Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Second Ph.D. defense preceded over

Today I have preceded over the trial lecture and doctoral defense of Cato Hemmingby. He defended the ph.d. thesis "Terrorists and Targets: A Relationship Founded on Bad Intentions, Limited Capacities and Risk Willingness". His supervisors were Tore Bjørgo and Odd Einar F. Olsen. The dissertation committee consisted of Anja Dalgaard-Nielsen, John Morrison and Brynjar Lia.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Three meetings

Today I have attended three meetings, including the "rector meeting" at University of Stavanger (first time - features the rector and vice rectors, the deans, and selected directors), and a meeting on the Faculty of Social Sciences´ research report.

Friday, 13 September 2019

UIS PR for Forskningsdagene

The University of Stavanger has published a news story titled "Kan marknaden redde klimaet, eller går verda til helvetet?" (Can the market save the climate, or does the world go to hell?) about UIS events during Forskningsdagene. A profile photo of me is included. The same photo is featured in the most recent UIS newsletter (distributed by email today).


"What can be known about future Umwelten?" presented at world congress in Buenes Aires; article plans

Today, at the 14th world congress of semiotics, in Buenes Aires, at Universidad Nacional de las Artes (Artes Visuales), I presented my paper "What can be known about future Umwelten?" in a parallell session. Some 17 people attended; response was positive.

I am now planning to write a journal article based on today´s presentation, to be submitted to The American Journal of Semiotics.

1000 reads for "A hundred introductions to semiotics..."

Thursday, 12 September 2019

NASS flag raised at UNA in Buenes Aires

Here in Buenes Aires I have, with the help of Alin Olteanu, raised the flag of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS) in the backyard of Universidad Nacional de las Artes (UNA), one of two venues for the ongoing 14th world congress of semiotics. NASS is associated with the International Association for Semiotic Studies (IASS) as a regional organization.


Wednesday, 11 September 2019

More on Næss lecture during Forskningsdagene

The Kunnskapstørst event September 19th is referred to on the intranet of University of Stavanger in an overview over Forskningsdagene (research days) events locally. There´s now also a Facebook event for my public lecture on Arne Næss (see also previous post).

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Research days "Kunnskapstørst" talk announced

On Thursday September 19th I will give the talk "Hadde Arne Næss rett om miljøkrisen?" (Was Arne Næss right about the environmental crisis?) at 4 pm. at Måltidets hus (Stavanger). This is an "Kunnskapstørst" event (a popular science lecture series organized by Validé, University of Stavanger and Innovasjonspark Stavanger) that is part of Forskningsdagene 2019 (national research days). The event has been announced on the webpage of Validé. Register here (for free). Also announced by Forskningsdagene, here.


Tripartite Umwelt model applied and further developed in ecocriticism MA thesis of Hernández

Mauricio Sánchez Hernández has written the master thesis "Mariposas imaginando árboles de oyamel: Representaciones literarias del umwelt de la monarca migrante y del humano en la ecoliteratura de Homero Aridjis" (in Spanish) at University of Oslo. He refers quite extensively to an article, especially with regard to the tripartite Umwelt model:
Tønnessen, Morten (2015). “Umwelt and language”. En: E. Velmezova, Stephen J. Cowley y K. Kull (eds.), Biosemiotic Perspectives on Language and Linguistics (Biosemiotics 13): 77-96. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-20663-9_5
The thesis includes a section numbered 2.2.2 and named "El modelo tripartito del umwelt según Tønnessen". Hernández also further develops diagrams based on the tripartite Umwelt model, cf. below (imagen 5, p. 21, imagen 6, p. 21, imagen 7, p. 22).



Monday, 9 September 2019

In Buenes Aires to attend 14th world congress in semiotics

Today I have arrived in Buenes Aires, Argentina, to attend the 14th world congress of semiotics at the National University of Arts (UNA) and Centro Cultural General San Martins. After a 29 hour long travel, and an hour at the hotel, I attended a first session.

This is my first time in Argentina - and the farthest South I have ever been (beating Sydney, which I visited in 2011, in this respect).

Svendsen book review proof-read

I have just read and reviewed page proofs for my forthcoming book review. Full reference:

Tønnessen, Morten, forthcoming, 2019. Lars Fr. H. Svendsen: Å forstå dyr: Filosofi for hunde- og katteelskere. Book review. Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 54(3): 187–190. DOI: https://doi.org/BOKMELDING 10.18261/issn.1504-2901-2019-03-06

Sunday, 8 September 2019

To give two talks at Swedish zoo association conference "The zoos of the future"

I am scheduled to speak twice at the Swedish zoo association conference "Fremtidens dyreparker" (The zoos of the future), which takes place at Bjørneparken (Flå, Norway) September 25-27th 2019. On November 26th I will give the two talks detailed below. I am presented as professor of philosophy (University of Stavanger) and member of Norway´s Council for animal ethics.
 12.15-13.15 «Dyreparker i fremtiden – om å møte samfunnets holdninger og forventninger»  
— 13.30-13.50 «Gjestemøter»

Norwegian animal ethics conference to be held November 21st

Dyreetikkonferansen 2019 (Norwegian animal ethics conference 2019) will take place on Litteraturhuset (Oslo) Thursday November 21st. The planning group consists of Kristian Ellingsen, Knut Bøe, Guri Larsen and me.

After Minding Animals Norway decided to shut down last autumn, the conference is now run solely by Norway´s Council for animal ethics.

Biosemiotics 12(2) published

Biosemiotics 12(2) has now been published (p. 195-356 in this year´s volume). This is likely the last issue to have been edited by me, Alexei Sharov, and Timo Maran (as EiC replacement is in progress).



Friday, 6 September 2019

Autumn´s 8th article writing day

Today I had the autumn´s 8th article writing day (half writing day, adding to the 7,5 previous ones), with some 3 hours devoted to revising my chapter abstract for a semiotics companion work and doing some work on my "Wasted growth" article. Altogether some 600 words written.

Revised abstract: "Semiotics in ethology and zoology"

I have just revised my chapter abstract for a planned multi-volume companion to semiotics, reiterated below. The initial version is to be found here.

