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  BIBLIOGRAPHY
Autopoiesis and Enaction

Enola Gaia
 
Copyright © 1991, 1996,1999, 2001 Randall Whitaker

This material may be freely cited, copied, and/or distributed, so long as the author attribution is included.

 



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    Recommendations for exploring this subject

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    Online access to articles and other materials

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KEYWORDS:

  • autopoiesis
  • autopoietic theory
  • biology of cognition
  • cognition
  • constructivism
  • cybernetics
  • enaction
  • enactive cognitive science
  • enactivism
  • epistemology
  • Maturana (Humberto R.)
  • phenomenology
  • radical constructivism
  • Santiago school
  • Santiago theory
  • second-order cybernetics
  • self-organization
  • self-organizing systems
  • systems theory
  • Varela (Francisco J.).

 

  The focus of this bibliography is autopoietic theory -- the term I use to refer to the body of Maturana and Varela's work (originally labeled the biology of cognition).

 

  The main criterion for inclusion in this bibliography is direct reference to this theoretical work cited above. Where it seems appropriate, literature is included which is peripheral to autopoiesis per se, but which either (a) contextualizes the theory's development and/or (b) has been invoked in debate on autopoiesis per se. The delineation of the 'horizon' for inclusion is, of course, arbitrary and my own. Explanatory comments are provided to explain the relevance or importance of some materials cited.

This listing prioritizes the _English_ literature on autopoietic theory and related themes. Substantial literature exists in (e.g.) Spanish (Maturana's recent papers on family therapy), French (Dupuy on self-organization in management and politics), and German (the bulk of Luhmann's work). Because I do not speak or read these other languages, I do not feel qualified to claim comprehensive knowledge of the relevant literature available in them. I include citations to translations and original materials in other languages as I become aware of them.

I apologize for the Anglicized (mis-)spellings of names (especially involving German and Scandinavian alphabetic characters). This results from the need to locate and circumvent all the strange effects induced by non-English characters in ASCII text files when stored, transferred, and displayed on a variety of computers and networks worldwide.

This listing is ordered as follows with respect to an author X. First, X's solo publications are listed in chronological order by year of publication. Next, those collaborations where X is the lead author are listed, ordered (a) alphabetically with respect to authors and (b) secondarily (for a set of authors) by year of publication.

TAKE NOTE:

Effective with 1997, this HTML / WWW edition is the primary version of the bibliography.


Many thanks to Barry McMullin, John Mingers, Cristina Magro, Peter Hejl, and all the others who have provided citations over the years.

 


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ANDERTON, R. H.
Whither cybernetics: Past achievements and future prospects, Kybernetes, Vol. 9 (1980), pp. 289-293.



ANDRESEN, Julie Tetel
On genetic encoding and communication.Language & Communication - an interdisciplinary journal, vol. 11, number 1/2, (1991), pp.29-32.



ANDREW, Alex M.
Autopoiesis and self-organization, Journal of Cybernetics, Vol. 9, no. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1979), pp. 359-367.

Apparently the same text as Andrew article of the same title (1980). Claims that autopoiesis alone cannot suffice for studying self-organizing systems (SOS). Andrew states there are 2 additional features of SOS which much be accounted for: (1) the progressively succinct representations applied as 'meta- representations', and (2) the replication of existing 'successful' structural features. Note that both entail some measure of teleology / purpose ascription and are therefore to be considered only from the perspective of a given observer.



ANDREW, Alex M.
Autopoiesis and self-organization, Progress in Cybernetics and Systems Research, Vol. 7, Washington DC / London: Hemisphere, 1980, pp. 281-284.

Apparently the same text as Andrew's 1979 article with the same title.



ANDREW, Alex M.
Autopoiesis-allopoiesis interplay, in Zeleny (1981: cited herein).



ANDREW, Alex M.
Feedback versus autonomy, Progress in Cybernetics and Systems Research, Vol. 9, Washington DC/London: Hemisphere, 1982, pp. 301-304.

Review of value of autopoiesis for the study of self-organizing systems.



ANDREW, Alex M.
Self-Organizing Systems, New York: Gordon and Breach, 1989.


AUTOPOIESIS AND PERCEPTION: A Workshop with ESPRIT BRA 3352
Barry McMullin and Noel Murphy, editors
Print proceedings distributed during the workshop, Dublin: Dublin City University, August 25-26, 1992.



AUTOPOIESIS AND PERCEPTION: A Workshop with ESPRIT BRA 3352 (ADDENDUM).
Barry McMullin and Noel Murphy, editors
Addendum to the print proceedings distributed during the workshop, Dublin: Dublin City University, September, 1992.

NOTE: The materials from these two parts of the conference proceedings are available online from Dublin City University at:

http://www.eeng.dcu.ie/~alife/bmcm9401/

Each of the offerings in this directory represents a portion of the Proceedings. The offerings are available in two forms: (1) Adobe Acrobat Reader (*.pdf) and (2) zipped PostScript files (*.ps.Z). The current format arrangement represents Barry's update / upgrade of these online materials in response to feedback. Thanks, Barry!


Table of Contents

[PDF] [Zipped Postscript]



Abstracts

[ASCII text file]



Preface by Barry McMullin

[PDF] [Zipped Postscript]



Varela, Francisco

Autopoiesis and a Biology of Intentionality

[PDF] [Zipped PostScript]



Murphy, Noel

The causal and symbolic explanatory duality as a framework for understanding vision

[PDF] [Zipped PostScript]



Vernon, D., and D. Furlong

Relativistic ontologies, self-organization, autopoiesis, and artificial life: A progression in the science of the autonomous

Part I. The philosophical foundations

[PDF] [Zipped PostScript]

Part II. A scientific development

[PDF] [Zipped PostScript]



Moreno, A., Merelo, J. J., and A. Etxeberria

Perception, adaptation and learning

[PDF] [Zipped PostScript]

McMullin, Barry

Artificial Darwinism: The very idea!

[PDF] [Zipped PostScript]

Furlong, D., and D. Vernon

Reality paradigms, perception, and natural science: The relevance of autopoiesis

[PDF] [Zipped PostScript]

Riegler, Alex

Constructivist artificial life, and beyond

[PDF] [Zipped PostScript]



Doherty, Conor

Reconstructing AI

[PDF] [Zipped PostScript]



References

[PDF] [Zipped PostScript]



NOTE: This online material carries a 1994 copyright.



AYALA, Francisco J.
Teleological explanations in evolutionary biology, Philosophy of Science, March 1970, pp. 1-15.

A critical discussion of the reappearance of Aristotelian concepts of purpose in the context of evolution and biological systems. Ayala differentiates between causal and teleological explanations, and insinuates that the distinction is one of observational perspective and contextual consistency. He claims that for 3 categories of biological phenomena teleological explanations are appropriate: (1) where the end-state is consciously anticipated by the agent (i.e., purposeful activity); (2) self-regulation with regard to one or more key variables; (3) '(I)n reference to structures anatomically and physiologically designed to perform a certain function.' (p. 9)

 

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BAERT, Patrick, and Jan DE SCHAMPHELEIRE
Autopoiesis, self-organisation and symbolic interactionism: some convergences, Kybernetes, Vol. 17, no. 1 (1988), pp. 60-69.

A comparative analysis of autopoietic social theory and the 'symbolic interactionism' of Mead / Blumer (sociology). Points of comparision include: environment / external determinants of behavior; social/self-consciousness; objectivity / subjectivity in perspectives (epistemology); openness/ democracy; novelty / emergence in human conduct.



BATESON, Gregory
A Sacred Unity: Further steps to an Ecology of Mind, A Cornelia and Michael Bessie Book, New York: Harper Collins, 1991.

If there is any thinker who comes to mind when considering Maturana and Varela's epistemological notions, it is Bateson. There are strong parallels between his work and the phenomenological aspects of autopoietic theory. However, it is only in this final (posthumously-published) book that Bateson ever indicates knowing of Maturana and Varela's work (a mere passing note on the subject of 'recursiveness', p. 220). Beyond this trivial explicit link, there is a great deal in this book which resonates with autopoietic theory.



BECKER, Alton
A short essay on languaging, in F. Steier (ed.), Research and Reflexivity, Beverly Hills CA: Sage, 1991, pp. 226-234.



BECKER, Alton
Language and languaging. Language & Communication - an interdisciplinary journal, vol. 11, number 1/2, (1991), pp.33-36.



BECKER, Alton
Language in Particular: A Lecture. In: Beyond Translation. Essays toward a Modern Philology. Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 1995, pp.405-426.



BEDNARZ, John (Jr.)
Autopoiesis: The organizational closure of social systems, Systems Research, Vol. 5 (1988), no. 1, pp. 57-64.

Introduces and supports N. Luhmann's view of social systems as autopoietic unities. (Cf. Luhmann citations below).



BEER, Stafford
Preface to: Autopoiesis: The organization of the living (the second paper constituting Autopoiesis and Cognition (Maturana and Varela, 1980), pp. 63-72.

Beer's preface has been posted (with permission of the publisher) on WWW by John Hicks (Centre for Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh) Thanks, John!

The URL is: http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~jwjhix/Beer.html



BEN-ELI, Michael U.
Self-organization, autopoiesis, and evolution, in Zeleny (1981: cited herein).



BENSELER, Frank, Peter M. HEJL, and Wolfram K. KÖCK (eds.)
Autopoiesis, Communication, and Society: The Theory of Autopoietic Systems in the Social Sciences, Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 1980.

This is a collection of papers given at a in April 1979 on the theme of 'The Theory of Autopoietic Systems as a New Foundation for the Social Sciences'. This is a good collection and a key reference work.



BERMAN, Morris
The roots of reality: Maturana and Varela's The Tree of Knowledge, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Vol. 29, no. 2 (Spring 1989), pp. 277-284.



BILSON, Andrew
Facts, figures and fantasy: A constructivist approach to professional training in the use of client information systems, in Kolleck, B., and Rafferty, J. (eds.), Both Sides: Technology and Human Services, Berlin: Alice-Saloman-Fachhoschule, 1995.

Article based on autopoietic theory with a more practical than theoretical thrust. Gives example of how constructivist view (with reference to Maturana) can be used to teach Information technology. Available online at:

http://www.soton.ac.uk/~chst/both/bilson.htm



BILSON, Andrew
"Cijfers, Feiten en Fantasie", Interactief: Nieuwsbulletin over sociale informatiekunde in het HSAO, no. 10, pp. 5 - 11.

This is a Dutch version of the 1995 article cited above.



BILSON, Andrew
Bringing Forth Organisational Realities: A Constructivist Approach to the Management of Change in Human Services, Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Applied Social Studies, Lancaster University, 1996.



BILSON, Andrew
Guidelines for a constructivist approach: Steps towards the adaptation of ideas from family therapy for use in organizations, Systems Practice, Vol.10 (1997), no.2, pp. 153-178.



BILSON, Andrew
Social Work Management and Practice: Systems Principles (Second Edition), London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1999.

Second edition of earlier 1989 book more focussed on Bateson but with some reference to Maturana.



BIRCH, Jim
Re-inventing the already punctured wheel: Reflections on a seminar with Humberto Maturana, Journal of Family Therapy, Vol. 13, no. 4 (November 1991), pp. 349-373.

Criticizes Maturana as being either unoriginal or flawed, then criticizes family therapists' application of Maturana's ideas.



BLANKENBURG, Erhard
The poverty of evolutionism: a critique of Teubner's case for 'reflexive law', (cf. Teubner's rejoinder in the same issue), Law & Society Review, Vol. 18 (1984), no. 2, pp. 273-289.



BODEN, Margaret
Autopoiesis and life, Cognitive Science Quarterly, (2000) 1, pp. 117-145.

Abstract:

Life is defined by Maturana and Varela as a type of self-organization: autopoiesis in the physical space. This resembles the concept of metabolism, which itself is typically included in definitions of life. Three senses of metabolism are distinguished. If life depends on either auto-poiesis or metabolism (in the third sense), then strong A-Life is impossible. The theory of autopoiesis challenges concepts familiar in biology and cognitive science. While its use of informational language is too restrictive, its use of cognitive language is too liberal: life does not imply cognition.

Available in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format at:

http://www.iig.uni-freiburg.de/cognition/csq/pdf-files/boden.pdf



BØGH ANDERSEN, Peter
The semiotics of autopoiesis. A catastrophetheoretic approach, Cybernetics & Human Knowing, Vol. 2 (1994), no. 4.



BOXER, Philip, and Vincent Kenny
The economy of discourses: a third order cybernetics?, Human Systems Management, Volume 9 (1990) Number 4, pp. 205-224.

An argument for a 'third order cybernetics', based in part on a critical analysis of second-order cybernetics generally and Maturana's ontology of the observer in particular. Available via WWW at:

http://www.oikos.org/discourses.htm



BRAMAN, S.
The autopoietic State: Communication and democratic potential in the net, Journal of the American Society for Information Science, Vol. 45 (1994), no. 6, pp. 358-368.

Braman invokes autopoiesis in calling for the development of 'second-order' (self-reflexive) systems theory to explain how human action can increase 'democratic forces' in social systems disrupted by powerful transnational corporations (TNCs) and new communication networks.



BRÅTEN, Stein
The third position -- beyond artificial and autopoietic reduction, Kybernetes, Vol. 13 (1984), pp. 157-163.

A discussion of social systems. Unfortunately, Bråten severely misuses the theory, applying it only with strict regard to 'organizational closure' of social systems. His usage is therefore biased, and self-serving.



BRÅTEN, Stein
Artifacts of mind, in Myklebust, J. P., and R. Ommundsen (eds.) Psykologprofesjonen mot aar 2000, Bergen: Universitetsforlaget, 1987, pp. 543-557.

This is a broad, general discussion of IT (info. tech.) issues. Bråten identifies 2 distinct camps: AI/cognitivism and the phenomenological. He sees them as immiscible, and he discusses the prospects for accounting for both in IT design.



BRIER, Søren
Information and consciousness: A critique of the mechanistic concept of information, Cybernetics and Human Knowing, Vol.1 (1992), no. 2/3 pp. 71-94.



BRIER, Søren
A cybernetic and semiotic view on a galilean theory of psychology, Cybernetics and Human Knowing, Vol. 2, no. 2, 1992.



BROWN, George Spencer
Laws of Form, Portland OR: Cognizer Press, 1994.

This provocative book outlines a 'calculus of indications' based upon a fundamental operation of distinction. In his 1979 Principles of Biological Autonomy, Varela intensively analyzes and builds upon Spencer Brown's calculus as a tool for addressing distinctions as fundamental cognitive acts. Originally published in 1969, this hard-to-find volume was reprinted in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977, and 1979. Different prefaces constituted some editions' primary addition to the previous one(s). The 1994 edition includes the Prefaces for the 1969, 1972, and 1979 editions.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



BURGHGRAEVE, P.
Mechanistic explanations and structure-determined systems. Maturana and the human sciences, in G. van de Vijver (ed.), New Perspectives On Cybernetics. Self-Organization, Autonomy, Connectionism, Dordrecht: Kluwer (Synthese Libary), 1992.

 

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CAMPBELL, D., and R. DRAPER (eds.)
Applications of Systemic Family Therapy: The Milan Method, New York: Grune and Stratton, 1985.



CAPRA, Fritjof
The Web of Life : A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems , New York: Anchor Books, 1996.

Capra, well-known author of prior provocative books on science (e.g., The Turning Point), now turns his sights on life and living systems. This book offers his synthesis of the concepts delineating an emerging perspective on living systems and, by extension, self-organizing systems in general. Capra reviews the last three decades' most significant theoretical innovations (e.g., dissipative structures, complexity studies) on the way to a summary overview which prominently highlights Maturana and Varela's work.

Capra's estimation of Maturana and Varela's contributions is best presented in his own words (excerpted from a talk in late 1996):

"The Santiago theory of cognition, I believe, is the first scientific theory that overcomes the Cartesian division of mind and matter, and will thus have the most far-reaching implications. Mind and matter no longer appear to belong to two separate categories, but can be seen as representing two complementary aspects of the phenomenon of life - the process aspect and the structure aspect. At all levels of life, beginning with the simplest cell, mind and matter, process and structure, are inseparably connected. Mind is immanent in living matter as the process of self-organization. For the first time, we have a scientific theory that unifies mind, matter and life."

By his own admission, Capra intends this book to be an update to Erich Jantsch's Self-Organizing Universe -- a classic book on self-organization written before autopoietic theory had been fully formed. In addition to providing summary introductions to some of autopoietic theory's main tenets, this book contextualizes Maturana and Varela's work with respect to other streams of more popularly known work. This contextualization may be the most important contribution of this book to those already familiar with autopoietic theory. The repeated emphasis on Maturana and Varela could well make this book the catalyst to a (long-overdue) proliferation of interest in autopoiesis.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



CASTORIADIS, Cornelius
The imaginary: Creation in the social-historical domain, in Livingston, Paisley (ed.), Disorder and Order: Proceedings of the Stanford International Symposium (Sept. 14-16, 1981), Saratoga CA: ANMA Libri, 1984, pp. 146-161.

This discussion proceeds from the foundation of society being background to the individual (seen as a social actor). This makes Castoriadis an exponent of the Luhmannian view, wherein the system is primary and the individual must fit. He makes reference to Varela's autonomy as an exemplar of how such social systems are realized.



CHIARI, Gabriele, and M. Laura Nuzzo
Constructs and Trinities: Kelly and Varela on Complementarity and Knowledge, Paper presented at the Seventh International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology, Memphis, TN, August 5th-9th, 1987.

"The paper is aimed at showing similarities and differences between the views of complementarity in relation to the creation and structure of cognitive systems held by George A. Kelly and Francisco J. Varela, both of them sharing a constructivist metatheory. Though operating in different times and in different fields (psychology and biology), their notions of construct and trinity, respectively, represent a similar departure from classical logic and dialectics, and lead to similar implications as to the problem of knowledge and the hierarchical structure of cognitive systems. Even if, because of their different views on the dependence/independence of reality from the observer's act of construing, Kelly's constructivism can be considered as trivial and Varela's constructivism as radical, the triviality of the former is questioned."

Available at:

http://www.aippc.it/articles/aippc1.html



COLAPINTO, Jorge
Maturana and the ideology of conformity, Family Therapy Networker, Vol. 9, no. 3 (May/June 1985), pp. 29-30.

Criticizes Maturana and Varela's (1980) proposition that the passion to change others is both ethically wrong and impossible, and concludes the passion to change others is intrinsically constitutive of the therapist.



