Resources on Autopoiesis
The Observer is an electronic newsletter distributed via email over the
Internet. It was established in 1993 at the suggestion of Francisco Varela, one
of the co-creators of autopoietic theory. Prior to that point, there had not
been a persistent forum for people interested in autopoiesis. The newsletter
format was chosen to provide a 'least common denominator' vehicle for
distributing news and information to people worldwide. To subscribe to The
Observer, contact the author.
Correspondence and contributions to The Observer are welcome!
Autopoiesis Mailing List at ThinkNet / DialogNet
There is also an interactive autopoiesis mailing list operated as a one of
the diverse philosophical discussion groups that make up ThinkNet / DialogNet.
To get information on DialogNet / ThinkNet groups, send email with the message:
HELP ...to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To join the autopoiesis mailing list, send email with the message:
SUB AUTOPOIESIS ...to: email@example.com
If you have problems locating or joining the mailing list, contact the list
administrator (Kent Palmer) via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
Some reference documentation is available in the form of ASCII text files which
can be shipped via email. These include:
- Back issues of The Observer
- A comprehensive bibliography on autopoiesis and related literature
- An index to (Autopoiesis and Cognition) -- the seminal reference on autopoiesis
These documents are available from 3 archives:
- They can be obtained via email from the author.
- They can be obtained via FTP (Thanks to Barry McMullin!) at the Dublin City University FTP site.
- NOTE: Barry McMullin's doctoral dissertation addresses autopoiesis as a useful approach to issues in artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial life (Alife). The dissertation is also available at the DCU FTP site
- Back issues of The Observer can be obtained via FTP at the ThinkNet FTP site.
There are no printed journals specifically dedicated to autopoietic theory. The publication thematically 'closest' is probably Cybernetics and Human Knowing: A Journal of Second Order Cybernetics and Cyber-Semiotics. The editor / publisher is Soeren Brier, who can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other printed journals which have been recurrent venues for discussion of autopoietic theory include:
- International Journal of General Systems
- Systems Practice
- Systems Research
World Wide Web Sites
You are currently visiting the first Web pages specifically dedicated to autopoietic theory. Related information can be found at:
- The Principia Cybernetica Web Site
A Web 'nexus' on cybernetics and general systems theory.
( http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ )
- The Non-Cartesian Cognitive Science Web Site
Web 'nexus' on emerging non-traditional approaches to cognitive science.
( http://www.cogs.susx.ac.uk/users/ronaldl/noncartesian.html )
- Spencer Brown Site
Varela (1979) intensively explored the 'calculus of indications' of the British logician George Spencer Brown. Spencer Brown's _Laws of Form_ outlines a complete and consistent logic based on 'distinctions'. A Spencer Brown bibliography can be found here.
( http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~furry/boundary/ )
- Paul Pangaro Site
Paul Pangaro, PhD, has a personal Web site on second-order cybernetics and his applications of its tenets to enterprise issues.
( http://www.pangaro.com/~pangaro )
Usenet News Groups
There are no Usenet news groups specifically dedicated to autopoiesis. However,
the subject occasionally comes up in (e.g.):
- comp.ai.alife (Artificial Life)
- comp.ai.philosophy (Philosophical aspects of Artificial Intelligence)
- comp.theory.self-org-sys (Self-organizing systems)
- sci.cognitive (Cognitive science)
- sci.systems (Cybernetics and systems theory)
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Copyright 1995 Randall Whitaker. This material may be freely copied and reused, provided the author and source are cited