***

Semiotics in ethology and zoology
Morten Tønnessen
Zoosemiotics, the semiotic study of topics of ethology, zoology and other animal-related fields, historically emerged as a precursor to biosemiotics and ecosemiotics, with common roots in the Umwelt theory of Jakob von Uexküll (1921, 1934), among other sources of inspiration (see e.g. Kleisner 2008). Thomas Sebeok (1972, 1990) coined the term, established von Uexküll as a key figure in zoosemiotics, and made initial connections between semiotic theory and animal studies. Von Uexküll´s semiotically framed work has influenced ethology directly and also by way of Konrad Lorenz (1935, 1961 [1949]). In contemporary times, Dario Martinelli (2010) and others have developed a history of zoosemiotics as well as contributed to expanding and further developing the range of semiotic studies of animals (see also Maran et al. (eds.) 2011). 
Key developments in semiotic approaches to animal studies in recent years have their origin in Italy, France, the Czech republic and Estonia, among other countries. Attempts at synthesis with related fields or approaches have been made e.g. with regard to ecology and ecological economics (Farina 2012), Actor-Network Theory, posthumanities, anthropology, and Human–animal studies/anthrozoology. Other developments are related to work contextualizing Umwelt theory, e.g. within philosophy (phenomenology – Buchanan 2008; philosophical anthropology – Brentari 2015), or criticizing the classical version of Umwelt theory while aiming to update it (e.g. Tønnessen 2009). Furthermore, zoosemiotics has been contextualized within ethology (e.g. Maran 2010).
Critical discussion and integration with related approaches is now resulting in novel models and methods, many of which originating in a growing number of case studies (e.g. Maran et al. 2016). Focus is shifting from objective descriptions of differences in sensory apparatus, communication channels etc. to more dynamical representations with more emphasis on interaction (e.g. Lestel 2011) and hybridity, thus challenging mainstream dichotomies. Particularly, there is rising interest in human–animal interaction, and many authors frame descriptive accounts about such interaction as being situated within an ethical outlook. In doing so, they underline the moral relevance of human–animal sign exchange and the ways in which human semiosis ultimately affect animals.
Today, zoosemiotics is arguably the theoretically and empirically soundest approach to “taking the animal´s perspective”. In the near future, work is needed that 1) connects semiotic studies in ethology and zoology with issues in global human ecology, 2) develops flexible zoosemiotic tools and methodology for application by field ethologists, veterinarians, zookeepers etc., and 3) makes further connections with phenomenology, ethnography, and anthropology by developing tools and methodology tailor-made for studies related to human agents and their dealings with animals. 

References
Buchanan, Brett (2008). Onto-Ethologies: The Animal Environments of Uexküll, Heidegger, Merleau, and Deleuze. New York: SUNY Press.
Brentari, Carlo (2015). Jakob von Uexküll: The discovery of the Umwelt between Biosemiotics and theoretical biology(Biosemiotics 9). Springer.
Farina, Almo (2012). A Biosemiotic perspective of the resource criterion: toward a general theory of resources. Biosemiotics 5 (1), 17–32. 
Kleisner, Karel (2008). The semantic morphology of Adolf Portmann: A starting point for the biosemiotics of organic form? Biosemiotics1(2): 207–219.
Lestel, Dominique (2011). What capabilities for the animal? Biosemiotics4(1): 83– 102.
Lorenz, Konrad (1935). Der Kumpan in der Umwelt des Vogels. Journal für Ornithologie 83: 137–213.
Lorenz, Konrad (1961 [1949]). King Solomon’s Ring. Transl. by Marjorie Kerr Wilson. London:  Methuen.
Martinelli, Dario (2010). A Critical Companion to Zoosemiotics: People, Paths, Ideas, (Biosemiotics 5). Berlin: Springer.
Maran, Timo (2010). Why was Thomas A. Sebeok not a cognitive ethologist? From “animal mind” to “semiotic self”. Biosemiotics 3(3): 315–329.
Maran, Timo; Martinelli, Dario; Turovski, Aleksei (eds.) (2011). Readings in Zoosemiotics, (Semiotics, Communication and Cognition 8). Berlin: DeGruyter Mouton.
Maran, Timo, Morten Tønnessen, Kristin Armstrong Oma, Laura Kiiroja, Riin Magnus, Nelly Mäekivi, Silver Rattasepp, Paul Thibault & Kadri Tüür (2016). Animal Umwelten in a changing world – Zoosemiotic perspectives(Tartu Semiotics Library 18) (eds. Timo Maran, Morten Tønnessen & Silver Rattasepp). Tartu: Tartu University Press.
Sebeok, Thomas A. (1972). Perspectives in Zoosemiotics(Janua Linguarum. Series Minor 122). The Hague: Mouton de Gruyter.
Sebeok, Thomas A. (1990). Essays in Zoosemiotics(Monograph Series of the TSC 5). Toronto: Toronto Semiotic Circle; Victoria College in the University of Toronto.
Tønnessen, Morten (2009). Umwelt transitions: Uexküll and environmental change. Biosemiotics2: 47–64.
von Uexküll, Jakob (1921). Umwelt und Innenwelt der Tiere. (2nd ed.) Berlin: Verlag von Julius Springer.
von Uexküll, Jakob (1934). Streifzüge durch die Umwelten von Tieren und Menschen: Ein Bilderbuch unsichtbarer Welten. Hamburg: Rowohlt. Reprinted in Jakob von Uexküll & Georg Kriszat (illustrations) 1956 [1934/1940], Streifzüge durch die Umwelten von Tieren und Menschen: Ein Bilderbuch unsichtbarer Welten. Bedeutungslehre, Hamburg: Rowohlt.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

First meeting of new Council for animal ethics

Today I have attended the first meeting of Norway´s new Council for Animal Ethics (appointed for a 4 year period, starting now), a full-day meeting. The new council leader is Knut Bøe (NMBU), Kristian Ellingsen remains the council secretary. I represent the animal protection NGOs, with Guri Larsen being deputy representative. The council members are appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Autumn´s 7,5th article writing day

Today I have had the autumn´s 7,5th article writing day, with some 4-5 hours devoted to finishing the book chapter abstract "Wealth and freedom: Beyond planet B" and restarting my work on the journal article "Wasted growth". Some 1.000 words written altogether.

Abstract: "Wealth and freedom: Beyond planet B"

I have just finished the book chapter abstract below, for an invited chapter contribution.