CÓRDOBA, J. R., and G. Midgley
Rethinking stakeholder involvement: An application of the theory of autopoiesis and boundary critique to information systems planning, Chapter 13. In S. Clarke, and B. Lehaney (eds.), Human Centered Methods in Information Systems: Current Research and Practice, Hershey, USA: Idea Group, 2000, pp. 194-237.



COTTONE, R. Rocco
The third epistemology: Extending Maturana's structure determinism, American Journal of Family Therapy, Vol. 17, no. 2 (Summer 1989), pp. 99-109.

Cottone critically analyzes autopoietic theory with respect to the social and behavioral sciences, suggesting a major contradiction induced through the idea of structure determinism prevents a consistent epistemology and ontology. Cottone tries to outline a '3rd epistemology' based on change.



COUTINHO A, L. FORNI, D. HOLMBERG, F. IVARS and N. M.VAZ
From an antigen-centered, clonal perspective of immune responses to an organism-centered, network perspective of autonomous activity in a self-referencial immune system. Immunological Reviews , Vol. 79 (1984), pp. 151-168.



CYBERNETICS AND HUMAN KNOWING (journal)
General information about the journal is available via WWW at:

http://www.imprint-academic.demon.co.uk/C&HK/cyber.htm

The journal Cybernetics and Human Knowing has a WWW site at which you can access abstracts and even the full text for some articles invoking or analyzing the work of Maturana and Varela as it relates to (e.g.) human communication and semiotics.

 

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DALENOORT, G. J. (ed.)
The Paradigm of Self Organization : Current Trends in Self-Organization (Studies in Cybernetics, Vol 19), New York: Gordon and Breach, 1989.

This volume of essays is not specifically focused on autopoietic theory per se. However, many of the contributors invoke Maturana and Varela's work in addressing the more general notion of self-organization and its relevance to a variety of fields.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



DE SOLLA PRICE, Derek J.
Automata and the origins of mechanism and mechanistic philosophy, Technology and Culture, Vol. 5 (1966), pp. 9-23.

The delineation of autopoiesis begins with the characterization of living systems as machines. This should not be confused with an idea that living systems are strictly decomposable as mechanical entities -- only that they are describable in terms of their own structures and activities (without reference to extra factors). They term this outlook 'mechanicism'. de Solla Price's paper is an overview of mechanistic perspectives in biology.



DEFFUANT, G., FUHS, T., MONNERET, E., NOURGINE, P., and F. VARELA
Semi--Algebraic Networks: An Attempt to Design Gemometric Autopoietic Models. Artificial Life, Vol. 2(1995), no. 2, pp.157-177.



DEGGAU, Hans-Georg
The communicative autonomy of the legal system, in Teubner (1988: cited herein), pp. 128-151.



DELL, Paul F.
Family theory and the epistemology of Humberto Maturana, Chapter 3 in Kaslow, Florence W. (ed.), The International Book of Family Therapy, New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1982, pp. 56-66.



DELL, Paul F.
Beyond homeostasis: Toward a concept of coherence, Family Process, Vol. 21 (1982), pp. 21-41.

A discussion of the limitations of homeostasis as a systems-theoretic concept, including a retrospective look at Bateson, Maturana, and the impacts they have had on Dell. He says in conclusion that his 'coherence' is very similar to Maturana's concept of structure determination for systems.



DELL, Paul F.
In search of truth: On the way to clinical epistemology, Family Process, Vol. 21 (1982), pp. 407-414.

This paper was incorrectly cited in Simon (1985). A review of Dell's path into (among other things) autopoietic theory as an inspiration to his view of therapy.



DELL, Paul F.
Understanding Bateson and Maturana: Toward a biological foundation for the social sciences, Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, Vol. 11, no. 1 (January 1985), pp. 1-20.

Dell compares work of Gregory Bateson and Maturana, concluding they are compatible, although there are several points of contrast. Dell claims the essential message of both is that social systems and all human activities must be understood in the light of our being biological entities coupled to a medium. Dell suggests the biological ontology in both writers' work may provide a sound foundation for social / behavioral sciences.



DELL, Paul F.
Why do we still call them ''paradoxes''?, Family Process, Vol. 25, no. 2 (June 1986), pp. 223-234.

Maturana's views on structural determinism, instructive interaction, and phenomenal domains are applied to illustrate that many problematical theoretical concepts (e.g., communication, information, resistance, homeostasis, pathology) reveal the experiential validity of instructive interaction repeatedly leads humans into employing instructive interaction in a domain where it can never be valid: that of theory and explanation.



DELL, Paul F.
Maturana's constitutive ontology of the observer, Psychotherapy, Vol 24, no. 3S (Fall 1987), pp. 462-466.

This is a response to criticism of Dell's previous article concerning structural determinism. According to Dell, Maturana makes no metaphysical claims about some hypothetically independent reality. Instead, Maturana explains the observer's constitutive ontology. Dell, following Maturana, asserts the cognitive domain of human observers is structure determined, and that humans can therefore only distinguish a structure-determined world.



DELL, Paul F., and Harold A. GOOLISHIAN
Order through fluctuation: An evolutionary epistemology for human systems, Australian Journal of Family Therapy, Vol. 2 (1981), no. 4, pp. 175-184.



DENNETT, Daniel C.
Review of The Embodied Mind, American Journal of Psychology, Spring 1993, Vol. 106, No. 1, pp. 121-126.

Available via WWW at:

http://www.tufts.edu/as/cogstud/papers/varela.htm



DIAS, R. W. M.
Autopoiesis and the judicial process, Rechtstheorie, Vol. 11 (1980), pp. 257-282.[Berlin: Duncker & Humblot]



DOHERTY, Conor
Reconstructing AI, in Autopoiesis and Perception [cf. citation herein], Dublin: Dublin City University, 1992.



DUPUY, Jean-Pierre
Shaking the invisible hand, in Livingston, Paisley (ed.), Disorder and Order: Proceedings of the Stanford International Symposium (Sept. 14-16, 1981), Saratoga CA: ANMA Libri, 1984, pp. 129- 145.

This is a discussion of the effect which Adam Smith's 'invisible hand' had on the history of ideas, in terms of economics and in politics as well. Dupuy's presentation goes on to discuss Rousseau's attempts to put the law above the individuals, so as to disengage it from their ability to manipulate. Dupuy thereby draws remarkably close to the view of Luhmann -- that a social system (seen in a moral / political perspective) should be an autonomous entity. Well-written and provocative.



DUPUY, Jean Pierre
On the supposed closure of normative systems, in Teubner (1988: cited herein), pp. 51-69.



DUPUY, Jean Pierre, and Francisco VARELA
Understanding origins: an introduction, in: Understanding Origins: Contemporary Views on the Origin of Life, Mind and Society, (J. Dupuy and F. Varela eds.), Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic,1992.



DURKIN, James E. (ed.)
Living Groups: Group Psychotherapy and General Systems Theory, New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1981.

This collection contains numerous references to autopoiesis as a basic framework for living systems and, hence, a background construct of relevance to group therapy.



DURKIN, James E.
Foundations of Autonomous Living Structure, in DURKIN, J. (ed.), Living Groups: Group Psychotherapy and General Systems Theory, New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1981, pp. 24-59.

This article explores the notion of 'autonomy' with respect to living systems. It must be pointed out that references to Varela do not include Principles of Biological Autonomy (1979). This, plus Durkin's usage, means that no correspondence should be drawn between Durkin's and Varela's usage of the term 'autonomy'.

 

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EFRAN, Jay, and Michael D. LUKENS
The world according to Humberto Maturana, Family Therapy Networker, Vol. 9, no. 3 (May/June 1985), pp. 23-28 / 72-75.



EFRAN, Jay S., K.P. HEFFNER, and Robert J. LUKENS
Alcoholism as an opinion: structure determinism applied to problem drinking, Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, Vol. 4 (1987), no. 3, pp. 67-85.



EFRAN, Jay S., Michael D. LUKENS, and Robert J. LUKENS
Language, Structure, and Change: Frameworks of meaning in psychotherapy, New York: Norton, 1990.

This is the only book-length application of M & V's ideas to the area of psychotherapy. The discussion centers on the concepts of 'coupling', 'ontological drift', and context / individual-specificity of meaningfulness. Reviewed in issue 11 of The Observer.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



EMMECHE, Claus
Closure, function, emergence, semiosis and life: The same idea? Reflections on the concrete and the abstract in theoretical biology. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 901 (2000), pp. 187-197.

Abstract:

"In this note some epistemological problems in general theories about living systems are considered; in particular, the question of hidden connections between different areas of experience, such as folk biology and scientific biology, and hidden connections between central concepts of theoretical biology, such as function, semiosis, closure and life."

Available via WWW at:

http://www.nbi.dk/~emmeche/cePubl/2000a.Closure.html



EMMECHE, Claus
The Computational Notion of Life, Theoria - Segunda Epoca, Vol. 9 (1994), no. (21), pp. 1-30.

This paper discusses metaphorical notions of living organisms as information processing systems, the attempts to model such systems, life as a computational phenomenon, and semiotics. The theory of autopoietic systems is considered in relation to biosemiotics. Available via WWW at:

http://connect.nbi.dk/~emmeche/cePubl/compnolife.html



ENACTIVISM RESEARCH GROUP

Suggested readings list, available via WWW at:

http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~dareid/ERGreadlist.html

The Enactivism Research Group is based at the University of Alberta and the Memorial University of Newfoundland. They are promoting 'enactivism' -- based largely on enactive cognitive science (cf. Varela, Thompson & Rosch, 1991) -- in the field of education. NOTE: According to the sketchy information they provide, this group distinguishes their 'enactivism' to some unspecified extent from Varela's positions and from 'constructivism' generally. Owing to this, it is uncertain to what extent their approach intersects von Glaserfeld's application of 'radical constructivism' to mathematics education. The main WWW page for the research group is available via WWW at:

http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~dareid/ERG.html

 

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FAUCHEAX, Claude, and Spyros MAKRIDAKIS
Automation or autonomy in organizational design, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 5 (1979), pp. 213-220.



FELL, Lloyd, and David RUSSELL
Towards a biological explanation of human understanding, Cybernetics & Human Knowing, Vol. 2 (1994), no. 4.


FELL, Lloyd, RUSSELL, David, and Alan STEWART (eds.)
Seized by Agreement, Swamped by Understanding, Sydney: Hawkesbury Printing - University of Western Sydney, 1994. ISBN number = ISBN 0 646 20084 4.

"A collection of papers to celebrate the visit to Australia in August 1994 by Humberto Maturana."

The print version of this book is unfortunately out of print. However, the contents of this book can now (as of January 1998) be accessed via WWW at:



Alex Riegler's Radical Constructivism Site (Austria):

http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/books/seized/index.html



The Autopoiesis Plus... Site (Australia):

http://www.pnc.com.au/~lfell/book.html

NOTE: The HTML transcription of this book was done by Alex Riegler of Austria. Good job, Alex !



Table of Contents [With 'hot links' to the articles at the Australian site:]



Fell, Lloyd, David Russell and Alan Stewart

Prologue



Fell, Lloyd, and David Russell

Biology's Room With a View



Fell, Lloyd, and David Russell

An Introduction to "Maturana's" Biology



Fell, Lloyd, and David Russell

Living Systems - Autonomous Unities



Stewart, Alan

Constructivism and Collaborative Enterprises



Murray, Joy

Maturana's Biology and Some Possible Implications for Education



Fell, Lloyd, and David Russell

Non-Traditional R & D



Stewart, Alan

Cybernetic Conversation



Russell, David

Social Ecology - Education and Research



Graham, John

Some Reflections Upon Creative Thinking in the Nineties



Russell, David

Greenhouse Climate Change and Social Change



Dimitrov, Vladimir, and David Russell

The Fuzziness of Communication



Dimitrov, Vladimir, and Judith Bihl Dimitrov

Fuzzy Logic: A Key to Shared Wisdom



Fell, Lloyd

Stress, Epistemology and Feedlot Cattle



Russell, David, Vladimir Dimitrov and Lloyd Fell

Ancient Wisdom and Contemporary Ecological Problems



Fell, Lloyd, and David Russell

The Dance of Understanding




FISCHER, H. R. (ed.)
Autopoiesis : eine Theorie im Brennpunkt der Kritik, Heidelberg: C. Auer, 1991. ISBN: 3-927809-07-1 (in German)

ALSO:

Autopoiesis. Eine Theorie im Brennpunkt der Kritik, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1991. (in German)

NOTE: The Heidelberg / C. Auer entry is the one most commonly listed for Fischer's collection. The Frankfurt / Suhrkamp entry is one I've found only once. Perhaps there were 2 editions published (?) -- I don't know.



FLEISCHAKER, Gail Raney
Autopoiesis: System, Logic and Origins of Life, Boston: Boston University Professors Program, 1988.



FLEISCHAKER, Gail Raney
Autopoiesis: The status of its system logic, BioSystems, Vol. 22 (1988), pp. 37-49.



FLEISCHAKER, Gail Raney
Origins of Life: An operational definition, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, Vol. 20 (1990), pp. 127- 137.



FLEISCHAKER, Gail Raney
The myth of the putative 'organism', Uroboros Vol.1, No.2 (1991), pp.23-43.



FLEISCHAKER, Gail Raney (Guest Editor)
Autopoiesis in Systems Analysis: A Debate, A special forum issue of International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 21, No.2 (1992).



FLEISCHAKER, Gail Raney
Questions concerning the ontology of autopoiesis and the limits of its utility, Guest editor's introduction, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 21, No.2 (1992), pp.131-141.



FLEISCHAKER, Gail Raney
"Are osmotic or social systems autopoietic?": A reply in the negative. International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 21, No.2 (1992), pp.163-173.



FLEISCHAKER, Gail Raney
A few precautionary words concerning terminology, in G. R. Fleischaker, S. Colonna, and P-L Luisi (eds.), Self-Reproduction of Supramolecular Structures, NATO ASI Series C, Volume 446, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers (1994), pp.33-41.



FLEMONS, Douglas G.
Completing Distinctions: Interweaving the ideas of Gregory Bateson and Taoism into a unique approach to therapy, Boston / London: Shambhala, 1991.

An interesting book in which Flemons heavily invokes Spencer Brown's calculus of indications within a context laced with von Foerster, Varela, Bateson, and Eastern thought.


 

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  FOERSTER, Heinz von
 
 

 

Heinz von Foerster's pioneering work in second-order cybernetics parallels the biological theorizations of Maturana and Varela. His views on self-organizing and observing systems resonate with the constructivistic epistemology of autopoietic theory and enactive cognitive science. You can learn more about von Foerster and his work via WWW at:

http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/HvF.htm

Alex Riegler has assembled a comprehensive bibliography of von Foerster's writings at:

http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/HvF/bib.htm


 

 

FOERSTER, Heinz von
On constructing a reality, in F. E. Preiser (ed.), Environmental Research Design, Vol. 2, Stroudsburg: Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross, 1973, pp. 35-46.

This is an abbreviated version of a lecture given at the opening of the Fourth International Conference on Environmental Design Research on April 15, 1973, at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Reprinted in von Foerster's book Observing Systems, pp. 288-309.

This paper can now be accessed via WWW. It is included in "Lesson 1: Constructivism and 2nd-Order Cybernetics", among the tutorials provided by Democritus University of Thrace (in Greece). The URL is:

http://platon.ee.duth.gr/~soeist7t/Lessons/lesson2_2.htm



FOERSTER, Heinz von
Observing Systems, Seaside CA: Intersystems Publications, 1981.

This book brings together von Foerster's writings on second-order cybernetics, the role of the observer in delineating systems, the observer as a systemic entity, and the paradoxes inherent therein. Not a book on autopoiesis per se, but a very informative background text illuminating the general stance or perspective applicable to Maturana and Varela's work.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



FOERSTER, Heinz von
On cybernetics of cybernetics and social theory, in Roth & Schwegler (1981), pp. 102-105.



FOERSTER, Heinz von
Disorder/ order: Discovery or invention, in Livingston, Paisley (ed.), Disorder and Order: Proceedings of the Stanford International Symposium (Sept. 14-16, 1981), Saratoga CA: ANMA Libri, 1984, pp. 177-189.



FOERSTER, Heinz von
On constructing a reality, in Watzlawick, P. (ed.) (1984), pp. 41-61.



FOERSTER, Heinz von
Metaphysics of an Experimental Epistemologist A previously unpublished paper, first presented to a congress on Teneriffa in November 1995. Available via WWW at:

http://www.vordenker.de/metaphysics/metaphysics.htm



FOERSTER, Heinz von, and G. Zopf (eds.)
Principles of Self-Organization, Pergamon, New York, 1962.



FURLONG, Dermot, and David VERNON
Reality paradigms, perception, and natural science: The relevance of autopoiesis, in Autopoiesis and Perception (Addendum) [cf. citation herein], Dublin: Dublin City University, 1992.

 

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GAINES, Brian R.
Autopoiesis: Some questions, in Zeleny (1981: cited herein).

A healthy but skeptical list of questions concerning the value and strength of autopoietic theory.



GAINES, Brian R.
The Collective Stance in Modeling Expertise in Individuals and Organizations, University of Calgary Alberta, Knowledge Science Institute, August 1995. Available via WWW at:

http://ksi.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/articles/Collective/



GEYER, F.
Autopoiesis and social systems -- 1, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 21 (1992), pp. 175-183.



GEYER, F., and J. VAN DER ZOUWEN (eds.)
Sociocybernetic Paradoxes -- Observation, Control, and Evolution of Self-Steering Systems, London: SAGE, 1986.



GEYER, F., and J. VAN DER ZOUWEN (eds.)
Self-Referencing in Social Systems, Salinas CA: Intersystems Publications, 1990.



GLANVILLE, Ranulph, and Francisco VARELA
Your inside is out and your outside is in, in G.E. Lasker (ed.), Applied Systems and Cybernetics. Vol. II. Proceedings of the International Congress on Applied Systems Research and Cybernetics, New York: Pergamon, 1981.


 

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  GLASERSFELD, Ernst von
 
 

 

Ernst von Glasersfeld is a primary proponent of constructivist epistemology, and the formulator of radical constructivism. His epistemological positions parallel in large part Maturana and Varela's 'phenomenology of the living'.

Further information and resources on von Glasersfeld can be accessed via WWW at:

The Ecology of Mind site in Italy

http://www.oikos.org/vonen.htm

Further information on constructivism can be accessed via WWW at:

Alex Riegler's Radical Constructivism site

http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/

http://forum.swarthmore.edu/orlando/selden.orlando.html

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/construc.html


 

 

GLASERSFELD, Ernst von
Cybernetics and cognitive development, Cybernetics Forum, Vol. 8 (1976), pp. 115-120.



