Autopoiesis, biological autonomy and the process view of life

Anne Sophie Meincke (Spann)
University of Southampton
In recent years, an increasing number of theoretical biologists and philosophers of biology have been opposing reductionist research agendas by appealing to the concept of biological autonomy which draws on the older concept of autopoiesis. In my paper, I investigate some of the ontological implications of this approach. The emphasis on autonomy and autopoiesis, together with the associated idea of organisational closure, might evoke the impression that organisms are to be categorised ontologically as substances: ontologically independent, well-individuated, discrete particulars. However, I argue that this is mistaken. Autopoiesis and biological autonomy, properly understood, require a rigorous commitment to a process ontological view of life.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s13194-018-0228-2
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 37,146
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Autopoiesis, Biological Autonomy and the Process View of Life.Anne Sophie Meincke - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):5.
La idea de autonomía en biología.Arantza Etxeberria & Álvaro Moreno - 2007 - Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España] 40:21-37.
Autopoiesis Applies to Social Systems Only.M. Zeleny - 2015 - Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):186-189.
Autopoiesis and Autonomy in the Space of Meaning.A. Karafillidis - 2014 - Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):175-177.
Does Social Systems Theory Need a General Theory of Autopoiesis?R. D. King - 2015 - Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):183-185.
La idea de autonomía en la biología.Arantza Etxeberria Agiriano & Alvaro Moreno Bergareche - 2007 - Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España] 40:21-37.
The Autopoiesis of Social Systems and its Criticisms.H. Cadenas & M. Arnold - 2015 - Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):169-176.
Searching for a Mind's Brain: Questioning Underlying Biophilosophical Assumptions.J. Korf - 2017 - Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 10 (1).


Added to PP index

Total downloads
3 ( #881,067 of 2,308,512 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #215,321 of 2,308,512 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature