Computing mechanisms and autopoietic systems

Joe Dewhurst

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper draws an analogy between computing mechanisms and autopoietic systems, focusing on the non-representational status of both kinds of system (computational and autopoietic). It will be argued that the role played by input and output components in a computing mechanism closely resembles the relationship between an autopoietic system and its environment, and in this sense differs from the classical understanding of inputs and outputs. The analogy helps to make sense of why we should think of computing mechanisms as non-representational, and might also facilitate reconciliation between computational and autopoietic/enactive approaches to the study of cognition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputing and Philosophy
Subtitle of host publicationSelected Papers from IACAP 2014
EditorsVincent C. Müller
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-23291-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-23290-4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventInternational Association for Computing and Philosophy - Thessaloniki, Greece, Greece
Duration: 2 Jul 20144 Jul 2014


ConferenceInternational Association for Computing and Philosophy
CityThessaloniki, Greece

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