Context: Humberto Maturana has generated a coherent and extensive explicatory matrix that encompasses his research in neurophysiology, cognition, language, emotion, and love. Purpose: Can we formulate a map of Maturana’s work in a manner that is consistent with the systemic matrix it represents and that serves as an aid for understanding Maturana’s philosophy without reifying its representation? Method: Our arguments are based on experience gained from teaching and presentations. Results: We present a map that that represents Maturana’s main contributions as clusters of notions clustered according to how we see them to be related to each other as a projection of a matrix of ideas onto a two-dimensional space. We claim that there are many paths through these clusters of ideas. Though ideas relevant to individuals are obtained from various partial perspectives, a deep understanding of any element is dependent on an understanding of the whole matrix. Furthermore, we summarize the contributions to this special issue on Maturana.
Key words: generative process, matrix of concepts, systemic, conceptual map, pedagogy
Bunnell P. & Riegler A. (2011) Maturana across the disciplines. Constructivist Foundations 6(3): 287–292. http://constructivist.info/6/3/287
http://www.vonglasersfeld.com/125.2 Originally published in German as: Glasersfeld E. von (1990) Die Unterscheidung des Beobachters: Versuch einer Auslegung. In: Riegas V. & Vetter C. (eds.) Zur Biologie der Kognition. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt: 281–295.Distinguishing the observer: An attempt at interpreting Maturana. Methodologia V(8): 57–68. Available at
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