***

Wealth and freedom: Beyond Planet B
Author: Morten Tønnessen, Professor of philosophy, Department of social studies, University of Stavanger, Norway

Abstract

The Norwegian philosopher Peter Wessel Zapffe (1899–1990), a pioneer in Norwegian eco-philosophy and the conservation movement, can best be characterized as an eco-existentialist. In this chapter I discuss his economic outlook and compare it with philosophical and economic viewpoints of fellow-philosophers Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill. His philosophy of technology had a critical favour, and he tended to assess technological innovations in light of how they affected what he called the “brotherhood of suffering”, ranging, according to Zapffe, from the amoeba to the human being. In his view, modern humans faced with existential dilemmas “save themselves” by using four “mechanisms of displacement”, namely isolation or expulsion of disturbing thoughts and emotions, conventional beliefs, distractions, and sublimation. As existentialists in general, he favors the authentic, autonomous life. In the context of nature conservation, Zapffe was outraged by the “vandalism” that takes place in modern society in the name of economic progress, because it destroys nature, but also because it removes possibilities for living a fulfilling, multifaceted life in nature (and where else are we?).
   A bridge between the thinking of Zapffe and that of John Stuart Mill is implied in the question: What sort of economy maximizes freedom, especially with regard to individual life style choices? The liberty to choose how to live one´s life is fundamental to a liberal such as Mill. He emphasizes the utility that human inventions and action patterns should have for us to label them as progressive or sound, and stresses the value for society of allowing a variety of individual lifestyle choices. Like Adam Smith, Zapffe too was concerned about the moral sentiments of people, though he had a bleaker view than Smith on the impact that egoism vs. altruism has on society´s development. Based on the ethical, existential and economical outlooks of Zapffe, Mill and Smith, I will look for commonalities and differences in their views on wealth and freedom. This will result in a liberal eco-philosophical vision of future societies.
   While environmentalists use “There is no planet B” as a slogan, economists and entrepreneurs are apparently not so sure. Once asked how he related to the prospects of human emigration to Mars, Zapffe (or rather his alias) replied: “Sure, and it'll be exciting the first week. Eventually, though, people will start worrying about how much to tax the uranium mines in order to keep the price of margarine down … the whole thing will repeat itself” (p. 57 in Zapffe 1992). The human condition won´t change by expanding the global economy beyond Earth, and if we don´t solve our current challenges here on Earth, it is not likely that we will solve them by settling on Mars, as entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk and Richard Branson have suggested. Earth´s resources are limited, as is the current economic mindset with its visions of endless growth. The logical end point for such visions is illustrated by Trantor, the administrative planet in a future galactic empire as portrayed by science fiction author Isaac Asimov in his Foundationnovel series. Trantor, with its planet-spanning indoor environment, is a planet were nature has vanished, to make room for the administration of systematic exploitation of resources elsewhere in the galaxy. On Trantor, “nature” is but a faint memory. Its wealth is impressive, but trantorians´ freedom with regard to lifestyle choices leaves much to desire.

Reference
Zapffe, Peter Wessel 1992. Farewell, Norway. Pp. 52–59 in Peter Reed & David Rothenberg (eds.), Wisdom in the Open Air: The Norwegian roots of deep ecology. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press. 


A day full of meetings

Yesterday I attended:
* the weekly leadership group meeting at Faculty of social sciences
* about half an hour of the discussions part of professor emeritus Gunnar Skirbekk´s seminar presentation "Om utfordringar i moderne samfunn", organized by Norwegian School of Hotel Management
* a meeting with the leadership of Museum of Archeology, about our ph.d. program collaboration
* a faculty leadership meeting for Faculty of social sciences (dean, director, vice-deans)

I also met with a bachelor student to discuss possible supervision.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Two meetings and a symposium opening

Today I have taken part, along with Head of Department of social studies, in opening the annual meeting and symposium of the COLAB network, "Collaboration within criminal justice services", a EU Horizon 2020 RISE project which is hosted by the UIS, in my capacity as Vice Dean of Research at Faculty of Social Sciences. I have further attended the first Vice-Dean meeting with the new Vice-Rector of Research (Merete Vadla Madland), with Research Director Troels Gode Jacobsen also attending, and a research report planning meeting with a colleague.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Autumn´s 6,5th article writing day - Amazonas/global human ecology article finished

Today I have had the autumn´s 6,5th article writing day (and the 6,5th in August; one more than planned). The title changed again as I FINISHED "Current human ecology in Amazonas and beyond: An ecosemiotic analysis", adding some 1.200 words to the texts (net). 8.000 words written in August altogether.

UiO master thesis defense

Yesterday I acted as external examiner at the oral defense of Adrian Bragstad´s master thesis in environmental ethics at University of Oslo´s Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Arts and Ideas. Arne Johan Vetlesen was internal examiner.

YFF evaluation

I have just completed an evaluation survey for my use of an YFF grant (Yngre Fremragende Forskere = Outstanding Young Researchers) from University of Stavanger. Excerpts of my response is available below.

When and how long was the stay abroad?
Several trips, ranging from 2 days to 2 weeks each

What did you do?
Attended the OECD Social Policy Forum in Montreal, attended First WID.world conference (with launch of first World Inequality Report) in Paris, attended and presented at conferences in Mexico City and Berkeley, California, co-organised and presented at research seminar in Havana, field trip to the Amazonas

Who did you visist
Paris School of Economics; Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve (Amazonas); OECD Social Policy Forum (Montreal); Universidad de la Habana (Havana); Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico City)

Did the visit lead to any collaboration projects?
The visits have resulted in material for scientific articles as well as useful contacts for an ERC-application and NFR-application (two applications submitted). The Havana visit, with further UIS colleagues, contributed to a successful NORPART grant Stavanger-Havana (5 mill. NOK awarded).

How did the travel impact your research?
Useful info and contacts; new research path prepared

Two meetings and a supervision session

Today I have attended a meeting of the appointments committee for Head of department at the Norwegian School of Hotel Management, attended a planning meeting for the event series "Forum for forskning" (Forum for research), and given Ph.d. supervision.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Autumn´s 5,5th article writing day

Today I have had this autumns 5,5th article writing day, not quite finishing my article now called "Current human ecology in Amazonas and beyond in light of Umwelt theory" despite adding some 2.600 words.

