The Role of the Code’s Conventional Rules in Complex Bio-Psycho-Cultural Systems


Authors: Massimo Agnoletti
Page Range: 111-128
Published in: Chaos and Complexity Letters, 16#3
ISSN: 1556-3995

Table of Contents


The human species is characterized by the particular interaction between the biological, psychological, and cultural domains which, while presenting peculiar differences, share the fact of using codes.
Each biological, psychological, or cultural domain allows for an increase in complexity based on conventional rules, characteristic of codes, which consist in establishing an arbitrary and specific relationship between an informational structure (memory space) and the result of the semantic processing of this information.
The conventional rules that characterize the codes do not emerge in a deterministic way from the properties of the substrate in which they are implemented, in fact, they are conventional rules, not physical laws.
Biological, psychological, and cultural domains, despite having the logical architecture of the codes in common, being made in different substrates give rise to different evolutionary processes.
The recent field of Code Biology examines the general nature of codes that can be identified within a continuum of codes represented by the genetic code at one end and the cultural code at the opposite end.
We will describe some examples of complexity promoted by codes in the biological domain (the genetic code), psychological domain (the development of language), and cultural domain (musical notes).
The paper will try to demonstrate why, both on a biological, psychological, and cultural level, the concept of code is a necessary requirement to explain the increase in complexity, bringing out the importance of conventional rules.
As a consequence of this perspective, any system where we can detect an increase in complexity implies the presence of a specific code in which the conventional rules are realized.

Keywords: bio-psycho-cultural model, code biology, code concept, complexity, conventional code rules

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