|Title:||Umwelt, Milieu(x), and Environment: A Survey of Cross-Cultural Concept Mutations||Authors:||Jui-Pi Chien||Issue Date:||2007||Start page/Pages:||65-89||Source:||Semiotica||Abstract:||
This essay explores the historical development of Umwelt and its links with related terms, such as environment, milieu(x), ambiens-ambiance, and circonstances, the latter of which are used by Jakob von Uexk l's predecessors to different ends in France. To observe the conditions in which the concepts of Umwelt, milieu, and environment have crossed the borders, this essay offers a narrative for each word derived from dictionary entries and articles in the encyclopedia of semiotics, and relates these materials to four surveys by Spitzer, Canguilhem, Aarsleff, and Sutrop. The process will basically reveal the loaded value of a word within its national and disciplinary boundaries. However, it is argued that, in making sense out of a discipline like Umweltforschung, it is neither sufficient nor wise to stay within the German boundary. As the travelling of a word has been more purposeful than simply accidental, the history of its routes can reveal its conceptual equivalents hidden in other linguistic, scientific, and cultural constructs, which go beyond the word equivalents compiled in the dictionaries. From the hindsight of the positive receptions of the concept of Umwelt by the French philosophers during the 1930s and 1940s, the essay alleviates the charged hostility against Taine's concept of milieu in Germany and brings forward the sense of biological harmony and equilibrium shared between Uexkuuml;ll and his French predecessors.
|Appears in Collections:||外國語文學系|
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