GLASERSFELD, Ernst von
Radical constructivism and Piaget's concept of knowledge, in F. B. Murray (ed.), The Impact of Piagetian Theory, Baltimore: University Park Press, 1978, pp. 109-122.



GLASERSFELD, Ernst von
Cybernetics, experience, and the concept of self, in M. N. Ozer (ed.), A Cybernetic Approach to the Assessment of Children: Toward a More Humane Use of Human Beings, Boulder CO: Westview Press, 1979, pp. 67-113.



GLASERSFELD, Ernst von
The concept of equilibration in a constructivist theory of knowledge, in Benseler, Hejl, and Köck (1980), pp. 75-86.



GLASERSFELD, Ernst von
An epistemology for cognitive systems, in Roth and Schwegler (1981), pp. 121-131.



GLASERSFELD, Ernst von
Feedback, induction, and epistemology, in G. E. Lasker (ed.), Applied Systems and Cybernetics, Vol. 2, New York: Pergamon Press, 1981, pp. 712-719.



GLASERSFELD, Ernst von
An introduction to radical constructivism, in Watzlawick, P. (ed.) (1984), pp. 17-40.



GLASERSFELD, Ernst von
The Construction of Knowledge: Contributions to Conceptual Semantics, Seaside CA: Intersystems,1987.



GLASERSFELD, Ernst von
An exposition of radical constructivism, in Donaldson (ed.), Texts in Cybernetic Theory, American Society for Cybernetics, 1988.



GLASERSFELD, Ernst von
A Constructivist Approach to Teaching, in Steffe, L.P., and J. Gale (eds.), Constructivism in Education, Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1995, pp. 3-15.

This paper can now be accessed via WWW. It is included in "Lesson 7: Education and Systems Theory ", among the tutorials provided by Democritus University of Thrace (in Greece). The URL is:

http://platon.ee.duth.gr/~soeist7t/Lessons/lesson7.htm



GLASERSFELD, Ernst von
Radical Constructivism: A Way of Knowing and Learning, London: Falmer Press, 1995.

This is von Glaserfeld's autobiographical review of his development of 'radical constructivism', which correlates with the epistemological positions of Maturana and Varela. This is probably the best introduction to von Glaserfeld's views on epistemology and learning.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



GLASERSFELD, Ernst von
Distinguishing the observer: An attempt at interpreting Maturana.
English translation of (1990) Die Unterscheidung des Beobachters: Versuch einer Auslegung. In: V. Riegas & C. Vetter (eds.) Zur Biologie der Kognition, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, pp. 281-295.
Article of December 1997, available via WWW at:

http://www.oikos.org/vonobserv.htm

Italian translation (1991) also available at http://www.oikos.org

Abstract:

"Humberto Maturana is one of the few authors that nowadays engage the construction of a wide, complete, esplicatory system, comparable to those of Plato or Leibniz. His "autopoietic" approach includes also the origin of the observer, meant as a methodological prius who provide itself a view of the world. Here I try to follow the way Maturana sees the birth of res cogitans (entity which gains awareness of what it's doing). I try to demonstrate that the basic activity of distinguishing can certainly lead to the distinction with which the observer is separated from anything observed. But I conclude that - at least for this interpreter - the origin of active consciousness remains obscure, that is, what works as the agent of distinguishing."

If for no other reason, this article is interesting for the fact that it illuminates points of both comparative agreement and disjunction between autopoietic theory and von Glaserfeld's own radical constructivism.



GOGUEN, J. A., and F. J. VARELA
Systems and distinctions: Duality and complementarity, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 5 (1979), pp. 31-43.



GOMEZ, P., and G.J.B. PROBST
Organizational closure in management -- a complementary view to contingency approaches, paper presented at the American Society for Cybernetics Meeting on Autonomy, Intervention, and Dependence, Philadelphia (1992). Also University of Geneva working paper, 1992.



GOOLISHIAN, Harold A., and Lee WINDERMAN
Constructivism, autopoiesis and problem determined systems, The Irish Journal of Psychology, Vol. 9 (1988), no. 1, pp. 130-143.

Discusses constructivism and autopoiesis with respect to psychotherapy. A theoretical basis for clinical practice is presented, focusing on (1) humans being meaning-generating systems and (2) the concept of problem determined systems.



GOUDSMIT, Arno L. (ed.)
Self-Organization In Psychotherapy. Demarcations Of A New Perspective, New York/Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 1989.



GOUDSMIT, Arno L.
The black hole of psychotherapy research. Organizational closure in psychotherapeutic processes, in F. Heylighen, E. Rosseel, F. Demeyere, (eds.), Self-Steering And Cognition In Complex Systems. Toward A New Cybernetics, New York: Gordon & Breach, 1990.



GOUDSMIT, Arno L.
A one-sided boundary. On the limits of knowing organizational closure, in G. van de Vijver (ed.), New Perspectives On Cybernetics. Self-Organization, Autonomy, Connectionism, Dordrecht: Kluwer (Synthese Libary), 1992.



GRAHAM, Phil
Critical systems theory: A political economy of language, thought, and technology, Communication Research, Vol. 26 (1999), no. 4, pp. 482-507.

http://www.uq.edu.au/%7Euqpgraha/CST.pdf



GRAHAM, Phil
Autopoiesis, language, literacy, and the brain, Fine Print, Vol. 22 (1999), no. 2, pp. 2-5.

http://www.uq.edu.au/%7Euqpgraha/Fine%20print.pdf

"...I wish to show the paradoxical and perhaps impenetrable relationship between language and thought - most often attributed to the proper functioning of the brain - and the primarily technological relationship between language and literacy. The argument I briefly present here is that the way we have come to understand and describe literacies of various sorts, especially the ability to read and write, gives us a distorted view of language and the brain - and, perhaps, even of ourselves as learning, languaging creatures."



GRAHAM, Phil, and B. J. MCKENNA
A theoretical and analytical synthesis of autopoiesis and sociolinguistics for the study of organisational communication, Social Semiotics, Vol. 10 (2000), no. 1, pp. 41-59.

http://www.uq.edu.au/%7Euqpgraha/socsem1.pdf



GRAHAM, Phil, and David ROONEY
A sociolinguistic approach to applied epistemology: examining technocratic values in global 'knowledge' policy, Journal of Social Epistemology, Vol. 15, no. 3 (July 1, 2001: Special issue on the commercialisation of epistemology), pp. 155 - 169.



GRAY, William
System-forming aspects of General Systems Theory, group forming, and group functioning, in DURKIN, J. (ed.), Living Groups: Group Psychotherapy and General Systems Theory, New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1981, pp. 294-315.

A general invocation of autopoiesis and an analysis of its relation to 'anamorphosis' (with respect to individual and group processes).



GUDDEMI, Phillip
Autopoiesis, semeiosis, and co-coupling: A relational language for describing communication and adaptation, Cybernetics & Human Knowing, Vol.7, no.2-3, 2000, pp. 127­145.

Abstract available in PDF format at:

http://www.imprint-academic.demon.co.uk/C&HK/vol7/guddemi.pdf



GUDDEMI, Phillip
Autopoiesis, semeiosis, and co-coupling: A relational language for describing communication and adaptation, Cybernetics & Human Knowing, Vol.7, no.2-3, 2000, pp. 127­145.

Abstract accessible in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format at:

http://www.imprint-academic.demon.co.uk/C&HK/vol7/guddemi.pdf

 

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HALLBOM, Kristine
The map is the territory: A systemic trip through the lenses of autopoiesis, Anchor Point Magazine, April 2000.

Republished with permission on the Web at:

http://www.nlpcomprehensive.com/articles/nlp/TheMap.htm



HAMPDEN-TURNER, Charles
Maps of the Mind: Charts and concepts of the mind and its labyrinths, New York: Collier, 1981.

This book is peripheral, but interesting in its own right. Hampden-Turner attempts to provide a comprehensive listing of the diverse models of mind proposed from antiquity to the present day. The specific link to autopoietic theory is his summary treatment of Francisco Varela (Map 55, p. 192). Hampden-Turner's only (admitted) knowledge of Varela's work derives from the 1976 article Not One, Not Two -- the only significant treatment of complementarity and the 'star' operator outside of Principles of Biological Autonomy. I'm not convinced that Hampden-Turner has a clear grasp of Varela's point(s) in this regard, but to his credit he (a) ties the notions (as he understands them) to Gregory Bateson's theories and (b) gives attention (if by default) to one of the least-explored aspects of Varela's mid-period work. Interestingly, Maturana is not mentioned in the book at all. This is somewhat ironic, given that is he (not Varela) whose subsequent career has intersected with psychotherapeutic studies.



HARNDEN, Roger J.
The languaging of models: the understanding and communication of models with particular reference to Stafford Beer's cybernetic model of organization structure, Systems Practice, Vol. 3 (1990), no. 3, pp. 289-302.



HARNDEN, Roger J., and Roy STRINGER
Theseus: The Evolution of a Hypermedium, series of WWW pages available at:

http://www.arts.uwa.edu.au/TheseusWWW/Theseus.html

This series of WWW pages outlines the theory and development of Theseus -- an application providing a hypermedium whose form and function are based on 'an embodied model of knowledge and understanding, as effective action'. Maturana's theory of 'languaging' and Varela's enaction / embodiment themes are woven throughout the discussion.



HAYLES, N. Katherine
The materiality of informatics, Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology, 1992, 1.1: pp. 147-170. Available via WWW at:

http://calliope.jhu.edu/journals/configurations/v001/1.1hayles.html

Hayles invokes The Embodied Mind in her discussion of embodiment and the role of information technologies in society.



HAYWARD, Jeremy W.
Perceiving Ordinary Magic: Science and intuitive wisdom, Boston: Shambhala, 1984.

In the course of this analysis of perception and epistemology, Hayward invokes Maturana and Varela's work.



HEJL, Peter M.
The problem of a scientific description of society, in Benseler, Hejl, and Köck (eds.) (1980), pp. 147-161.



HEJL, Peter M.
The definition of system and the problem of the observer: The example of the theory of society, in Roth and Schwegler (eds.) (1981), pp. 170-185.



HEJL, Peter M.
Towards a theory of social systems: Self-organization and self- maintenance, self-reference and syn-reference, in Ulrich and Probst (eds.) (1984), pp. 60-78.



HEJL, Peter M.
Konstruktion der sozialen Konstruktion : Grundlinien einer konstruktivistischen Sozialtheorie, Siegen : Institut für Empirische Literatur- und Medienforschung, 1985. Series Name: LUMIS-Schriften, 0177-1388. Summary in English and German.



HEJL, Peter M.
Self-Regulation in Social Systems: Explaining the Process of Research. (LUMIS-Schriften 21/89). Siegen: Universität Gesamthochschule Siegen/LUMIS, 1989.



HEJL, Peter M.
Self-regulation in social systems, in Krohn, W., G. Kuppers, and H. Nowotny (eds.) (1990), pp.114-127.



HEJL, Peter M.
Culture as a Network of Socially Constructed Realities, in Rigney, A., and D. Fokkema (eds.), Cultural Participation: Trends since the Middle Ages. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: J. Benjamins, 1993, pp. 227-250.



HEJL, Peter M.
Autopoiesis or Co-Evolution? Reconceptualizing the Relation between Individuals and Societies, Paragrana: Internationale Zeitschrift für Historische Anthropologie, Vol. 4 (1995), no. 2, pp. 294-314.



HEJL, Peter M.
The Importance of the Concepts of 'Organism' and 'Evolution' in E. Durkheim's 'Division of Social Labour' and the Influence of H. Spencer, in Maasen, Sabine, E. Mendelsohn & P. Weingart (eds.), Biology as Society, Society as Biology: Metaphors.(Sociology of the Sciences, A Yearbook, Vol. XVIII - 1994), Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1995, pp. 155-191.



HEJL, Peter M., Hubert HENDRICHS, Raphael FALK, and Eva JABLONKA
Complex Systems: Multilevel and Multiprocess Approaches, in Weingart, P., et al. (eds.), Human by Nature. Between Biology and the Social Sciences, Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1997, pp. 387-425.



HEJL, Peter M., Wolfram K. KÖCK, and Gerhard ROTH (eds.)
Wahrnehmung und Kommunikation, Frankfurt: Lang, 1978.

This is a hard-to-find collection of papers given at a conference in April 1978 on the theme of 'The Theory of Autopoietic Systems as a New Foundation for the Social Sciences'. All the papers are in German, with the exception of Maturana's contribution, entitled 'Cognition'.



HELD, B.S., and E. POLS
Dell on Maturana: A real foundation for family therapy?, Psychotherapy , Vol. 24 (1987), no. 3S, pp. 455-461.



HELD, B.S., and E. POLS
The philosophy of Dell and Maturana, Psychotherapy , Vol. 24 (1987), no. 3S, pp. 466-468.



HENRY, Charles, and L. M. ROCHA
Language Theory: Consensual Selection of Dynamics, WWW document available at:

http://ssie.binghamton.edu/people/rocha_docs/emcsr96.html

An analysis of the conflict between representationalism and self-organizing paradigms with respect to language and symbolization.



HOCKING, Brent, HASKELL, Johnna, and Warrent LINDS
Unfolding Bodymind: Exploring Possibility Through Education, Volume Three of the Foundations of Holistic Education Series, Foundation for Educational Renewal Psychology Press/Holistic Education Press, 2001.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



HOFFMAN, L.
A constructivist postion for family therapy, The Irish Journal of Psychology, Vol. 9 (1988), pp. 110-129.



HOFFMAN, L.
Constructing realities: An art of lenses, Family Process, Vol. 29 (1990), 1. (Page 1 only? -- or issue no. 1?)



HÖGFORS, Marie
Idagsidan (column), Svenska Dagbladet (newspaper), Friday 27 June 1986. 'I biologin finns bara nu' (Interview with Humberto Maturana) (SWEDISH).

Maturana was in Stockholm for a conference sponsored by 'Institutet foer systemteoretisk beteendevetenskap' (Institute for System-Theoretical Behavioral Sciences'). He discusses 'co-drift' (mutual influence between people) and uses the term 'multi- versum' (multi-verse, in contrast to universe) to describe the world as a set of observer-dependent interpretations.



HOWE, R.H., and Heinz VON FOERSTER
Introductory comments to Francisco Varela's calculus for self-reference, International Journal of General Systems, (1975) 2, pp. 1-3.



HUFFORD, Kevin D.
Network Thermodynamic Modeling and Lindenmayer System Simulation of Osmotic Growth: A Study of The Artificial Life Aspects of Spontaneous Self-Assembly of Inorganic Matter into Life-Like Forms, Binghamton NY: SUNY Binghamton T.J. Watson School ofEngineering and Applied Science doctoral dissertation, 1995(?). Abstract available via WWW at:

http://www.clarityconnect.com/webpages/webxtreme/kdh/phd.html

An analysis of osmotic growth systems with respect to the formal criteria of autopoiesis with applications to the field of artificial life (Alife).



HURST, Joseph B.
Implications for a new scientific paradigm for family therapy derived from the theoretical works of Humberto Maturana and Martin Heidegger, doctoral dissertation listed in Dissertation Abstracts International, Vol 49, no. 5A (November 1988), p. 1062.

 

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IN'T VELD, R. J., L. SCHAAP, C.J.A.M. TERMEER, and M.J.W. VAN TWIST (eds.)
Autopoiesis and Configuration Theory: New Approaches to Social Steering, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1991.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



INTRONA, Lucas D.
Management, Information and Power: A narrative of the involved manager, London: MacMillan, 1997.

In addition to Heidegger, Habermas, and a variety of postmodern writers, Introna invokes Maturana and Varela in analyzing the nuances of modern management practices and outlining a preliminary agenda for an emergent alternative.

 


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JANTSCH, Erich
The Self-Organizing Universe, Oxford / New York: Pergamon Press, 1980.

There is extensive reference in this book to autopoiesis as a special case of self-organization (which Jantsch views as largely isomorphic with Prigogine's 'dissipative structures').

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JANTSCH, Erich
The unifying paradigm behind autopoiesis, dissipative structures, hyper- and ultracycles, in Zeleny (ed.; 1980 -- cited herein).



JANTSCH, Erich
Autopoiesis: A central aspect of dissipative self-organization, in Zeleny (1981: cited herein).

Jantsch attempts to categorize autopoiesis as one subcomponent of a more general class of systems, essentially that of dissipative structures.



JOHNSON, David K.
Reclaiming reality: a critique of Maturana's ontology of the observer, Methodologia, Vol. V (1991), no. 9, pp. 7-31.

(Abstract from the journal website):

A major concern is to demonstrate the contradictory nature of Maturana's conception of ontology. A realist view of the external world is presented, assuming that the independence of the common-sense and scientific entities of the world from our schemes of representation does not render the world an ineffable, inaccessible realm of unspecifiable objects. The theory of Maturana is examined in details with regard to a possible philosophical interpretation, concluding that though Maturana describes himself as presenting a doctrine free of all ontological commitments, that self-description is false.



JOHNSON, D.K.
The metaphysics of constructivism, Cybernetics & Human Knowing, Vol. 1 (1993), no. 4, pp. 27-41.

A review and critique of constructivistic orientations, including that of Maturana.



JOHNSON, Mark
The Body In The Mind: The Bodily Basis Of Meaning, Imagination, And Reason, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.

This book doesn't invoke autopoiesis, but its exploration of embodiment as the basis for cognition is certainly relevant to the epistemology of autopoietic theory and enactive cognitive science.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



JUMARIE, Guy
Towards a mathematical theory of autopoiesis, Cybernetica, Vol. XXX, no. 8 (1987), pp. 59-89.

** WARNING!** Jumarie in fact never refers to autopoiesis except in the title, and he makes no references to other authors in autopoietic theory. His model is a rigorous mathematical attempt to apply Shannon's information theory to explain self- organizing systems. He proceeds from 2 very non-autopoietic notions: information as an invariant quantum a la Shannon, and an 'objective' for each system.

 

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KAMPIS, George
Computability, self-reference, and self-amendment, Communication and Cognition - Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 12, Nos.1-2, Special Issue on Self-Reference in Biological and Cognitive Systems, pp. 91-109.

