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An umbrella term for all the environmental influences shaping an individual's behaviour, or the environment as it is experienced by the individual. The word was introduced in 1909 by the Estonian biologist Jacob Johann von Uexküll (1864–1944) in his book Umwelt und Innenwelt der Tiere (Environment and Inner World of Animals). In phenomenology and existentialism it is the environment as it is experienced. See also existential analysis, existential therapy. Compare Eigenwelt, Mitwelt. [From German Umwelt environment, from um around + Welt world]

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