Alfred Lang

University of Bern Switzerland

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First posted1998.10.24

Revised 2003.11.30 

This text is from

© 1960ff. by Alfred Lang
Scientific and educational use permitted

Purpose | Citation | Architecture | How to use Overview | More Details | Community | Logistics

This Website is in an easily accessible archive of written text of scientific and related character. The guiding idea of my work is to better understand of human beings, that is, of the human condition. By this term I want to refer to both: what is required for human organisms to become human persons and communities, and, how humans, singly and in groups of various sizes, comprise a condition for the further change of this world including humans themselves. Naturally, when I say "change" I mean all degrees of becoming and demise including relative stability.

My writings cover a wide range within and around the sciences of people and their condition. They span from the biological to the sociological and cultural sciences and includes perspectives of valuation. Related texts of real or attributed affiliate minds are included in a guest paperssection. Humans are both biotic and cultural beings. Whether you call it psychology or cultural psychology or cultural ecology does not matter; you may even prefer a designation like empirical orgeneralanthropology, both adjectives meant in a broad sense. Also, I refuse to make sharp and exclusive distinctions between the sciences and other ways of finding and cultivating beliefs. However the prime medium of my approach is of a conceptual, abstractive nature; you may contrast this to approaches cultivated by the arts or the religions. The core of my work is an endeavor of sorts: to develop a conceptual system suitable for the purpose. I call it Semiotic Ecology.

In citations of these papers, please refer either to the usual bibliographical citations referred to in each paper's header and also formally given in the chronological or topical @lists (see below). Alternatively you can refer to the present internet location by citing in the usual manner Author(s), Year, Title and adding the URL of the site: "On internet at plus the last revision date from the header. For unequivocal easy identification you may also make use of the running letter or number per year given in the chronological list. The first format may preferably pertain to the published items, the latter to both published or unpublished material. Please ask the consent of the author for more than minor quotations.

If your access to the internet is beyond comfort you can also get the larger part of the papes (espacially those since around 1990) by purchasing the CD-ROM published on the occasion of my retirement from the university office.

For your orientation a map of the Site Architecture may be helpful. As a rule the site pages are background color-coded: the papers themselves appear on a blueish ggg background. A yellowish ggg background indicates a list that offers linkt to the papers, either a bibliographic list or a list giving the content and summary of a cluster or sequence of related texts, such as the chapters of a book or lecture, or papers pertinent to a distinct purpose. A greenish gggbackground such as on the present page points to some "meta"-type of text useful for orientation within the site and beyond. A purple ggg background may be used in special pages and guest pages. I have put most of the text in standard size Times font. If your browser presents it too small for comfortable reading, you can easily enlarge it in the View Menu / Text Size (Internet Explorer) or Preferences / Appearence: Fonts (Netscape Navigator).

For the sake of finding one's way in the subject matter I have drawn a kind of map in the Overview Table or Matrix and distingished six major fields, each with from three to nine subfields. Descriptions of the Fields are offered separately. You may also, perhaps firstly, want to consult a short description of my personal background and perspectives, a kind of VITA, if you like (both really soon now!).

A bilingual Glossary of Terms(in progress) may help with unfamiliar terms. Clicking on the Emblem in the title field at the top of any page leads to some elucidations of essential terms in their context.


Fields and Subfields
Entry Rcommendations
Major and Recent Titles
In Depth Study


Semiotic Ecology

Semiotische Oekologie

Recommended Reading(s)

Major Title a

Major Title b ...

@List (Annot. Bibliogr.)

Recommended Reading(s)


But it is perhaps best to peruse the Overview Table or Matrix. This is organized in rows, each representing a subfield, or in groups of rows, each set representing a field. The columns gather kinds of information: Column 1 gives English and German field names and theirabbreviationsand it can link you to field descriptions.Columns 2 to 4 contain links to some of the more important papers in each subfield. Column 2 contains one or two entry level recommendations. Column 3 presents the major and recent title(s) in the (sub)field. Column 4 offers handles for penetrating the scope of the respective (sub)field in depth. In addition to further useful readings it links to classified and annotated bibliographic @lists. For newcomers I recommend to concentrate on columns 2.

The links to classified and annotated bibliographic@Lists in column 4 give the bibliographic data of all the papers pertinent in major or subsidiary ways for the respective subfield. Naturally some papers may show up in several lists. These @Lists may present from 3 to 30 titles. Also these @Lists present Abstracts and/or Zusammenfassungen of many of the papers. The bibliographic items link you the the electronic form of the papers themselves. It will take some time yet until all papers shall be consistently categorized and linked.

You may also want to consult a chronological list of all papers. Each paper carries a unique identification consisting of the year of its publication or origin and a running letter and number within the year. Also at the end of bibliographic data find the often several @Codes for the categories. The categories are repeated in the header of each paper. Don't expect perfect consistency at this time.

You can access any particular paper not referred to in the overview table only from the respective @List. Links to the most informative texts are gathered in the Overview Matrix. At this time only a selection of papers is offered on the web.In due time access will also be possible from the chronological list.

If you want to locate the papers written together with one or several of my colleages and cooperators or based explicitly on the work of students or cooperators over the years, please consult the Acknowledgment and Index to Cooperators' Names. I am adding pertinent excerpts of students' and cooperators' papers or thesis work. Also text of living or earlier writers and of an important relation to my work that may be hard to get at are included in a guest papers section.

Participating in seminars, conferences, and coursework, I have thought it helpful to give a list of Actual EventsI am involved in. The list links you to upcoming events' descriptions and reading lists.

Sorry, many of the papers are in German; those in English are marked in the overview matrix with a $-sign, those with an English abstract with a ¢-sign. All material is © Alfred Lang 1960 to the present except when marked otherwise. It can be used for scientific and educational ends under the usual ethical constraints. The author welcomes receiving notice in case of more than casual use and asks those concerned to request for permission for republication in hard or soft form. Links on websites to the present site are welcome. I appreciate feedback to questions rised or problems encountered. Please mailto:

All papers carry a field in the header giving in addition to the @Codes the approximate size in kilobytes (KB) and the number of pictures and tables. A typewritten page usually contains between 2 and 3 kilobytes; a printed page from 2 to 4 KB depending on the size of the page and of the font used. So you can make reasonable decisions as to reading on line or downloading with respect to your connections. Saving a page in your browser in html-format will allow later to open the file from the browser whereas saving in text-format will lead to loss of formating.

This website is created and maintained on a Mac Powerbook with HomePage (3.0) and has been tested with both Netscape Navigator (4.0) and Microsoft Explorer (4.0). They format reasonably well with most screen sizes. Some inconvenience may result from both major browsers being incapable of complying with column width specifications in tables.Since color is used sparingly you will loose little in printouts. However, page breaks, at this time, are not rendered well.

Purpose | Citation | Architecture | How to use Overview | More Details | Community | Logistics

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