Journal of Medicine and the Person April 2015, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 18-22 Date: 22 Oct 2014 Biology and sign theory: homeopathy emerging as a biosemiotic system Leoni V. Bonamin, Silvia Waisse Journal of Medicine and the Person

Abstract Diluted above Avogadro’s number, homeopathic medicines allegedly do not contain any molecule of their starting-materials. As Western science is historically based on the notion of matter, alternative epistemological models are needed to account for the biological actions of homeopathic high dilutions. One such model is provided by biosemiotics, an interdisciplinary field devoted to the integration of biology and semiotics based on the fundamental belief that sign production and interpretation is one of the immanent and intrinsic features of life. Several experimental studies show that the information carried by high dilutions might be evidenced by means of measurable biological effects ranging from intranuclear epigenetic phenomena to inheritable adaptive processes, and regulatory physiological and behavioral phenomena. Therefore, when the action of homeopathic medicines is considered from the semiotic point of view, they become an endless source for studies aiming not only at therapeutic applications, but also to achieve a more refined understanding of living beings and their relationships with the environment.

According to the philosopher Agne
s Lagache
(1940–2009), ‘‘Living beings are informed-informing
structures, a network of relationships between their content
and their surroundings. As a consequence, some biological
elements should not be considered as material things, but
as semantic objects. A sematic object is one that performs
the functions associated to mediation’’ [
]. Together,
Lagache and the immunologist Madeleine Bastide
(1935–2007) formulated, along the 1980s and 1990s, the
theoretical model known as ‘‘paradigm of corporeal sig-
nifiers’’, which among other features, is seemingly able to
account for the action of the homeopathic medicines based
on the principle of meaningfulness that rules over infor-
mation systems [