The Problems of Social Autopoiesis

Mingers, John (1992) The Problems of Social Autopoiesis. International Journal of General Systems, 21 (2). 229-236.. ISSN 0308-1079 . (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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Zeleny and Hufford apply the concept of autopoiesis to three different classes of systems-biological, chemical, and social. My response is concerned with the latter and in particular with Zeleny and Hufford's claims that social systems are autopoietic and that autopoietic systems are inherently social. I argue that these claims are quite ill-founded. There are a number of general weaknesses with Zeleny and Hufford's paper, but, most importantly, the authors fail to see major problems in the ascription of autopoiesis to social systems. These problems are outlined, and the responses of other writers such as Maturana, Varela, and Luhmann are explored. Finally, the importance of and problems with Maturana's and Varela's work is assessed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: autopoiesis, sociology, organizations, cognition, family, language, law, psychotherapy, social systems
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School
Depositing User: John Mingers
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2009 13:06
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2014 10:25
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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