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Encyclopedia > Konrad Lorenz
Konrad Lorenz
Born November 7, 1903
Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died February 27, 1989 (aged 85)
Flag of Austria Vienna, Austria
Residence Austria, Germany
Nationality Austrian
Field Ethology
Notable prizes Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1973)
Lorenz being followed by his imprinted geese

Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (November 7, 1903 in ViennaFebruary 27, 1989 in Vienna) was an Austrian zoologist, animal psychologist, and ornithologist. He is often regarded as one of the founders of modern ethology, developing an approach that began with an earlier generation, including his teacher Oskar Heinroth. Lorenz studied instinctive behavior in animals, especially in greylag geese and jackdaws. Working with geese, he rediscovered the principle of imprinting (originally described by Douglas Spalding in the 19th century) in the behavior of nidifugous birds. is the 311th day of the year (312th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1900 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Friday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... Image File history File links Austria-Hungary_flag_1869-1918. ... For other uses, see Vienna (disambiguation). ... Austria-Hungary, also known as the Dual monarchy (or: the k. ... is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Austria. ... For other uses, see Vienna (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Emil Adolf von Behring was the first person to receive the Nobel Prize in physiology or Medicine, for his work on the treatment of diphtheria. ... Konrad Z Lorenz being followed by his imprinted geese. ... Konrad Z Lorenz being followed by his imprinted geese. ... is the 311th day of the year (312th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1900 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Friday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... For other uses, see Vienna (disambiguation). ... is the 58th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... For other uses, see Vienna (disambiguation). ... Zoology (from Greek: ζῴον, zoion, animal; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals. ... Comparative psychology, taken in its most usual, broad, sense, refers in to the study of the behaviour and mental life of animals other than human beings. ... Ornithology (from the Greek ornitha = chicken and logos = word/science) is the branch of biology concerned with the scientific study of birds. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Instinct (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) Subspecies Western Greylag Goose Eastern Greylag Goose Domesticated goose The Greylag Goose, Anser anser, is a bird with a wide range in the Old World. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) Jackdaw range The Jackdaw (Corvus monedula), sometimes known as the Eurasian Jackdaw or European Jackdaw, is one of the smallest species (34–39 cm in length) in the genus of crows and ravens. ... Imprinting is the term used in psychology and ethology to describe any kind of phase-sensitive learning (learning occurring at a particular age or a particular life stage) that is rapid and apparently independent of the consequences of behavior. ... Douglas Alexander Spalding (?1840-1877) was an English biologist. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... An animal that leaves its nest shortly after birth is said to be nidifugous. ... For other uses, see Bird (disambiguation). ...


In his autobiographical essay, published in 1973 in Les Prix Nobel (winners of the prizes are requested to provide such essays), Lorenz credits his career to his parents, who "were supremely tolerant of my inordinate love for animals," and to his childhood encounter with Selma Lagerlof's The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, which filled him with a great enthusiasm about wild geese. For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... Selma Lagerlöf receives the Nobel Prize in Literature The Swedish 20-krona bill, with Selma Lagerlöf Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf (November 20, 1858 – March 16, 1940) was a Swedish author, known internationally for Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (a story for children), and awarded the... Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige book cover Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (The Wonderful Adventures of Nils) is a famous work of fiction by the Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf, published in two parts in 1906 and 1907. ...


At the request of his father, Adolf, Lorenz began a premedical curriculum in 1922 at Columbia University, but he returned to Vienna in 1923 to continue his studies at the University of Vienna until 1928. At this university he became an assistant professor from 1928 to 1935. In 1936, at an international scientific symposium on instinct, Lorenz met his great friend and colleague Niko Tinbergen. Together they studied geese - wild, domestic, and hybrid. One result of these studies was that Lorenz "realised that an overpowering increase in the drives of feeding as well as of copulation and a waning of more differentiated social instincts is characteristic of very many domestic animals." Lorenz began to suspect and fear "that analogous processes of deterioration may be at work with civilized humanity." Adolf Lorenz Adolf Lorenz (1854 - February 19, 1946) was an Austrian orthopedic surgeon who was a native of Weidenau (today Vidnava, Bohemia). ... Alma Mater Columbia University is a private university in the United States and a member of the Ivy League. ... The University of Vienna (German: ) is a public university located in Vienna, Austria. ... Year 1928 (MCMXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Nikolaas Tinbergen (April 15, 1907 - December 21, 1988) was a noted ethologist and ornithologist who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Karl Von Frisch and Konrad Lorenz for their discoveries concerning organization and elicitation of individual and social behaviour patterns. ...


