Advertisement

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 429–452 | Cite as

Autopoiesis, Adaptivity, Teleology, Agency

  • Ezequiel A. Di PaoloEmail author
Article

Abstract

A proposal for the biological grounding of intrinsic teleology and sense-making through the theory of autopoiesis is critically evaluated. Autopoiesis provides a systemic language for speaking about intrinsic teleology but its original formulation needs to be elaborated further in order to explain sense-making. This is done by introducing adaptivity, a many-layered property that allows organisms to regulate themselves with respect to their conditions of viability. Adaptivity leads to more articulated concepts of behaviour, agency, sense-construction, health, and temporality than those given so far by autopoiesis and enaction. These and other implications for understanding the organismic generation of values are explored.

Keywords

Adaptive Process Structural Coupling Negative Tendency Autopoietic System Enactive Approach 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ashby, W. R. 1960. Design for a Brain: The Origin of Adaptive Behaviour (Second edition). London: Chapman and Hall.Google Scholar
  2. Bachmann, P. A., Luisi, P. L. and Lang, J. 1992. Autocatalytic self-replicating micelles as models for prebiotic structures. Nature 357: 57–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bennett, J. 1984. A study of Spinoza's ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bennett, J. 1990. Spinoza and Teleology: A Reply to Curley. In: E. Curley and P.-F. Moreau (eds.), Spinoza, issues and directions, pp. 53–57. Leiden: E. J. Brill.Google Scholar
  5. Boden, M. A. 1999. Is metabolism necessary? Brit. J. Phil. Sci. 50: 231–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bourgine, P. and Stewart, J. 2004. Autopoiesis and cognition. Artificial Life 10: 327–346.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Canguilhem, G. (1991/1966). The normal and the pathological. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  8. Curley, E. (1990). On Bennett's Spinoza: The issue of teleology. In: E. Curley and P.-F. Moreau (eds.), Spinoza, issues and directions, pp. 39–52. Leiden: E. J. Brill.Google Scholar
  9. Duchesneau, F. 1974. Du modèle cartesien au modèle spinoziste de l'être vivant. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 3: 539–562.Google Scholar
  10. Gallagher, S. 1997. Mutual enlightenment: Recent phenomenology in cognitive science. J. Consc. Studies 4: 195–215.Google Scholar
  11. Gánti, T. 2003. The principles of life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Goldstein, K. (1995/1934). The organism. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  13. Jonas, H. 1966. The phenomenon of life: Towards a philosophical biology. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Jonas, H. 1968. Biological foundations of individuality. International Philosophical Quarterly 8: 231–251.Google Scholar
  15. Jonas, H. 1979. Spinoza and the theory of organism. In M. Grene (ed.), Spinoza: A collection of critical essays, pp. 259–278. Notre Dame, IN: The University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
  16. Kohler, I. 1964. The formation and transformation of the perceptual world. Psychological Issues 3: 1–173.Google Scholar
  17. Langer, S. K. 1967. Mind: An essay on human feeling. Volume 1. Baltimore, USA: The Johns Hopkins Press.Google Scholar
  18. Matson, W. 1977. Death and destruction in Spinoza's Ethics. Inquiry 20: 403–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Maturana, H. 1975. The organization of the living: A theory of the living organization. Intl. J. Man-Machine Studies 7: 313–332.Google Scholar
  20. Maturana, H. 2002. Autopoiesis, structural coupling and cognition: A history of these and other notions in the biology of cognition. Cybernetics and Human Knowing 9: 5–34.Google Scholar
  21. Maturana, H. and Varela, F. J. 1980. Autopoiesis and cognition: The realization of the living. Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel Publishing.Google Scholar
  22. McMullin, B. 2004. Thirty years of computational autopoiesis: A review. Artificial Life 10: 277–296.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Merleau-Ponty, M. 1962. Phenomenology of perception. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Merleau-Ponty, M. 1963. The structure of behaviour. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  25. Moreno, A. and Ruiz-Mirazo, K. 1999. Metabolism and the problem of its universalization. BioSystems 49: 45–61.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ono, N. and Ikegami, T. 2000. Self-maintenance and self-reproduction in an abstract cell model J. Theoret. Biol. 206: 243–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ruiz-Mirazo, K. and Moreno, A. 2000. Searching for the roots of autonomy: The natural and artificial paradigms revisited. Communication and Cognition – Artificial Intelligence 17: 209–228.Google Scholar
  28. Ruiz-Mirazo, K. and Moreno, A. 2004. Basic autonomy as a fundamental step in the synthesis of life. Artificial Life 10: 235–260.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Szostak, J. W., Bartel, D. P. and Luisi, P. L. 2001. Synthesizing life. Nature 409: 387–390.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Thompson, E. 2004. Life and mind: From autopoiesis to neurophenomenology. A tribute to Francisco Varela. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 3: 381–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. van Gelder, T. 1999. Wooden iron? Husserlian phenomenology meets cognitive science. In: J. Petitot, F. J. Varela, B. Pachoud and J.-M. Roy (eds.), Naturalizing phenomenology, pp. 245–265. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Varela, F. J. 1979. Principles of biological autonomy. New York: Elsevier, North Holland.Google Scholar
  33. Varela, F. J. 1991. Organism: A meshwork of selfless selves. In: A. I. Tauber (ed.), Organism and the origin of the self, pp. 79–107. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  34. Varela, F. J. 1996. Neurophenomenology: A methodological remedy for the hard problem. J. Consc. Studies 3: 330–350.Google Scholar
  35. Varela, F. J. 1997. Patterns of life: Intertwining identity and cognition. Brain and Cognition 34: 72–87.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Varela, F. J. 1999. The specious present: A neurophenomenology of time consciousness. In: J. Petitot, F. J. Varela, B. Pachoud and J.-M. Roy (eds.), Naturalizing phenomenology, pp. 266–314. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Varela, F. J., Maturana, H. R. and Uribe, R. 1974. Autopoiesis: The organization of living systems, its characterization and a model. BioSystems 5: 187–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Varela, F. J., Thompson, E. and Rosch, E. 1991. The embodied mind: Cognitive science and human experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  39. Weber, A. and Varela, F. J. 2002. Life after Kant: Natural purposes and the autopoietic foundations of biological individuality. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1: 97–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.COGS, CCNR, Department of InformaticsUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

Personalised recommendations