Book proposal finished - "Semiotic Agency: Science beyond Mechanism"

Along with Alexei Sharov, I have co-authored (as second author) the book proposal "Semiotic Agency: Science beyond Mechanism" (18 pp), finished yesterday.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Two meetings and one to go

So far today I have attended two meetings, namely the weekly faculty leadership group meeting, and the autumn´s first meeting in the ph.d. committee for the ph.d. program in social sciences - the latter of which I chaired. Soon I will attend a third meeting, with a faculty administration colleague.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Autumns 4,5th article writing day - solving environmental crisis

Today I had the 5-ish article writing day this autumn - half day, bringing total up to 4,5 days. I made an article abstract for my paper "Anticipating the societal transformation required to solve the environmental crisis in the 21st century: Umwelt trajectories revisited" (first held as a talk at NASS XI), meant for an invited special issue constitution (Sign Systems Studies). I have also started drafting an abstract work-titled "Wealth and freedom: Beyond Planet B".

New, healthier email routine off-work

Since work this autumn commenced after the summer holidays, I have had a new afternoon routine, in-between getting home from work and putting kids to bed, not checking email in this period. On days where I write on my novel, or write (only) on my climate change book in the evening, nor do I check email in the evening, meaning that these days I do not check email between 4.30 pm and next morning.

Friday, 23 August 2019

Autumn´s fourth article writing day

Today I have had the autumn´s fourth article writing day, with some 6 hours devoted to work on my article "Current human ecology in light of the Umwelt theory: Human-animal relations in Amazonas and beyond", and more than 1000 words added.

Buenes Aires talk scheduled for 13th of September

My paper "Umwelt futurology - What can be known about future Umwelten?" has been scheduled for presentation at the 14th World Congress of Semiotics (Buenes Aires, Argentina September 9-13th) on Friday 13th of September at 11.45-12.15, cf. conference programme. Session code is V5VI10.45; the session takes place in Aula 5 of Depto. Artes Visuales UNA (National University of Arts) at Las Heras.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Two meetings and a bachelor thesis graded

Today I have attended two meetings - one on the establishment of a Network for welfare research (with Vice rector for research, research director, and faculty director), and one on digital registration for Ph.d. courses. I have also graded a philosophical bachelor thesis with a scholar at University of Oslo.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Autumn´s third article writing day

Today I have had the autumn´s third article writing day. I further revised a book proposal I am co-authoring, and wrote some 1000 words on my article "Current human ecology in light of Umwelt theory: Human-animal relations in the Amazonas and beyond".

Five meetings and then some

Yesterday I attended the autumn´s first leadership group meeting at Faculty of social sciences, and four more meetings with colleagues in preparation of various tasks. I also attended the first hour of the kick-off event for the University of Stavanger´s new education quality system.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Latin-America/Nordic countries article reaches 20 reads on RG

My article "Human development, inequality and social risks in Latin-America and the Nordic countries" has reached 20 reads on ResearchGate. Read it here.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Meeting on research report; evaluation report

Today I have attended a meeting with a colleague starting work on a research report for the Faculty of social sciences, mostly about 2018. We have also finished an evaluation report on the faculty´s writing seminar.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Two meetings and one to go

Today I headed a start-up meeting with a Ph.d. student in our ph.d. program. I have also taken part in a planning meeting with another colleague.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Autumn´s second article writing day

´Today I had the autumn´s second article writing day, with some 5,5 hours devoted to work on my article "Current human ecology in light of Umwelt theory: Human-animal interaction in the Amazonas and beyond". I had to do some serious thinking.

Once upon a time in Moscow

On July 1st I attended the opening of the 19th gathering in biosemiotics, at Moscow State University, and also attended the opening reception at Restaurant Durdin.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Autumn´s first article writing day

Today I have had this autumn´s first article writing day, with some 1000 words written on my article "Current human ecology in light of Umwelt theory: Human-animal interaction in Amazonas and beyond".

Kvinner til topps

Before the summer holiday, four women employed by the Faculty of Social Sciences (where I am Vice Dean of Research) were accepted to the University of Stavanger´s "Kvinner til topps" program, designed to qualify promising scholars as full professors. 

Conference dinner - NASS XI

On June 15th I took part in (and helped organize) the conference dinner at the 11th conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies, at Scandic Forum Hotel in Stavanger. Some 20 people were there.

Verdibørsen references to earlier interview on human dignity

Yesterday, Tuesday august 13th, I was referred to in NRK P2´s Verdibørsen, in the segment "Er menneskeverdet modent for endring?" (Is the notion of human dignity ripe for change?). The program featured an interview with Dag Hareide and Odin Lysaker on human dignity and the ethics of animals and nature. This was a follow-up to an interview with Teodor Bruu, Henrik Syse and me which aired on July 6th, on a similar topic.

The program from August 13th is available as podcast here. The program from July 6th is available here.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Conference dinner attended - Moscow

On July 4th I attended the conference dinner at the 19th gathering in biosemiotics, in Moscow - at restaurant Durdin. 

Appointments committee meeting

I am a member of the Faculty of Social Sciences´ Appointments committee (Ansettelsesutvalget). This autumn´s first meeting is concluded now, carried out by email. Similar meetings take place, by email or in person, every second week throughout the year.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Article writing days planned

I have made plans for article writing days for the whole autumn semester, totaling 36 article writing days (insh Allah). In comparison I only managed to carry out some 15 article writing days in the Spring semester (and 11 days plus a writing trip in the autumn of 2018). I am trying to establish two article writing days per week as a new normal.

Svendsen review language-edited

I have just checked a language-edited version of my book review of Lars Svendsen´s Å forstå dyr, to appear in Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift no. 3/2019.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Economics chapter proof-read

Some days ago I proof-read my book chapter "The true value of "doing well" economically".

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Svendsen book review revised

Today I have slightly revised my book review of Lars Svendsen´s book Å forstå dyr for Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift, following editorial feedback.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Biosemiotics meeting

Today I have taken part in a teleconference related to the Springer Nature journal Biosemiotics, for which I am main Editor-in-Chief.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Photos from 6th code biology conference

The photos below are taken from Flickr and the code biology website. All photos are from the 6th international conference in code biology, which was held June 3-5th in Friedrichsdorf, Germany.






Thursday, 11 July 2019

Grade C on ERC Consolidator application

I have received feedback from ERC panel and 5 reviewers for my ERC Consolidator application "Assessing human and animal welfare in the Anthropocene" (AHAWELL). The overall grade was C. I was deemed to be everything from "non-competitive" to "good" and "excellent" (though mostly non-competitive).

