Friday, 31 January 2014
Tuesday, 28 January 2014
- contribute to and elaborate biosemiotics
- be up-to-date regarding theory, methods and data, and
- demonstrate understanding of, and refer to, existing works in the field.
Monday, 27 January 2014
Sunday, 26 January 2014
Beever, Jonathan and Morten Tønnessen 2013. “Darwin und die englische Moral”: The Moral Consequences of Uexküll’s Umwelt Theory. Biosemiotics 6(3): 437–447 (online version published September 25 2013, DOI 10.1007/s12304-013-9180-x).
Following Uexküll’s lead in extending consideration to a wide host of nonhuman organisms, a small but growing number of philosophers and semioticians have begun exploring whether and to what extent Umwelt theory might inform animal and environmental ethics, the study of the scope and nature of moral value in the living world (Hoffmeyer 1995; Tønnessen 2003; Kull 2001; Champagne 2011; Beever 2012; Acampora 2013 etc.).
Monday, 20 January 2014
Hva er etikk? [What is ethics?]
Omsorgsetikk og kjønn [Ethics of care and gender]
Kants erkjennelsesteori [Kant's epistemological theory]
Hva er vitenskap? [What is science?]
Vitenskapens sosiale dimensjon [The social dimension of science]
Dydsetikk* [Virtue ethics]
Sunday, 19 January 2014
- now and until March 15th, at least, I will not routinely work during the daytime at all when my son is at home. Except for during naps and days in which he is in kindergarten (without me accompanying him) during daytime, I am routinely only working after hours, after his bedtime.
- But one day a week plus a further evening is relationship time (date with my wife).
- Thirdly, after a couple of evenings where I tried to put my son to sleep but he only cried himself to sleep (given the sudden absence of his ever-present mother) the first time and didn't sleep at all the second, I now take part in putting him to sleep EVERY evening yet for now leave the finish to my wife. As soon as he's truly calming down with me, I'll start putting him to sleep alone at times. With regard to work this implies that I get ca. 3 1/2 rather than 4 hours work time each working evening.
- In consequence of pt. 1 I do not plan for a full hour of email and incidental tasks in daytime plus a further full hour in the evening, but only 1 full hour whenever I am working. This occasionally puts pressure on my overall flexibility and ability to go through with all scheduled tasks.
Thursday, 16 January 2014
Codes and interpretation in perceptionMorten Tønnessen, Associate professor at University of Stavanger’s Department of health studies
In this talk I present work in progress on the role of interpretation vs. codes in perception, where perception is understood in terms of coherent (unified) subjective experience. I follow Jakob von Uexküll (1956, cf. 2010) in assuming that all organisms except plants and fungi have such coherent, unified subjective experience (i.e. Umwelt experience).
My starting point is the tripartite Umwelt model (Tønnessen 2011), according to which any Umwelt has two aspects (core and mediated) and some have three (including conceptual). In Tønnessen, forthcoming, I outline the workings of the Umwelt in terms of these three aspects in more detail. We can generally conceive of six types, or categories, of acts, and these can be located within the three different aspects of the Umwelt:
- Automated acts of perception
- Automated mental acts
- Wilful acts of perception
- Wilful mental acts
- Habitual acts of perception
- Habitual mental acts
By automated, I mean the exact and physiologically based matching of something with something else, by wilful I mean the agenda- and interest-driven matching of something with something else, and by habitual I mean the learned matching of something with something else. Whereas conscious animals carry out all six types of acts, non-conscious creatures, in so far as they perceive, only carry out two, namely automated and wilful acts of perception. Habitual, i.e. conceptual acts are reserved for conscious creatures, but even bacteria can carry out wilful acts of perception, i.e. make choices based on interpretation.
In general terms automated acts can be said to be code-based, whereas both wilful and habitual acts are interpretation-based. An implication of this claim is that the core Umwelt is generally code-based, and that the mediated Umwelt and the conceptual Umwelt are interpretation-based. If this is correct, the interpretive threshold is not located where animals with a nervous system meet creatures without a nervous system, nor where the biotic meets the abiotic. Instead, the interpretive threshold must be located where core experience meets mediated experience (and since these aspects often intermingle, the dividing line is not in plain sight).
Questions for further investigation include the following: Can coding in automated acts of perception and in automated mental acts be understood within the framework of code biology (Barbieri, de Beule and Hofmeyr 2014)? Particularly, can they be understood as organic codes? While I have only begun reflecting on the notion of code itself, I will relate codes in perception as presented here to the notions of a neural code and of ecological codes.
