Archive for the ‘Maturana’ Category
El entendimiento del actuar ético espontáneo que surge desde nuestra naturaleza como seres humanos que nacemos como seres amorosos que vivimos en redes de conversaciones en las que podemos generar y conservar mundos distintos según nuestra orientación sea desde el amar o desde la competencia, el desamar, la dominación, el sometimiento. Humberto Maturana y Ximena Dávila-Yañez
Los seres humanos somos seres sociales: vivimos nuestro ser cotidiano en continua imbricación con el ser de otros. Esto, en general, lo admitimos sin reservas. Al mismo tiempo los seres humanos somos individuos: vivimos nuestro ser cotidiano como un continuo devenir de experiencias individuales intransferibles. Esto lo admitimos como algo ineludible. Ser social y ser individual parecen condiciones contradictorias de existencia. De hecho, una buena parte de la historia política, económica y cultural de la humanidad, particularmente durante los últimos doscientos años, en Occidente, tiene que ver con este dilema. Por Humberto Maturana
We human beings are love dependent animals. This is apparent in that we become ill when we are deprived of love at whatever age. No doubt we live a culture in which we are frequently in war and kill each other on different rational grounds that justify our mutual total denial as human beings. But doing that does not bring to us happiness, or spiritual comfort and harmony. Love and aggression – are they polar features of our biology or, of our cultural human existence? Are we genetically aggressive animals that love occasionally, or are we loving animals that cultivate aggression culturally? Our purpose in this article is to maintain that we are loving animals that cultivate aggression in a cultural alienation that may eventually change our biology.
This paper reformulates some of the questions raised by extended mind theorists from an enactive, life/mind continuity perspective. Because of its reliance on concepts such as autopoiesis, the enactive approach has been deemed internalist and thus incompatible with the extended mind hypothesis. This paper answers this criticism by showing 1) that the relation between organism and cogniser is not one of co-extension, 2) that cognition is a relational phenomenon and thereby has no location, and 3) that the individuality of a cogniser is inevitably linked with the question of its autonomy, a question ignored by the extended mind hypothesis but for which the enactive approach proposes a precise, operational, albeit non-functionalist answer. The paper raises a pespective of embedded and intersecting forms of autonomous identity generation, some of which correspond to the canonical cases discussed in the extended mind literature, but on the whole of wider generality. In addressing these issues, this paper proposes unbiased, non-species specific definitions of cognition, agency and mediation, thus filling in gaps in the extended mind debates that have led to paradoxical situations and a problematic over-reliance on intutions about what counts as cognitive.
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 Clarke and Mark B. N. Hansen focus on cybernetic developments that stem from the second-order turn in the 1970s, when the cyberneticist Heinz von Foerster catalyzed new thinking about the cognitive implications of self-referential systems. The crucial shift he inspired was from first-order cybernetics’ attention to homeostasis as a mode of autonomous self-regulation in mechanical and informatic systems, to second-order concepts of self-organization and autopoiesis in embodied and metabiotic systems. The collection opens with an interview with von Foerster and then traces the lines of neocybernetic thought that have followed from his work.
In response to the apparent dissolution of boundaries at work in the contemporary technosciences of emergence, neocybernetics observes that cognitive systems are operationally bounded, semi-autonomous entities coupled with their environments and other systems. Second-order systems theory stresses the recursive complexities of observation, mediation, and communication. Focused on the neocybernetic contributions of von Foerster, Francisco Varela, and Niklas Luhmann, this collection advances theoretical debates about the cultural, philosophical, and literary uses of their ideas. In addition to the interview with von Foerster, Emergence and Embodiment includes essays by Varela and Luhmann. It engages with Humberto Maturana’s and Varela’s creation of the concept of autopoiesis, Varela’s later work on neurophenomenology, and Luhmann’s adaptations of autopoiesis to social systems theory. Taken together, these essays illuminate the shared commitments uniting the broader discourse of neocybernetics.
Contributors. Linda Brigham, Bruce Clarke, Mark B. N. Hansen, Edgar Landgraf, Ira Livingston, Niklas Luhmann, Hans-Georg Moeller, John Protevi, Michael Schiltz, Evan Thompson, Francisco J. Varela, Cary Wolfe
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 the actual practices engaged in by current internet users, which focus on ad-hoc interactions with a distributed community. Systems theory, as developed by Vilem Flusser, Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, is used to examine the relationship between communication and community. Through this examination a deﬁnition of community as a distributed communications systems, in which individuals function as nodes in the overall system, is developed. The conclusion considers the signiﬁcance of this deﬁnition for the evaluation of the internet as a tool for political action and self-realization.
Autopoiesis, Structural Coupling and Cognition: A history of these and other notions in the biology of cognition
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 & Varela, 1980, 1988), and I shall present notions that once they are said appear as obvious truisms. Moreover, I shall refine or expand the meaning of such notions, or even modify them. Yet, in any case, the reader is not invited to attend to the truisms, or to what seems to be obvious, rather he or she is invited to attend to the consequences that those notions entail for the understanding of cognition as a biological process. After all, explanations or demonstrations always become self evident once they are understood and accepted, and the purpose of this essay is the expansion of understanding in all dimensions of human existence.
ARS Electronica Festival 2011 – Linz, Austria – Sept 2, 2011
For more than 40 years the work and ideas of Humberto Maturana has permeated the academic world and applied disciplines. What began as an answer to the question “What is life?” has become an encompassing explanatory network that includes living, cognition, languaging, and emotioning. In October 2010 we decided to collect contributions to find indications of the fruitfulness of Maturana’s work across disciplines. In our call for papers, we were looking for articles dealing with these questions:
1 What are the applications of Maturana’s work in various domains of inquiry and action, including both the humanities and the natural sciences?
2 What are the potential extensions and expansions of the notions and concepts implicit in Maturana’s work?
3 What can be said about Maturana’s work in historical and cultural perspectives, i.e., how does his epistemology fit into a historic view, or fit with current cultural and ethical views?
4 The result of our endeavor is a collection of papers that confirms our expectations. Many scholars have been and still are influenced by and concerned with Maturana’s insights. However, before we present a summary of these contributions, we would like to attend to the question of why Maturana’s insights are difficult to understand.
We live immersed in a culture which endows rationality with such supremacy that it devalues emotions. As they are devalued, emotions are presented as if they only happen occasionally, as a disturbance in our rational existence. Indeed, most of the time we only recognize those emotions which are extremes, which do not fit in the day to day operation of our culture. This is evident in the way we refer to someone when we say they are “being emotional”.
But we do not see the fundamental emotion that pervades this culture. It is so pervasive that we are blind to it. We are stuck in an emotion of distrust. Distrust leads to a search for certainty and control, which in turn leads to a desire to appropriate everything – blindly oblivious to what this manner of living brings with it. But we are not happy in this. Now and then we catch a glimmer that this is not right, that this manner of living leads to the destruction of not only the spiritual and ethical aspects of our lives, but also the natural world which has given origin to us and which makes possible our very existence as human beings. No wonder we experience anxiety as we catch this glimmer!