Scientific Writings


"Knowledge is never just there", Biosemiotics 11(1) 1-5 doi 10.1007/s12304-018-9320-4


7 ting vi plejer at tro på - men som måske er forkerte. København: Tiderne skifter 2017.  In English: “Doubtful. 7 ideas we use to Believe in”


"La Liberté sémiotique: une force émergente”, Revy de Cygne Noir, no 4. (French translation of “Semiotic freedom. An Emerging Force" (2010).

“Viden og krop”, in Den levende kroppen. Mot en ny forståelse av mennesske og natur, Drude van der Fehr (ed.), Oslo: Vidarforlaget, 2016,  57-76.


"Semiotic individuation and Ernst Cassirers challenge, Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, 119 (3), 607-615.

“Semiotic scaffolding: A unitary principle gluing life and culture together”, Green Letter: Studies in Ecociticism. 19 (3) pp 243-254. DOI: 10.1080/14688417.2015.1058175

Great Chain of Semiosis. Investigating the Steps in the Evolution of Semiotic Competence” (with Frederik Stjernfelt). Biosemioitcs, 9, 7-29.  (DOI: 10.1007/s12304-015-9247-y)

Editorial: "Introduction: Semiotic Scaffolding”, Biosemiotics (2015) 8 (2), 153–158. (DOI 10.1007/s12304-015-9236-1)

"Semiotic scaffolding of multicellularity”, Biosemiotics, 8 (2), 159-171. (DOI: 10.1007/s12304-015-9231-6)


Animals use signs. They just don’t know it” in Thellefsen, T. and Sorensen, B. (eds.) Charles Sanders Peirce in His Own Words 100 Years of Semiotics, Communication and Cognition, De Gruyter Mouton, s. 411-414

“The Semiome. From genetic to semiotic scaffolding” Semiotica, 198, 11-31.

"Semiotic scaffolding: A biosemiotic link between sema and soma.” In. K. Cabell and J. Valsiner (Eds.): The Catalyzing Mind. Annals of Theoretical Psychology 11, Springer 2014.  95-110.

Bosemiootika. Uurmus elu märidest ja märkide elust. TLÜ Kirjastus, Tallin. Estonian translation of Biosemiotics. An Examination into the Signs of Life and the Life of Signs. Scranton University Press, (2008).


• "Constraints on matter are real agencies", Religion, Brain & Behavior, p. 26-30. DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2013.826718

• "Why do we need a semiotic understanding of life?" In Brian Henning and Adam Scarfe (editors): Beyond Mechanism. Putting life Back into Biology,  Lexington Books, 147-168.

"Biosemiotics" in  Anne L. C. Runehov og Lluis Oviedo (eds.) Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions, Dordrecht: Springer. pp 264-271.

“De animal a humano”. In M. I. Arrizabalga (ed.): Semiótica de la Cultura / Ecosemiotica / Biorretórica, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina (Spanish translation of Chapter 8 of Biosemiotics. An examination into the signs of life and the life of signs, 2008)


•"The Natural History of Intentionality. A Biosemiotic Approach". In: Schilhab, Theresa; Stjernfelt Frederik; Deacon, Terrence (eds.), The Symbolic Species Evolved. (Biosemiotics 6) Dordrecht: Springer, 97-116.

“Astonishing Life” in Paul Cobley, John Deely, Kalevi Kull and Susan Petrilli (eds): Semiotics Continues to Astonish, De Gruyter Mouton, 2011, Chapter 9: 191-205.

"A short history of Gatherings in Biosemiotics" in Silva Rattasepp and Tyler Bennet (eds.) Gatherings in Biosemiotics. Tartu Semiotucs Library 11, University of Tartu Press, Tartu, 55-60.


“Why Biosemiotics? An introduction to our view on the biology of life itself” (with Kalevi Kull and Claus Emmeche), in Emmeche, C. and Kull, Kalevi (eds.): Towards A Semiotic Biology, London: Imperial College Press. 2011, 1-21.

