Subject index Author index Reference list Turning Signs gnoxic blog


annotated resource listings, extended quotations with comments, and external links relevant to gnoxic studies. This is also a supplement to the main Reference list which documents published sources cited (parenthetically) in Turning Signs. This page has two Indexes: Author and Subject.

On 1 August 2007 i started adding a datestamp to new or revised listings here, so any undated entries are older than that.

Since 2015 i have been citing sources in my blog posts, so more recent sources of Turning Signs can be found there by selecting the category gnew sources.


conceptual blending
conceptual structures
dissipative structures
dynamic systems theory
evolutionary psychology
organic logic
spiritual classics
the Way (Tao/Dao)
the wild

Major sources (for gnoxic studies) are in bold, and key sources of inspiration in bigger type.

David Abram
James H. Austin
Bernard Baars
Simon Baron-Cohen
Gregory Bateson
Mary Catherine Bateson
Peter L. Berger
Thomas Berry
Black Elk
William Blake
David Bohm
Jorge Luis Borges
Søren Brier
Norman O. Brown
Jerome Bruner
Joseph Campbell
Fritjof Capra
Ernst Cassirer
Noam Chomsky
Andy Clark
Henry Corbin
Francis Crick
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Eugene d'Aquili
Antonio Damasio
Richard Dawkins
Terrence W. Deacon
April D. DeConick
John Deely
Daniel Dennett
David J. Depew
Guy Deutscher
Frans de Waal
Emily Dickinson
Annie Dillard
Eihei Dogen
Umberto Eco
Gerald M. Edelman
Loren Eiseley
Gilles Fauconnier
Todd Feinberg
Stan Franklin
Walter J. Freeman
Northrop Frye
Peter Gärdenfors
Murray Gell-Mann
Eugene Gendlin
Raymond W. Gibbs
Erving Goffman
E.H. Gombrich
Ursula Goodenough
Brian Goodwin
Alison Gopnik
Temple Grandin
Susan Haack
Steven Heine
Jesper Hoffmeyer
Douglas R. Hofstadter
Ray Jackendoff
Jablonka and Lamb
William James
Mark Johnson
James Joyce
Carl Jung
John Kaag
Franz Kafka
Stuart Kauffman
James J. Kay
Christof Koch
Arthur Koestler
Eduardo Kohn
David Korten
Patricia Kuhl
Thomas Kuhn
George Lakoff
Lao Tzu (Laotse)
Todd Lawson
Joseph LeDoux
Rodolfo R. Llinás
Yuri Lotman
Thomas Luckmann
A. R. Luria
Gary Marcus
Lynn Margulis
Daniel C. Matt
Humberto Maturana
John Maynard Smith
Ernst Mayr
John McCrone
Andrew Meltzoff
Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Floyd Merrell
Thomas Metzinger
Ruth Millikan
Marvin Minsky
Harold J. Morowitz
Andrew Newberg
Thich Nhat Hanh
Howard Odum
Elaine Pagels
Howard H. Pattee
Charles S. Peirce
Steven Pinker
Michael Polanyi
Karl Popper
Ilya Prigogine
V. S. Ramachandran
Robert Rosen
Jalal al-Din Rumi
Oliver Sacks
Dorion Sagan
Stanley N. Salthe
Sue Savage-Rumbaugh
Daniel L. Schacter
Eric D. Schneider
Gershom Scholem
Thomas Sebeok
Aaron Sloman
Lee Smolin
Gary Snyder
John Sowa
Frederik Stjernfelt
Daisetz T. Suzuki
David Suzuki
Shunryu Suzuki
Brian Swimme
Eörs Szathmáry
Rabindranath Tagore
Leonard Talmy
Gospel of Thomas
Evan Thompson
Henry David Thoreau
Michael Tomasello
Giulio Tononi
Chögyam Trungpa
Mark Turner
Jakob von Uexküll
Robert E. Ulanowicz
Francisco Varela
L.S. Vygotsky
Bruce H. Weber
Daniel M. Wegner
Walt Whitman
Donna Williams
David Sloan Wilson
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Remarks on ‘sources’

Anyone who aims to communicate with unspecified others has to speak from (the private flow of) experience by using a public and conventional language. You learn this language by interacting with other users and exploring other uses—always aiming toward the public and universal, while your knowledge of it can only be personal. Your language is entangled with that of other users with whom you have crossed paths in the quest. Honesty invites you to bear witness to this crossing of paths by ‘documenting your sources.’ This also provides a service by linking quoted text to its original context, enabling readers to follow up on other threads with which your text is entangled. Those other threads can thus be called ‘sources’ of your expression, though the real source of its meaning is entanglement itself, which is born of the constant tension between eternal truth and its current recreation.

