Translating Jakob von Uexküll — Reframing Umweltlehre as biosemiotics

Prisca Augustyn

Abstract


Thomas Sebeok attributed it to what he called the ‘wretched’ translation of Uexküll’s Theoretische Biologie (1920) that the notion of Umwelt did not reach the Anglo-American intellectual community much earlier. There is no doubt that making more of Uexküll’s Umweltlehre available in English will not only further the biosemiotic movement, but also fill a gap in the foundational theoretical canon of semiotics in general. The purpose of this paper is to address issues of terminology and theory translation between Uexküll’s Umweltlehre and current biosemiotics.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12697/SSS.2009.37.1-2.10





SIGN SYSTEMS STUDIES. ISSN 1406-4243 (print), 1736-7409 (online). E-mail: sss@ut.ee. Postal address: Sign Systems Studies, Dept. of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia