embodied by its own characteristics or, at the other end of the spectrum, removed from them altogether. In this paper we will explore what it means for signs to be detached from an embodied cognitive system and whether such a view yields any specific information about the nature of signs. Can we have discrete signs as theoretically disembodied objects or is the unit of analysis of semiotics a segmentation of a larger unit of analysis in the organism-environment unit? We will set out to characterize the idea of an embodied cognition through the Umwelt while also making sense of signs as either processes or entities themselves.
holds a PhD in Semiotics and Culture Studies from the University of Tartu, Estonia, and is currently a researcher and lecturer at Palacký University in Olomouc, Czechia. His interests lie in the interaction between the metaphysics of biosemiotics and the metatheoretical aspects of general semiotics.