Learning and adaptation from a semiotic perspective

Alin Olteanu, Andrew Stables


This paper discusses the relation between learning and adaptation, arguing that the current state of the art in semiotics suggests a continuity between the two. An overview of the relevant theories in this regard, as considered in semiotics, reveals an embodied and environmental account of learning, where language plays an important but nevertheless limited role. Learning and adaptation are seen as inseparable cases of semiotic modelling. Such a construal of these opens up new pathways towards a nondualist philosophy and theory of education.


learning; adaptation; evolution; exaptation; scaffolding; semiotics

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12697/SSS.2018.46.4.01

SIGN SYSTEMS STUDIES. ISSN 1406-4243 (print), 1736-7409 (online). E-mail: sss@ut.ee. Postal address: Sign Systems Studies, Dept. of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia