David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
editorial changes not yet reviewed by author Purpose My intent in this essay is to reflect on the history of some biological notions such as autopoiesis, structural coupling, and cognition, that I have developed since the early 1960’s as a result of my work on visual perception and the organization of the living. No doubt I shall repeat things that I have said in other publications (Maturana and Varela 1980 and 1988), and I shall present notions that once they are said appear as obvious truisms. But the reader it is not invited to attend to the truisms, rather he or she is invited to attend to the consequences that they entail for the understanding of biological processes. After all, explanations or demonstrations always become self evident once they are understood and accepted. KEYWORDS Autopoiesis, structural coupling, cognition, explanations, self consciousness, 1. Autopoiesis 1.1 Origins of the notion In November 1960, a first year medical student asked me the question “What began three thousand eight hundred million years ago so that you can say now that living systems began then?” I realized that I could not properly answer that question, so I said “I cannot answer this question now, but if you come back next year I shall propose an answer then.” Thus I accepted the question of the student to be answered later, and as I did so, I accepted also the question for myself. I realized that to answer this question I had to create a living system, either conceptually or practically, because I had to be able to say what kind of systems were living system to be able to say how they began. While in the attempting to answer the dual questions of what kind of systems are living systems, and of how did they begin so that I could now speak of their origin, it became obvious to me that living systems exist as autonomous entities in the form of self contained closed molecular dynamics of self production, open to the flow of molecules through them. Indeed, one can say that living systems arose in the history of the earth in the moment in which some spontaneous networks of molecular autocatalytic processes became closed upon themselves..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
H. Urrestarazu (2011). Autopoietic Systems: A Generalized Explanatory Approach – Part 1. Constructivist Foundations 6 (3):307-324.
Christophe Malaterre (2009). Are Self-Organizing Biochemical Networks Emergent? In Maryvonne Gérin & Marie-Christine Maurel (eds.), Origins of Life: Self-Organization and/or Biological Evolution? EDP Sciences 117--123.
Giovanna Colombetti (web). Enaction, Sense-Making and Emotion. In S. J. Gapenne & E. Di Paolo (eds.), Enaction: Towards a New Paradigm for Cognitive Science. MIT Press
Mary Ann Mavrinac (2006). Self as System: Comparing the Grounded Theory of Protecting Self and Autopoiesis. World Futures 62 (7):516 – 523.
H. Maturana, A. Paucar-Caceres & R. Harnden (2011). Origins and Implications of Autopoiesis. Preface to the Second Edition of De Maquinas y Seres Vivos Autopoiesis. Constructivist Foundations 6 (3):293-306.
Added to index2009-10-25
Total downloads87 ( #22,976 of 1,699,821 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #206,271 of 1,699,821 )
How can I increase my downloads?