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

"Environmental and sustainability indicators" online; presentation of editorial board

The new Elsevier journal Environmental and sustainability indicators is now online. Here is the page presenting me as a member of its editorial board.

GiB18 photos and more from Moscow State University

Here is a brief news story about the 19th gathering in biosemiotics on the webpage of Moscow State University, where the gathering was held. A photo gallery is included, as well as link to the abstract book. Below are the two images involving me (in the background - in focus: Victoria Alexander - New York; John Schumann - Los Angeles).



Sunday, 7 July 2019

Springs sixteenth article writing day; Svendsen book review finished

I have just finished my book review of Lars Fr. H. Svendsen´s Å forstå dyr: Filosofi for hunde- og katteelskere (Understanding animals: Philosophy for dog and cat lovers), which will appear in Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift this autumn.

This was my sixteenth and last article writing day this Spring (sic). Altogether I have logged some 14.361 words written this Spring (articles/book chapters only; quantifiable projects only).

Ethics of laying hen genetics article submitted to JAGE

I have submitted our article "The ethics of laying hen genetics" for Journal of Agricultural and Environmental ethics.

Biosemiotic Achievement Award winner announced at ISBS General Meeting in Moscow

Thursday July 4th, at Moscow State University, I took part in announcing the winner of the 2018 Biosemiotic Achievement Award, along with Selection Committee member Riin Magnus, during the General Meeting of the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies. The 2018 winner is Mirko Cerrone, for his paper "Umwelt and ape language experiments: On the role of iconicity in the human-ape pidgin language" (published in Biosemiotics 11(1) (2018)). The article can be freely read here.

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Verdibørsen interview on human and animal dignity aired

The interview with me, Teodor Bruu (leader of Grønn Ungdom, the youth wing of the Norwegian Green Party) and philosopher Henrik Syse on human and animal dignity aired today in NRK P2´s Verdibørsen, with the title "Er menneskeverdet blitt ekskluderende, på bekostning av dyr?" (Has human dignity come to be excluding, at the cost of animals?) (26m). Program host was Karen Frivik. Podcast is available here.


Friday, 5 July 2019

Project extension requested (wolf interview material)

I have just submitted another status report for the research subproject "Representations (both problematic and romanticizing) of large mammals, especially wolves" to NSD/Personvernombudet, requesting an extension of the project until the end of 2020.

Impact Factor for Springer Nature journals in evolutionary and developmental biology

Here is an overview of the 2018 Impact Factor for Springer Nature´s journals in evolutionary and developmental biology - among them Biosemiotics (#9/12 with an IF of 1.170).

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Editorial board meeting of Biosemiotics held

Today I chaired the annual editorial board meeting of Biosemiotics, during the 19th gathering in biosemiotics here in Moscow, at Moscow State University. The meeting was for editorial board members only, with 8 people attending.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Relationality paper presented at Moscow gathering in biosemiotics

Here at the 19th international gathering in biosemiotics at Moscow State University, I have just presented my paper "How relationally connects the individual and ecological level of biological study". Some 30 people were present.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

In Moscow

I have arrived in Moscow, for the 19th international gathering in biosemiotics, which starts tomorrow. This is my third visit to Russia, but my first time in Moscow.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Scheduled to talk about Arne Næss and the environmental crisis in September at Kunnskapstørst event

I have agreed to give a brief public lecture (20-30 minutes) at the event "Kunnskapstørst" (literally "knowledge thirst") on Thursday September 19th, during the national event "Forskningsdagene" (the research days). The lecture will be given at Ydalir campus hotel close to University of Stavanger. The title of my talk is "Hadde Arne Næss rett om miljøkrisen?" (Was Arne Næss right about the environmental crisis?)

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

2018 Impact Factor for Biosemiotics

The 2018 Impact Factor for Biosemiotics, for which I am Main Editor-in-Chief, is 1.170 (down from 1.527 in 2017. The 5-year Impact Factor looks better, at 1.201 (vs. 0.915 in 2017), a new record.

"Uexküllian phenomenology and existential phenomena" presented at IHSRC in Molde

I have just presented "Uexküllian phenomenology and existential phenomena" at the International Human Sciences Research Conference at Molde University College, which this year has the theme "Joy, suffering and death - understanding contrasting existential phenomena in the lifespan". Some 15 people attended.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

"Joy in the open air" paper presented at IHRSC in Molde, with Joakim J. Haaland

Today I have, along with my Ph.d. student Joakim Jiri Haaland, presented the paper "Joy in the open air - Outdoor life at residential care" at the International Human Sciences Research Conference (IHSRC) at Molde University College. Some 15 people attended. Our talk was given in session 7 (a parallel session), "Lived experience - suffering".

Monday, 24 June 2019

In Molde for IHSRC

Today I have arrived in Molde, where I will the next few days attend the International Human Sciences Research Conference, with the theme "Joy, suffering and death - understanding contrasting existential phenomena in the lifespan". This is my second visit to Molde, with the first one being activist-related, not academically motivated.

MA thesis defense at UiO (environmental philosophy)

Today I acted as external examiner for a master thesis defense in philosophy at University of Oslo´s Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Arts and Ideas, for a thesis with an environmental theme.

Friday, 21 June 2019

Summer closure event at Department of social studies; professor promotion celebrated

Day the Department of social studies have had their summer closure event. During the event the professor promotion of myself and Ingunn Ellingsen was marked. I introduced some of my research for 15 minutes, emphasizing the four articles/chapters that my promotion committee indicated as contributing the most to my promotion. Some 35 people attended.

Ex.phil. meeting

Today I have attended a meeting with a colleague concerning teaching in Ex.Phil., which I normally have responsibility for but which will be taken care of by a substitute for the next year given that I am now Vice-Dean of Research at my faculty.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Two meetings and a supervision session

Today I have attended a meeting regarding my role as head of the ph.d. in social sciences, attended an introductory meeting between the upcoming rector of University of Stavanger, Klaus Mohn, and the leadership group at Faculty of social sciences, and supervised my Ph.D. student.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Appointed as member of Norway´s Council for animal ethics 2019-2023

Today I have been notified by Norway´s Ministry of Agriculture and Food that I have been appointed as a member of Council for Animal Ethics for the period July 1st 2019 to June 30th 2023 as the representative for animal protection NGOs, with Guri Larsen as deputy member. I served in the same position 2017-2018.


