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W1 m2-u3 autopoietic theory

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W1 m2-u3 autopoietic theory

  1. 1. For Classroom Use Only! No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without priorpermission in writing from the Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University. © 2012 Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University
  2. 2. WORLD 1 – MODULE 2 Discovering Evolutionary Patterns in Physical and Biological Systems LEARNING UNIT 3Understanding the Evolutionary Principles of Life Autopoietic Theory © 2012 Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University
  3. 3. Autopoiesis: A Definition of LifeAutopoiesis means Self-Creation: Organization of a system:from Greek words auto (self-) and • Those relations that must be present inpoiesis (creation, production) order for something to exist • The configuration of the relationship between and among a system’s components Structure of a system: • The “physical embodiment” of its *the system] organization“Drawing Hands” by M.C. Escher • The actual components of a system and the way they relate to one another in orderThe components of a cell produce to constitute an unityother components which, in turn,continue to maintain the cell as an Conservation through change:organized bounded structure that Over time, the system changes its structuregives rise to these components. while maintaining its organization © 2012 Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University
  4. 4. Change as a natural process Our skin is new every month, our liver every six weeks, even our brain changes it’s content of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen every 12 months. All of us are much more like a river than anything frozen in time and space. . . The memory must be more permanent than matter. What is a cell then? It is a memory that has built some matter around itself, forming a specific pattern. Your body is just the place your memory calls home. Self-organizing systems are better thought of as energy processes that manifest themselves in physical forms. - Margaret Wheatley Leadership & The New Sciences © A Laszlo 2004 © 2012 Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University
  5. 5. Characteristics of Autopoietic SystemsEnergetically open:Able to perceive change in theenvironment and exchange energyand matter with it.Self-referential:Structural changes always consistentwith itself (the parts understand thewhole)Cognitive systems:Internal communication is identical toits coordination of behavior and doesnot require a nervous system.Cognition is a biologicalphenomenon. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waggle_dance © 2012 Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University
  6. 6. Characteristics of Autopoietic SystemsStructure-Determined: Operationally closed,Structural changes (and adaptations) structure-are triggered, but not determined, by determined systemperturbations in the environment (thesystem is structurally closed). InteractionsThe structure of the systemselectively determines whichperturbations in the environment thesystem will notice or ignore, andwhich new interactions will be created Environment/Surrounding Triggers but does not determine changebetween its components. © 2012 Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University
  7. 7. Characteristics of Autopoietic SystemsStructural Coupling:Term used to depict a living system that interacts with another system orwith its environment. It relates to the processes of coordination and co-evolution • how two or more systems coordinate their activities • how the systems change and adapt over timeThe mutual influence of the systems that interact in this way is bound towhat the structure of each system can afford at a given timeThe history of structural changes defines a system’s history of learning ordevelopmental path (i.e., evolution)The history of recurrent interaction between systems leads to structuralcongruence Structural Structural Coupling Congruence © 2012 Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University
  8. 8. Implications of Autopoietic Theory Cognition is NOT the operation of neural information processing Cognition is a biological phenomenon that includes perception, emotion, action, as well as language (whether or not we are talking) “Language arises when we see that the objects we bring forth by the distinctions we make are just that – objects which arose in our awareness through the operations of distinction.” (Fell & Russell) Information does not exist independently of a system. Instead the system selects which perturbations to notice, creates information, and assigns meaning to it through structural coupling – either with aspects of its environment or with anyother system Language is the coordination of actions through the coordination of actions occurs (a recursive process) Communication is not a process of exchange of information but the coordination of behavior Autopoiesis theory is critical to the understanding of human behavior because when in a network of conversation with others, emotions limit the domain of our possible actions. (e.g., love versus fear) © 2012 Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University
  9. 9. Social Autopoiesis“*C]ulture arises from a complex, highly nonlinear dynamic. It iscreated by a social network involving multiple feedback loopsthrough which values, beliefs, and rules of conduct arecontinually communicated, modified, and sustained. It emergesfrom a network of communications among individuals and, as itemerges, it produces constraints on their actions. In otherwords, the social structures, or rules of behavior, that constrainthe actions of individuals are produced and continuallyreinforced by their own network of communications…People’sbehavior is informed and restricted by their cultural identities,which in turn reinforces their sense of belonging.” ~ Fritjof Capra, The Web of Life © 2012 Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University

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