Welcome to the sixth episode of Many Minds! Today we have another ‘mini minds’ for you. We’ll be talking about umwelt theory—the idea that every species has its own self-world, its own private and peculiar mode of sensing and being. The theory was first put forth in the 1900s by a theoretical biologist named Jakob von Uexküll. He developed the umwelt concept in a short treatise that blended scientific and literary in striking and whimsical way. Remarkably—despite its age—umwelt theory is not dead yet. To the contrary, as you’ll hear, it’s seems more influential than ever.
I’m not sure about you, but in my part of the world nature is coming alive right now. The mornings are thick with birdsong; everything is greener than it was a month ago. It’s a good time, in other words, to head outside—maybe to the nearest meadow, perhaps for a sun-dappled daydream, or a bit of frolic. And, while your out there, it’s a good time to think about the many umwelts that surround us.
Thanks for listening friends! I hope you enjoy this one.