In 1940 he became a professor of psychology at the Immanuel Kant University in Königsberg (later the Soviet port of Kaliningrad). He was drafted into the Wehrmacht in 1941. He sought to be a motorcycle mechanic, but instead he was assigned as a medic. He was a prisoner of war in the Soviet Union from 1942 to 1948. In captivity he continued to work as a medical doctor and "got quite friendly with some Russians, mostly doctors." When he was repatriated, he was allowed to keep the manuscript of a book he had been writing, and his pet starling. He arrived back in Altenberg "with manuscript and bird intact." The manuscript became his book Behind the Mirror. The Max Planck Society established the Lorenz Institute for Behavioral Physiology in Buldern, Germany, in 1950. Psychological science redirects here. ... CCCP redirects here. ... For other uses, see Port (disambiguation). ... Kaliningrad (Russian: ; Lithuanian: Karaliaučius; German  , Polish: Królewiec; briefly Russified as Kyonigsberg), is a seaport and the administrative center of Kaliningrad Oblast, the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. ... The straight-armed Balkenkreuz, a stylized version of the Iron Cross, the emblem of the Wehrmacht. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ... Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. ... Dülmen is a city in the district Coesfeld, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. ... Year 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 1958, Lorenz transferred to the Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology in Seewiesen. He shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for discoveries in individual and social behavior patterns" with two other important early ethologists, Niko Tinbergen and Karl von Frisch. In 1969, he became the first recipient of the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca. Jan. ... “Planck” redirects here. ... For the song by James Blunt, see 1973 (song). ... Emil Adolf von Behring was the first person to receive the Nobel Prize in physiology or Medicine, for his work on the treatment of diphtheria. ... Nikolaas Tinbergen (April 15, 1907 - December 21, 1988) was a noted ethologist and ornithologist who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Karl Von Frisch and Konrad Lorenz for their discoveries concerning organization and elicitation of individual and social behaviour patterns. ... Karl von Frisch 1961 Karl Ritter von Frisch (November 20, 1886 – June 12, 1982) was an Austrian ethologist who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1973, along with Nikolaas Tinbergen and Konrad Lorenz. ... The Prix mondial Cino Del Duca (Cino Del Duca World Prize) is a major international literary award established in 1969 in France by Simone Del Duca (1912-2004) to continue the work of her late husband, publishing magnate Cino Del Duca (1899-1967). ...


Lorenz retired from the Max Planck Institute in 1973 but continued to research and publish from Altenberg (his family home, near Vienna) and Grünau im Almtal in Austria. Grünau im Almtal is a town in the Austrian state of Upper Austria. ...


Konrad Lorenz died on February 27, 1989, in Altenberg.


Lorenz was also a friend and student of renowned biologist Sir Julian Sorell Huxley (grandson of "Darwin's bulldog," Thomas Henry Huxley). Sir Julian Sorell Huxley (June 22, 1887 - February 14, 1975) was a British biologist and author, known for his popularizations of science in books and lectures. ... Thomas Henry Huxley PC, FRS (4 May 1825 Ealing – 29 June 1895 Eastbourne, Sussex) was an English biologist, known as Darwins Bulldog for his advocacy of Charles Darwins theory of evolution. ...

Contents

Politics

Lorenz joined the Nazi Party in 1938 and accepted a university chair under the Nazi regime. In his application for membership to the Nazi-party NSDAP he wrote in 1938: "I'm able to say that my whole scientific work is devoted to the ideas of the National Socialists." His publications during that time led in later years to allegations that his scientific work had been contaminated by Nazi sympathies: his published writing during the Nazi period included support for Nazi ideas of "racial hygiene" couched in pseudoscientific metaphors. The National Socialist German Workers Party (German: , or NSDAP, commonly, the Nazi Party), was a political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... The National Socialist German Workers Party (German: , or NSDAP, commonly, the Nazi Party), was a political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945. ... Year 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nazism in history Nazi ideology Nazism and race Outside Germany Related subjects Lists Politics Portal         Nazism or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ... Racial hygiene (often labeled a form of scientific racism) is the selection, by a government, of the most physical, intellectual and moral persons to raise the next generation (selective breeding) and a close alignment of public health with eugenics. ...


When accepting the Nobel Prize, he apologized for a 1940 publication that included Nazi views of science, saying that "many highly decent scientists hoped, like I did, for a short time for good from National Socialism, and many quickly turned away from it with the same horror as I." It seems highly likely that Lorenz's ideas about an inherited basis for behavior patterns were congenial to the Nazi authorities, but there is no evidence to suggest that his experimental work was either inspired or distorted by Nazi ideas.


During the final years of his life Lorenz supported the fledgling Austrian Green Party and in 1984 became the figurehead of the Konrad Lorenz Volksbegehren, a grass-roots movement that was formed to prevent the building of a power plant at the Danube near Hainburg an der Donau and thus the destruction of the yet untouched woodland surrounding the planned site. The Austrian Green Party (de: Die Grünen - Die Grüne Alternative, or Die Grünen) is a political party in the Austrian parliament. ... Hainburg an der Donau is a place in the Bruck an der Leitha district, Lower Austria, Austria. ...


Contributions and legacy

Together with Nikolaas Tinbergen (Stefan Zeller), Lorenz developed the idea of an innate releasing mechanism to explain instinctive behaviors (fixed action patterns). Influenced by the ideas of William McDougall, Lorenz developed this into a "psychohydraulic" model of the motivation of behavior, which tended towards group selectionist ideas, which were influential in the 1960s. Another of his contributions to ethology is his work on imprinting. His influence on a younger generation of ethologists; and his popular works, were important in bringing ethology to the attention of the general public. Nikolaas Niko Tinbergen (April 15, 1907 – December 21, 1988) was a Dutch ethologist and ornithologist who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Karl von Frisch and Konrad Lorenz for their discoveries concerning organization and elicitation of individual and social behaviour patterns in animals. ... In ethology, an innate releasing mechanism is a hypothetical innate system within an animal that responds to a stimulus in the environment to produce a pre-programmed stereotyped behavior. ... Kelp Gull chicks peck at red spot on mothers beak to stimulate regurgitating reflex. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Look up Motivation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In evolutionary biology, group selection refers to the idea that alleles can become fixed or spread in a population because of the benefits they bestow on groups, regardless of the fitness of individuals within that group. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969. ... Imprinting is the term used in psychology and ethology to describe any kind of phase-sensitive learning (learning occurring at a particular age or a particular life stage) that is rapid and apparently independent of the consequences of behavior. ...


There are three Konrad Lorenz Institutes in Austria; one is housed in his family mansion at Altenberg [1], and another at his field station in Grünau.


Lorenz, like other ethologists, performed research largely by observation, or where experiments were conducted they were conducted in a natural setting. Occasionally there were long-term problems from his research, for example when geese imprinted on baby buggies as goslings were later released into Vienna's parks, some later had an unforeseen propensity for attempting to mate with similar objects. Nevertheless, animal welfare advocates like to point out that Lorenz won a Nobel Prize without ever using invasive techniques. Imprinting is the term used in psychology and ethology to describe any kind of phase-sensitive learning (learning occurring at a particular age or a particular life stage) that is rapid and apparently independent of the consequences of behavior. ... Animal welfare is the viewpoint that animals, especially those under human care, should not suffer unnecessarily, including where the animals are used for food, work, companionship, or research. ... The term invasive in Medicine has two meanings: A medical procedure which penetrates or breaks the skin or a body cavity, i. ...


