Submit to Biosemiotics?

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Abstract for World Congress of Semiotics (Kaunas): "Uexküllian phenomenology"

Today I composed and submitted an abstract for the session "Biosemiotics in dialogue" at the 13th world congress of semiotics, entitled "Uexküllian phenomenology".
Uexküllian phenomenology 
We are located at the junction of nature and culture, and of semiotics and phenomenology. Can they be reconciled? More particularly, can subfields such as biosemiotics and eco-phenomenology be mutually enriching? I, for one, believe that they can. Uexküllian phenomenology is derived from the Umwelt theory of the Baltic-German biologist Jakob von Uexküll (1864–1944). Its basic premise is that we can assume the universal existence, in the realm of life, of a genuine first person perspective, i.e., of experienced worlds. This assumption characterises Uexküllian phenomenology and makes it a genuine perspective within phenomenology. In this paper I prepare the ground for such a phenomenology by treating the notion of phenomenology, the relation between semiotics and phenomenology, Husserl’s notion of Lebenswelt, and finally the notion of Uexküllian phenomenology. The purpose is to make the case that Uexküllian phenomenology is justified, and to situate it within phenomenological and semiotic thought at large. 
Tønnessen, Morten 2015. Uexküllian phenomenology. Chinese Semiotic Studies 11(3): 347–369. 

Abstract for NASS X: "Umwelt theory revisited – contemporary Uexküllian thought in 10 points"

Today I have submitted my abstract "Umwelt theory revisited – contemporary Uexküllian thought in 10 points" to NASS X, held in conjunction with the 13th world congress of semiotics (Kaunas, Lithuania, June 26-30th 2017).
Umwelt theory revisited – contemporary Uexküllian thought in 10 points
Key elaborations of Jakob von Uexküll´s (1864–1944) Umwelt theory can be summarised in 10 points:
1. Uexküllian phenomenology represents a unique phenomenological perspective.
2. The ontological niche of a being can be defined as the set of contrapuntal relations it takes part in. 
3. Not all Umwelten are species-specific. 
4. Not all Umwelten can be meaningfully studied in isolation.
5. Umwelten undergo Umwelt transitions.
6. In many cases, it makes sense to refer to the Umwelten of different life stages, or to acknowledge that species-specific developmental patterns determine the character of the Umwelt.
7. An Umwelt trajectory represents an aggregate, collective equivalent of Uexküll’s notion of the Umwelt-tunnel.
8. Umwelt mapping results in ontological maps.
9. The tripartite Umwelt model distinguishes between Umwelt objects as encountered, anticipated and conceptualized.
10. An Umwelt ethics rests heavily on fundamental features of the Umwelt theory. 
Maran, Timo, Morten Tønnessen, Kadri Tüür, Riin Magnus, Silver Rattasepp and Nelly Mäekivi (2016). Methodology of zoosemiotics: concepts, categorizations, models. In Maran, Tønnessen and Rattasepp (eds), Animal Umwelten in a changing world – Zoosemiotic perspectives (Tartu: Tartu University Press 2016), 29–50.

Moved to Stavanger

Today I have moved to Stavanger. I went by train with my son Matias (4). Our things arrived yesterday, received by my wife, with our twins Cecilie and Alexander (1).

Friday, 25 November 2016

Revision of family policy chapter

Today I have gone another round with revising parts of "Familie og fridom. Norsk familiepolitikk i lys av liberal politisk filosofi", a chapter I am co-writing with Svein Tuastad. Today´s task mostly involved adding references to official information about Norwegian family policies.


Moving preparations: Yesterday I packed 24 kg of semiotics. 2.400 years of semiotic history did not fit in the box.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

To contribute to book on wolves

I have agreed to contribute to a book on wolves that is to be published next year by Vega forlag, a small Norwegian publishing house. Some details remain to be agreed on and/or clarified.

Von der Fehr book review revised

Today I have revised and expanded my book review "En ny teori om alt?", of Drude von der Fehr (ed.), Den levende kroppen: Mot en ny forståelse av menneske og natur (Vidarforlaget 2016), which is to appear in

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Minding Animals Norway: General meeting held, no board elected

Today Minding Animals Norway held its annual General Meeting. Six people were present, five of whom current board members. No financial report or budget was prepared for the meeting. An annual report and an action plan was decided on, however. Election of board members was discussed for an hour or two before it was decided that an extraordinary General Meeting will be held on February 1st to elect a new board. This was because two people wants to quit the board and two more were ambivalent with regard to continuing.

5th Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference held

Today the 5th Norwegian Animal Ethics Conference was held at Litteraturhuset in Oslo. About 130 people attended. In addition to being a key member of the 4-person organizing team (along with Kristian Ellingsen in particular), I chaired the panel featuring Bjørn Ramberg, Marit Emilie Buseth, Odd Vangen, Ingrid Olesen, Marianne Kulø and Une Aina Bastholm. The conference was formally organized by Minding Animals Norway and the Norwegian Council for Animal Ethics.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Monday, 21 November 2016

Grading of 201 digital MC exam papers

Today I have conducted the (automatically calculated) grading (pass/not passed) of 201 Multiple Choice exam papers in Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies. For the first time, this exam was digital this year.

CFP: Session "Biosemiotics in dialogue" at 13th World Congress of Semiotics

CFP for the session “Biosemiotics in dialogue”
IASS/AIS 13th World Congress of Semiotics “Cross-Inter-Multi-Trans” (Kaunas, Lithuania, 26-30 June 2017)

Conceptually, biosemiotics is the semiotic study of living systems. In essence, biosemiotics is already more-than-semiotic as well as more-than-biological – it is interdisciplinary in nature, and builds on synthesis between ideas and theories from various fields. In this session, we will look at the history as well as future of biosemiotics in its relating to various fields.

