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Circadian clocks signal future states of affairs

Pridmore, Brant (2022) Circadian clocks signal future states of affairs. [Preprint]

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On receiver-based teleosemantic theories of representation, the chemical states of the circadian clocks in animal, plant and cyanobacterial cells constitute signals of future states of affairs, often the rising and setting of the sun. This signalling is much more rigid than sophisticated representational systems like human language, but it is not simple on all dimensions. In most organisms the clock regulates many different circadian rhythms. The process of entrainment ensures that the mapping between chemical states of the clock and the daily light-dark cycle is adjusted to deal with seasonal changes. In regulating anticipatory behaviour, the states of the clock look forward both to the time the behaviour is supposed to happen and the later time when the anticipated circumstances are supposed to arise. The case of the circadian clock shows that purely indicative signals can arise in very basic biological systems and brings into sharp relief the trade-offs involved in characterizing representational systems. On receiver-based teleosemantic theories, future-directed signals are not restricted to complex multicellular organisms but are ubiquitous in the biological world.

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Item Type: Preprint
Pridmore, Brantbrant.pridmore@gmail.com0000-0003-0357-6913
Keywords: signalling, teleosemantics, representation, circadian, Millikan, Neander, Arabidopsis thaliana
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Depositing User: Dr Brant Pridmore
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2022 17:31
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2022 17:31
Item ID: 21123
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Date: 3 September 2022

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