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Archive for the ‘Maturana’ Category

Por uma bioética da complexidade

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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

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14/09/2011 at 14:21

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Biología del Fenómeno Social

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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

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14/09/2011 at 10:59

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Biology of Love

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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.

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Written by learningchange

14/09/2011 at 10:56

Extended life

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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.

Written by learningchange

14/09/2011 at 10:53

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

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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

Written by learningchange

14/09/2011 at 10:50

Distributed communities and nodal subjects

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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.

Written by learningchange

14/09/2011 at 10:42

Posted in Cognition, Maturana, Varela

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Autopoiesis, Structural Coupling and Cognition: A history of these and other notions in the biology of cognition

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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.

Written by learningchange

14/09/2011 at 10:33

ORIGIN – How it all begins – Humberto Maturana

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ARS Electronica Festival 2011 – Linz, Austria – Sept 2, 2011

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14/09/2011 at 10:27

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The Work of Humberto Maturana and its Application Across the Sciences

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Read also:  Learning Chage’s Archive for the ‘Maturana’ Category

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.

Written by learningchange

14/09/2011 at 10:23

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What is Wisdom and how is it Learned?

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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!

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Written by learningchange

16/05/2011 at 15:52