More specifically, we look for answers to the following questions: What are the historical, methodological and conceptual ties between biosemiotics and neighboring disciplines? How can fruitful theoretical synthesis in form of biosemiotics best be achieved? How can biosemiotics draw on ideas and perspectives from neighboring fields of endeavor? What can other fields in semiotics and beyond learn from biosemiotics? How can biosemiotics in the best way take part in solving essential scientific problems of our time?

For participating, please register to the World Congress with indication of participation in the session “Biosemiotics in dialogue” and send your abstract also to timo.maran [@] Please note that the registration deadline is November 30, 2016.

With kind regards,

Kalevi Kull,
Morten Tønnessen,
Timo Maran

Friday, 18 November 2016

Assessment guidelines composed

This week I have composed brief "assessment guidelines" for the Multiple Choice exam in Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies, and somewhat longer assessment guidelines for the home exam.

Exam questions composed

This week I have composed exam questions for the home exam in Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies. The exam starts November 25th.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Three times revision of course description

About a week ago I conducted course description revision (with minor changes, applicable Autumn 2017 and later) for three courses at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies (course codes BBABAC, SVEXPHIL10, MEM110).

Book review of Den levende kroppen written

About a week ago I finished my book review "En ny teori om alt? Drude von der Fehr (red.), Den levende kroppen: Mot en ny forståelse av menneske og natur. Vidarforlaget 2016", which is to appear in the online Norwegian philosophy journal Salongen – nettidsskrift for filosoofi og idéhistorie.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Urban corvids article proof-read

Today I have proof-read my forthcoming brief article "Urban corvids - A bird’s-eye view of towns and cities".

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

MC exam questions prepared

Yesterday I composed Multiple Choice exam questions for Examen Philosophicum at Department of social studies. The MC exam takes place November 21st, for some 200 students.

4 more hours of teaching

Today I have taught for 4 hours in Examen philosophicum at Department of social studies - two seminars. This completed my teaching this autumn.

Monday, 14 November 2016


On PhilPapers I am listed with some 22 papers.

6 hours of teaching

Today I have taught for 6 consecutive hours in Examen Philosophicum at Department of social studies. First the 12th and last lecture, then two seminars. Today´s topic included summing up and a course in academic writing.

Friday, 11 November 2016

GroupHouseNet work group meetings, galla dinner attended

The last two days I have been attended work group meetings of the COST action GroupHouseNet in Belgrade, Serbia, at University of Belgrade´s Faculty of agriculture. I also attended a galla dinner yesterday, in the same part of Belgrade, Zemun.

Book chapters proof-read

Today I have proof-read my contributions to the forthcoming book Animal Umwelten in a changing world: Zoosemiotic perspectives.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

New title; full reference for forthcoming book "Animal Umwelten in a changing world"

The forthcoming book previously work-titled Animal Umwelts in a changing world – Semiotic studies of human-animal relations will be titled Animal Umwelten in a changing world – Zoosemiotic perspectives. Full reference:
Timo Maran, Morten Tønnessen, Kristin Armstrong Oma, Laura Kiiroja, Riin Magnus, Nelly Mäekivi, Silver Rattasepp, Paul Thibault and Kadri Tüür, forthcoming, 2016. Animal Umwelten in a changing world – Zoosemiotic perspectives (Tartu Semiotics Library 18). Edited by Timo Maran, Morten Tønnessen and Silver Rattasepp. Tartu: Tartu University Press.

GroupHouseNet MC meeting attended in Belgrade

Today, in Belgrade, Serbia, I have attended the 3rd Management Committee meeting of the COST action "Synergy for preventing damaging behaviour in group housed pigs and chickens" (GroupHouseNet). Some 22 countries were represented at the meeting.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Book review proof-read

A few days ago I proof-read my book review of Arne Johan Vetlesen´s The Denial of Nature, forthcoming in Environmental Philosophy.

Webpage for NASS X (Kaunas)

As the webmaster of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies, I have just moved the NASS IX subpage of the NASS webpage, and established a new subpage for the upcoming conference, NASS X (Kaunas June 2017, abstract deadline November 30th).

Monday, 7 November 2016

"Urban corvids" article finished

Yesterday I finished writing the brief article «Urban corvids: A bird's-eye view of towns and cities», for a special issue of Lo Squadron on urban animals.

Work lunch for welfare state and policy course

Today I have attended and co-organised a work much for teachers in the MUNDUS-course "Welfare state and welfare policy".

11th lecture given

Today I have given the 11th lecture in Examen Philosophicum at Department of Social Studies. The topic was various approaches to knowledge and science, and ethics of care.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

No "Young Research Talents" grant

A notification reads that candidates for "Young Research Talents" grants from the Research Council of Norway have now been invited. I have received no such invitation, and am therefore not considered for funding with my project "Umwelt theory for our time". This was my last chance to get a "Young Research Talents" grant, since I have turned 40.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

2016 project budget

Recently I have organised, by help of an accountant/economist, the 2016 budget for the Norwegian part of the Norwegian-Estonian research project "Animals in changing environments" (EMP151). There was some uncertainty concerning the calculation of overhead related to the 2015 conference "Animals in the Anthropocene", but this has now been resolved, so I know how much funds are left to use by New Year.

House bought; commuting about to end

We are in the process of moving from Kristiansand to Stavanger, and yesterday we took over the house we have bought in Gausel/Forus. I´ve spent the night there, and will use it for accommodation the next few weeks - and then we move.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Child welfare meeting attended

Today I attended a planning/coordination meeting in the child welfare education at UiS´ Department of social studies.

10 hours of teaching

Yesterday and today I have taught altogether 10 hours in Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies (one lecture and four seminars).