Chairing doctoral committee meeting

Today I have chaired this Spring´s sixth and last meeting in the doctoral committee for the ph.d. in social sciences, which took place on Ydalir campus hotel. My daughter joined us, since she is (somewhat) sick today and home from kindergarten.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

SQP course finished

Today I have finished the UiS PhD Supervisory Qualification Program - the sixth and final day (the fifth took place yesterday), which ended with being handed a diploma from University of Stavanger rector Marit Boyesen.

Decision on ph.d. accreditation application

At today´s meeting of the board of the Faculty of social sciences, the accreditation application for the ph.d. program in social sciences was approved, on the condition that the board of the UIS Business School makes a similar decision.

Friday, 14 June 2019

ERC CoG application AHAWELL rejected

I have been notified that my ERC Consolidator Grant application "Assessing human and animal welfare in the Anthropocene" (AHAWELL) has been rejected by not continuing to step 2 of the evaluation process.

Peer-review of revised ph.d. program received

Today we received the peer-review evaluation of the revised version of our ph.d. accreditation application in the ph.d. program in social sciences. And it seems like we have done a good job the last few weeks.

"Umwelt trajectories revisited" paper presented at NASS XI in Stavanger

I have just presented my paper "Umwelt trajectories revisited: Anticipating the societal transformation required to solve the environmental crisis in the 21st century" here at the 11th conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS XI). Some 30 people attended.

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Two meetings

Today I have attended a planning meeting in the faculty leadership ahead of our meeting with the new UIS rector next week.

Plus one more meeting.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Two meetings and a supervision session

Today I have attended the Faculty of social sciences´ leadership group meeting - the last I get to attend before the summer - and a ph.d. start-up meeting with a ph.d. student and a supervisor. I have also had the final supervision session with my MA thesis student this Spring.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Terra conference attended at UiT; paper on biosemiotic relationality presented

Yesterday (half day - as I arrived from Germany mid-day) and today I have been attending the (small) conference "Terra: Complex relations and dependencies on the Earth", held at University of Tromsø as the second conference in the series "New Frontiers in environmental philosophy" and arranged by the UiT environmental philosophy research group. Today I presented my invited paper "Implications of the relational nature of living beings for agency, autonomy and moral status", with some 15 people attending.

Second day at Code Biology VI

On Wednesday this week, June 5th, I attended the second day of the 6th international conference, in Friedrichsdorf, Germany. This included half a day with presentations, an excursion to Saalburg (an ancient Roman settlement), and conference dinner.

Ph.d. program accreditation application revised

On Tuesday this week, June 4th, we finished the revised version of the accreditation application for the ph.d. program in social science (178 pp). I have been coordinating the revision work, with much of the work done by two colleagues in the faculty administration.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Search image paper presented at Code Biology VI, Friedrichsdorf

Today, at the first day of the Sixth International Conference in Code Biology, held in Friedrichsdorf, Germany under the auspices of the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, I presented my paper "The search image as link between sensation, perception and action". Some 30 people attended.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Two meetings today, then off to Germany

Today I have attended a faculty administration meeting with status report on our accreditation application for the ph.d. program in social sciences, and the research committee meeting (Forskningsutvalget) for University of Stavanger (my second such meeting, and the last with the outgoing rectorate).

Friday, 31 May 2019

Presentation with Joakim Haaland scheduled for June 25th at IHSRC 2019, Molde

My joint presentation with Joakim Jiri Haaland, "Joy in the open air - outdoor life at residential care" has been scheduled for presentation on Tuesday June 25th at 16.15-16.45 at the International Human Science Research Conference in Molde June 24-28th (follow link for day program and abstract). 

My solo presentation "Uexküllian phenomenology and existential phenomena" is strangely missing from the program.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Philosophy business thriving in 2018

I have just reported business earnings for 2018, as part of the Norwegian tax settlements. My one-person firm (enkeltmannsforetak) "Spør filosofen" had 93,705 NOK in income, a record (with the possible exception of the year I wrote my grandfather´s biography). The company had 4.008 NOK in expenses, and an operating profit (before tax) amounting to 89.697 NOK (operating profit margin was 95,7%).

The income was mainly drawn from giving a whole course in philosophy of science and health care ethics at UiS (sponsored by Norsk Luftambulanse), and a series of three open lectures, plus composing leaflet text, in connection with the video art exhibition "Vitner" at Sølvberget gallery.

Morten Tønnessen´s impact over time

Her is a graphic version of the Web of Science metrics on my Publons profile. It shows a growing number of Web of Science-citations year by year from 2013 and until 2018 (unlike Google Scholar, which shows a peak for now in 2016).




See also:

Publons profile; 126 Web of Science citations

I have given in to pressure and established a Publon profile, built on my ResearcherID and Web of Science publications (counting 39 according to Publon). Altogether my Public profile lists 48 publications (with the 39 Web of Science publications cited 126 times by other Web of Science publications, resulting in a Web of Science h-index of 7).

Terra invited presentation in Tromsø scheduled for June 7th

On June 67th and 7th I will attend the conference "Terra: Complex relations and dependencies on the Earth", in the New Frontiers in Environmental Philosophy" conference series held at University of Tromsø. On Friday June 7th at 13.00-14.00 I will present my invited presentation "Implications of the Relational Nature of Living Beings for Agency, Autonomy and Moral Status".

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Spring´s fifteenth article writing day

Today I had this Spring´s fifteenth article writing day, finishing the book chapter "The true value of "doing well" economically" after some 5 hours writing work today.

See also here (with disposition for the chapter).

Chapter "The true value of "doing well" economically" finished

I have just finished my book chapter "The true value of "doing well" economically".

Disposition:
Introduction: The rise and fall of GDP as the measure of “doing well” economically 
Overcoming human exceptionalism in the humanities and beyond 
Economic value and other kinds of value 
Goods in economics and beyond 
Widening our understanding of resources 
Widening our understanding of stakeholders 
Conclusions: The true value of “doing well” economically

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

To give popular science lecture at Museum of Archaeology in November

I have agreed to give a public lecture (45 minutes plus discussion) at the Museum of Archaeology in Stavanger on Tuesday November 5th. My working title is "Man as a global species" (Mennesket som global art).