Available via WWW at:

http://www.c3.lanl.gov/~rocha/kampis.html



KARASH, Richard
Personal notes from a three day seminar by Prof. Humberto Maturana held at the Open University, Milton Keynes, England on March 13-15, 1997. Available via WWW as 3 files:

Linkname: Maturana Seminar #1 - Epistemology LO12887

http://world.std.com/~lo/97.03/0156.html

Linkname: Maturana Seminar #2 - Biology LO12896

http://world.std.com/~lo/97.03/0165.html

Linkname: Maturana Seminar #3 - Humanness LO12903

http://world.std.com/~lo/97.03/0172.html



KATAKIS, Charis
The self-referential conceptual system: Towards an operational definition of subjectivity, Systems Research, Vol. 7 (1990), no. 2, pp. 91-102.



KAUFFMAN, Louis H., and Francisco J. VARELA
Form dynamics, Journal of Social Biological Structures, Vol. 3 (1980), pp. 171-206.



KAWAMOTO, H.
Autopoiesis: The Third Generation System (in Japanese). Seido--sha Publishers, 1995.



KEENEY, Bradford P.
Ecosystemic epistemology: An alternative paradigm for diagnosis, Family Process, Vol. 18, no. 2 (June 1979), pp. 117-129.



KENNEALLY, Peter
Talking about autopoiesis -- order from noise?, in Teubner (1988), pp. 349-368.



KENNY, Vincent, and Georgianna GARDNER
Constructions of self-organising systems, The Irish Journal of Psychology, Vol. 9 (1988), no. 1, pp. 1-24.

Overview and comparison of the theories of G. Kelly and E. Von Glasersfeld in relation to Maturana. All 3 are said to agree on (1) abandoning symbolic representations and (2) instructional interactions being impossible, but they polarize on the issue of reality. Maturana sees reality as an argument to compel or persuade another, whereas the constructivists rely on reality as a primary referent.



KENNY, Vincent
Life, the multiverse, and everything. An introduction to the ideas of Humberto Maturana, in A.L. Goudsmit (ed.), Self-Organization In Psychotherapy. Demarcations Of A New Perspective, New York/Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 1989.

This paper is Kenny's personal interpretation of those portions of autopoietic theory (most specifically, Maturana's latter work), particularly as they relate to conversation and Kenny's focal field of psychotherapy. A nice light introduction to some of Maturana's ideas -- particularly those elucidated in the 1988 "Reality..." paper.

An online (earlier?) version of this paper (dated October 1985) is available online at:

http://www.oikos.org/vinclife.htm



KENNY, Vincent
Anticipating autopoiesis. Personal constructs and self-organizing systems, in A.L. Goudsmit (ed.), Self-Organization In Psychotherapy. Demarcations Of A New Perspective, New York/Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 1989.

A summary overview of the progression in theories of 'constructivism' (particularly as they relate to social / psychological issues) from George Kelly to von Glasersfeld and Maturana. This was originally an invited paper presented at the conference Psychotherapie en Autonome Systemen, Utrecht, April 1987.

An HTML version of this paper is available via WWW at:

http://www.oikos.org/vincautopo.htm



KENNY, Vincent
On the subject of autopoiesis and its boundaries: Does the subject matter?, draft of an article later published in the International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 21, No. 2, 1992.

An HTML version of this paper is available via WWW at:

http://www.oikos.org/autopoiesis.htm



KING, A.
The 'truth' about autopoiesis, Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 20, no. 2 (Summer 1993), pp. 218-236.



KÖCK, Wolfram K.
Autopoiesis and communication, in Benseler, Hejl, and Köck (1980), pp. 87-112.



KÖCK, Wolfram K.
On communication and the stability of social systems, in Roth and Schwegler (1981), pp. 145-169.



KROHN, W., and G. KUPPERS
Self-organization: A new approach to evolutionary epistemology, in K. Hahlweg and C. A. Hooker (eds.), Issues in Evolutionary Epistemology, Albany NY: SUNY Press, 1989, pp. 151-170.



KROHN, Wolfgang, KUPPERS, Gunter, and Helga NOWOTNY (eds.)
Selforganization : Portrait of a Scientific Revolution, Dordrecht / Boston: Kluwer, 1990.

This is a very satisfying collection of essays on issues of self-organization and its relationship with constructivism. Of particular note is Maturana's essay entitled 'Science and daily life: The ontology of scientific explanations'. Also includes essays by Gunter Teubner, Niklas Luhmann, and Peter Hejl.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



KROHN, Wolfgang, KUPPERS, Gunter, and Helga NOWOTNY
Self-organization -  The convergence of ideas: An introduction, in Self-organization: Portrait of a Scientific Revolution. Edited by Krohn W. / Küppers, G. / Novotny, H. (eds.) Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1990. Pages 1-12. (Cf. previous Bibliography entry)

This paper can now be accessed via WWW. It is included in "Lesson 4: Self-Organization", among the tutorials provided by Democritus University of Thrace (in Greece). The URL is:

http://platon.ee.duth.gr/~soeist7t/Lessons/lesson4.htm

 


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LADEUR, Karl-Heinz
Perspectives on a post-modern theory of law: a critique of Niklas Luhmann, 'The Unity of the Legal System', in Teubner (1988), pp. 242-282.



LETELIER, Juan-Carlos, LENIZ, Fernando, and Francisco BASCUÑAN
Pitfalls, Risks and Challenges in Teaching Biology of Cognition, paper presented at Biology, Language, Cognition and Society: An International Symposium on Autopoiesis, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, November 18-21, 1997. Available via WWW at:

LetLen&Bas(1997).html

This paper is very interesting (and very important) for the fact it outlines some of the key problems encountered by newcomers exploring autopoietic theory. The authors have considerable experience in teaching the biology of cognition to university students at all levels, and as a result their observations are probably the best-informed in the world. Newcomers to autopoietic theory would be well-advised to check this paper as a source of "helpful clues" about where and how one might misconstrue elements of the theory. Highly recommended!



LIDOV, David
Cross Talk (editorial), The Semiotic Review of Books, a publication of the Toronto Semiotic Circle, Volume 3.3, September 1992, ISBN 0847-1622. Available via WWW at:

http://www.epas.utoronto.ca:8080/~cochrane/srb/semv33.html

An essay built around a review of The Embodied Mind (Varela, Thompson & Rosch, 1991).



LOCKER, Alfred
Metatheoretical presuppositions for autopoiesis, in Zeleny (1981: cited herein).

A generally critical view of autopoietic theory. He closes with the complaint that Maturana is guilty of 'scientism', and that such approaches cannot be fruitful.



LOEFGREN, Lars
Life as an autolinguistic phenomenon, in Zeleny (1981: cited herein).


 

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  LUHMANN, Niklas
 
 

 

Luhmann has formulated a controversial application of autopoiesis to society. This is perhaps the most widely-known and discussed invocation of autopoiesis in social systems studies. A more comprehensive bibliography of Luhmann's work can be accessed via WWW at:

http://fub46.zedat.fu-berlin.de:8080/~mr94/soziologie/archiv/luhm_bib.txt

http://www.netuse.de/~maro/mr_luhba.html


 

 

LUHMANN, Niklas
The Differentiation of Society, New York: Columbia University Press, 1982.



LUHMANN, Niklas
The world society as a social system, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 8 (1982), pp. 131-138.

A general commentary on social systems. Not too detailed with respect to his use of autopoiesis; not as detailed as his work on the legal system. He claims here that the social system is closed and autopoietic with respect to communicative acts (so maybe this is where he started the line of thought promoted by Bednarz).



LUHMANN, Niklas
Insistence on systems theory: perspectives from Germany - an essay, Social Forces, Vol. 61 (1983), no.3, pp. 987-998.



LUHMANN, Niklas
Soziale Systeme, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1984 (in German)

This is Luhmann's landmark statement of his ascription of autopoiesis to social systems. The book was translated into English as Social Systems (1995 -- cited elsewhere herein).



LUHMANN, Niklas
The self-description of society: crisis fashion and sociological theory, Int. J. Comp. Soc., Vol. 25 (1984), nos.1-2, pp. 59-72.



LUHMANN, Niklas
A Sociological Theory of Law, London: RKP,1985.



LUHMANN, Niklas
Society, meaning, religion - based on self-reference, Sociological Analysis, Vol. 46 (1985), no.1, pp. 5-20.



LUHMANN, Niklas
The self-reproduction of law and its limits, in Teubner, G. (ed.), Dilemmas of Law in the Welfare State, Berlin: de Gruyter, 1985.



LUHMANN, Niklas
The autopoiesis of social systems, in Geyer, F., and J. van der Zouwen, (eds.), Sociocybernetic Paradoxes, London: SAGE Publications, 1986, pp. 172 ff.

This paper can now be accessed via WWW. It is included in "LESSON 6: Society and Communication", among the tutorials provided by Democritus University of Thrace (in Greece). The URL is:

http://platon.ee.duth.gr/~soeist7t/Lessons/lesson6_2.htm



LUHMANN, Niklas
The representation of society within society, Current Sociology, Vol. 35 (1987), no.2, pp. 101-108.



LUHMANN, Niklas
The unity of the legal system, in Teubner, G. (ed.), Autopoiesis and the Law, Berlin: de Gruyter, 1988, pp. 12-35.



LUHMANN, Niklas
Closure and openness: On reality in the world of law, in Teubner, G. (ed.), Autopoiesis and the Law, Berlin: de Gruyter, 1988, pp. 335-348.



LUHMANN, Niklas
Law as a social system, Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 83 (1989), nos.1,2, pp. 136-150.



LUHMANN, Niklas
Ecological Communication, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1989.



LUHMANN, Niklas
Essays on Self-Reference, New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



LUHMANN, Niklas
The coding of the legal system, in Teubner and Febbrajo (1992), pp. 145-185.



LUHMANN, Niklas
Operational closure and structural coupling: The differentiation of the legal system, Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 13(1992), no. 5, pp. 1419-1441.



LUHMANN, Niklas
Ecological communication: coping with the unknown, Systems Practice, Vol. 6(1993), no. 5, pp. 527-540.



LUHMANN, Niklas
John Bednarz, Jr., and Dirk Baecker (Translators)

Social Systems, Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 1995.

This is the long-awaited English translation of Luhmann's 1984 landmark book Soziale Systeme. As such, it is the primary English-language book on Luhmann's ascription of autopoiesis to social systems.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



LUISI, P. and Francisco VARELA
Self-replicating micelles - a chemical version of a minimal autopoietic system, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, Vol. 19 (1989), pp. 633-643.

 

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MAGRO, Cristina
Languaging Language. Communication and Anti-Communication. Washington DC: American Society for Cybernetics, December 1996.



MAGRO, Cristina (Editor / Organizer)
Workbook: Biology, Cognition, Language, and Society (an international symposium on autopoiesis), November 18-21 1997 , Belo Horizonte (Brazil): Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, November 1997.

This volume is the compendium of papers accepted for presentation at the 1997 Belo Horizonte symposium. Copies of the volume were distributed to symposium participants as part of their registration packages. Thanks, Cristina !!



MALDONADO, Pedro E., and Humberto R. MATURANA
Frontal and lateral visual system in birds: Frontal and lateral gaze, Brain, Behavior & Evolution, Vol. 32, no. 1 (July 1988), pp. 57-62.



MARGULIS, Lynn
Big trouble in biology: Physiological autopoiesis versus mechanistic neo-Darwinism, in Brockman, John (ed.), Doing Science: The Reality Club 2, New York: Prentice Hall, 1988, pp. 211-235.

Margulis treats autopoiesis as an alternative paradigm for addressing living systems, but her usage of terminology from autopoietic theory is not very precise. Her emphasis on 'metabolism' as an operant process differentiating autopoietic from non-autopoietic systems can be construed as implying (in contrast to simple structural evolution / change) something akin to 'input-output', which Varela (1979) specifically dismisses as a characteristic of autonomous systems.



MARIOTTI, Humberto
Autopoiesis, Culture and Society,essay available at:

http://www.oikos.org/mariotti.htm

From the introduction:

"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 for the investigation of reality. Years ago, Chilean scientists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela proposed the following question: to what extent human social phenomenology could be seen as a biological phenomenology? The purpose of this article is to look for an answer to this question. However, before getting to it I think that it is necessary to review some of the fundamental principles introduced by these two authors."


 

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  MATURANA, Humberto R.
 
 

 

Humberto Maturana's work and vision established the basis for the theory of autopoiesis. As such, his writings must be considered (as well as his student Francisco Varela's) as the primary sources in this area. Any functional understanding of autopoietic theory requires a solid grounding in the sources cited below.

Further information on Maturana can be accessed via WWW at:

The American Society for Cybernetics 'disciplinary matrix' on Maturana at:

http://www.gwu.edu/~asc/people/Maturana/index.html

The Maturana page at the Ecology of Mind Web site in Italy:

http://www.oikos.org/maten.htm

A 1996 compilation of Maturana's publications (including non-English and non-autopoiesis materials not listed here) can be found in:

Humberto Maturana: The 'Official' Bibliography<


 

 

MATURANA, Humberto R.
The neurophysiology of cognition, in Garvin, P. (ed.), Cognition: A Multiple View, New York: Spartan Books, 1970, pp. 3-24.

This is cited by Varela (1979) as being a particularly important early paper. It was Maturana's first publication of the issues, perspectives, and positions which became the biology of cognition (and later autopoietic theory). It is a clearly written, concise introduction to the direction Maturana was going in 1969 -- long before the later terminology of 'organization', 'structure', and 'autopoiesis' were formulated and/or standardized. It contains his only discussion of AI -- computer systems as autonomous systems of the same type as his analysis of living ones.

A remarkably satisfying paper; terminological disjunction aside, it is one of the best papers a beginner can read. It remains perhaps my all-time favorite Maturana paper on the basis of its elegance of exposition.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Biology of Cognition, Biological Computer Laboratory Research Report BCL 9.0., Urbana IL: Univ. of Illinois, 1970.

Reprinted as the first of two segments of Autopoiesis and Cognition: Maturana and Varela (1980), pp. 5-58.

This is Maturana's seminal presentation of the concepts and constructs comprising the biology of cognition. Although the material in this paper appears in revised or modified form in many of Maturana's subsequent articles, this remains the single best source for understanding the basic perspectives and positions of his theories. The critical status of this paper is evidenced by its inclusion as the first section of the primary reference book in this area: Autopoiesis and Cognition.

This paper pre-dates the formulation of the concept of 'autopoiesis', so the details of that construct are not covered in this document. However, this must be considered the primary source on the context for defining and treating living systems as autopoietic entities, as well as the phenomenology of the living.

You can now access this important reference as an Observer Web Archive Edition -- a Web-based presentation of the material in its original format. Because this paper is very difficult to obtain in the form of its original BCL Report, it is primarily known via its appearance in Autopoiesis and Cognition. As a result, I have formatted the BCL Report document to reflect the pagination of its appearance in that 1980 book. This allows you to reference and cite the material with respect to the book's page numbers.

You can access it here at The Observer Web:

http://www.enolagaia.com/M70-80BoC.html



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Cognitive strategies, in Von Foester, Heinz (ed.), Cybernetics of Cybernetics, Urbana IL: Biological Computer Laboratory, University of Illinois, 1974, pp. 457-469.

Also (in French) in L'Unite de L'Homme (E. Morin and M. Piattelli-Palmarini eds.),Paris: Editions de Seuil, 1975.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
The organization of the living: A theory of the living organization, International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, Vol. 7 (1975), pp. 313-332.

Like the paper in the Garvin collection, this is a good overview of the basic ideas in autopoietic theory. Highly recommended for the newcomer to autopoiesis (if it is readily accessible).



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Communication and representation functions, in Piaget, J. (ed.), Encyclopedie de la Pleaide, Series Methodique, Psychology Volume, Paris: Gallimard, 1975.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Cognitive strategies, in L'Unite de L'Homme, Paris: Plon, 1975. (in French). NOTE: English version is listed above (1974, in von Foerster...).



MATURANA, Humberto R.[1978a]
Biology of language: The epistemology of reality
Chapter 2 in
Miller, George A., and Elizabeth Lenneberg (eds.), Psychology and Biology of Language and Thought: Essays in Honor of Eric Lenneberg, New York: Academic Press, 1978, pp. 27-63.

This is the key essay on language and interaction by Maturana -- the seminal one in which he concentrates on his view of linguistic interactions. There is terminology used and / or defined here that does not get such treatment elsewhere. In addition, this landmark paper contains Maturana's first elaboration of the epistemological and ontological issues which lie at the center of his 1988 papers.

This paper is now available (with the gracious permission of Academic Press) as an Observer Web Archive Edition -- formatted to faithfully replicate the layout and pagination of the original publication. You can access it here at The Observer Web:

http://www.enolagaia.com/M78BoL.html

OR (an earlier version) at the original / mirror Observer Web site:

http://www.informatik.umu.se/~rwhit/M78BoL.html



MATURANA, Humberto R.[1978b]
Cognition, in Hejl, Peter M., Wolfram K. Köck, and Gerhard Roth (Eds.), Wahrnehmung und Kommunikation, Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1978, pp. 29-49.

This 1978 paper is one of the best papers to read if you need a quick introduction to Maturana's perspective on living systems, their cognition, and their phenomenology. Unfortunately, it is also the single most difficult Maturana article to obtain.

The volume in which it was published is a hard-to-find collection of papers given at a conference in April 1978 on the theme of 'The Theory of Autopoietic Systems as a New Foundation for the Social Sciences'. All the papers are in German, with the exception of Maturana's contribution, entitled 'Cognition'. It is a very concise article on issues of cognition, making it a highly-recommended paper for the beginner (if he/she can find it).

This paper is now available with the gracious permission of Professor Maturana. Peter Lang (the publisher) advised me that the copyright had reverted to the authors years ago.

It is presented as an Observer Web Archive Edition -- formatted to faithfully replicate the layout and pagination of the original publication. You can access it here at The Observer Web:

http://www.enolagaia.com/M78bCog.html



MATURANA, Humberto R.
The wholeness of the unity: Conversations with Heinz von Foerster, Cybernetics Forum Vol. 9 (1979), pp. 20-26.



MATURANA, Humberto R.[1980a]
Man and society, in Benseler, Hejl, and Köck (1980), pp. 11-32.

This is the key essay on social systems by M. He makes it clear in this paper that social systems are emergent from the recursive coupling among individuals, and not autopoietic systems in their own right. Of particular interest is his addressing the themes of 'oppression' and 'alienation' from an autopoietic perspective. These are key points of mutual interest between autopoietic theory and Marxist social theorists, who have (in my experience) tended to criticize Maturana for his focus on the individual. This essay must be read before drawing any final conclusions about the 'top-down' vs. 'bottom-up' applications of autopoiesis to social systems (e.g., Luhmann vs. Hejl).



