In class on Tuesday, we talked a little about species-specific perception and consciousness. Heather Spence, a Ph.D. student in Psychology at the GC, has done some interesting research on “dolphin bioacoustics.” She’s working with the New Media Lab to create and publish an “an interactive website/searchable database ‘dBPod: Dolphin Bioacoustics Policy Online Database’.”
Early in the twentieth century, biologist Jakob von Uexküll coined the term “umwelt” to describe the species-specific perceptual relationship between organisms and their environments. If you’re interested to learn more, I’m posting an chapter onUexküll’s “theories of life” from philosopher Brett Buchanan’s book Onto-Ethologies on our readings page.
I’m posting this for a few reasons:
1. I encourage you all to post any interesting materials you find that relate to class discussions.
2. Spence’s work–and the other projects listed on the New Media Lab website–might serve as useful models for research projects that are alternatives to the traditional seminar essay (or thesis).
3. Some of you have talked about research projects for which Buchanan’s might be helpful.