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Autopoiesis, Adaptivity, Teleology, Agency

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.

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Correspondence to Ezequiel A. Di Paolo.

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Di Paolo, E.A. Autopoiesis, Adaptivity, Teleology, Agency. Phenom Cogn Sci 4, 429–452 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11097-005-9002-y

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Keywords

  • Adaptive Process
  • Structural Coupling
  • Negative Tendency
  • Autopoietic System
  • Enactive Approach