Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science

Autopoiesis and Cognition

The Realization of the Living

Authors: Maturana, H.R., Varela, F.J.

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About this book

This is a bold, brilliant, provocative and puzzling work. It demands a radical shift in standpoint, an almost paradoxical posture in which living systems are described in terms of what lies outside the domain of descriptions. Professor Humberto Maturana, with his colleague Francisco Varela, have undertaken the construction of a systematic theoretical biology which attempts to define living systems not as they are objects of observation and description, nor even as in­ teracting systems, but as self-contained unities whose only reference is to them­ selves. Thus, the standpoint of description of such unities from the 'outside', i. e. , by an observer, already seems to violate the fundamental requirement which Maturana and Varela posit for the characterization of such system- namely, that they are autonomous, self-referring and self-constructing closed systems - in short, autopoietic systems in their terms. Yet, on the basis of such a conceptual method, and such a theory of living systems, Maturana goes on to define cognition as a biological phenomenon; as, in effect, the very nature of all living systems. And on this basis, to generate the very domains of interac­ tion among such systems which constitute language, description and thinking.

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Buy this book

eBook $89.99 net
( price for USA )
  • ISBN 978-94-009-8947-4
  • digitally watermarked, no DRM
  • included format: PDF
  • eBooks can be used on all Reading Devices
Hardcover $219.00 net
( price for USA )
  • ISBN 978-90-277-1015-4
  • free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days
Softcover $119.00 net
( price for USA )
  • ISBN 978-90-277-1016-1
  • free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Autopoiesis and Cognition
Book Subtitle
The Realization of the Living
Series Title
Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
Series Volume
42
Copyright
1980
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland
eBook ISBN
978-94-009-8947-4
DOI
10.1007/978-94-009-8947-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-90-277-1015-4
Softcover ISBN
978-90-277-1016-1
Series ISSN
0068-0346
Edition Number
1
Topics