“Umwelt is the idea that we blindly accept the reality of the world around us.
“It would be useful if the concept of the umwelt were embedded in the public lexicon. It neatly captures that idea of limited knowledge, of unobtainable information, of unimagined possibilities.”
— David Eagleman, neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, where he directs the Laboratory for Perception and Action, in This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking.
Illustration: “Early Scheme for a circular Feedback Circle” from Theoretische Biologie 1920. An organism creates and reshapes its own Umwelt when it interacts with the world. This is termed a ‘functional circle’.
See also: M. Stella, K. Kleisner, Umwelt as science and as ideology: the light and the dark side of a concept (pdf)
— 39 New Scientific Concepts That Everyone Should Understand, Business Insider, Jun. 11, 2012. (tnx wildcat2030)