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Monday, 13 May 2013

Meeting on second Norwegian animal ethics conference; revised theme

Wednesday last week I took part in a phone meeting with the other organisers of the second Norwegian animal ethics conference - Dyreetikkonferansen - which will be arranged August 22nd in Oslo. Several details remain to be figured out, but we are expecting to get much in place the next few weeks.

Brief report from the workshop "Agency in health care: Phenomenology and experience"

The scientific workshop "Agency in health care: Phenomenology and experience" was arranged at University of Stavanger's Department of Health Studies on Monday April 15th, with myself in a coordinating role. Besides functioning as the chair of a discussion session, I briefly opened the workshop (in the absence of Head of Department Kari Vevatne). I had also been taking care of several practicalities, and served as Stephen and Paul's host during their 2-day visit. The workshop featured lectures by Paul Thibault, Stephen Cowley, Febe Friberg and Sissel Eikeland Husebø - see program booklet. Some 12-15 people were present at one point or another, and discussions were fruitful, with practically all participants taking part.

An open lecture by Stephen Cowley, "Interactivity - implications for language and cognition", given Tuesday April 16th, was attended by some 10 people.

See also:

Spartacus issuing press release on Norwegian HAS anthology

Today Spartacus forlag/Scandinavian Academic press distributed a press release announcing the Human-Animal Studies anthology Hvem er villest i landet her: Råskap mot dyr og natur i antropocen, menneskets tidsalder [Who is wildest in this country here? Brutality towards animals and nature in the Anthropocene, the age of Man]. This book, which I have co-edited, will be published Wednesday May 15th, and on the same day there is a release event in Oslo (4 pm). The full text of the press release is available in my Norwegian language blog Utopisk Realisme.

The publishing house has further updated the book's webpage with link to the event 15/5, and also links to the press release on its press page. A printed version of the press release is being published during this week, and review copies distributed.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Opening of art exhibition: News story published in local newspaper; radio website


Monday April 13th the local newspaper Agder published a news story titled “Magedans på kunstutstilling” [Belly dance at art exhibition], on the opening of “Asylum (midt iblant oss) [Asylum (right in our midst)]” on Utsikten art center on April 11th. Quote in translation (for this post in Norwegian, see my Norwegian blog Utopisk Realisme): 
The art exhibition was opened with a causerie by philosopher Morten Tønnessen, who shared his thoughts on what it means to have your life on hold without being able to realise your potential and realise your dreams. 
The same news story, also by journalist Tor Magne Gausdal, was published on April 12th on the website of  Radio Kvinesdal. Gausdal is also the man behind a photograph from the opening, published on both of the mentioned sites, where I appear (right).



Opening of the art exhibition "Asylum" at Utsikten

April 11th I took part in the opening of the art exhibition, or more specifically video installation, "Asylum (midt i blant oss)" [Asylum - right in our midst] at Utsikten art center in Kvinesdal, Norway. The exhibition is on display until May 16th.

As my opening words, I read the philosophical causerie "Å ha livet på vent" [Having your life on hold]. The exhibition features video recordings from a Norwegian asylum center. The opening of the video installation was well visited, with some 50-60 people attending, about half of them with a background as asylum seekers. The program of the opening further included conversation with the artist, Eli Glader, belly dancing, and an informal panel discussion in which I also took part.

The next day, April 12th, I repeated part of my causerie for some 20 hotel guests around lunch time.

The manager of Utsikten, Torill Haugen, found me via my commercial philosophy site, Spør filosofen [Ask the philosopher].


Friday, 10 May 2013

Acknowledgement in Barbieri article(s) on language

I am mentioned in the Acknowledgements of the following article(s):
Barbieri, Marcello 2010. On the Origin of Language: A Bridge Between Biolinguistics and Biosemiotics [p. 221, Acknowledgments]. Biosemiotics 3.2: 201-223. Reprinted in slightly revised version as Barbieri 2012. 
Barbieri, Marcello, 2012: “Organic Codes and the Origin of Language” [p. 471, Acknowledgements], in L. Swan (ed.), Origin(s) of Design in Nature (= Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology 23), 445-473. Dordrecht: Springer.
Quote from Barbieri 2012:
I am deeply grateful to Noam Chomsky for suggesting various changes in the first draft of this chapter and for discussing them at length. I also wish to thank Natalia Abieva, Prisca Augustyn, Gérard Battail, Paul Cobley, Stephen Cowley, Almo Farina, Chris Ottolenghi, Liz Stillwaggon-Swan and Morten Tønnessen for their most appropriate notes. The manuscript of this chapter has been circulated to 60 members of the Biosemiotic community, and I wish to thank all of them for their comments.