Acknowledgement: The research leading to these results received funding from the Norway Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 under project contract no EMP151, “Animals in changing environments: Cultural mediation and semiotic analysis”.
ReferencesBarbieri, Marcello, Joachim de Beule and Jan-Hendrik Hofmeyr 2014. “Code biology: A glossary of terms and concepts”. URL: http://www.codebiology.org/glossary.html.Tønnessen 2011. Umwelt Transition and Uexküllian Phenomenology – An Ecosemiotic Analysis of Norwegian Wolf Management (= Dissertationes Semioticae Universitatis Tartuensis 16). Doctoral dissertation. Tartu: Tartu University Press. 232 pp. Introduction available online.
Tønnessen, Morten, forthcoming. „Umwelt and language“. Cahiers de l’ILSL[l'Institut de Linguistique et des Sciences du Langage], special issue „Biosemiotic perspectives in linguistics“, edited by Ekaterina Velmezova, Stephen Cowley and Kalevi Kull.Uexküll, Jakob von, 1956 [1934/1940]: Streifzüge durch die Umwelten von Tieren und Menschen: Ein Bilderbuch unsichtbarer Welten. Bedeutungslehre. Hamburg: Rowohlt.Uexküll, Jakob von, 2010: A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans with a Theory of Meaning. Trans. of Uexküll 1956 [1934, 1940] by Joseph D. O’Neil. Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press.
Tuesday, 14 January 2014
Monday, 13 January 2014
Friday, 10 January 2014
Thursday, 9 January 2014
Friday, 3 January 2014
TØNNESSEN, MORTENAcademic blog: Utopian Realism
Academic articles freely available online:Tønnessen, Morten 2003. Umwelt Ethics. Sign Systems Studies 31 (1): 281-299.— 2009. The Semioethics Interviews I: John Deely: ‘Tell Me, Where Is Morality Bred?’. Hortus Semioticus, number 4 (August 2009): 57-80.
— 2009. Signs Grow – But Should They? Semioethics and the Dominant Semiosis of Homo sapiens sapiens (= Meditationes Semioticae I). Hortus Semioticus, number 4 (August 2009): 81-84.— 2010. The Bio-Translator – Interview with Professor in Biosemiotics Kalevi Kull. Co-written with Riin Magnus. Hortus Semioticus 6: 77-103. Includes full bibliography of Kalevi Kull’s biosemiotic publications.
— 2010. Is a Wolf wild as Long as it Does Not Know that It Is Being Thoroughly Handled? Humanimalia – a journal of human/animal interface studies 2(1) (Fall 2010): 1-8.— 2011. Umwelt Transition and Uexküllian Phenomenology – An Ecosemiotic Analysis of Norwegian Wolf Management (= Dissertationes Semioticae Universitatis Tartuensis 16). Doctoral dissertation. Tartu: Tartu University Press. 232 pp. Introduction available online.
1 (2) Utopian Realism [academic blog] 6.252 (+676)
2 (1) Utopisk Realisme [political, Norwegian language blog] 4.379 (-6.161)
3 (3) SemioPhenomenon [site for the Tartu phenomenology meets semiotics workshops in 2009] 166 (-1)
4 (4) The Schopenhauer Experience [existentialist electronica] 144 (+8)2013 was likely the first year where this blog, Utopian Realism, was my most visited blog, overtaking my Norwegian language blog Utopisk Realisme. As the numbers show, however, this is due to a sharp decrease in visits to Utopisk Realisme rather than to the small increase in visits to Utopian Realism. Combined the four blogs mentioned above had 10.941 pageloads, which is 5-6.000 fewer than in 2012.
1. Utopisk Realisme 49.524
2. Utopian Realism 26.566
3. SemioPhenomenon 3.814
4. Kardemomme Tidende 1.784
5. The Schopenhauer Experience 1.024
Thursday, 2 January 2014
Tønnessen, Morten 2013. Discourses gone astray: Restoring animality, humanity, and language. Book review. Journal of Multicultural Discourses 8(3): 255-259 (published online July 1st 2013, DOI: 10.1080/17447143.2013.810631).
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
- Eleven academic publications (three of them co-written) including a co-edited book, book chapters, a preface, journal articles, and two book reviews
- One report
- Seven scientific presentations in international conferences/seminars/workshops
- Two guest lectures
- Eight media appearances (interviews)