Does a robot have an Umwelt?

It is argued that the notion of Umwelt is relevant for contemporary discussions within theoretical biology, biosemiotics, the study of Artificial Life, Autonomous Systems Research and philosophy of biology. Focus is put on the question of whether an artificial creature can have a phenomenal world in the sense of the Umwelt notion of Jakob von Uexküll, one of the founding figures of biosemiotics. Rather than vitalism, Uexküll's position can be interpreted as a version of qualitative organicism. A historical sketch of Autonomous Systems Research (ASR) is presented to show its theoretical roots and fruitful opposition to traditional AI style robotics. It is argued that these artificial systems are only partly 'situated' because they do not in the full sense of the word experience an Umwelt. A deeper understanding of truly situated autonomous systems as being a kind of complex selforganizing semiotic agents with emergent qualitative properties must be gained, not only from the broad field of theoretical biology, but also from the perspective of biosemiotics in the Uexküll tradition. The paper is thus an investigation of a new notion of autonomy that includes a qualitative aspect of the organism. This indicates that the Umwelt concept is not reducible to purely functional notions.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,133
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Vitalism as Pathos.Thomas Osborne - 2016 - Biosemiotics 9 (2):185-205.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Umwelt Ethics.Morten Tønnessen - 2003 - Sign Systems Studies 31 (1):281-299.
Semiotics and Jakob von Uexküll's Concept of Umwelt.John Deely - 2004 - Sign Systems Studies 32 (1-2):11-33.
Umwelt and Semiosphere.Mihhail Lotman - 2002 - Sign Systems Studies 30 (1):33-39.
From Protoplasm to Umwelt.Tobias Cheung - 2004 - Sign Systems Studies 32 (1-2):139-166.
Time-Plans of the Organisms.Riin Magnus - 2011 - Sign Systems Studies 39 (2-4):37-56.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
343 ( #8,653 of 2,191,806 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #290,783 of 2,191,806 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature