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Conclusions

  • Humberto R. Maturana
  • Francisco J. Varela
Chapter
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 42)

Abstract

The aim set forth in the introduction has been accomplished. Through the description of the self-referring circular organization of the living system, and through the analysis of the domains of interactions that such an organization specifies, I have shown the emergence of a self-referring system capable of making descriptions and of generating, through orienting interactions with other, similar, systems and with itself, both a consensual linguistic domain and a domain of self-consciousness, that is: I have shown the emergence of the observer. This result alone satisfies the fundamental demand put forth at the outset: ‘The observer is a living system and any understanding of cognition as a biological phenomenon must account for the observer and his role in it’ and proves the validity of this analysis.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Humberto R. Maturana
  • Francisco J. Varela

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