"Beyond sentience" article due November 1st

The article "Beyond sentience: Biosemiotics as foundation for animal and environmental ethics", which I am co-writing with Jonathan Beever, will be due November 1st, according to our recent email exchange with the editors of the book project Animal meta-ethics: New directions in animal philosophy.

Norwegian HAS anthology: Reference and final front and back page

Here's the cover page and back page of the Human-Animal Studies anthology I am co-editing which will be released on May 15th:


The change made today involves reordering the names of the editors in line with what we agreed on. The correct reference to the book is thus:
Sollund, Ragnhild, Morten Tønnessen and Guri Larsen (eds) 2013. Hvem er villest i landet her: Råskap mot dyr og natur i antropocen, menneskets tidsalder [Who is wildest in this country here? Brutality towards animals and nature in the Anthropocene, the age of Man]. Oslo: Spartacus Forlag/Scandinavian Academic Press.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Gallbladder removal not obstructing participation at Gathering in Biosemiotics

In March (and April) I went through some health problems initiated by the appearance and subsequent removal of a gallstone. Being in London at the time, I was admitted to Westminster and Chelsea Hospital - where the gallstone was removed - for 4 days, and then to a Norwegian hospital, in Drammen, for a further 2 days, after I experienced internal bleeding (and passed out while on a train toilet - thus falling to the floor, something that caused a rupture of sorts in my ribs) as a complication the day after the procedure that removed the stone. Since then it has been clear that I should have my gallbladder removed.


A couple of days back I was notified about date of surgery: June 7th. This would imply that I would have to cancel my participation at the 13th Gathering in Biosemiotics, to be arranged in Castiglioncello, Italy, June 4-8. However, I was luckily able to reschedule to another date - June 19th, so that I will still be able to be present in Italy this summer.

See also:

Book review on wolf conflicts revised

Yesterday I revised the book review I completed April 30th/May 1st, on Norwegian wolf conflicts. It will be published without the summary (in Norwegian plus English) that I wrote, and with no title. The other substantial revision implied not referring to my own work on wolf management. The revisions were made on request by the guest editor.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

HAS anthology: Announcement link; high-res cover image


Also, here's a version of the cover image in somewhat higher resolution:


Updated with 3 events: Past academic events

Saturday, 4 May 2013

NoSP 2013 participation funded

The routine at University of Stavanger is that one has to apply for funding of conference participation each single time. I have just been notified that my participation at the 11th meeting of the Nordic Society for Phenomenology, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, April 18-20, will be funded.

See also:

Reference to "Umwelt transitions" in Mexican philosophy journal

My 2009 article "Umwelt transitions: Uexküll and environmental change", published in the journal Biosemiotics in 2009, is referred to in the following article by Víctor Castillo Morquecho:
Morquecho, Víctor Castillo 2012. Orden, limites y transgression. Reflexiones en torno a la obra de Jakob von Uexküll [pp. 96, 106, 110, Tønnessen 2009b pp. 49, 58]. Signos Filosóficos vol. XIV, núm. 28 (julio-diciembre): 91-111.
The journal Signos Filosóficos is published by the Department of Philosophy at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, located in Iztapalapa, a borough in Mexico City.

Quote, p. 96 (footnote 9):
En este punto es preciso aclarar que, a diferencia de Kant, Uexküll pone entre interrogantes la posibilidad de una realidad fenoménica: “While Kant established that reality has a phenomenological character, Uexküll added that this reality is not purely human, enveloping, as it does, a vast and diverse realm of phenomena of which but a fragment is exclusively human. Further, according to Uexküll, man is not pure mind, but a corporeal reality or an embodied mind, which is in its turn indistinguishable from the phenomenal world it carries with it, and without which its bodily performance would make no sense” (Tønnessen, 2009: 58).
Quote, p. 106 (footnote 21):
Desde una perspectiva macroevolutiva, dice Tønnessen, invocar una crisis ambiental es invocar un cierto cambio (adverso): “Among the forerunners of the current global U[n]welt transition we find the five mass extinctions following the Cambrian explosion, known as The Big Five[s]. During these global events, what rule the day was curtailed and unfulfilled duets of nature or, as we might say ‘dissonances’ in the symphony of nature” (2009: 49).

