This book is about the interrelationship between nature, semiosis,
metarepresentation and (self-)consciousness, and the role played by
metarepresentation in evolution.
Representations must have emerged via self-organization from non-
representational systems (found in physics, chemistry and biology). Major
steps have been the evolution of molecules, macromolecules, life, and
finally cultural and symbolic systems. Representations and signs are
therefore parts of a huge, possibly branching 'ladder of beings'.
Metarepresentations - images representing images, language about language
and language-use, thoughts about thoughts - constitute a fascinating theme
within such diverse areas of research as philosophy, literature, theology,
anthropology and history, neuroscience, psychology and linguistics.
The contributions to this book reflect this variety of different, but often
interrelated perspectives on metarepresentation. They also exemplify the
difficulties of a truly interdisciplinary discourse and show how one may start
such a discourse in the field of semiotics, understood as a meta-discipline
which brings together all scientific enterprises dealing with human mind and