Taking advantage of Denis Noble’s description, in “The Illusions of the Modern Synthesis” of the first illusion, related to the concept of natural selection it self, I will further strengthen the criticism by adding three groups of considerations mainly concerning human cognition: 1) how semiotic brains build cognitive niches; 2) the role of abduction – and in particular of manipulative abduction – in building a semiotic artificial world; 3) the biosemiotics of the so-called disembodiment of the mind. Human semiotic brains are engaged in a continuous process of delegation and distribution of cognitive functions to the environment to lessen cognitive limitations, also and especially taking advantage of what I have called “manipulative abduction”. These design semiotic activities are closely related to the process of cognitive niche construction, which should be regarded as the second major participant, after natural selection, in evolution. An important effect of this semiotic brain activity is a continuous process of disembodiment of the mind that exhibits a new cognitive perspective on the mechanisms underlying the semiotic emergence of meaning processes.
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