1887

n Acta Academica - The Copernican turn of biology in the early twentieth century

Volume 35, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0587-2405

Abstract

Deur te let op die wyse waarop die term &lt;I&gt;Umwelt&lt;/I&gt; beslag gekry het binne die biologiese denke van die twintigste eeu word 'n mens herinner aan die Kopernikaanse omwenteling ten gunste van die "subjek" wat in die moderne filosofie ingetree het. Oorspronklik besit die term &lt;I&gt;Umwelt&lt;/I&gt; 'n ruimtelike konnotasie. Daarom lê 'n analise daarvan 'n interdissiplinêre verweefdheid bloot wat die grense van enige spesifieke dissipline te bowe gaan. Hierdie interdissiplinêre oorweging open die weg vir sistematiese perspektiewe teen die relevante historiese agtergrond, spesifiek die <I>Umweltlehre</I> van Jakob von Uexküll. Hy het (in aansluiting by Kant) die nosie van 'n "subjek" in biologiese navorsing aan die orde gestel. Hierdie bydrae word beoordeel in die lig van terme soos bio-milieu and bio-sfeer in terme van die talle subjek-objek relasies wat in die natuur (beide binne die ryke van plante en diere) aangetref word. Hierdie oorwegings belig argumente op grond waarvan die ongekwalifiseerde toepassing van die begrip &lt;I&gt;Umwelt&lt;/I&gt; op die menslike ervaring bevraagteken moet word.

The emergence of the term &lt;I&gt;Umwelt&lt;/I&gt; within twentieth-century biological thought is reminiscent of the turn towards the "subject" in early modern philosophy. The term &lt;I&gt;Umwelt&lt;/I&gt; originally had a spatial connotation, which explains why analysis reveals an interdisciplinary terminological connectedness transcending the confines of any specific scientific discipline. This interdisciplinary consideration opens the way for systematic perspectives developed against the relevant historical background, in particular the &lt;I&gt;Umweltlehre&lt;/I&gt; of Jakob von Uexküll, who explicitly introduced the notion of a "subject" into biological research. His contribution is assessed in terms of multivocal spatial terms such as (bio-)milieu and (bio)-sphere and the subject-object relations found in nature (within the plant and animal realms). This highlights the inherent limitations of the &lt;I&gt;Umwelt&lt;/I&gt; concept, also explaining why in its purely biological sense it cannot be applied to the domain of human experience.

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/content/academ/35/3/EJC15276
2003-12-01
2019-08-21

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