Research school applications considered

Today I have attended a meeting in the recommendation committee (innstillingsutvalg) for research schools in the Ph.d. program in social sciences.

Monday, 27 May 2019

3 meetings and supervision

Today I have attended a meeting in the steering committee for the NORPART project "Cuban and Nordic Welfare", chaired a meeting with leaders of program areas for research, had a research career consultation (as Vice-Dean of research) and had a PhD supervision session.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Spring´s fourteenth article writing day

On Friday the 24th of May I had this autumn´s fourteenth article writing day, writing on my article "The true value of "doing well" economically" for some 8 hours.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Faculty leadership group gathering in Brighton attended

For the last three days I have been in Brighton, UK, attending my first UiS Faculty of social sciences leadership group gathering abroad - which are held twice a year.

Acknowledged in Alin Olteanu´s book on multiculturalism

I am mentioned in the Acknowledgements section of Alin Olteanu´s new book. Reference:
Olteanu, Alin 2019. Multiculturalism as Multimodal Communication. A Semiotic Perspective (Numanities – Arts and Humanities in Progress 9) [Acknowledgements – p. xiii]. Springer.
Front matter including Acknowledgements is available as PDF here

Excerpts:
I feel truly in debt to many people whose support, in some cases over years, in other cases in certain localized moments when needed most, has been extremely helpful. Among the many who helped, I would like to particularly thank and mention Peer Bundgaard, Rabih El Chammay, Oana Andreică, Pietro Restaneo, Aušra Berkmanienė, Ainius Lašas, Saulė Petronienė, Aistė Balžekienė, AudronėTelešienė, Eglė Butkevičene, Mariana Neţ, Morten Tønnessen, ...

Monday, 20 May 2019

Two meetings and supervision session

Today I have attended a meeting planning how to revise our accreditation application for the ph.d. program in social sciences, and chaired my fifth meeting in the Doctoral committee of the ph.d. program. I have also had a 2-hour MA supervision session.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Spring´s twelfth and thirteenth article writing day; writing plans

This week I have had two writing days, one on Wednesday 15th and another one on Thursday the 16th of May. Both have been quite brief - but I went on writing Thursday evening and am also doing some article writing work today. I am working on completing my book chapter "The true value of "doing well" economically", and have also looked over my articles just published in Journal of Comparative Social Work.

Lately and today I have also rescheduled some of my near-future writing plans and plans for the autumn.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Two dialogue meetings

I attended a second dialogue meeting with department leadership yesterday (at the Norwegian School of Hotel Management), and the third and last today (at Department of Social Studies), along with the rest of the leadership of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Article, editorial, special issue on welfare (JCSW) published

Our special issue of Journal of Comparative Social Work, "Welfare in Latin America", has just been published. The whole issue is open access. I have been coordinating guest editor, and contribute to editorial plus an article of my own.

References:

Morten Tønnessen, with Sarah Hean, Siv Oltedal and Angela Pena (guest eds.) (2019). „Welfare in Latin America and the Nordic countries“. Special issue. Journal of Comparative Social Work14(1). 189 pp. URL: https://journals.uis.no/index.php/JCSW/issue/view/30
Morten Tønnessen, Sarah Hean, Siv Oltedal and Angela Pena (2019). Welfare in Latin America and the Nordic countries – editorial notes. Editorial. Journal of Comparative Social Work14(1). 8 pp. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31265/jcsw.v14i1.230
Morten Tønnessen (2019). Human development, inequality and social risks in Latin America and the Nordic countries. Journal of Comparative Social Work14(1). 28 pp. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31265/jcsw.v14i1.231

Appointments committee meeting

Today I have attended a meeting in the appointments committee at Faculty of social sciences.

Pedagogical development project funds granted

I am involved (though not in a major role) in a pedagogical development project which has received 125.000 NOK in funding from the University of Stavanger´s Faculty of social sciences, titled "Digitale verktøy i internasjonale masterprogram" (Digital tools in international master programs), headed by Siv Oltedal. My involvement is related to my involvement in the NORPART project "Cuban and Nordic Welfare".

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

A seminar, and a meeting (on the go)

Today I attended the second and last day of the UiS Lederforum in Egersund. On the way back home, by car, the faculty leadership had a meeting on our ongoing research school establishment process.

Monday, 13 May 2019

First day of UiS Lederforum, Egersund

Today I have attended the first day of the University of Stavanger´s annual "Lederforum" (leader forum), at Grand Hotel Egersund. The program today has been led by an organizational psychologist.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Biosemiotics 12(1) published

Biosemiotics 12(1) has been published. This is a special issue guest-edited by Karel Kleisner and Timo Maran, titled "Signs and Communication in Mimicry".

The issue also includes the announcement of the winner of the Biosemiotic Achievement Award for 2018, namely Mirko Cerrone´s paper "Umwelt and Ape Language Experiments: On the Role of Iconicity in the Human-Ape Pidgin Language". 

Spring´s eleventh article writing day

On Friday this week I had this Spring´s eleventh article writing day, with some 4 hours devoted to amending a resubmitted article, and pondering upon the table of contents for a joint book project.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Article submission

Our article "The ethics of laying hen genetics" has been submitted to PLOS One. It was transferred from PLOS Genetics a while ago, and amendments to the submission have now been made.

Global CCS Institute webinar attended

Yesterday I attended a webinar held by Global CCS Institute, on "Telling the Norwegian CCS Story: Part 3 - Northern Lights: A European CO2 transport and storage project" - as research for a book project I am working on.

UHR social sciences meeting and seminar attended

Wednesday and Thursday this week I attended the annual meeting of "den fagstrategiske enheten UHR-Samfunnsfag", a national entity for social sciences under Universitets- og høyskolerådet (Universities Norway), representing University of Stavanger´s Faculty of Social Sciences in my capacity as Vice-Dean of Research. The meeting was accompanied by a seminar and took place at Høgskolen i Innlandet, Lillehammer (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences).

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Two meetings (at least)

Today I have taken part in the Faculty of social sciences´ leadership group meeting, and an information meeting on research schools on Department of social studies. And then some.

UiS news story on welfare research network workshop

The University of Stavanger has published a news story on "Første workshop for Nettverk for velferdsforsking" (First workshop for Network for welfare research), which I co-arranged, moderated and where I presented.