“Biology is immature biosemiotics”, in Emmeche, C. and Kull, Kalevi (eds.): Towards A Semiotic Biology, London: Imperial College Press. 2011, 43-65 (modified version of the 2009-paper from Legas Publishing.

Hoffmeyer, Jesper; Kull, Kalevi 2011. Theories of signs and meaning: Views from Copenhagen and Tartu. In: Emmeche, Claus; Kull, Kalevi (eds.), Towards a Semiotic Biology: Life is the Action of Signs. London: Imperial College Press, 263–286.

Hoffmeyer, Jesper; Emmeche, Claus 2011. Inside the biology of signification. In: Stjernfelt, Frederik; Bundgaard, Peer F. (eds.), Semiotics: Critical Concepts in Language Studies. Vol. 4: Logic, Biology, Psychology, Culture and Anthropology. London: Routledge, 193–213.


  Semiotic Freedom. An Emerging Force.pdf in Davies, Paul and Gregersen, Niels Henrik (Eds.): Information and the Nature of Reality. From Physics to Metaphysics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010, 185-204.

"A Biosemiotic Approach to the Question of Meaning”, Zygon, 45 no.2, 367-390.

“The Semiotics of Nature: Code-Duality” in Favareau, Donald (Ed.): Essential Readings in Biosemiotics. Anthology and Commentary, Springer 2010, 587-628 (exerpt from An Examination into the Signs of Life and the Life of Signs, 2008, chapter 4).

“A Biosemiotic Approach to Health” in Cowley, S., Major, J.C., Steffensen, S. and Dini, A. (eds.): Signifying Bodies. Biosemiosis, Interaction, and Health, The Faculty of Philosophy of Braga, Braga 2010, 21-41.

“Relations: The true substrate for evolution”. Semiotica 178 (1-4), Special issue on John Deely’s Four ages of understanding, guest-edited by Susan Petrilli and J. P. Hittinger, 81-103.

“Semiotics of Nature” In: Cobley, Paul (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Semiotics. London: Routledge, 29–42.


Kull, Kalevi, Terrence Deacon, Claus Emmeche, Jesper Hoffmeyer and Frederik Stjernfelt (2009). “Thesis on Biosemiotics: Prolegomena to a Theoretical Biology” Biological Theory 4 (2), 167-173.

Biology is immature Biosemiotics. Epilogue.pdf in John Deely and Leonard Sbrocchi (eds.): Semiotics 2008. Legas Publishing, Ottawa 2009, 927-942. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Semiotic Society of America.

“Jesper Hoffmeyer.” In Peer Bundgaard and Frederik Stjernfelt (eds.) Signs and Meaning. 5 Questions, Automatic Press/VIP, 61-70.

The Semiotic Niche”, Journal of Mediterranian Ecology, 9. 5 - 30.


•"Introduction. Bateson the Precursor." In Jesper Hoffmeyer (ed.) A Legacy for Living Systems. Gregory Bateson as Precursor to to Biosemiotics, Dordrecht: Springer, 1-13.

•"How Can it Be the Case that he World Contains Human Beings?", Australian Feminist Studies, 23 (no. 55), March. London, 19-30.

• "Følelser i hjernen", Kritik, no. 187, 93 - 96.

Biosemiotics. An Examination into the Signs of Life and the Life of Signs. Scranton University Press, USA. (419 pages), ISBN: 978-1-58966-169-1.

“The Semiotic Body”, Biosemiotics, 2. 169-190.

The IASS Roundtable on Biosemiotics: A Discussion with Some Founders of the Field (Claus Emmeche, Jesper Hoffmeyer, Kalevi Kull, Anton Markos, Frederik Stjernfelt, Moderator: Donald Favareau), The American Journal of Semiotics, 24/1, 1 - 2.

Editor of: A Legacy for Living Systems. Gregory Bateson as Precursor to Biosemiotics, Dordrecht: Springer.


