In this talk, the concept of information is going to be investigated from a semiotic perspective. We argue that the semiotic concept of Information developed by Charles S. Peirce provides a powerful conceptual resource to investigate questions concerning the foundations of complex systems, allowing for qualitative and quantitative analysis of aspects of natural, formal, and social systems in their multiple constitutive layers. From the Peircean semiotic perspective, information is characterized in terms of its relation to signs, understood as vehicles of forms. We claim that, given its resilience, the semiotic characterization of information might help to reduce dichotomist tendencies present in contemporary Complex Systems Science. These can be seen in branches of the natural/formal sciences that emphasize mathematical resources in their modelling, without considering possible scenarios for the social consequences. On the other hand, in the human sciences, formal models and mathematical resources are frequently seen as irrelevant in explaining the complexity inherent in human social, political, and ethical systems. In this context, the main problem to be addressed here is the following: Can these two different approaches complement each other in the inter/transdisciplinary study of complex systems? An answer is offered based on investigation of the dynamics of information flow, as seen from a semiotic perspective that deals with multiple emergent structures in non-linear self-organizing systems, bridging the notions of the natural/formal and human sciences concerning the foundations of complex systems.


Maria Eunice Gonzales

Invited Talk e-session

Photos by : Ivan