Monday, 6 May 2019

Two meetings and supervision

Today I have attended a dialogue meeting between the leadership of Faculty of social sciences and Department of media and social sciences, and a faculty-level meeting regarding research schools, and had a MA thesis supervision session.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Four meetings

Yesterday and today I have participated in altogether four meetings on establishment of research schools, with two more scheduled for next week. I have also participated in a planning meeting in relation to restructuring of the bachelor in child welfare (which emphasis on philosophy´s part). Ex.phil. will disappear.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Articles cited in Korean environmental philosophy article

Three of my articles are cited in
Nasoo, Kim 2013. Understanding the concepts of co-life and umwelt in an environmental educational perspective [p. 12 Tønnessen 2010c, p. 26, p. 28 Tønnessen 2003 [2009b]]. Environmental Philosophy (The Korean Society For The Study Of Environmental Philosophy) 16: 1–34.
The article, which is in Korean (but with an English abstract), refers to my concepts "bio-ontological monads" and "conceptualized umwelt experience".

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Welfare network workshop held; presentation given; chair

Today I have attended - and co-arranged, and chaired - a workshop held in connection with the establishment of a Network for welfare research at University of Stavanger. The workshop took place on Sola strandhotell, and some 40 people attended. The workshop included my presentation "Velferdsutviklingen I Norden og globalt" (Welfare development in the Nordic countries and globally) and a session on the story of Siw, featuring journalist Thomas Ergo, Sverre Nesvåg (KORFOR/UIS) and Sarah Hean (UIS).

Monday, 29 April 2019

NASS board meeting chaired

Today I have chaired the board meeting of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies. Amongst other things we talked about the forthcoming General Assembly during NASS XI (Stavanger June 13-15).

Friday, 26 April 2019

A seminar and a meeting

Today I have attended the University of Stavanger´s annual Phd candidate - supervisor seminar, with the theme Open Science and Predatory journals, at Scandic forum hotel. I have also attended a appointments committee meeting in relation to the position as Head of department at Norwegian School of Hotel Management.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Spring´s tenth article writing day

Today I had this Spring´s tenth article writing day - and the fourth in April, with 4 hours (regrettably not more) devoted to proof-reading our Journal of Comparative Social Work editorial, and adding on to the texts of "The true value of "doing well" economically" and "Current human ecology in light of Umwelt theory: Human-animal interaction in Amazonas and beyond". Both the latter articles now stand at about 3.000 words, with full drafts expected next week.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Doctoral committee meeting

Today I chaired my fourth Doctoral committee meeting since I started as Vice-Dean of Research at Faculty of Social Sciences.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Meeting; children at work

Today I participated in - and (in the absence of the Dean) chaired - the faculty´s leadership group meeting, focused on our ongoing establishment of research schools. Two of my kids were nearby, since kindergarten has planning day today.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Spring´s ninth article writing day

Today I had this Spring´s ninth article writing day, with 6 hours devoted to finalizing our editorial for Journal of Comparative Social Work "Welfare in Latin America and the Nordic countries - editorial notes" (co-written with Sarah Hean, Siv Oltedal and Angela Pena), and working on my article "Current human ecology in light of Umwelt theory - Human-animal interaction in Amazonas and beyond".

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Laying hen genetics ethics article submitted to AJOB

Our article "The ethics of laying hen genetics" has been submitted to American Journal of Bioethics.

Abstract for UiT Terra conference: "What implications does the relational nature of living beings have with regard to their agency, autonomy and moral status – and our world view?"

Today I have composed the abstract below, for an invited talk at the conference "Terra", to be arranged at University of Tromsø June 6-7th.

«What implications does the relational nature of living beings have with regard to their agency, autonomy and moral status – and our world view?»

Morten Tønnessen
Professor of philosophy at University of Stavanger´s Department of social studies

Relationality – the ways in which organisms are involved in relations to other organisms – is a crucial aspect of ecology, and biology at large. In biosemiotics, the semiotic study of biology, biosemioticrelations are understood as relations that involve methodical (regular or recurring) sign exchange. Organisms that are connected by such relations are biosemiosically linked, and have a partly overlapping or complementary experience of the world. By mapping and describing the biosemiotic relations a specific organism engages in, and thus what it relates to as carrying meaning for it, we by and largely describe what being that organism amounts to. Biosemiotic relationality can furthermore help us understand how the individual and ecological level of biological study are interconnected. 
   Building on biosemiotics, Umwelt theory (first developed by Jakob von Uexküll) and deep ecology, I will explore implications of the relational nature of living beings for agency, autonomy, moral status and our world view.
   Agency: In biosemiotics, agency can be understood as semioticagency, which is the capacity of relating to signs. Such agency always involves a degree of subjectivity. All living beings relate to signs. While proper subjects have unified, cohesive experience of their surroundings, quasi-subjects such as plants, fungi and animals with decentralized bodies have semiotic experience but one that is not cohesive or integrated. Their respective agency reflects this.
   Autonomy: By being relational creatures we all depend on others – and yet all living beings have autonomy in the sense that their actions are based on their species-specific semiotic agency. Freedom is related to how what we perceive as meaningful can be interpreted, and what alternative actions we can take in response to what we perceive.
   Moral status: The crucial importance of relations is emphasized in biosemiotic ethics (as developed by Tønnessen and Jonathan Beever). Under current ecological circumstances, many biosemiotic relations are bended or broken by extreme breeding, automated machine-handling, homogenous social environments, industrial-style indoor environments (in animal husbandry), and depleted wildlife. What are the moral limits for such bending of significant biosemiotic relations, in terms of environmental sustainability and individual welfare? Biosemiotic ethics suggests that respecting autonomy and enabling autonomous choices is essential.
   World view: We need to develop an empirically based understanding of the Anthropocene from an animal and organismic (individual level) perspective. Through our affiliated global species such as livestock and pets, humankind partakes in human–animal relations that largely determine resource use and conditions for domesticated and wild animals alike. Improving our scientific understanding of human–animal and other relations is crucial for understanding the world we live in, and the current and future state of the environment.

Acknowledgement: Morten Tønnessen is a member of two program areas for research at University of Stavanger, namely “Philosophy and subjectivity” and “The Greenhouse: An environmental humanities initiative at University of Stavanger”.