MATURANA, Humberto R.[1980b]
Autopoiesis: Reproduction, heredity and evolution, in Zeleny (ed.,1980: cited herein), pp. 45-79.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Autopoiesis, in Zeleny (ed.) (1981), pp. 21-33.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Erkennen: Die Organisation und ver Koperung von Wiklichkeit. Wiesbaden: Friedrich Vieweg & Sohn Braunschweig, 1982. (in German)



MATURANA, Humberto R.
What is it to see?, Archivos de Biologia y Medicina Experimentales (Santiago : Centro de Publicaciones Biologicas, Universidad de Chile Notes: "Organo de la Sociedad de Biologia de Chile"), Vol. 16 (1983), pp. 255-269.

This paper was originally presented in the International Symposium Comparative Neurobiology of Vision in Vertebrates, held at Punta de Tralca, Chile,. November 25th-27th, 1982.


MATURANA, Humberto R.
On the misuse of the notion of information in biology. Comments on 'All Things are Full of Gods'. Journal of Social and Biological Structures, Vol. 6 (1983), pp. 155-158.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
The mind is not in the head, Journal of Social and Biological Structures, Vol. 8, no. 4 (October 1985), pp. 308-311.

In this note, Maturana comments on a paper by F. D. Aboitiz, claiming that behavioral consequences of a localized brain lesion cannot be seen as proof of functional localization of behavior in the nervous system. He asserts that such an interpretation confuses nonintersecting phenomenal domains, and it overlooks the nervous system and the organism as being structure-determined.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Reflexionen über liebe, Z. System Ther., Vol. 3 (1985), pp. 129-31.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Everything said is said by an observer, in W. Thompson (Ed.), Gaia: A Way Of Knowing, Hudson NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1987, pp. 65-82.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
The biological foundations of self-consciousness and the physical domain of existence, in Caianiello, E. (ed.), Physics of Cognitive Processes, Singapore: World Scientific, 1987, pp. 324-379.

NOTE: This is essentially the same as the 1988 paper 'Ontology of observing...'.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Percepción: Configuración del objecto por la conducta [Perception: configuration of objects by behavior], Arch. Bio. Med. Exp., Vol. 20 (1987), pp. 319-324.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Reality: The search for objectivity or the quest for a compelling argument, The Irish Journal of Psychology, Vol. 9 (1988), no. 1, pp. 25-82.

An overview of the phenomenological and epistemological aspects of autopoietic theory. Recommended as a second or n-th source (not recommended as an exclusive introduction). This paper is most explicit about philosophical issues; Maturana distinguishes between 'transcendental' ontologies (with fixed referential bases -- e.g., objectivism) and the class of 'constitutive' ontologies (where the observer 'brings forth' the world), of which autopoietic theory is an example.

This paper is now available (with the gracious permission of The Irish Journal of Psychology) as an Observer Web Archive Edition -- formatted to faithfully replicate the layout and pagination of the original publication. You can access it here at The Observer Web:

http://www.enolagaia.com/M88Reality.html

OR (an earlier version) at the original / mirror Observer Web site:

http://www.informatik.umu.se/~rwhit/M88Reality.html

NOTE:

An article with this exact title (presumably the same text) appears in Leser, N., Serfert, J., and K. Plitzner (eds.), Die Gedankenwelt Sir Karl Poppers: Kritischer Rationalismus in Dialog, Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitäts Verlag,1991, pp. 282-357.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Ontology of observing: The biological foundations of self consciousness and the physical domain of existence, in the conference workbook 'Texts in Cybernetic Theory', an In Depth Exploration of the Thought of Humberto R. Maturana, William T. Powers, and Ernst von Glasersfeld , American Society of Cybernetics, Felton CA, October 18-23, 1988.

A version of this paper, edited by Alfredo Ruiz, is available via WWW at:

http://www.inteco.cl/biology/ontology/index.htm

NOTE: This is essentially the same as the 1987 paper 'The biological foundations...'.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Ontologia del conversar, (Ontology of conversation.), Terapia Psicologica, Vol. 7 (1988), no. 10, pp. 15-23.

Discusses conversation in terms of interplay between language, emotion, reason, and behavior.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Lenguaje y realidad: El origen de lo humano [Language and reality: The constitution of what is human], Arch. Bio. Med. Exp., Vol. 22 (1989), pp. 77-81.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Ontologia del conversar [Ontology of conversing], Santiago de Chile: Persona y Sociedad, Vol. III (1989), no. 2, pp. 9-28.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Zur Biologie der Kognition: ein Gesprach mit Humberto R. Maturana und Beiträge zur Diskussion seines Werkes (herausgegeben von Volker Riegas und Christian Vetter), Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1990. Series Name: Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Wissenschaft. ISBN: 3-518-28450-9 (in German)



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Science and daily life: The ontology of scientific explanations. In Krohn, W., G. Kuppers, and H. Nowotny (eds.), Selforganization: Portrait of a Scientific Revolution , Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1990, pp. 12-35.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Autocoscienza e realta`, [city of publication unknown] Italy: Raffaello Cortina Editore, 1990. (in Italian)



MATURANA, Humberto R.
The biological foundations of self consciousness and the physical domain of existence, in Luhmann, Niklas, et al. (eds.) Beobachter: Konvergenz der Erkenntnistheorien?, Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 1990.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Emociones y lenguaje en educacion y politica, Santiago : Hachette : CED, 1990 (in Spanish).

This book addresses communication (from the perspective of the biology of cognition) in education and politics.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
The origin of the theory of autopoietic systems, in Fischer, H. R. (ed.), Autopoiesis. Eine Theorie im Brennpunkt der Kritik, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1991.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Scientific and philosophical theories, in Leser, N., Serfert, J., and K. Plitzner (eds.), Die Gedankenwelt Sir Karl Poppers: Kritischer Rationalismus in Dialog, Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitats Verlag, 1991, pp. 282-374.

A manuscript with the same title is listed as having been published by the University of Chile and Institute of Family Therapy of Santiago, Chile (also in 1991). I have seen an electronic transcription / file of this latter manuscript. It is a complete article in and of itself, but it is not 92 pages long, as the above citation would indicate. It would appear, then, that either (a) these are two quite distinct documents or (b) the above citation information is incorrect with regard to the essay's length.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Science and daily life: The ontology of scientific explanations. In F. Steier (ed.), Research and Reflexivity, Beverly Hills CA: SAGE, 1991, pp. 30-52.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Re-inventing the already punctured wheel: Reflections on a seminar with Humberto Maturana, Response to Jim Birch, Journal of Family Therapy, Vol. 13, no. 4 (November 1991), pp. 375-393.

Maturana refutes J. Birch's criticisms (cf. Birch 1991), arguing that Birch confuses conceptual domains and that none of his criticisms apply.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Response to Berman's Critique of the Tree of Knowledge, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Vol. 31 (1991), no. 2, pp. 88-97.

Cf. Berman (1989) listed above, who criticizes Maturana on politics. According to Berman, Maturana's views require one to consider all societies or regimes are equally valid. Maturana responds that yes they are, but that this doesn't mean they are all equally desirable.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Cognition and autopoiesis: A brief reflection on the consequences of their understanding, in Teubner, G., and Febbrajo, A. (eds.), State, Law and Economy as Autopoietic Systems: Regulation and Autonomy in a New Perspective, European Yearbook in the Sociology of Law, Milan: Giuffre, 1992, pp. 125-142.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Biology of the aesthetic experience, in Titzmann, M. (ed.), Zuchen (Theorie) und Praxis, Passau: Wissenschaftsverlag Rothe, 1993. [Volume / page data unknown]



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Biology of self-consciousness, in Tratteur, Giuseppe (ed.), Consciousness: Distinction and Reflection, Naples: Bibliopolis, 1995, pp. 145-175.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
The nature of time. Manuscript of November 1995. Available via WWW (Thanks to Alfredo Ruiz!) at:

http://www.inteco.cl/biology/nature.htm



MATURANA, Humberto R. (and others...)
Violencia en sus distintos ambitos de expresion, Santiago de Chile: Dolmen Ediciones, 1995 (in Spanish). ISBN: 9562012530.

Based on a series of seminars to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Instituto de Terapia Familiar de Santiago, 1982-1992.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Die Natur der Zeit, in A. Gimmler, M. Sandbothe, W. Ch. Zimmerli (ed.), Die Wiederentdeckung der Zeit: Reflexion Analysen Konzepte, Darmstadt Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1997, pp.114-125.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Biological foundations of morals and ethics in education, draft manuscript (not known to have yet been published), 1997.



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Metadesign, draft manuscript of 1997. Available via WWW (Thanks to Alfredo Ruiz!) at:

http://www.inteco.cl/articulos/metadesign.htm

An essay on technology and human intentions with respect to technology, addressing the question: Human beings versus machines, or machines as instruments of human designs?



MATURANA, Humberto R.
Autopoiesis, Structural Coupling and Cognition

Draft manuscript, editorial changes not yet reviewed by author. This draft manuscript, online at the ISSS Webspace, but not indexed from the ISSS pages themselves. (Oops!)

http://www.isss.org/maturana.htm



MATURANA, Humberto R.
The effectiveness of mathematical formalisms, Cybernetics & Human Knowing, Vol.7, no.2-3, 2000, pp. 147-150.

PDF (Adobe Acrobat format) version of article available at:

http://www.imprint-academic.demon.co.uk/C&HK/vol7/maturana.pdf



MATURANA, Humberto R., and Gloria D. GUILOFF
The quest for the intelligence of intelligence, Journal of Social and Biological Structures, Vol. 3 (1980), pp. 135-148.



MATURANA, H., LETTVIN, J., MCCULLOCH, S. and PITTS, W.
Anatomy and physiology of vision in the frog, Jrnl. of General Physiology, Vol.43 (1960), pp. 129-175.



MATURANA, Humberto R., G. URIBE, and Samy G. FRENK
A biological theory of relativistic colour coding in the primate retina: A discussion of nervous system closure with reference to certain visual effects, Archiva de Biologia y Medicina Experimentales, Suplemento Vol. 1 (1968), pp. 1-30.



MATURANA, Humberto R., Francisco VARELA, and Samy G. FRENK
Size constancy and the problem of perceptual spaces, Cognition, Vol. 1 (1972), no. 1, pp. 97-104.

A discussion of nervous system closure with reference to certain visual effects.



MATURANA, H. and F. VARELA
De Maquinas y Seres Vivos. Una caracterizacion de la organizacion biologica, Santiago (Chile): Editorial Universitaria, 1972. (in Spanish)



MATURANA, H. and F. VARELA
Autopoiesis: the organization of the living, a 1973 paper reprinted in: Autopoiesis and Cognition (Maturana & Varela, 1980), pp. 63-134.



MATURANA, H. and F. VARELA
Autopoietic Systems: A Characterization of the Living Organization, Biological Computer Laboratory Research Report BCL 9.4, Urbana IL: University of Illinois, 1975.



MATURANA, H. and F. VARELA
Preliminary Remarks, in Zeleny (1981: cited herein).



MATURANA, Humberto R., and Francisco J. VARELA
Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science [ Cohen, Robert S., and Marx W. Wartofsky (eds.) ], Vol. 42, Dordecht (Holland): D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1980.
ISBN: 9027710155 (Hardcover), ISBN: 9027710163 (Paperback)

This is *THE* seminal book on autopoiesis, and the primary reference for most of autopoietic theory. The book is a reprinting of two key essays (one by Maturana; one by both), along with an extensive introduction by Maturana (for the first essay) and a preface by Stafford Beer (for the second). This book and Varela's Principles of Biological Autonomy remain the key and essential references in this area.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop

NOTE:

If you are having trouble accessing this critical book, you have a way to access at least some of the material which is in it. The book consists of reprints of two key papers. The first is Maturana's Biology of Cognition, Biological Computer Laboratory Research Report BCL 9.0., Urbana IL: University of Illinois, 1970. This early paper was reprinted as the first section within Autopoiesis and Cognition, pp. 5-58.

You can now access this important paper as an Observer Web Archive Edition -- a Web-based presentation of the material in its original format. Because this paper is very difficult to obtain in the form of its original BCL Report, it is primarily known via its appearance in Autopoiesis and Cognition. As a result, I have formatted the BCL Report document to reflect the pagination of its appearance in that 1980 book. This allows you to reference and cite the material with respect to the book's page numbers.

You can access it here at The Observer Web:

http://www.enolagaia.com/M70-80BoC.html

In addition, Stafford Beer's preface to Autopoiesis and Cognition has been posted (with permission of the publisher) on WWW by John Hicks (Centre for Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh). Thanks, John!

The URL is: http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~jwjhix/Beer.html



MATURANA, Humberto R., and Francisco J. VARELA
Size constancy and accommodation. Perception, Vol. 10 (1981), pp. 707-709.



MATURANA, Humberto R., and Francisco J. VARELA
Color-opponent responses in the avian lateral geniculate: A study in the quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica), Brain Research, Vol 247, no. 2, (Sept. 1982) pp. 227-241).



MATURANA, Humberto R., and Francisco J. VARELA
El Arbol del Conocimiento: Las Bases Biologicas del Conocer Humano, Santiago (Chile): Editorial Universitaria, 1a. Edicion, 1984; 10a. Edicion, 1994. (in Spanish)

This is the original book published in English as The Tree of Knowledge.



MATURANA, Humberto R., and Francisco J. VARELA
The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding, Boston: Shambhala, 1987.

This is the most accessible introduction to the basic principles of autopoietic theory and the phenomenology of the living. As such, this is the first book a newcomer should read. However, based on the feedback I've received from those to whom I've recommended it, Tree of Knowledge should not be taken as a single-source reference on autopoietic theory. The ideas are presented in a 'colloquial' manner, and any reader really interested in pursuing them (as formal theory) should definitely be referred to Maturana & Varela (1980) and/or Varela (1979). I have found that the 'popular' style of the book leaves more academic readers sometimes unimpressed (i.e., as if they found it too 'lightweight').

NOTE: New (revised) edition published in 1992. So far as I can tell, the primary difference (from the 1987 edition) is the Afterword by Varela, describing his subsequent work.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop

Other Editions of The Tree of Knowledge:

Der Baum der Erkenntnis - Die biologischen Wurzeln des menschlichen Erkennens, Bern, München, Wien: Scherz Verlag, 1987. (in German)

L'Albero Della Conoscenza, Milano: Garzanti, 1987. (in Italian)

Kundskabens Trae. Aarhus (Denmark): Ed. Ask, 1987. (in Danish)

El Arbol del Conocimiento Madrid: Ed. Debate, 1990. (in Spanish)

L'arbre de la connaissance, Paris: Addison-Wesley, 1994. (in French)



MATURANA, Humberto R., and J. MPODOZIS
Percepción: configuración conductual del objeto, Arch Biol Med Exp, Vol. 20 (1987), 3-4, pp. 319-324.

"The word perception is usually heard as connoting an operation of grasping an external reality through the process of receiving information from it. This, however, is constitutively impossible because living systems are dynamic structure determined systems, and everything happens in them determined at every instant by their structure. This means that the medium cannot specify what happens in a living system, and that it can only trigger in it structural changes determined in its structure. As a result a living system constitutively always operates in structural congruence with the medium, and exists as such only as long as this structural congruence (adaptation) is conserved; otherwise it desintegrates. In these circumstances, the phenomenon connoted by the word perception consists in the association, by the observer, of the behavioral regularities that he or she distinguishes in the observed organism with the conditions of the medium that he or she sees triggering them. The observer uses such behavioral regularities to characterize perceptual objects. This applies to all living systems including the observer. The explanation of perception in the context of the structural determinism of living systems invalidates any attempt to account for the phenomenon of cognition (including language) with notions that entail the denotation or connotation of a domain of reality independent of the distinctions of the observer." (Quoted from summary obtained from Internet journal indexing site)



MATURANA, Humberto R., and J. MPODOZIS
Origen de las especies por medio de la deriva natural o la diversificación de los linajes através de la conservación y cambio de los fenotipos ontogénicos, Santiago: Publicacion Ocasional 46/1992 Museo Nacional de Historia Natural,1992.

English version of title = "The Origin of Species by means of Natural Drift or Lineage Diversification through the Conservation and Change of Ontogenic Phenotypes"



MATURANA, Humberto R., and G. VERDEN-ZÖLLER
Liebe und Spiel, die vergessene Grundlage der Menschlichkeit, Carl Auer Verlag, 1993.



MATURANA, Humberto R., MPODOZIS, Jorge, and Juan Carlos LETELIER
Brain, language and the origin of human mental functions, Biological Research, Vol. 28 (1995): 15-26.

This paper is a recent summary of the biological and neurophysiological processes that give rise to human mental phenomena interpreted as behavioral relational phenomena which (1) take place in the relational manner of living that human language constitutes, and (2) arise as recursive operations in such behavioral domains.

Juan Jose Saenz has transcribed the paper into HTML format (Thanks, Juan Jose!), and you can read it online at:

  1. http://cipres.cec.uchile.cl/~jusaenz/BLOHMF.HTM

  2. Here at The Observer Web



MATURANA, Humberto R., and Susana BLOCH
Biologia del Emocionar y Alba Emoting Bailando Juntos, Santiago: Dolmen Ediciones, 1996. ISBN: 9562022883

Las emociones fluyen continuamente, impregnando nuestro vivir, determinando todas nuestras acciones y conductas, incluso nuestro razonar.Sobre estos temas, dos científicos, amigos de toda una vida, conversan libremente. Las emociones se viven como dominios de conductas relacionales y constituyen el fundamento de todo nuestro quehacer. No sólo eso. Todo razonar ocurre como un constructo coherente a partir de ciertas premisas o puntos de partida que se aceptan a priori desde la emoción que se vive hasta en el instante de razonar...Pero como fenómenos de nuestro ser biológico, nuestro emocionar surge en nuestro fluir fisiológico en relación, y puede evocar desde la modulación de la corporalidad, particularmente desde la modulación de los ritmos respiratorios... En este libro, Susana Bloch y Humberto Maturana conversan sobre el emocionar y su evocación desde el respirar.



MATURANA, Humberto R., and G. VERDEN-ZÖLLER
Biology of love, in Opp, G., and F. Peterander, F. (Eds.): Focus Heilpadagogik, Munchen/Basel: Ernst Reinhardt, 1996.

From the opening:

"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 occassionally, 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."

Jane Cull (Life's Natural Solutions, Australia) has posted this article on the World Wide Web at:

http://www.ozemail.com.au/~jcull/articles/bol.htm

Thanks, Jane!



