By Jakob von Uexkull

ISBN-10: 0816659001

ISBN-13: 9780816659005

Is the tick a computing device or a laptop operator? Is it an insignificant item or a subject matter? With those questions, the pioneering biophilosopher Jakob von Uexküll embarks on a awesome exploration of the original social and actual environments that particular animal species, in addition to members inside species, construct and inhabit. this idea of the umwelt has turn into drastically vital inside posthumanist philosophy, influencing such figures as Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze and Guattari, and, so much lately, Giorgio Agamben, who has referred to as Uexküll "a excessive element of contemporary antihumanism."
A key record within the family tree of posthumanist inspiration, A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans advances Uexküll's progressive trust that nonhuman perceptions needs to be accounted for in any biology worthy its identify; it additionally includes his arguments opposed to typical choice as an sufficient cause of the current orientation of a species' morphology and behaviour. A idea of Meaning extends his pondering at the umwelt, whereas additionally opting for an overarching and perceptible cohesion in nature. these coming to Uexküll's paintings for the 1st time will locate that his proposal of the umwelt holds out new percentages for the phrases of animality, existence, and the full framework of biopolitics itself.

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Extra resources for A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans: with A Theory of Meaning (Posthumanities)

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44 Uexkull gives the lie to the idea of scientific objectivity divorced from the perspectival, perceptual subjectivity of the observers themselves and the signs they use. The idea of an independently existing external reality divorced from minds occurs only within minds. 45 Following an illustrious intellectual history t h a t does not shirk medieval jaunts through scholastic ontology or religious philosophy, Deely argues the world is intelligible. We have, you might say, a sense of being: just as the primary datum of the sense of vision is light, and hearing sound, so the h u m a n instrument receives, via the intellect, the basic knowledge t h a t the universe exists.

But it is a strength based on a kind of lie, the power of invention t h a t we then take to be real, forgetting t h e history of our associations, t h e connections forged by 29 30 INTRODUCTION thought. Chemistry and physics and biology, the h u m a n and social and sciences proper, are all already always abstracted from nature's wholeness, which h a u n t s typological thought like the plump beUy of the Buddha sitting serenely in silent meditation. We have ignored the viewpoints of other beings, which like our own reflect the whole, for the sake of our simplified, goal-directed analyses.

The idea of an independently existing external reality divorced from minds occurs only within minds. 45 Following an illustrious intellectual history t h a t does not shirk medieval jaunts through scholastic ontology or religious philosophy, Deely argues the world is intelligible. We have, you might say, a sense of being: just as the primary datum of the sense of vision is light, and hearing sound, so the h u m a n instrument receives, via the intellect, the basic knowledge t h a t the universe exists.

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A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans: with A Theory of Meaning (Posthumanities) by Jakob von Uexkull


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