The Philosophical Implications of Maturana's Cognitive Theories

Mingers, John (1990) The Philosophical Implications of Maturana's Cognitive Theories. Systemic Practice, 3 (6). 569-584.. ISSN 1094-429X . (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Maturana and Varela have developed important theories about living systems (autopoiesis) and also about the brain/nervous system and cognition. These theories have strongly subjectivist implications leading to the view that our explanations and descriptions reflect the structure of the subject, rather than that of an objective world, and that we therefore construct the world which we experience. This paper analyzes Maturana's ideas in terms of the main philosophical traditions — empiricism, idealism, and realism — showing that they are a blend of both realist and antirealist positions. It then provides a critique of Maturana's radical subjectivism and argues that his theory is best seen as compatible with critical realism.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: autopoiesis, philosophy,cognition, epistemology, ontology, critical realism
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > Management Science
Depositing User: John Mingers
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2009 19:30
Last Modified: 06 May 2014 14:17
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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