MATURANA, Humberto R., and S. NISIS DE REZEPKA
Human Awareness: Understanding the Biological Basis of Knowledge and Love in Education (Edited by Jane Cull).

This paper was originally presented by Ms. Nisis at the 6th Conference of the International Association for Cognitive Education, Stellenbosch, South Africa, June/July, 1997, under the title "The challenge to cognitive education for the empowerment in the information age for developing and developed countries." Jane Cull (Life's Natural Solutions, Australia) has edited and posted a revised version of this article on the World Wide Web at:

http://www.ozemail.com.au/~jcull/articles/arteduc.htm

Thanks, Jane!



MATURANA, Humberto R., and S. and Pille Bunnell
Biosphere, homosphere, and robosphere: What has that to do with business?

"This paper is based on a presentation made by Humberto Maturana at the Society for Organizational Learning Member's Meeting, Amherst MA in June, 1998.

It is not a transcript, rather it is a re-creation by Pille Bunnell, reorganized with changes, deletions, and additions intended to make it more coherent as a written document. The first person voice of Dr. Maturana is retained, but any mis-representation of what he intended is the responsibility of Dr. Bunnell."

Available via WWW at:

http://www.sol-ne.org/res/wp/maturana/index.html%20



MCMULLIN, Finbarr (Barry) V.
Artificial Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach, Dublin: National University of Ireland / University College Dublin, Department of Computer Science, doctoral dissertation, 1992. Available via WWW at:

ftp://ftp.eeng.dcu.ie/~alife/bmcm_phd/



MCMULLIN, Finbarr (Barry) V.
Artificial Darwinism: The very idea!, in Autopoiesis and Perception [cf. citation herein], Dublin: Dublin City University, 1992.



MCMULLIN, Finbarr (Barry) V.
SCL: An Artificial Chemistry in Swarm, Working Paper 97-01-002 of the Santa Fe Institute. January 1997. Available via WWW at:

Santa Fe Institute:

http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/Working-Papers/97-01-002/

Dublin City University:

http://www.eeng.dcu.ie/~alife/bmcm9702



MCMULLIN, Finbarr (Barry) V.
Computational Autopoiesis: The Original Algorithm. Working Paper 97-01-001 of the Santa Fe Institute. January 1997. Available via WWW at:

Santa Fe Institute:

http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/Working-Papers/97-01-001/

Dublin City University:

http://www.eeng.dcu.ie/~alife/bmcm9701



MCMULLIN, Finbarr (Barry) V., and Francisco VARELA
Rediscovering Computational Autopoiesis Paper to be presented at ECAL-97, Brighton, UK, July, 1997. Available via WWW at:

http://www.eeng.dcu.ie/~alife/bmcm-ecal97/



MENDES, David
Language, Emotion and Knowing: An explanation of what it is to be human. Material deriving from an interview with Humberto Maturana, February 1997. Available via WWW at:

http://www.pnc.com.au/~lfell/visit.html



MENDEZ, C., F. CODDOU, and Humberto R. MATURANA
The bringing forth of pathology, The Irish Journal of Psychology, Vol. 9 (1988),pp. 144-172.


 

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  MERLEAU-PONTY, Maurice
 
 

 

Francisco Varela has cited this French phenomenologist as perhaps his most relevant philosophical predecessor. Merleau-Ponty's first two books (listed here) concentrate on an observer's embodiment-mediated engagement with the world.


 

 

MERLEAU-PONTY, Maurice
The Structure of Behavior, translated from the French by Alden L. Fisher, Boston: Beacon Press, 1963. Originally La Structure du Comportement (French), Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1942.



MERLEAU-PONTY, Maurice
Phenomenology of Perception, translated from the French by Colin Smith, London: Routledge, 1962, 1989.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



MEYNEN, H.T.
The bringing forth of dialogue: Latour versus Maturana, in G. van de Vijver (ed.), New Perspectives On Cybernetics. Self-Organization, Autonomy, Connectionism , Dordrecht: Kluwer (Synthese Libary), 1992.



MINGERS, John
An introduction to autopoiesis -- implications and applications, Systems Practice, Vol. 2 (1989), no. 2, pp. 159-180.

Highly recommended as a concise overview of autopoietic theory. Mingers is apparently familiar with the broad body of literature in this area (as opposed to most other writers), and he does a wonderful job of summarizing. For those who want a 'taste' of autopoietic theory, this would be a good choice.



MINGERS, John
An introduction to autopoiesis: a reply to Fenton Robb's comment, Systems Practice, Vol. 2 , no.3 (September 1989), pp. 349-352.

F. Robb (after welcoming Mingers' article) suggests that social systems may indeed be autopoietic, and he invites Mingers to be less skeptical about this issue. Mingers lists three conditions for autopoiesis (self- production, boundary formation, and lack of a need for adaptation for social systems) to be applied to social systems, none of which he believes hold.



MINGERS, John
The philosophical implications of Maturana's cognitive theories, Systems Practice, Vol. 3 (1990), no. 6, pp. 569-584.

A concise overview of Maturana from the perspective of philosophy. Mingers accuses M of solipsism (a frequent charge), but his explicit basis for this claim is a misreading of the cited paper (Maturana, 1988, 'Reality:...'). Mingers claims that autopoietic theory can be readily reconciled with 'scientific realism' (cf. Bhaksar).



MINGERS, John
The cognitive theories of Maturana and Varela, Systems Practice, Vol. 4 (1991), no. 4, pp. 319-338.

A straightforward look at the phenomenological aspects of M & V's theories. This is somehow neither as penetrating nor as comprehensive as Mingers' analysis of the philosophical aspects (1990). However, it is certainly a good concise introduction to the cognitive aspects of the theories and an overview of its application into 3 fields (family therapy, computer design, and law), which are covered in more detail elsewhere.



MINGERS, John
The problems of social autopoiesis, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 21 (1992), pp. 229-236. NOTE: This issue of the journal was a special issue devoted to autopoiesis.



MINGERS, John
Self-Producing Systems: Implications and Applications of Autopoiesis,New York: Plenum Publishing, 1994.

John Mingers provided the following summary (February 1994):

This book provides a comprehensive coverage of the work of Maturana and Varela on autopoiesis and cognition, and its applications. The aims of the book are first to open up autopoiesis, and its obscure terminology, to a wide audience in a comprehensive and authoritative way. Second, to cover its application in different disciplines to provide a comparative perspective. Third, to critically explore the many debates that autopoiesis generates.

  • Section I covers autopoiesis in the physical domain including mathematical representations (such as the Laws of Form) and computer models.
  • Section II develops the theories of cognition, including a chapter on the philosophical implications of Maturana's constructivist position.
  • Section III provides detailed examination of the applications of autopoiesis in social and organisational theory (including Luhmann's approach), law, family psychotherapy, and cognitive theory and AI (covering Varela's theoryof enactive cognition).
  • A final chapter reviews the main areas of debate surrounding autopoiesis.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



MINGERS, John
Information, Meaning, and Communication:An Autopoietic Approach to Linking the Social and the Individual, Cybernetics & Human Knowing, Volume 6, no. 4, 1999.

Abstract: This paper considers the relations between information and meaning, as generated through the interactions of individuals, and communication, at the level of society, from an autopoietic perspective. It draws on earlier work concerning first, the nature of information and its relation to meaning via embodied cognition; and, second, a classification of organizationally closed, or self-referential, systems. The contribution made in this paper is to link these analyses at the level of the individual up to the social system of communication (based on Luhmann's work) utilising structuration theory.

PDF (Adobe Acrobat format) abstract at:

http://www.imprint-academic.demon.co.uk/C&HK/vol6/mingers_6-4_new.PDF



MORGAN, Gareth
Images of Organization, Beverly Hills CA: Sage, 1986.

Gareth Morgan is a widely-known writer on management and organizational issues. In this 1986 analysis of organizations, he invokes autopoiesis in his development of a perspective on enterprises as self-organizing entities. The issues of organizational change and development are framed with respect to organizational structure and (self-)image.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



MORIN, E.
Can we conceive of a science of autonomy?, Human Systems Management, Vol. 3 (1982), pp. 201-306.



MOWITZ, J.H., and A.L. GOUDSMIT Organizational closure and morphogenesis, in G.J. Dalenoort (ed.), The Paradigm Of Selforganization , New York: Gordon & Breach, 1989.



MPODOZIS, Jorge, LETELIER, Juan Carlos, and Humberto MATURANA
Nervous System as a Closed Neuronal Network: Behavioral and Cognitive Consequences, originally published in Mira, José, and Francisco Sandoval (Eds.), From Natural to Artificial Neural Computation (publisher and publication data unknown). An electronic version of this paper has been generated by J. J. Saenz (Thanks, JJ!) and made available via WWW at:

http://cipres.cec.uchile.cl/~jusaenz/NSCNNBCC.HTM



MURPHY, Noel
The causal and symbolic explanatory duality as a framework for understanding vision, in Autopoiesis and Perception [cf. citation herein], Dublin: Dublin City University, 1992.

 

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A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  PQ  R  S  T  U  V  W  XYZ 
 

 

 

NISSAN, Ephraim
Knowledge acquisition and metarepresentation: Attribute autopoiesis methodologies for intelligent systems, in Proceedings of the Second International Symposium, New York: Elsevier (North Holland), 1987, pp. 240-247.

Nissan attempts to invoke autopoiesis as descriptive of the organization and development of meta-representations of a knowledge base. This is one of the few cases where someone has claimed to have directly applied autopoiesis in information technology (IT) development. Unfortunately, it's not clear that Nissan is using 'autopoiesis' in any sense which corresponds to M & V.



NOMURA, Tatsuya
An Attempt for Description of Quasi-Autopoietic Systems Using Metabolism-Repair Systems. Available via WWW (in PDF format) at:

www.hannan-u.ac.jp/~nomura/docs/quasi_ap.pdf

Abstract

In this paper, we attempt to describe Autopoietic Systems using a mathematical framework of Metabolism{Repair Systems. Our description does not strictly re ect pure autopoiesis, and can only represent quasi{autopoietic systems. However, we believe that this attempt will spur discussions on the formal description of autopoiesis and the relation to mental and social systems, and so on, and we dare to propose a rough model.



NOMURA, Tatsuya, and Katsunori SHIMOHARA
A Description of Quasi-Autopoietic Systems based on the Framework of (M,R) Systems. Available via WWW (in PDF format) at:

NEC USA Bibliographic Server entry.

Abstract

In this paper, we discuss a description of autopoietic systems using a mathematical framework of (M,R) systems. Our attempt may be very thoughtless because of the difficulty in interpreting autopoiesis within the framework of the naive set theory. Accordingly, our description does not strictly reflect pure autopoiesis, and can only represent quasi--autopoietic systems. Nevertheless, we believe that this attempt will spur discussions on the formal description of autopoiesis and the relation between autopoiesis, mental systems, and social systems, and so on, which has been a highly controversial point. Based on this belief, we have proposed a rough model of quasi--autopoietic systems.



NUNEZ, Rafael E.
What Brain for God's-eye? Objectivism, Biological Naturalism and Searle, Stanford University Center for the Study of Language and Information Report CSLI-95-194, 1995. Available via WWW at:

http://www-csli.stanford.edu/publications/CSLI-95-194.html

This report is a critique of John Searle's 'biological naturalism' from the perspective of autopoietic theory and other recent work.

 

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THE OBSERVER
Internet newsletter journal on autopoiesis and enactive cognitive science, edited / distributed by Randall Whitaker (see contact info above), 1993 - 1997.


OLIVER, David, and Johan ROOS
The Poised Organization: Navigating Effectively on Knowledge Landscapes, paper presented at: 1996 INFORMS College on Organization Science Atlanta, November 4, 1996 and 16th Annual Conference, Strategic Management Society Phoenix, November 12, 1996 and The Strategy & Complexity Seminar London School of Economics London, February 12, 1997.

Revised version available via WWW at:

http://www.imd.ch/fac/roos/paper_po.html

This paper is something of a follow-on to von Krogh and Roos' Organizational Epistemology, and it illustrates one direction for pursuing the ideas outlined in that book.



OST, Francois
Between order and disorder: The game of law, in Teubner (1988), pp. 70-96.

 

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PALMER, Kent
The Ontological Foundations of Autopoiesis, 1996 series of WWW documents available at:

http://archonic.net/tutor.htm

This is an extensive review of the issues Palmer sees as critical to framing autopoietic theory in terms of ontology. His analysis draws upon a broad sweep of philosophical sources.



PANGARO, Paul
The conversation of theories and a theory of conversations: von Foerster, Maturana, Pask, presentation given 26 January 1993 at Antioch University Seattle. Abstract available via WWW at:

http://www.pangaro.com/abstracts/antioch-2-CT+TC.html

NOTE: Check the 'Related Abstract' link at this WWW page, which includes a graphic comparison of the ideas of von Foerster, Pask, and Maturana.


 

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  PASK, Gordon
 
 

 

Gordon Pask is a pioneer in second-order cybernetics, systems theory, and systemic approaches to language and communication ('conversation theory'). His work parallels more than intersects that of Maturana and Varela. Any of his voluminous works might prove of interest to students of systems theory, (second-order) cybernetics, and communication. An archive of Pask's materials is accessible via WWW at:

http://www.pangaro.com/Pask-Archive/Pask-Archive.html


 

 

PASK, Gordon
Organizational closure of potentially conscious systems, in Zeleny (1981: cited herein).

Pask's explanation of the relations between autopoiesis and his work in conversational systems. This is frankly the most accessible outline of his (Pask's) work I have read. In terms of having a constructivist / idealist orientation, there are many points of interesting correspondence between Pask's conversation theory and Maturana's account of interaction.



PATTEE, Howard H.
The nature of hierarchical controls in living matter, in Rosen, Robert (ed.), Foundations of Mathematical Biology, New York: Academic Press, 1972, pp. 1-22. Center for Theoretical Biology, SUNY at Buffalo, Amherst NY.



PENN, P.
Conversations with Humberto Maturana; Oxford, summer 1985, Family Systems Medicine, Vol. 5 (1987), no. 1, pp. 5-6.



PORTELE, G.
Gestalt psychology, Gestalt therapy and the theory of autopoiesis, in A.L. Goudsmit (ed.), Self-Organization In Psychotherapy. Demarcations Of A New Perspective, New York/Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 1989.

 

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RAVN, Inger, and Thomas SÖDERQVIST
Having it both ways: Some critical comments on Humberto Maturana's contribution to the constructivist movement in cybernetics, Paper submitted to Cybernetics, 1988.



RIEGLER, Alexander
Constructivist artificial life, and beyond, in Autopoiesis and Perception [cf. citation herein], Dublin: Dublin City University, 1992.



ROBB, Fenton F.
Cybernetics in management thinking, Systems Research, Vol. 1, no. 1 (1984), pp. 5-23.



ROBB, Fenton F.
Towards a 'better' scientific theory of human organization, Journal of the Operational Research Society, Vol. 36 (1985), no. 6, pp. 463-466.



ROBB, Fenton F.
The limits to human organization: the emergence of autopoietic systems, in Jackson, M. C., P. Keys, and S. A. Cropper (eds.), Operational Research and the Social Sciences, New York / London: Plenum, 1989, pp. 247-251.



ROBB, Fenton F.
Cybernetics and suprahuman autopoietic systems, Systems Practice, Vol. 2, no. 1 (March 1989), pp. 47-74.

Robb is of the opinion that social systems may indeed be considered autopoietic, thus putting him in agreement with (e.g.) Luhmann and Bednarz. He suggests that there may exist 'suprahuman' autopoietic systems which are emerging from large corporate, government, and other systems undergoing stressful conditions which have driven them far from equilibrium (his reasoning is by analogy with respect to Prirogrine's 'dissipative structures'). He further suggests that such suprahuman systems would exhibit as their primary controlling motive (goal) their own maintenance, regardless (and perhaps injurious) of humans associated with them. This can be seen as a critically crafted conspiracy theory.



ROBB, Fenton F.
The application of autopoiesis to social organizations -- A comment on John Mingers' 'An Introduction to Autopoiesis: Implications and Applications', Systems Practice, Vol. 2, no. 3 (September 1989), pp. 343-348.

Cf. Robb's position on suprahuman autopoietic systems. He claims that Mingers' reservations on the applicability of autopoiesis to social systems can be overcome, although he acknowledges the difficulty of the issues involved. His rebuttal is done without specific support from examples or arguments, and maintains the tone of an admonition more than that of a compelling rejoinder.



ROBB, Fenton F.
The application of autopoiesis to social organizations -- A comment on John Mingers' Reply, Systems Practice, Vol. 2, no. 3 (September 1989), pp. 353-360.



ROBB, Fenton F.
Accounting -- a virtual autopoietic system?, Systems Practice, Vol. 4 (1991), no. 3, pp. 215-235.

Robb offers an analysis of accounting (as a profession / field of academic training) seen as a closed network of self-replicating units. The example is offered without any attempt of formal 'proof' that it meets the requirements for autopoiesis laid out by M & V. Still, it's the only such attempted analysis I've found to date.



ROCHA, Luis
Artificial semantically closed objects, Communication and Cognition - Artificial Intelligence, Special Issue on Self-Reference in Biological and Cognitive Systems, Vol.12, Nos. 1-2, pp. 63-90.

Rocha explores computability and the Church-Turing Thesis in order to establish what is and what is not a computational process. He then delineates some non-computational models of complex systems that avoid the reductionist descent into meaningless component analysis.



ROSENBERG, Martin E.
Autopoiesis, consensual domains and rhetoric: Maturana and Varela's sophistics of cognition, summary abstract available via WWW at:

http://www.missouri.edu/~cccc95/abstracts/rosenberg.html

In this summary abstract, Martin E. Rosenberg of Eastern Kentucky University invokes autopoiesis in analyzing the connections between cognitive science and rhetoric. He concludes by suggesting that the various forms of 'becoming' and the 'Body Without Organs,' which are crucial concepts from the philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, may already conceptualize the links that we need to make.



ROSENFELD, Michel
Autopoiesis and justice : a critique of Luhmann's conception of law, Toronto: University of Toronto, Faculty of Law legal theory workshop series: WS 1991-92-(4), c1991.



ROSSEEL, E.
Persons as autopoietic unities (or individuals as allopoietic components of social systems): implications for psychology as science and social praxis. Brussels: Vrije Universiteit, 1986.



ROTH, Gerhard, and Helmut SCHWEGLER (eds.)
Self-organizing Systems: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag, 1981.

