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Type: Journal article
Title: Autopoiesis and knowing: reflections on Maturana's biogenic explaination of cognition
Author: Lyon, P.
Citation: Cybernetics and Human Knowing: a journal of second order cybernetics, autopoiesis and cyber-semiotics, 2004; 11(4):21-46
Publisher: Imprint Academic
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 0907-0877
Abstract: Maturana advanced the first systematic explanation of cognition based solely on biological principles since Aristotle. This was a risky strategy to adopt, given the intellectual currents of his time. Had it been more influential, the autopoietic theory of cognition might well have brought us much sooner to the trends currently at the forefront of the cognitive sciences, including dynamical systems, embodied and situated cognition, the emphasis on action and interaction, and other biologically based challenges to the computational paradigm, which Maturana opposed. I argue that the autopoietic theory of cognition was premature for several reasons. While it could be said that developments in the cognitive sciences have overtaken it, I believe Maturana's theory, which he developed with Varela and others, still has much to offer contemporary theorists, despite its limitations.
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Philosophy publications

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