Lorenz's vision of the challenges facing humanity

Lorenz also predicted the relationship between market economics and the threat of ecological catastrophe. In his 1973 book, Civilized Man's Eight Deadly Sins, Konrad Lorenz addresses the following paradox: All the advantages that man has gained from his ever-deepening understanding of the natural world that surrounds him, his technological, chemical and medical progress, all of which should seem to alleviate human suffering... tends instead to favor humanity's destruction (Gli otto peccati capitali della nostra civiltà - Civilized Man's Eight Deadly Sins, Adelphi edizioni, Milano, 1974, p.26; the citation is translated from the Italian version of the book). Lorenz adopts an ecological model to attempt to grasp the mechanisms behind this contradiction. Thus all species... are adapted to their environment... including not only inorganic components... but all the other living beings that inhabit the locality (page 31) Fundamental to Lorenz' theory of ecology is the function of feedback mechanisms, especially negative ones which, in hierarchical fashion, dampen impulses that occur beneath a certain threshold. The thresholds themselves are the product of the interaction of contrasting mechanisms. Thus pain and pleasure act as checks on each other: To gain a desired prey, a dog or wolf will do things that, in other contexts, they would shy away from: run through thorn bushes, jump into cold water and expose themselves to risks which would normally frighten them. All these inhibitory mechanisms... act as a counterweight to the effects of learning mechanisms... The organism cannot allow itself to pay a price which is not worth paying (page 53). In nature, these mechanisms tend towards a 'stable state' among the living beings of an ecology: A closer examination shows that these beings... not only do not damage each other, but often constitute a community of interests. It is obvious that the predator is strongly interested in the survival of that species, animal or vegetable, which constitutes its prey. ... It is not uncommon that the prey species derives specific benefits from its interaction with the predator species... (pages 31-33). Image File history File links Broom_icon. ...


Lorenz states that humanity is the one species not bound by these mechanisms, being the only one that has defined its own environment: [The pace of human ecology] is determined by the progress of man's technology (page 35). Not only, but human ecology (economy) is governed by mechanisms of POSITIVE feedback, defined as a mechanism which tends to encourage behavior rather than to attenuate it (page 43). Positive feedback always involves the danger of an 'avalanche' effect... One particular kind of positive feedback occurs when individuals OF THE SAME SPECIES enter into competition among themselves... For many animal species, environmental factors keep... intraspecies selection from [leading to] disaster... But there is no force which exercises this type of healthy regulatory effect on humanity's cultural development; unfortunately for itself, humanity has learned to overcome all those environmental forces which are external to itself (page 44).


Lorenz does not see human independence from natural ecological processes as necessarily bad. Indeed, he states that a completely new [ecology] which corresponds in every way to [humanity's] desires... could, theoretically, prove as durable as that which would have existed without his intervention (page 36). However, the principle of competition, typical of Western societies, destroys any chance of this: The competition between human beings destroys with cold and diabolic brutality... Under the pressure of this competitive fury we have not only forgotten what is useful to humanity as a whole, but even that which is good and advantageous to the individual. [...] One asks, which is more damaging to modern humanity: the thirst for money or consuming haste... in either case, fear plays a very important role: the fear of being overtaken by one's competitors, the fear of becoming poor, the fear of making wrong decisions or the fear of not being up to snuff... (pages 45-47).


In this book, Lorenz proposes that the best hope for mankind lies in our looking for mates based on the kindness of their hearts rather than good looks or wealth. He illustrates this with a Jewish story, explicitly described as such.