•“Semiotic Scaffolding in Living Systems" In Barbieri, Marcello (ed.) Introduction to Biosemiotics. The New Biological Synthesis, Dordrecht: Springer, 149-166.

"Semiosis and Living Membranes". In Farias, Priscila & Queiroz, João (eds.) Advanced Issues on Cognitive Science and Semiotics. Maastricht: Shaker, 19-35.

  “Biosemiotik” in Torkild Thellefsen and Bent Sørensen (eds.): Livstegn. Encyclopæ København: Haase og søns forlag, 26-29.

"Semiogenic Scaffolding in Nature", International Journal of Applied Semiotics, 5, 81-94.

"Terrence Deacon: En biologisk udviklingsteori set i et læringsperspektiv" (with Bo Steffensen). In Theresa Schilhab and Bo Steffensen (eds.): Nervepirrende pædagogik, København:Akademisk Forlag, 162-178.

"Biosémiotique : Vers une nouvelle synthèse en biologie", Journal européen d’études sémiotiques, numéro 2, 1997, vol. 9, 355-376


“Uexküllian Planmässigkeit”, Sign Systems Studies, 32, 73-97.

Genes, Development, and Semiosis.pdf In Eva Neumann-Held and Christoph Rehmann-Sutter (eds.): Genes in Development. Re-reading the Molecular Paradigm, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2006, 152-174.

"Thure von Uexküll 1908 - 2004", Sign Systems Studies, 33.2, 487-494.


"Code-Duality  and the Semiotics of Nature" Journal of Biosemiotics, Volume 1 (1), 27-64.

"Origin of Species by Natural Translation", Chung Wai Literary Monthly: Biosemiotics: Nature in culture or culture in nature? Guest editor: Han-Liang Chang, 34 (7), 27-44, December 2005, Taiwan. Transl. by Geok Hui Yap.

"Hjernens  og sprogets fælles oprindelse"  Kognition & Pædagogik, nr. 58, December,  s. 68-77. København.  ISSN: 0906-6225

Biosemiotik. En afhandling om livets tegn og tegnenes liv, Ries Forlag, København.


“Origin of Species by Natural.Translation”, in Susan Petrilli (ed.): Translation. Translation. Rodopi, Amsterdam/New York, 329-346.

"A Biology of Semiosis"  in Proceedings from the conference  "Biosemiotics - Practical application and consequences", May, 16th to May, 17th 2002 , Jena. In Joachim Schult (ed.): Biosemiotik. Praktische Anwendungen und Konsequenzen  für die Einzelwissenshaften. Studien zur Theorie der Biologie, Verlag für Wissenschaft und Bildung. Berlin 2004.

"Genomet, semiotisk set" in Thorkild Thellefsen and Anne Marie Dinesen (eds.): Semiotiske Undersøgelser, Hans Reitzels Forlag, Copenhagen, 80-92.


"Baldwin and Biosemiotics: What Intelligence is for". In Bruce Weber and David Depew (Eds.) Evolution and Learning. The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. pp. 253-272. (with Kalevi Kull)

"Semiotic Aspects of Biology: Biosemiotics" In Roland Posner, Klaus Robering and Thomas E. Sebeok (eds.): Semiotics. A Handbook on the Sign-Theoretic Foundations of Nature and Culture, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin/New York, Vol. 3, pp. 2643-2666.


"The Central Dogma: A Joke that Became Real" Semiotica 138 (1/4) 1-13.

Code-Duality revisited, SEED 2 (1), 1-19.

"Biosemiosis som Årsagskategori", Kritik 155/156, 101-119.

"Proprioception", in Claus Emmeche, Kalevi Kull og Fredrik Stjernfelt (eds.) Reading Hoffmeyer, Rethinking Biology. Tartu Semiotic Library 3, Tartu University Press, pp. 31-34.

"Obituary: Thomas A. Sebeok", Sign Systems Studies 30 (1), 383-385.


