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Randall Whitaker
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  ONLINE READING ROOM:
Autopoiesis and Enaction

Enola Gaia
 
Copyright © 2000 Randall Whitaker

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

   



WHAT IS HERE:

  • PRIMARY LITERATURE
    Focal sources on autopoietic theory and enactive cognitive science. These are the most important documents for researching the core concepts and foundations of the theories.

  • SECONDARY LITERATURE
    Auxiliary or follow-on literature on autopoiesis and enaction. These documents augment or expand on the theories' foundations.

  • RELATED LITERATURE
    Literature relevant to autopoiesis and enaction (e.g., self-organization, constructivism, etc.), but not focused on autopoietic theory per se.

WHAT IS ELSEWHERE:

 

 

This Online Reading Room is provided as a convenience for visitors to The Observer Web.

It contains a listing of papers, articles, and other documentation which can be directly accessed online via the World Wide Web (WWW). In other words, this Web page provides you with links to documentation which you can browse right now.

This page was developed in response to suggestions made by participants in the 1997 Belo Horizonte International Symposium on Autopoiesis. Owing to the increasing size of the Bibliography and other reference resources here at The Observer Web, people asked if there were a quicker and easier way to locate online materials.

A second aspect of the need was that much of the substantial literature on the biology of cognition / autopoietic theory is difficult to locate. The primary books are either out of stock or out of print. Many of the best papers were published in obscure journals.

The selection of what materials are listed here in the Reading Room is entirely my own. Decisions of the Webmaster are final. The main selection criteria were (a) focus on autopoiesis / enaction and (b) depth of exposition with respect to the core / canonical aspects of the theory.

Other materials less focussed or deep are listed in the Observer Web's comprehensive Bibliography and Guide to Internet Resources.

 

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 Primary Literature
 

 

This section includes primary works (e.g., by Maturana) and / or selections drawn from primary works in the field.

 

 

Maturana, Humberto R.
Biology of Cognition
Biology of Cognition, Biological Computer Laboratory Research Report BCL 9.0., Urbana IL: University 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

This paper is made available with the permission of Professor Maturana.

(I have made inquiries with the University of Illinois, and I was advised there are no extant copyright restrictions on the BCL Report.)


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

This paper is made available with the permission of Academic Press (the copyright holder of record).

Thank you, Academic Press, for allowing me to make this key document available to the global community of interest!


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

This paper is made available with the permission of Professor Maturana. In response to my inquiries, Peter Lang (the publisher) advised me the copyrights for the papers had reverted back to the authors.


Maturana, Humberto R. [1988a]
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

This paper is made available with the permission of The Irish Journal of Psychology (the copyright holder of record).

Thanks to the Journal's editors for allowing me to make this key document available to the global community of interest!

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

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

Thanks, Jane !


Maturana, Humberto R. [1988b]
Ontology of observing: The biological foundations of self consciousness and the physical domain of existence, in the conference workbook for '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.

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

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

Thanks, Alfredo!

This paper is a representative overview of the biology of cognition as developed by Maturana. Recommended as a second or n-th source (not recommended as an exclusive introduction). This paper (along with the other 1988 article "Reality: The search..." [cf. above]) is also a good primary source on Maturana's distinction between scientific and philosophical explanations.


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

This document provides an overview of the biology of cognition, then concentrates on how the phenomenon we term "time" can be contextualized from this perspective.


Maturana, Humberto R., Mpodozis, Jorge, and Juan Carlos Letelier
Brain, language and the origin of human mental functions, Biological Research, Vol. 28 (1995), pp.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

  3. At the original / mirror Observer Web site


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.

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!

This article is recommended as a secondary or n-th source for those interested in seeing how Maturana contextualizes interpersonal conduct from his biologically-based perspective.


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


Varela, Francisco
Autopoiesis and a Biology of Intentionality, in Barry McMullin and Noel Murphy (Eds.), AUTOPOIESIS AND PERCEPTION: A Workshop with ESPRIT BRA 3352 (ADDENDUM), Addendum to the print proceedings distributed during the workshop, Dublin: Dublin City University, September, 1992.

Available [Thanks to Barry McMullin!] via WWW (in Adobe Acrobat [PDF] or Zipped Postscript formats) at:

[PDF]
[Zipped PostScript]

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 Secondary Literature
 

 

This section lists auxiliary literature which is readily available in electronic format.

 

 

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.


Beer, Stafford
Preface to: Autopoiesis: The organization of the living (the second paper constituting Autopoiesis and Cognition (Maturana & Varela, 1980f),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


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

Available in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format at:

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


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

NOTES:

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

  2. A complete Table of Contents with direct hot links to this book's contents (at the Australian site) can be found in the Observer Web Bibliography.


Glasersfeld, Ernst von
Distinguishing the observer: An attempt at interpreting Maturana, article of December 1997.

Available via WWW at:

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

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.


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.

This documentation provides a capsule overview of the topics typically covered by professor Maturana in his lectures.

Available via WWW as 3 files (one for each of the three daily seminars):

Maturana Seminar #1 - Epistemology

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

Maturana Seminar #2 - Biology

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

Maturana Seminar #3 - Humanness

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


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


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 here at The Observer Web.

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!


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 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


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."


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

PDF version of article available at:

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



Maturana, Humberto R.
Autopoiesis, Structural Coupling and Cognition

Draft manuscript (apparently circa 1999), editorial changes not yet reviewed by author. This draft manuscript, online at the ISSS Webspace, is not referenced or indexed from the ISSS pages themselves. (Oops!)

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

NOTE: This paper has been revised, updated, and re-posted on the Matriztica website (in Chile). Cf. next entry



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

This is a later version of the 1999(?) draft manuscript available at the ISSS website (Cf. previous entry ).

http://www.matriztica.org/1290/article-28335.html

NOTE: The URL above will take you directly to a summary / preliminary page for the article. You will then be given the option of downloading the entire article as a Microsoft Word file.

To go ahead and download the full article as a Microsoft Word file, go to:

http://www.matriztica.org/1290/articles-28335_autopoiesis.doc


McMullin, Barry, and Francisco Varela
Rediscovering Computational Autopoiesis.

Paper presented at ECAL-97, Brighton, UK, July 1997.


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 the Society for Organizational Learning website:

http://www.solonline.org

NOTE: Effective with 2003, this paper is only accessible to registered subscribers to the SOL website. I do not know if any fee is involved, but registration can be done online. If you elect to register with SOL, search on the word 'Maturana' or 'Homosphere' to get a list including an entry for this document.


McMullin, Barry
SCL: An Artificial Chemistry in Swarm.

Working Paper 97-01-002 of the Santa Fe Institute. January 1997.

This paper can also be accessed via WWW at:

(Dublin City University.)


McMullin, Barry
Computational Autopoiesis: The Original Algorithm

Working Paper 97-01-001 of the Santa Fe Institute. January 1997.

This paper can also be accessed via WWW at:

(DDublin City University.)


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


Palmer, Kent
The Ontological Foundations of Autopoiesis

Kent Palmer (administrator of the ThinkNet autopoiesis discussion forum) has written a review of the issues he sees as critical to framing autopoietic theory in terms of ontology. His analysis draws upon a broad sweep of philosophical sources.


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. Available via WWW at:

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

A nice overview of the relationships between Maturana's biology of cognition and issues relevant to psychology / psychotherapy.


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 CA: Stanford University Press, 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


Whitaker, Randall
Self-Organization, Autopoiesis, and Enterprises

This inaugural presentation in the ACM SIGOIS/SIGGROUP Illuminations series offers 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.
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 Related Literature
 

 

This section lists literature readily available in electronic format on topics or themes relevant to autopoiesis and enaction (but not focused on autopoietic theory per se).

 

 

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


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


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

This paper 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
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


Krohn, Wolfgang, Küppers, 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.

This paper 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


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.


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

 

 

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