Jakob von Uexküll  

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"Rothacker, in Habermas's account, was successful in refining the arguments of Uexküll. It is not the case that human beings are simply open to the world, while animals are attuned to specific environmental habitats and signals; rather, humans create their own specific cultural environments, in which certain features are selectively endowed with more significance than others." --Myth and the Human Sciences: Hans Blumenberg's Theory of Myth, Angus Nicholls, 2014

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Jakob Johann Baron von Uexküll (8 September 1864 – 25 July 1944) was a Baltic German biologist who worked in the fields of muscular physiology, animal behaviour studies, and the cybernetics of life. However, his most notable contribution is the notion of Umwelt, used by semiotician Thomas Sebeok and philosopher Martin Heidegger. His works established biosemiotics as a field of research.

In popular culture

Uexküll's ideas about how organisms create their own concept of time are described in Peter Høeg's novel Borderliners, and contrasted with Isaac Newton's view of time as something that exists independent of life.

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