Friday, 3 May 2013

Book launch in Oslo May 15th - brief talk scheduled

On Wednesday May 15th, the Norwegian Human-Animal Studies anthology Hvem er villest i landet her? Råskap mot dyr og natur i antropocen - menneskets tidsalder [Who is the wildest one in the country here? Brutality against animals and nature in the Anthropocene - the age of Man], published by Spartacus' imprint Scandinavian Academic Press, will be launched in Oslo. The release event will take place the following time and place:

Time: Wednesday 15th of May at 16.00
Place: Domus Nova, Oslo (St. Olavs plass 5), seminar room 770 (7th floor)

As part of the event, I, as one of the editors of the book, will talk for some 7 minutes "Om mennesker og dyr i antropocen" [On humans and animals in the Anthropocene].

See the full announcement text and program in my Norwegian language blog Utopisk Realisme (or on the website of Minding Animals Norway).



Thursday, 2 May 2013

Norwegian HAS anthology proof-read; to be released May 15th

The last few weeks and months the other two editors and myself have been working with preparing Hvem er villest i landet her? Råskap mot dyr og natur i antropocen - menneskets tidsalder [Who is the wildes one in the country here? Brutality against animals and nature in the Anthropocene, the age of Man], for publication. The publication date has now been set to May 15th.

Work done since last post on this volume, in March, includes regular proof-reading (involving all contributors), proof-reading of the print-ready PDF, and - today - revision of the index.

Final version of cover:




Job application - UiA

February 21st I applied for a permanent position as Associate professor in philosophy at the University of Agder (at the Department of Religion, Philosophy and HistoryFaculty of Humanities and Education), which is located where I am currently residing (and have been living for a total of 10 years). I was later informed that 20 people have applied for this position - including one professor and 7-8 Associate professors, myself included. 

The position is/was meant to be filled starting August 1st, but given that I have not to date been notified about who's in the evaluation committee (sakkyndig komité), this is not so likely. Personally I have a 3 month  period of notice at the University of Stavanger.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

NASS VIII paper scheduled for May 30th

My paper "The ontogeny of the embryonic, fetal and infant human Umwelt", to be presented at The Eighth Conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS): “Sign evolution on multiple time scales” (Center for Semiotics, Aarhus University, Denmark, May 29th – 31st) has been scheduled for oral presentation Thursday May 30th at 14.45-15.15, in the theme session "Biosemiotics", to be chaired by Kalevi Kull (aud. 1483-244). The preliminary program of the conference is available in the latest newsletter of NASS (pp. 8-14). 

Riin Magnus ("The development of sign usage in the cooperation of the blind person and guide dog team") and Barend van Heusden ("Semiotic cognition and lateralization") will present in the same session.


Book review on wolf conflicts completed - summary here

This night (sic) I finished a book review on the recently published book Ulvekonflikter – en sosiologisk studie [Wolf conflicts - a sociological study]. My review - which might have to be either shortened (in order to qualify as a book review) or rewritten (in order to qualify as a book essay) - is submitted  to the Norwegian academic journal Sosiologi idag [Sociolocy today], on invitation (by guest editor Ragnhild Sollund), and amounts to some 2.500 words as of now.

Full reference to the book reviewed:
Skogen, Ketil, Olve Krange & Helene Figari 2013. Ulvekonflikter – en sosiologisk studie [Wolf conflicts - a sociological study]. Oslo: Akademika forlag.
While being a monograph in form, and (re)written for the occasion, this book envelopes material from a number of already published English language journal articles, etc. I consider it an important contribution in the Norwegian context.


My review includes an English language summary, which reads like this:
Summary The book Ulvekonflikter [Wolf conflicts] summarizes research conducted by the three authors, which is based on interviews with informants in five Norwegian municipalities. The book is well-written – and important. As they stress, the controversy about wolves can only be explained by taking the larger social context into account, and by interpreting everything expressed with regard to wolves in light of central dimensions of conflict and processes of change. Among opponents of the wolf, it is particularly associated with urbanity and an expanding, educated middle class. Unlike in earlier times, contemporary wolf conflicts are predominantly conflicts between people. Ulvekonflikter succeeds in establishing such basic claims while also being nuanced in its presentation in a way that does virtually all stakeholders justice. Through analysis of beliefs there is broad support for as well as beliefs surrounded by controversy, this book provides valuable advice to policy and management. 
Keywords: Wolf management, attitudes to wolves, beliefs about wolves, wolves as symbols, predators, nature view