Throughout the gnoxic works in progress online here, documentation is done in the parenthetical-citation format common to most of the sciences. All citations are keyed to a reference list; some are also linked to (or crosslinked within) this page. Of course any writer can document only a small selection of the ‘sources’ with which his text is entangled. They are documented here on two conditions: (1) the author was conscious of them as ‘sources’ while writing the text to which they are connected, and (2) a typical general reader would probably not recognize the source if it were left undocumented.


and neurophenomenology (a term coined by Francisco Varela)—see also neurobiology, autism, phenomenology.


in relation to experience and consciousness


of memory and perception:

Psychology of meaning

and creativity (see also semantics, semiotics, hermeneutics, philosophy, phenomenology):

Developmental psychology

Ethology and the evolution of culture

The old school of science tends to feel that, as Francis Bacon wrote in his Great Instauration, ‘the nature of things betrays itself more readily under the vexations of art than in its natural freedom’; from this perspective, it's no use watching what animals do when left to themselves—they have to be artificially ‘vexed’ with experiments in the laboratory if you want to learn anything about them scientifically. Fortunately the science of ethology has changed all that. One branch of it is primatology (the study monkeys and apes, either in the wild or in captive communities).

The evolution of culture and language is the central focus of an inquiry that takes its key idea (evolution) from biology and applies it to the social realm (with cosmological implications).

Anthropology, sociology and political ecology

— the ethology of human cultures. (The next section deals with how they have evolved.)

Nature and Culture

—or, The Wild and its orphan child civilization. The works below explore the mythic dimensions of our experience of the natural world, thus placing human practices in their more-than-human context. Human cultures and their transformations are generally guided by cosmological visions, though not necessarily conscious of them. Scientific investigations of evolution and cosmology are also listed here under other headings.

Linguistics and semantics

The study of language, including both structure (syntax) and meaning (semantics), crosses paths with semiotics, anthropology, philosophy and techniques of ‘knowledge representation’. The evolution of culture is intertwined with the origin and history of language, and an important task of developmental psychology is to explain how children learn language. [ 26 December 2012 ]

  • Leonard Talmy presents a lifelong study of conceptual structures, as revealed by linguistic structures, in Toward a Cognitive Semantics (2000):
  • Peter Gärdenfors in Conceptual Spaces (2000)
    investigates ‘the geometry of thought,’ presenting a framework for representing information on the conceptual level, which operates between the symbolic and connectionist levels already familiar in cognitive science. This gives us a bridge between computational and psychological views of mind, and a remarkable set of tools for exploring the structure of meaning space.
  • Ray Jackendoff, Foundations of Language: Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution (2002)
    is a comprehensive and balanced treatment of the topics mentioned in his title and of the relationships among them.
  • Noam Chomsky revolutionized the study of language in the mid-20th century, and thereby changed the study of mind as well, by showing that the complexities of syntax can only be understood (and learned) by looking deeper than the surface structure of utterances.
  • Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct (1994)
    is an easier read than Deacon, perhaps more entertaining, and more informative about grammar, but relatively shallow on the semantic, neurological and evolutionary aspects of language.


    The study of life also requires attention to complex systems and ecology, and to biosemiotics. The concept of evolution is central not only to biology but also to the study of language, culture, complex systems and cosmology.

    Complex systems

    Understanding the emergence of complex systems from simpler physical systems is crucial to the sciences of life, ecology, cosmology and political economy.

    Models and simulations of mind

    One way to investigate how the mind works is to try to build one from scratch (something almost inconceivable before the computer age), on the principle that if you can't make or design even a simple working model of something, you don't really understand how it works. This is the impulse behind technologies of artificial intelligence, robotics, connectionism, neural networks etc. Naturally, since we humans are only beginners at this, the results so far are primitive compared to the results of millions of years of natural development and evolution. But artificial ‘minds’ are certainly evolving much faster than humans are.


    investigates the nature of universal everyday experience itself and is thus the most basic of inquiries. Of special relevance to gnoxic studies are philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. See also phenomenology, and Buddhism (for Nagarjuna, Dogen and the Hua-yen school).

    Experience (phenomenology)

    Phenomenology is a name for ‘the systematic study of experiences’ (Walter Freeman). According to Peirce, who classified it as ‘the most primal of all the positive sciences,’ ‘Phenomenology ascertains and studies the kinds of elements universally present in the phenomenon; meaning by the phenomenon, whatever is present at any time to the mind in any way.’


    is a very broadly based discipline first named by John Locke, but first developed in its current form by C.S. Peirce, who identified it with logic as the science of thinking, learning and knowing. For a historical analysis of the term, see Deely, Why Semiotics? (2004). In addition to the semiotic logic of Peirce, and to text semiotics (which is intertwined with hermeneutics), there is also much to be learned from biosemiotics, which investigates semiosis as a process essential to life itself. In addition to the many online sources for this domain of research, each of the following contributes to it:

    Hermeneutics, literary criticism and comparative mythology

    These disciplines cross over into anthropology, phenomenology and semiotics. (The enactive approach to cognition also has roots in hermeneutics.)


    Here we list some texts which have served countless readers as spiritual classics for centuries or millennia, and have done the same for the compiler of this list. They are grouped under the religious traditions associated with them, but they are not to be taken as listing the most important scriptures in that tradition. (The Buddhist writings have a separate section of their own here.) The compiler professes no special expertise or authority in any of these traditions.

    Buddhism (Dharma)

    Classical and contemporary Buddhist writings, with their focus on direct experience and/or psychology rather than theology, have a special affinity with the gnoxic focus on bodymind.

    Spiritual classics

    which work as scriptures for the compiler of these gnoxic pages but have not been canonized as such by any religious tradition. (See also the Wild section.)

    Subject index Author index Reference list gnoxic home