Tag Archives: varela

Autopoiesis and Cognition

This article revisits the concept of autopoiesis and examines its relation to cognition and life. We present a mathematical model of a 3D tesselation automaton, considered as a minimal example of autopoiesis. This leads us to a thesis T1: “An … Continue reading

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Autopoietic Law: A New Approach To Law And Society

The present debate in legal theory is dominated by an unfruitful schism. On the one hand, analytical theories are concerned with the positivity of law, running the risk of missing the law’s relation to society. On the other hand, sociological … Continue reading

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De Maquinas y Seres Vivos

Humberto Maturana y Francisco Varela – ¿Cuál es la organización de los sistemas vivientes, qué clase de máquinas son ellos y cómo su fenomenología, incluidas la reproducción y la evolución, queda determinada por su organización?  Es trivialmente obvio que, si … Continue reading

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Autopoiesis, Culture, and Society

The concept of autopoiesis has long surpassed the realm of biology. It has been used in areas so diverse as sociology, psychotherapy, management, anthropology, organizational culture, and many others. This circumstance transformed it in a very important and useful instrument … Continue reading

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Enactivism and the Experiential Reality of Culture: Rethinking the Epistemological Basis of Cultural Psychology

The key problem of cultural psychology comprises a paradox: while people believe they act on the basis of their own authentic experience, cultural psychologists observe their behavior to be socially patterned. It is argued that, in order to account for … Continue reading

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Distributed communities and nodal subjects

Drawing upon cognitive science and systems theory, this article examines a number of issues commonly undertaken in theorizing “online communities.”  The thesis is that current approaches to online community that focus on specific online “places,” such as LamdaMOO, may overlook … Continue reading

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Autopoiesis and Cognition: the Realization of the Living

Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela. What makes a living system a living system? What kind of biological phenomenon is the phenomenon of cognition? These two questions have been frequently considered, but, in this volume, the authors, Humberto Maturana and Francisco J. Varela, consider … Continue reading

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A Diagram of Panoptic Surveillance

This article critiques a number of recent attempts to outline a contemporary theory of panoptic surveillance. It argues that an updated Foucaultian thesis must take into consideration the decentered and networked aspects of information technologies in an attempt to explain … Continue reading

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From Autopoiesis to NeuroPhenomenology: Francisco Varela’s exploration of the biophysics of being

This paper reviews in detail Francisco Varela’s work on subjectivity and consciousness in the biological sciences. His original approach to this “hard problem” presents a subjectivity that is radically intertwined with its biological and physical roots. It must be understood within the … Continue reading

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Emergence and Embodiment: New Essays on Second-Order Systems Theory

Emerging in the 1940s, the first cybernetics—the study of communication and control systems—was mainstreamed under the names artificial intelligence and computer science and taken up by the social sciences, the humanities, and the creative arts. In Emergence and Embodiment, Bruce … Continue reading

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