Life and Reference” In Luis Mateus Rocha (guest editor) The Physics and Evolution of Symbols and Codes: Reflections on the Work of Howard Pattee Special Issue of BioSystems Vol. 60, No. 1-3. pp. 123-130.

"Seeing Virtuality in Nature",Jakob von Uexküll: A Paradigm for Biology and Semiotics. Semiotica 134 (1/4) (Special issue ed. by Kalevi Kull), 2001, pp. 381-398.

"Origin of Species by Natural Translation" Athanor anno XII, nuova serie n. 4, pp. 240-255.

"The Idea of a Semiotic Nature" in Proceedings of the Third Yoko Civilization International Conference, Volume 1, pp. 227-241. Tokyo: L.H. Yoko Publishers.

  “S/E = 1. A Semiotic Understanding of Bioengineering” Sign System Studies Vol. 29, No.1, pp. 277 -290.

•"Semiogen afstivning i naturen" i Thellefsen, Thorkild Leo (red.)Tegn og Betydning. Betydningsdannelsen i filosofisk, biologisk og semiotisk perspektiv Akademisk Forlag, København 2001, s. 124-140 


“The Biology of Signification” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine Vol. 43 (2) pp. 252-268.

"Code-Duality and the Epistemic Cut". In Jerry Chandler and Gertrudis Van de Vijver (Eds.) Closure. Emergenmt Organizations and their Dynamics. Annales of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 901. pp. 175-186.


Biological Semiotics, Seido-sha, Tokyo 1999. (translated by Koichiro Matsuno & Yoshinori Takahara from "Signs of Meaning in the Universe")

Guest-editor of: Biosemiotica II (with Claus Emmeche), special issue of Semiotica on biosemiotics, vol. 127 (1-4), pp. 133-655. 1999.

"Order out of Indeterminacy", Semiotica vol. 127, pp. 321-344. 1999.

"The Vague Boundaries of Life" In Taborsky, Edwina (ed.): Semiosis. Evolution. Energy: Towards a reconceptualization of the Sign. Shaker Verlag, Achen 1999 


"The Unfolding Semiosphere" In G.Van de Vijver, Stanley Salthe and Manuela Delpos (eds.): Evolutionary Systems. Biological and Epistemological Perspectives on Selection and Self-Organization. Dordrecht: Kluwer 1998, pp. 281-294.

"On the Origin of Intentional Systems" In Gerald F. Carr Wayne Herbert, & Lihua Zhang( eds.): Interdigitations. Essays for Irmengard Rauch. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 1998.

"Semiosis and Biohistory: A Reply" Semiotica 120 (3/4) pp. 455-482. [In Semiotics in the Biosphere: Reviews and Rejoinder. Special issue of Semiotica.]

"Life: The Invention of Externalism" in Farre, G. and Oksala, T. (eds.) Emergency, Coplexity, Hierarchy, Organization. Selected and Edited Papers from the ECHO III  Conference. Espoo: Finnish Academy of Technology, 187-196. (Acta Polytechnica Scandinavica Series. 91).

“Biosemiotics” In: Bouissac, Paul (ed.), Encyclopedia of Semiotics. New York: Oxford University Press, 82-84.

Surfaces inside surfaces.pdf: On the origin of Agency and Life”. Cybernetics & Human Knowing, 5 (1), 33-42.

Receptors” In: Bouissac, Paul (ed.), Encyclopedia of Semiotics. New York: Oxford University Press, 536-537.

“Umwelt” In: Bouissac, Paul (ed.), Encyclopedia of Semiotics. New York: Oxford University Press, 623–624.

“Semiosis and Living Membranes” in: Santaella, Lucia (ed.) Biosemiotica e Semiotica Cognitiva. Sao Paulo: COS/PUC-SP, 9-19.


"Molecular Biology and Heredity. Semiotic Aspects" In Thure von Uexküll (ed.): Psychosomatic Medicine,Urban & Schwarzenberg, Baltimore 1997, pp. 43-50.