Although not specifically focused on autopoiesis, this compendium contains a number of good papers.



ROTH, Gerhard
Conditions of evolution and adaptation in organisms as autopoietic systems, in Mossakowski, D., and G. Roth (eds.), Environmental Adaptation and Evolution, Stuttgart / New York: Gustav Fischer, 1982, pp. 37-48.



RUIZ, Alfredo
The contributions of Humberto Maturana to the sciences of complexity and psychology, Journal of Constructivist Psychology, Vol. 9, no. 4 (October/November 1996), pp. 283-302. A (possibly edited) version of this paper is available via WWW at:

http://www.inteco.cl/contrib/index.htm

 

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SAWADA, Daiyo, and Michael T. CALEY
Recursive complementarity in the cybernetics of education, Cybernetica, Vol. XXIX, no. 2 (1986), pp. 93- 104.

The authors discuss 3 versions of cybernetics (C-I, II, and III). They claim CIII can be achieved by recursive, complementary switching between CI and CII modalities. They claim that this switching is a natural occurrence in autopoietic living systems as defined by M & V. CI = control via negative feedback; CII = extension via positive feedback. They claim evolution is a recursive interplay between these two.



SCHEPER, Willem J., and Gert C. SCHEPER
Autopsies on autopoiesis,Behavioral Science, Vol. 41 (1996), no. 1 (January), pp. 3-12.



SEGAL, Lynn
The Dream of Reality: Heinz von Foerster's Constructivism, New York: W. W. Norton, 1986.

This book concentrates on von Foerster and epistemological constructivism. However, Segal relies heavily on Maturana and Varela's work to introduce the relationships between observers' biological constitutions and their constructivistic mode of operation. A good introduction to constructivism generally and von Foerster's (otherwise difficult to obtain) work specifically.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



SIES, Claudia, and Tobias BROCHER
Die Bedeutung der Autopoiese fur die Metapsychologie. (The meaning of autopoiesis for metapsychology.), Jahrbuch der Psychoanalyse, Vol. 19 (1986), pp. 142-173.(GERMAN)

A large essay on the reciprocal interaction(s) among psychoanalysis, 'metapsychology', and neurophysiology, concentrating on autopoiesis.



SIMON, Richard
A frog's eye view of the world, Family Therapy Networker, Vol. 9, no. 3 (May/June 1985), pp. 32-43.

A review of Maturana's theories as applied to family therapy. This includes an interview with Maturana himself, in which there are some key points bluntly stated. Simon cites systems theorist Paul Dell as the one '...largely responsible for drawing family therapists' attention to Maturana's work...'



SIMON, Richard
Structure is destiny: an interview with Humberto Maturana, The Family Therapy Networker , Vol. 9 (1985), no. 3.

NOTE: The R. Simon pieces in this issue of _Family Therapy Networker_ are assembled in such a way that it's difficult to tell what the proper title citation should be.



SPENCER-BROWN, George

See: BROWN, George Spencer



STARK, Carsten
Autopoiesis und Integration : eine kritische Einf¸hrung in die Luhmannsche Systemtheorie, Hamburg : Kovac, c1994. ISBN: 3-86064-185-9. (in German)



STICHWEH, R.
Self-organization and autopoiesis in the development of modern science, Sociology of the Sciences, Vol. 14 (1990), pp. 195-207.



SWENSON, R.
Autocatakinetics, yes -- autopoiesis, no: Steps toward a unified theory of evolutionary ordering, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 21 (1992), pp. 207-228.

 

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TEUBNER, Gunther
Autopoiesis in law and society: a rejoinder to Blankenburg, Law & Society Review, Vol. 18 (1984), no. 2, pp. 291-301.

A response to Erhard Blankenburg's critique of Teubner's autopoietic, evolutionary views on law (following Luhmann). Blankenburg's article appears in the same issue.



TEUBNER, Gunther (ed.)
Autopoietic Law: A New Approach to Law and Society, Berlin / New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1988.

This is a compendium of papers on the application of autopoietic theory to the field of law. Many of these papers are of interest in terms of the (potential) relations / applications of autopoiesis to social systems in general, particularly with regard to Niklas Luhmann's approach. NOTE: This volume was to have been followed by a second (also edited by Teubner) on autopoiesis and society. So far as I can determine, that second volume was never published.

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TEUBNER, Gunther
Evolution of autopoietic law, in Teubner (1988), pp. 217-243.



TEUBNER, G., and FEBBRAJO, A. (eds.)
State, Law and Economy as Autopoietic Systems: Regulation and Autonomy in a New Perspective, European Yearbook in the Sociology of Law, Milan: Giuffre, 1992.

NOTE: I have occasionally seen this volume referenced as 'Febbrajo & Teubner'. Because I've not yet been able to obtain this book, I cannot verify the correct attribution.



THOMPSON, Evan, A. PALACIOS, and Francisco VARELA
Ways of coloring: Comparative color vision as a case study in cognitive science, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Vol. 15 (1992), pp. 1-75.



THOMPSON, William Irwin (ed.)
Gaia, a Way of Knowing : Political Implications of the New Biology, Hudson NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1987.

A collection of essays on the nascent ecological / Gaian worldview and its ramifications. Includes an article by Maturana entitled 'Everything said is said by an observer', as well as a piece by Varela entitled 'Laying down a path in walking'.

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THOMPSON, William Irwin (ed.)
Gaia 2 : Emergence : The New Science of Becoming, Hudson NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1991.

A second collection of Gaia-oriented essays, including Varela and Anspach's 'Immu-knowledge: the process of somatic individuation' (cf. Varela's most recent work on immunology).

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



TROMMEL, M.J. van
How to make use of oneself as an instrument in systemic therapy, in A.L. Goudsmit (ed.), Self-Organization In Psychotherapy. Demarcations Of A New Perspective, New York/Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 1989.

 

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ULANOWICZ, Robert E.
A phenomenology of evolving networks, Systems Research, Vol. 6 (1989), no. 3, pp. 209-217.



ULRICH, Hans, and Gilbert J. B. PROBST (eds.)
Self-Organization and Management of Social Systems: Insights, Promises, Doubts, and Questions, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1984.

Although not specifically dedicated to autopoietic theory, this collection contains a number of interesting and relevant papers concerning social systems. The two articles most specific to autopoietic theory are Peter Hejl's 'Towards a theory of social systems' (highly recommended for an alternative to Luhmann's well-known approach) and Varela's 'Two principles for self-organization'.

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UMPLEBY, Stuart A.
The Science of Cybernetics and the Cybernetics of Science, Cybernetics and Systems, Vol. 21, No. 1, 1990, pp. 109-121. Available via WWW at:

http://www.gwu.edu/~umpleby/Science-Cybernetics.txt

This paper outlines the programme of second-order cybernetics in the context of the philosophy of science. Umpleby makes specific reference to von Foerster, Pask, and Varela in laying out the new epistemology and commenting on scientific methodology from this emerging perspective. A nice paper for stimulating thought and discussion on the application of a second-order cybernetics approach.



UMPLEBY, Stuart A.
Strategies for Winning Acceptance of Second Order Cybernetics. Paper presented at the International Symposium on Systems Research, Informatics and Cybernetics Baden-Baden, Germany, August 12-18, 1991. Available via WWW at:

http://www.gwu.edu/~umpleby/Strategies_2nd_Cyb.txt

This paper is not really about autopoiesis per se, but it contains a number of good "tactical" points for those of us who wish to promote the perspective of second-order cybernetics.



UMPLEBY, Stuart A.
The Cybernetics of Conceptual Systems, a paper prepared for the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria, July 1994. Available via WWW at:

http://www.gwu.edu/~umpleby/Conceptual_Systems.txt

This is a general overview of second-order cybernetics' perspectives as they may impact one's approach to socially-constructed conceptual systems. This paper outlines a number of issues (e.g., tolerance) which may prove of interest to those wishing to apply second-order cybernetics (e.g., autopoietic theory) to a social phenomenon or system.



URIBE, Ricardo B.
Modeling autopoiesis, in Zeleny (1981: cited herein).

 

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  VARELA, Francisco J.
 
 

 

Francisco J. Varela was a student and colleague of Maturana's. He originally studied with Maturana in Chile and then worked on mathematical biology with Heinz von Foerster at the University of Illinois and cybernetics at the University of Colorado.

During his student period, Varela served as a frequent co-author of the papers that transformed Professor Maturana's original vision into a theoretical framework with a specific lexicon. This framework claimed the essential feature of living systems was autopoiesis -- a system's self-production of the components realizing its organization (its definitive processual configuration).

As such, Varela's writings must be considered (along with Maturana's) as the primary sources in this area. Varela's writings are the primary sources relating to: autonomy, logical frameworks (cf. Spencer Brown's 'calculus of indications'), and the progression from autopoietic theory to an enactive cognitive science. Any functional understanding of autopoietic theory and enactive cognitive science requires a solid grounding in the sources cited below. In particular, Varela's 1979 book Principles of Biological Autonomy has to be considered one of the two 'Bibles' of autopoietic theory (the other being Autopoiesis and Cognition [Maturana & Varela, 1980]

Francisco Varela was most recently Director of Research at CNRS (National Institute for Scientific Research) at the laboratory of Cognitive Neurosciences and Brain Imaging (LENA) located at the Salpêtrière University Hospital in Paris. He served as the head of the Neurodynamics Group and a member of the Senior Faculty at CREA, Ecole Polytechnique.

Sadly, Francisco died on May 28, 2001, at the age of 54.

A Compilation of Data on Varela's Career, Including a Comprehensive Publications Listing, can be found here at the Observer Web.


 

 

VARELA, Francisco
Self-consciousness: Adaption or epiphenomenon?, Studium Generale, Vol. 24 (1971), p. 426.



VARELA, Francisco
A calculus for self-reference, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 2 (1975), pp. 5-24.



VARELA, Francisco (interviewed by Donna Johnson)
On observing natural systems, CoEvolution Quarterly, Summer 1976, pp. 26-31.

A concise statement of Varela's interests and work in the mid-1970's. A good summary of the themes leading to Principles of Biological Autonomy.



VARELA, Francisco J.
Not one, not two, CoEvolution Quarterly, Fall 1976, pp. 62-67.

This is basically a discussion of material on complementary duals which can be found reflected in Varela (1979). This article, however, seems to state the complementarity business in a more straightforward and direct manner.



VARELA, Francisco
Circulus fructuosus: Revisiting self-reference as a scientific notion, Proc. Annual Meeting of Society for General Systems Research, Denver, Colorado, 1977, pp. 116-118.



VARELA, Francisco
The nervous system as a closed network, Brain Theory Newsletter, Vol. 2 (1977), pp. 66-68.



VARELA, Francisco
On being autonomous: The lessons of natural history for systems theory, in Klir, George J. (ed.), Applied General Systems Research: Recent Developments and Trends, New York: Plenum, 1978, pp. 77-84.



VARELA, Francisco J.
Principles of Biological Autonomy, New York: Elsevier (North Holland), 1979.

This is Varela's 'magnum opus' on autopoiesis. Highly recommended as an introduction to the field. His exposition of autopoiesis vs. the more general concept of 'autonomy' helps put the theory into a broader context. This is also the single best introduction to Varela's attempts during the 1970's to develop a mathematical nomenclature for his work -- especially his exploration of the theories of George Spencer Brown on 'distinction' as the fundamental act of cognition. In an Internet-based search for data on Brown and his work, one conclusion was that Varela's book was the best single introduction to that work (less dense than Brown's own Laws of Form).

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VARELA, Francisco J.
The extended calculus of indications interpreted as a three-valued logic, Notre Dame Jrnl. of Formal Logic, Vol. 20 (1979), pp. 141-146.



VARELA, Francisco J.
Describing the logic of the living: The adequacy and limitations of the idea of autopoiesis, in Zeleny (1981: cited herein), pp. 36-48.



VARELA, Francisco J.
Autonomy and autopoiesis, in Roth and Schwegler (1981: cited herein), pp. 14-23.



VARELA, Francisco J.
Two principles for self-organization, in Ulrich and Probst (1984: cited herein), pp. 25-32.



VARELA, Francisco J.
Living ways of sense-making: A middle path for neuroscience, in Livingston, Paisley (ed.), Disorder and Order: Proceedings of the Stanford International Symposium (Sept. 14-16, 1981), Saratoga CA: ANMA Libri, 1984, pp. 208-224.



VARELA, Francisco J.
The creative circle: sketches on the natural history of circularity, in Watzlawick, P. (ed.) (1984), pp. 309-323.



VARELA, Francisco J.
The Science and Technology of Cognition: Emerging Trends, Paris: CREA, École Polytechnique & Institut des Neurosciences (CNRS) Université de Paris VI, 1985.



VARELA, Francisco J.
Laying down a path in walking. In W. Thompson (Ed.), Gaia: A way of knowing, Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Press, 1987, pp. 48-64.



VARELA, Francisco J.
Structural coupling and the origin of meaning in a simple cellular automata, in: Secarz, E., et al. (eds.) The Semiotics of Cellular Communications in the Immune System, New York: Springer-Verlag, NATO ASI Series, vol. H23,1988, pp. 151-161.

This is a short paper discussing the notion of semiotic process at the cellular level in terms of operational closure and coupling. The core of this paper is a presentation of the 'Bittorio' cellular automaton example, which can be found in _The Embodied Mind_ (Varela, Thompson & Rosch, 1991).



VARELA, Francisco J.
Reflections on the circulation of concepts between a biology of cognition and systemic family therapy, Family Process, Vol. 28, no. 1 (March 1989), pp. 15-24.

This is Varela's discrete way of drawing back from the application of autopoietic theory to social systems in general (and family systems in particular) -- a point on which both he and Maturana have been far more reluctant to proceed than some others (e.g., N. Luhmann).



VARELA, Francisco J.
Making it concrete: Before, during and after breakdowns, Revue Internationale de Psychopathologie, Vol. 4 (1991), pp. 435-450.



VARELA, Francisco J.
Organism, cognitive science and the emergence of selfless selves, Revue Europeenne des Sciences Sociales, Vol. XXIX (1991), no. 89, pp. 173-198.



VARELA, Francisco J.
Organism: A meshwork of selfless selves, in Tauber, A (ed.), Organism and the Origins of Self , Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1991, pp. 79-107.



VARELA, Francisco J.
Whence perceptual meaning? A cartography of current ideas, in Varela, F., and J. Dupuy (eds.), Understanding Origins: Contemporary Views on the Origin of Life, Mind and Society, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1992, pp. 235-263.



VARELA, Francisco J.
Autopoiesis and a biology of intentionality, in Autopoiesis and Perception (Addendum), Dublin: Dublin City University, 1992, pp. 1-11.



VARELA, Francisco J.
The reenchantment of the concrete, in Crary, Jonathan, and Sanford Kwinter (eds.), Incorporations, Zone Books, 1992.



VARELA, Francisco J.
A cognitive view of the immune system. World Futures, Vol. 42 (1994), pp. 31-40.



VARELA, Francisco J.
The early days of autopoiesis: Heinz and Chile, Systems Research Vol. 13 (1996), no. 3, pp. 407-416.



VARELA, Francisco J.
Neurophenomenology: A methodological remedy for the hard problem, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 3, no. 4 (June 1996) , pp. 330-349. Available via WWW at:

http://web.ccr.jussieu.fr/varela/human_consciousness/article01.html



VARELA, Francisco J.
The specious present : A neurophenomenology of time consciousness, in Petitot, Jean, Varela, Francisco J., Pachoud, Bernard, and Jean-Michel Roy (eds.), Naturalizing Phenomenology: Issues in Contemporary Phenomenology and Cognitive Science, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 2000. Available via WWW:

As an HTML web page:

http://web.ccr.jussieu.fr/varela/human_consciousness/article02.html

As a PDF (Adobe Acrobat) file:

http://web.ccr.jussieu.fr/varela/human_consciousness/SpeciousPresent.pdf

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VARELA, Francisco J., and ANSPACH, M.
Immu-knowledge: the process of somatic individuation, in Thompson, W. (ed.), Emergence: the New Science of Becoming, New York: Lindisfarne Press, 1991, pp. 68-85.



VARELA, Francisco J., and BOURGINE, P., (eds.)
Towards a Practice of Autonomous Systems: Proceedings of the First European Conference on Artificial Life, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992.



VARELA, Francisco J., COUTINHO, A., DUPIRE, B. and VAZ, N.
Cognitive networks:Immune, neural, and otherwise, in Perelson, A. (ed.), Theoretical Immunology, SFI Series on the Science of Complexity, New York: Addison- Wesley, 1988, pp. 359-375.



VARELA, Francisco J., and Antonio COUTINHO
Immuknowledge: The immune system as a learning process of somatic individuation, in Brockman, John (ed.), Doing Science: The Reality Club 2, New York: Prentice Hall, 1988, pp. 237-256.

This essay on autopoiesis / autonomy vis a vis the immune system goes a bit further than earlier ones (cf. Vaz & Varela), e.g., making suggestions re: machine learning. Includes bibliographic references for several related articles on autonomous / alternative models for the immune system.



VARELA, Francisco J., and Antonio COUTINHO
Immune networks: Getting onto the real thing, Res. Immunol., Vol. 140 (1989), pp. 837-845.



VARELA, Francisco J., and Antonio COUTINHO
Second generation immune networks, Immunology Today, Vol.12(1991), no. 5, pp.159-167.



VARELA, Francisco J., B. DUPIRE, and Antonio COUTINHO
Cognitive networks: Immune, neural, and otherwise, in A. Perelson (ed.), Theoretical Immunology, New York: Addison Wesley, SFI Series on Complexity, Vol. 2, pp. 359-375.



VARELA, Francisco J., and DUPUY, J. (eds.)
Understanding Origins: Contemporary Views on the Origin of Life, Mind and Society, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1992. Boston studies in the philosophy of science; v. 130.

The material comes from an international meeting held in September 1987 at Stanford University.



VARELA, Francisco J., and FRENK, S.
The organ of form: Towards a theory of biological shape, Journal. of Social and Biological Structures, Vol. 10 (1987), pp. 73-83.



VARELA, Francisco, and Joseph A. GOGUEN
The arithmetic of closure, Journal of Cybernetics, Vol. 8 (1978), pp. 291-324.



VARELA, Francisco J., Humberto R. MATURANA, and R. URIBE
Autopoiesis: The organization of living systems, its characterization and a model, Biosystems, Vol. 5 (1974), pp. 187-196.

This is one of the seminal papers on the concept of 'autopoiesis'. Well written and concise.