His contribution to philosophy

In his 1973 book Behind the Mirror, Lorenz considers the old philosophical question of whether our senses correctly inform us about the world as it is, or provide us only with an illusion. His answer comes from evolutionary biology. Only traits that help us survive and reproduce are transmitted. If our senses gave us wrong information about our environment, we would soon be extinct. Therefore we can be sure that our senses give us correct information, for otherwise we would not be here to be deceived. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


Bekoff on Lorenz

"I remember meeting Lorenz at an ethological conference in Parma, Italy, and his passion and enthusiasm were incredibly contagious. For hours, he told stories of the animals with whom he had shared his life and never once repeated himself. He clearly loved what he did and loved his animal friends." Marc Bekoff, Animal Passions and Beastly Virtues (2006), ISBN 1-59213-347-9 Parma is a city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, famous for its architecture and the fine countryside around it. ...


Works

The Russian Manuscript

Lorenz's best-known books are King Solomon's Ring and On Aggression, both written for a popular audience. His scientific work appeared mainly in journal articles, written in German; they became widely known to English-speaking scientists through the descriptions of it in Tinbergen's 1951 book The Study of Instinct, though many of his papers were later published in English translation in the two volumes titled Studies in Animal and Human Behavior. Image File history File links The_Russian_Manuscript. ... Image File history File links The_Russian_Manuscript. ... King Solomons Ring is a zoological book for the general audience, written by the Austrian scientist Konrad Lorenz in 1949. ... On Aggression is a book by ethologist Konrad Lorenz on instinctual aggression within animals and humans. ... See also: Other events of 1951 List of years in science . ...

  • King Solomon's Ring (1949)
  • Man Meets Dog (1950)
  • Evolution and Modification of Behavior (1965)
  • On Aggression (1966)
  • Studies in Animal and Human Behavior, Volume I (1970)
  • Studies in Animal and Human Behavior, Volume II (1971)
  • Behind the Mirror (1973)
  • Civilized Man's Eight Deadly Sins (1974)
  • The Year of the Greylag Goose (1979)
  • The Foundations of Ethology (1982)
  • The Natural Science of the Human Species: An Introduction to Comparative Behavioral Research - The Russian Manuscript (1944-1948)(1995)

King Solomons Ring is a zoological book for the general audience, written by the Austrian scientist Konrad Lorenz in 1949. ... See also: Other events of 1949 List of years in science . ... See also: Other events of 1950 List of years in science . ... See also: Other events of 1965 List of years in science . ... On Aggression is a book by ethologist Konrad Lorenz on instinctual aggression within animals and humans. ... See also: Other events of 1966 List of years in science . ... See also: Other events of 1970 List of years in science . ... See also: Other events of 1971 List of years in science . ... See also: Other events of 1973 List of years in science . ... See also: Other events of 1974 List of years in science . ... See also: Other events of 1979 List of years in science . ... See also: Other events of 1982 List of years in science . ... See also: Other events of 1995 List of years in science . ...

External links

Persondata
NAME Lorenz, Konrad
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION Austrian zoologist
DATE OF BIRTH November 7, 1903
PLACE OF BIRTH Vienna, Austria
DATE OF DEATH February 27, 1989
PLACE OF DEATH Vienna, Austria

  Results from FactBites:
 
Konrad Lorenz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1060 words)
Konrad Zacharias Lorenz (November 7, 1903 in Vienna – February 27, 1989 in Vienna) was an Austrian zoologist, animal psychologist, and ornithologist.
Lorenz's writings about evolution are also now regarded as outdated, because he tended towards group selectionist ideas that were debunked by the rise of sociobiology in the 1970s.
Lorenz's most enduring contributions thus seem to be his empirical work, especially on imprinting; his influence on a younger generation of ethologists; and his popular works, which were enormously important in bringing ethology to the attention of the general public.
Konrad Lorenz biography - imprinting (724 words)
Konrad Lorenz (Konrad Zacharias Lorenz) was born on November 7, 1903 in Vienna, Austria.
Lorenz quickly realized that comparative anatomy and embryology offered a better access to the problems of evolution than paleontology did, and that the comparative method was as applicable to behaviour patterns as it was to anatomical structure.
Konrad Lorenz is considered to be one of the principal founders of ethology, a branch of science that attempts to gain a deeper insight of behavioral patterns in animals.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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