Category Archives: Varela

Constructing Autopoiesis

This essay attempts to explain through an analysis of the limitations of the Lakoff, Johnson and Turner school of cognition and meaning-making, why exactly Arakawa and Gins’ analogical relations with the cognitive science of Maturana and Varela and the philosophy … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Autopoiesis, Cognitive science, Deleuze, Ethics, Maturana, Philosophy of mind, Varela | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Autopoiesis and Critical Social Systems Theory

Maturana and Varela provided the following definition of autopoiesis: “An autopoietic machine is a machine organized (defined as a unity) as a network of processes of production (transformation and destruction) of components that produces the components which: (i) through their … Continue reading

Posted in Autopoiesis, Critical theory, Fuchs, Maturana, Social systems, Varela | Tagged , , , , ,

Enactive Education – Dynamic Co-emergence, Complexity, Experience, and the Embodied mind

The potential of a broad enactive approach in education has yet to be realized. This thesis contributes to the development of a well-rounded enactive educational theory and practice. This thesis argues that a broad enactive perspective has the potential to … Continue reading

Posted in Complexity, Dewey, Education, Embodied mind, Enactive education, Enactivism, Varela | Tagged , , , , , ,

The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding

Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela. The book that you hold in your hands is not just another introduction to the biology of cognition. It is a complete outline for an alternative view of the biological roots of understanding. From the … Continue reading

Posted in Biology of cognition, Cognition, Maturana, Understanding, Varela | Tagged , , , ,

Autopoiesis with or without Cognition: defining Life at its Edge

This paper examines two questions related to autopoiesis as a theory for minimal life: (i) the relation between autopoiesis and cognition; and (ii) the question as to whether autopoiesis is the necessary and sufficient condition for life. First, we consider … Continue reading

Posted in Autopoiesis, Life, Maturana, Varela | Tagged , , ,

Humberto Maturana’s view on the Theory of Evolution. From Autopoiesis to Natural drift metaphor

Today in the scientific circle Humberto Maturana is considered the creator of the so-called Santiago School of Biology (also known as Biology of Cognition). Biology of Cognition is a research programme seeking an explanation of the phenomenon of cognitive functions … Continue reading

Posted in Autopoiesis, Biology of cognition, Maturana, Self-organization, Structural coupling, Varela | Tagged , , , , ,

Some Differences between Maturana and Varela’s Theory of Cognition and Constructivism

The theory of cognition of Varela and Maturana differs in specific aspects from constructivist theories and so should not be seen or interpreted as another form of constructivism. To encourage the emergence of a discussion on important differences between both … Continue reading

Posted in Cognition, Constructivism, Maturana, Varela | Tagged , , ,

Autopoiesis: a review and a reappraisal

The aim of the paper is to review critically the notion of autopoiesis as presented by Maturana and Varela. In particular, recognizing that there are difficulties in obtaining a complete and clear picture from the primary literature, an effort is … Continue reading

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Beyond Autopoiesis: Inflections of Emergence and Politics in the work of Francisco Varela

Francisco Varela’s work is a monumental achievement in 20th century biological and biophilosophical thought. After his early collaboration in neo-cybernetics with Humberto Maturana (“autopoiesis”), Varela made fundamental contributions to immunology (“network theory”), Artificial Life (“cellular automata”), cognitive science (“enaction”), philosophy … Continue reading

Posted in Autopoiesis, Emergence, Politics, Varela | Tagged , , ,

Physical Basis for the Emergence of Autopoiesis, Cognition and Knowledge

This paper is a contribution to developing the theories of hierarchically complex living systems and the natures of knowledge in such systems. Problem: Dissonance between the literatures of knowledge management and organization theory and my observations of the living organization … Continue reading

Posted in Autopoiesis, Cognition, Knowledge, Maturana, Varela | Tagged , , , ,