VARELA, Francisco, and Humberto MATURANA
Mechanism and biological explanation, Philosophy of Science, Vol. 39 (1972), pp. 378-382.

A critical look at the applicability of machine models to explain living systems. This paper was received in Jan. 1970, and represents a very early view of the concepts of organization and structure. In fact (p. 378) it appears that they originally termed 'organization' as 'structure or theory of the machine'.



VARELA, Francisco J., Evan THOMPSON, and Eleanor ROSCH
The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience, Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1991.

This is the latest book from F. Varela. He and his colleagues discuss the problems of cognitivism in addressing both abstract 'cognitive processes' and personal experience. They describe 3 stages of cognitive science -- cognitivism (e.g., AI); emergence (e.g., connectionism); and enactive. The 'enactive' term is used to delineate a variety of work (including their own) which addresses 'cognition' in terms of action/experience. In other words, they shift the 'fulcrum' or focus from either an apriori world or an apriori 'mind' to the boundary at which these interact. Many ideas from autopoietic theory are presented or used in this book, but 'autopoiesis' itself is not mentioned. I believe this is best seen as an extension or application of concepts from autopoietic theory in cognitive science. A central focus of this book's discussion is how to explain an 'enactive' approach without establishing a firm cognitive ground (i.e., a 'self'). Their source of inspiration is Buddhist thought on 'mindfulness/awareness'. This provides an interesting and original perspective for the problems at hand. This book may represent the path by which autopoietic theory will (finally) impact the ongoing work in cognitive studies.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



VARELA, Francisco J., Evan THOMPSON, and Eleanor ROSCH
La Via di Mezzo della Conoscenza: Le Scienze Cognitive Alla Prova Dell'Esperienza, Milan: Feltrinelli, 1992.

Italian translation of The Embodied Mind.



VARELA, Francisco J., and Alfredo TORO
Perceptual framing and cortical alpha rhythm, Neuropsychologia, Vol. 19 (1981), no. 5, pp. 675-686.



VARELA, Francisco J., and Jonathan Shear
First-person methodologies: what, why, how?. Essay available via WWW at:

http://web.ccr.jussieu.fr/varela/human_consciousness/JCSCHAP.htm

NOTE: This is presumably the same as (or very nearly identical to) the following document:



VARELA, Francisco J., and Jonathan Shear
First-person accounts: why, what, and how. Introduction to Varela, Francisco J., and Jonathan Shear (eds.) The View from Within: First Person Methodologies for the Study of Consciousness, Supplementary Issue to Journal of Consciousness, Volume 6, 1999: February/March, 320 pages.

Overview / Contents available via WWW at:

http://www.imprint.co.uk/specials/view_from_within.html

This collection was in turn published as the following book:



VARELA, Francisco J. (ed.), with introduction by Jonathan Shear
The View from Within: First Person Methodologies for the Study of Consciousness, Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 1999.

"Since William James, there has been remarkably little attention in the sciences of the mind to the detailed investigation of conscious experience at the personal level. The View from Within advances such investigation along several fronts, with articles on introspection, phenomenology, and meditative psychology. Especially valuable is the editors' introduction, which provides a useful guide to the methodology of first-person accounts, and the articles that build bridges to cognitive science, psychiatry, and the scientific study of meditation techniques. Invited commentaries by leading investigators of consciousness, together with authors' replies, make for a provocative presentation that will be discussed for some time to come." -Evan Thompson

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VARELA, Francisco J., and Natalie Depraz
At the source of time: Valence and the constitutional dynamics of affect, Ipseity and Alterity, Arob@se: An electronic journal 4 (2000). Available via WWW in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format at:

www.arobase.to/v4_n1_2/varela.pdfs



VAZ, N. M., and Francisco J. VARELA
Self and non-sense: An organism-centered approach to immunology, Medical Hypotheses, Vol. 4 (1978), pp. 231-267.

This is the actual paper which describes the autopoietic re-interpretation of the immune system which is summarized in Varela (1979).



VAZ, Nelson Monteiro
Immunological tolerance and dogma. Medical Hypotheses, Vol. 5 (1979), pp. 1037-1044.



VAZ, Nelson Monteiro, C. A. MARTINEZ, and Antonio COUTINHO
The uniqueness and boundaries of the idiotypic self. In H. Kohler, P-A Cazenave and J. Urbain (eds.), Idiotypy in Biology and Medicine, New York: Academic Press,1984, pp. 44-58.



VAZ, Nelson Monteiro
Towards cognitive immunology : G.O.D. is infinite. In: E.Sercarz, A.Mitchison, F.Celada and T.Tada, (eds.) Immunosemiotics: Semiotics of Intercellular Communication in the Immune System. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1988, pp. 193-198.



VAZ, Nelson Monteiro
From histamine to Ir genes to the idiotypic network. In: A.M.Rotschild (ed.) Contributions to autocaoid pharmacology. Birkhauser, Berlin, (1992), pp. 119-133.



VAZ, Nelson Monteiro
Anti-HIV antibodies: the source of specificity. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 25, (1992), pp. 1059-1061.



VAZ, Nelson Monteiro
The molecular and cellular correlates of immunological phenomena. Contrasting two explanatory pathways. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 29, (1996), pp. 445-454.



VAZ, Nelson Monteiro, C. A. MARTINEZ and A. COUTINHO
The uniqueness and boundaries of the idiotypic self. In: H Kohler, P-A Cazenave and Urbain J eds Idiotypy in Biology and Medicine, New York: Academic Press, (1984), pp 44-58.



VAZ, Nelson Monteiro, and Ana Maria Caetano de FARIA
The construction of immunological identity.Ciência e Cultura, Vol. 42 (1990), pp. 430-444.



VAZ, Nelson Monteiro, and Cláudia.R. CARVALHO
Immunological specificity as metaphor. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Vol. 26, (1993), pp. 665-671.



VAZ, Nelson Monteiro, and Cláudia.R. CARVALHO
Assimilation, tolerance and the end of innocence. Ciência e Cultura, Vol. 47 (1994), pp. 351-357.



VERDEN-ZÖLLER, G., and Humberto R. MATURANA
Play: the neglected path, Delfin, (1989) 12,1.



VERNON, David, and Dermot FURLONG
Relativistic ontologies, self-organization, autopoiesis, and artificial life: A progression in the science of the autonomous. Part I: The philosophical foundations, in Autopoiesis and Perception [cf. citation herein], Dublin: Dublin City University, 1992.



VERNON, David, and Dermot FURLONG
Relativistic ontologies, self-organization, autopoiesis, and artificial life: A progression in the science of the autonomous. Part II: A scientific development, in Autopoiesis and Perception [cf. citation herein], Dublin: Dublin City University, 1992.



VIJVER, G. v.d.
Review of: H.R. Maturana, F.J. Varela, The Tree Of Knowledge, Philosophica , Vol. 41 (1988), no. 1, pp. 137-141.



VON KROGH, G., and S. VICARI
An autopoiesis approach to experimental strategic learning, in P. Lorange, B. Chakravarthy, J. Roos, and A. Van de Ven, Implementing Strategic Processes: Change, Learning, and Cooperation, London: Blackwell, 1993, pp. 394-410.



VON KROGH, G., J. ROOS, and K. SLOCUM
An essay on corporate epistemology, Strategic Management Journal, Special Issue (Summer, 1994), pp. 53-71.



VON KROGH, G., and J. ROOS
Organizational Epistemology, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995.

This book uses autopoietic theory as a primary foundation for analysis of enterprise knowledge management. Where Morgan (1986) might be considered the first major application of autopoiesis to the theory of organizations, this book is the first major theorization of how to apply autopoietic theory to the knowledge functions of organizations.

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WATZLAWICK, Paul (ed.)
The Invented Reality, New York: W. W. Norton, 1984. NOTE: Translation of Die erfundene Wirklichkeit (German), Munich: R. Piper & Co. Verlag, 1981.

This collection of papers is a good (and accessible) overview of basic constructivist epistemology. Highly recommended as an introduction to this area.

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WATZLAWICK, Paul
How Real is Real?, New York: Random House, 1976.

This popular press book is an extensive treatise on the relation between communication and ascribed 'reality'. A light and entertaining introduction to the idea of a constructivist epistemology.

You can pursue access to this book now through the Observer Web Book Shop



WEST, David M., and Larry E. TRAVIS
The computational metaphor and artificial intelligence: A reflective examination of a theoretical falsework, AI Magazine, Spring 1991, pp. 64-79.



WEST, David M., and Larry E. TRAVIS
From society to landscape: Alternative metaphors for artificial intelligence, AI Magazine, Summer 1991, pp. 69-83.

**WARNING!** This is a distorted and misinformed attempt to characterize autopoietic theory and apply it as an alternative AI paradigm. Beyond the authors' recognition of autopoiesis as a source of basic inspiration in developing such a paradigm, there is little or nothing in the article to recommend it (as far as autopoietic theory is concerned).



WHITAKER, Randall
Venues for Contexture: A critical analysis and enactive reformulation of group decision support systems, Umeå (Sweden): Umeå Universitet, ADB (Dept. of Administrative Data Processing / Informatics) dissertation / report UMADP-RRIPCS 15.92, 1992.

This study applies the phenomenological / linguistic aspects of autopoietic theory plus the tenets of enactive cognitive science to outline a new approach to GDSS (group decision support systems) emphasizing mutual orientation and contextualization.



WHITAKER, Randall
Interactional models for collective support systems: An application of autopoietic theory, in Glanville, R., and de Zeeuw, G. (eds.), Interactive Interfaces and Human Networks, Amsterdam: Thesis Publishers, 1993, pp. 119-135.

A general discussion of the applicability of Maturana and Varela's work to issues of human-computer interaction, particularly where groups are involved. The social systems applications of autopoietic theory are introduced, and a general categorization is delineated between a 'sys-referential' (Luhmann) and a 'syn-referential' (Hejl) stance.



WHITAKER, Randall
Topical Index: Autopoiesis and Cognition, Index to MATURANA & VARELA (1980), Umeå (Sweden), March 1993.

The seminal book on autopoiesis has no index to aid the reader. This extensive index is made available as an ASCII text file from the author (see contact information above). It is also available via WWW at:

MV1980Index.html



WHITAKER, Randall
Autopoiesis and social systems I, The Observer, issue 9 (March 1994), available via WWW at:

ftp://ftp.eeng.dcu.ie/pub/autonomy/observer (for FTP download)

http://kevin.www.media.mit.edu/people/kevin/Observer_Archive.html (for browsing)



WHITAKER, Randall
Autopoiesis and social systems II, The Observer, issue 10 (April 1995), available via WWW at:

ftp://ftp.eeng.dcu.ie/pub/autonomy/observer (for FTP download)

http://kevin.www.media.mit.edu/people/kevin/Observer_Archive.html (for browsing)



WHITAKER, Randall
Self-Organization, Autopoiesis, and Enterprises, ACM SIGOIS Illuminations series, December 1995.

This essay was solicited as the first contribution to the ACM SIGOIS Illuminations series of essays.

This presentation contains an overview and analysis of the rising interest in self-organizing systems theory, autopoietic theory in particular, and their application to social and organizational studies. A tutorial, bibliography, reading plan, and a list of related resources on autopoietic theory are provided.

It was originally accessible via the ACM website at:

http://www.acm.org/siggroup/ois/auto/Main.html

Unfortunately, this webspace no longer exists. An archive edition of the complete 1995 documentation is now preserved here at:

http://www.enolagaia.com/RW-ACM95-Main.html



WHITAKER, Randall
Managing context in enterprise knowledge processes, European Management Journal, 14: 4 (August 1996), Special Issue on 'The Epistemological Challenge', pp. 399-406.

This paper gives a general overview of why the issue of 'context' is important in emergent approaches to enterprise knowledge management, and provides a concrete example of a facilitation technique ("nichepicking") which was devised with respect to aspects of autopoietic theory.



WHITAKER, Randall
Exploring and employing autopoietic theory: Issues and tips. Paper presented for the opening plenary session in Biology, Cognition, Language, and Society: An international symposium on autopoiesis. Belo Horizonte (Brazil), 18 November 1997. Text appears in the symposium Workbook [MAGRO, 1997].

A general overview of issues encountered in teaching, learning, and applying autopoietic theory.

A PDF version of the manuscript is now available at:

http://www.enolagaia.com/RW1-Tips.pdf



WHITAKER, Randall
Is that a hole in your parentheses, or are you wholly parenthetical? Keynote paper on cognition, presented at Biology, Cognition, Language, and Society: An international symposium on autopoiesis. Belo Horizonte (Brazil), 19 November 1997. Text appears in the symposium Workbook [MAGRO, 1997].

An overview of the types of criticism most often directed at Maturana (in particular) and Varela -- especially critiques based on a purported contradiction in tacitly accepting objects in a world (e.g., organisms) on the way to developing an epistemological stance wherein said objects' "objectivity" is called into question. This paper claims that such questions will continue to dog adherents of autopoietic theory until and unless an "explanatory closure" is achieved with respect to the elementary referents of the canonical theory.

A PDF version of the manuscript is now available at:

http://www.enolagaia.com/RW2-Parentheses.pdf



WHITAKER, Randall
Encyclopaedia Autopoietica: An Annotated Lexical Compendium on Autopoiesis and Enaction. Initial release date: 31 March 1998.

The literature on autopoiesis and enaction is voluminous. It spans three decades, two primary authors (Maturana and Varela), and a variety of publication venues. This has resulted in: (a) difficulties in accessing some of the literature; (b) a jumbled chronology of final publication for key documents; (c) variations of scope and depth among major documents; and (d) 'drift' in the terminology and its connotations over time. Anyone wishing to explore autopoietic theory is at an immediate disadvantage unless he / she can obtain a wide sample of the key literature and review it in a coordinated fashion.

The Encyclopaedia Autopoietica is a large annotated lexicon of key terminology used by Maturana and Varela. It is intended to serve as a central reference work drawing upon the entire span of these two authors' contributions -- condensing and summarizing definitions and issues which may be difficult to access from a readily-accessible subset of the literature base.

The initial release version of the Encyclopaedia Autopoietica was judged sufficiently 'massive' to warrant posting it at The Observer Web. However, the Encyclopaedia is most definitely a work still in progress.

Access to the Encyclopaedia is accomplished through its Introduction and Entry Point WWW page at:

EAIntro.html

Once you access that page, you will be able to review details of the Encyclopaedia's format, content, size, and accessibility.



WINOGRAD, Terry, and Fernando FLORES
Understanding Computers and Cognition, Norwood NJ: Ablex, 1986.

This very popular critique of the rationalistic tradition in IT contains a summary introduction to autopoietic theory in which they cover most of the tenets of Maturana and Varela's 'phenomenology of the living'.

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WINOGRAD, Terry, and Fernando FLORES
Calcolatori e Conoscenza, [city of publication unknown] Italy: Edizione Scientifiche e Tecniche Mondadori, 1987. (in Italian)

 

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ZELENY, Milan
Self-organization of living systems: A formal model of autopoiesis, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 4 (1977), pp. 13-28.

Description of Zeleny's computerized simulation of chemical bonding as a demonstration of an autopoietically-inspired model. See also Zeleny & Pierre.



ZELENY, Milan
Special Book Reviews, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 5 (1979), pp. 63-71.

This is a more detailed explanation of the precursors Zeleny (1977) had previously cited for Maturana and Varela's theories, including brief discussion of the points of correspondence between them and autopoiesis.



ZELENY, Milan (ed.)
Autopoiesis, Dissipative Structures, and Spontaneous Social Orders, AAAS Selected Symposium 55 (AAAS National Annual Meeting, Houston TX, Jan. 3-8, 1979), Boulder CO: Westview Press, 1980.

A good collection of papers on autopoiesis and related theoretical approaches.



ZELENY, Milan (ed.)
Autopoiesis: A Theory of Living Organization, New York: North Holland, 1981.(Vol. 3 in the North Holland Series in General Systems Research).

An excellent collection of papers from writers (primarily from systems science) contextualizing and/or critiquing autopoietic theory. This is a central source of responses / reviews to Maturana & Varela's theories.



ZELENY, Milan
What is autopoiesis? in Zeleny (1981: cited herein).



ZELENY, Milan (ed.)
Cybernetics Forum (Special Issue devoted to Autopoiesis), Vol 13 (?), 1981.

This volume - edited by Zeleny - contains reprints of classical papers on autopoiesis, including the works of Maturana, Varela, Uribe, and Zeleny. Also contains a comprehensive annotated bibliography.



ZELENY, Milan
Spontaneous social orders, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 11 (1985), pp. 117-131.

This is Zeleny's discussion of self-organization in social relations/groups, etc. It includes a historical review of writers which Zeleny links to autopoietic thought in terms of their addressing social self-organization.



ZELENY, Milan
Management support systems: Towards integrated knowledge management, New York: Elsevier (North-Holland), Human Systems Management, Vol. 7 (1987), pp. 59-70.

A critique of knowledge based systems (KBS) applied to management support. Emphasis on the non- rationalistic nature of 'knowledge' -- 'not a processing of information, but a coordination of action'. Suggests that a re-integrative phase (opposite of division of labor) is occurring, and generally suggests that such to-and-fro developments are the way large social orders evolve.



ZELENY, Milan
Cybernetyka, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 13 (1987), pp. 289-294.



ZELENY, Milan
Ecosocieties: Societal aspects of biological self-production, Soziale Systeme. Zeitschrift für Soziologische Theorie, Vol. 1 (1995), H.2.



ZELENY, Milan, and Norbert A. PIERRE
Simulation of self-renewing systems, in Jantsch, Eric, and Conrad H. Waddington (eds.), Evolution and Consciousness: Human Systems in Transition, Reading MA: Addison-Wesley, 1976.

This article provides a model for simulating autopoietic systems via computer.



ZELENY, Milan, and K. D. HUFFORD
The application of autopoiesis in systems analysis: Are autopoietic systems also social systems?, International Journal of General Systems, Vol. 21 (1992), pp. 145-160.

A consideration of autopoietic systems as inherently 'social'. This paper is a target of criticism in Mingers (1994).



ZELEZNIKAR, Anton P.
Information determinations I, Cybernetica, Vol. XXXI,no. 3 (1988), pp. 182-213.

A review of the concept of 'information', primarily drawing on lexical references. Only a peripheral mention of autopoiesis.



ZOLO, N.
The epistemological status of the theory of autopoiesis and its application to the social sciences, in Teubner & Febbrajo (1992: cited herein), pp. 67-124.

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NOTE:That alternate resource may not be as current as this one.

 

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