Nature, Culture, Meaning:
An Interdisciplinary Dialogue

Since Descartes, at least, Western scholarly work has been considering the schism between nature and culture, matter and mind, natural sciences and the humanities. Recent scholarly work in semiotics, biosemiotics and theoretical biology as well as advances in neuro and cognitive sciences are revisiting this debate, in particular advocating interdisciplinary dialogue as one solution to the problem.

From a humanities perspective, the question, perhaps, is: What does it mean for humans to be physical, chemical and biological organisms? Put differently: Are we matter, or do we matter, or both? And if both, how are we physical, chemical, biological, social as well as psychological?

From a natural sciences perspective, the question, perhaps, is: Are physical, chemical, biological systems meaningful, and if so, how?

Can meaning be put back into biology, as the subtitle of Henning and Scarfe’s 2013 book suggests.

The symposium is free to attend and open to everyone. However, we require our participants to register. Please follow this link and fill out the registration form. We hope to see you there!

Interpreting Centre
Winkie Direko Building
Room 41
University of the Free State - Bloemfontein Campus


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Neliswa Emeni-Tientcheu: +27 51 401 2536
Phyllis Masilo: +27 51 401 9683

Humanities photo next to contact block

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