Translating Jakob von Uexküll — Reframing Umweltlehre as biosemiotics

Sign Systems Studies 37 (1/2):281-297 (2009)
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Abstract

Thomas Sebeok attributed it to what he called the ‘wretched’ translation of Uexküll’s Theoretische Biologie (1920) that the notion of Umwelt did not reachthe Anglo-American intellectual community much earlier. There is no doubt that making more of Uexküll’s Umweltlehre available in English will not only furtherthe biosemiotic movement, but also fill a gap in the foundational theoretical canon of semiotics in general. The purpose of this paper is to address issues of terminology and theory translation between Uexküll’s Umweltlehre and current biosemiotics.

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