"Somethings or Someones?" Advances. The journal of Mind-Body Health, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp 22-24.

"Biosemiotics: Towards a New Synthesis in Biology" European Journal for Semiotic Studies, 9 (2): pp 355-376.

"Semiotic Emergence", Revue de la penseé d'aujourd'hui,vol. 25-7, No 6, pp.105-117 (in Japanese). English version available here

"The Global Semiosphere". In Irmengard Rauch and Gerald F. Carr (eds.): Semiotics Around the World: Synthesis in Diversity. Proceedings of the Fifth Congress of the International Association for Semiotic Studies. Berkeley 1994. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter 1997, pp. 933-936.

"The Swarming Body". In Irmengard Rauch and Gerald F. Carr (eds.): Semiotics Around the World: Synthesis in Diversity. Proceedings of the Fifth Congress of the International Association for Semiotic Studies. Berkeley 1994. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter 1997, pp. 937-940.

Livstecken. Betydelsens naturhistorie. Bonnier Alba, Stockholm, 1997


Signs of Meaning in the Universe Bloomington: Indiana University Press [Haveland, Barbare J., trans.].

"Für eine semiotisch reformulierte Naturwissenschaft", Zeitschrift für Semiotik, Band18, Heft 1, 31-34.

"Evolutionary Intentionality", In E. Pessa, A. Montesanto, and M.P.Penna (Eds.):The Third European Conference on Systems Science, Rome 1.-4. Oct. 1996, Edzioni Kappa, Rome, pp 699-703.


"The swarming cyberspace of the body," Cybernetics and Human Knowing, vol. 3, no. 1, 16-25, 1995.

"The Semiosic Body-Mind",Cruzeiro Semiòtico, No 22/25, Norma Tasca (ed.) Special Issue in Honour of Professor Thomas A. Sebeok, pp.367-383.

"Molekularbiologie und Genetik in semiotischer Sicht" In Thure von Uexküll (eds):Psychosomatische Medizin 5. Auflage, Urban & Schwartzenberg, Mˆºnchen, pp. 53-62.

Biosemiotics and Ethics” In Vandana Shive and Ingunn Moser (eds.)m Biopolitics. A Feminist and Ecological Reader on Biotechnology. London: Zed Books, 141-161. 


Livets Tegn. Betydningens naturhistorie, Pax Forlag, Oslo.


"Biosemiotics and Ethics" In Nina Witoszek and Elisabeth Guldbrandsen (eds.) Culture and Environment.Interdisciplinary Approaches, Nature and Humanities Series vol 1, Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, Oslo, 152-175.

Asian Perceptions of Nature, Tidsskrift Antropologi no. 27, s. 183-184.

De ikke-menneskelige subjekter, Kritik no. 104, pp 42-47.

En snegl på vejen. Betydningens naturhistorie, Rosinante/Munksgaard, København. (English version: Signs of Meaning in the UniverseBloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996).


"Some Semiotic Aspects of the Psycho-Physical Relation: The Endo-Exosemiotic Boundary". In Thomas A. Sebeok and Jean Umiker-Sebeok (eds.)The Semiotic Web 1991: Biosemiotics, Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, 101-123.


Code-Duality and the Semiotics of Nature in Myrdene Anderson and Floyd Merrell (Eds.): On Semiotic Modeling, Mouton de Gruyter, p. 117-166 Berlin/ New York. (With Claus Emmeche)

From Language to Nature. The Semiotic Metaphor in Biology Semiotica, 84 (1/2), 1-42. (With Claus Emmeche)

Den sidste vals Almen Semiotik, nr. 3, Århus Universitetsforlag.

Naturen i hovedet. Nye opfattelser af det levende i informationsalderen. I Lars J. Lundgren (red.): Människan och miljön. XXI Nordiska Historikermötet, s. 11-26, Umeå Universitet, Umeå.

Publications in Danish: Danish version

June 1. 2018

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