Living Systems: Autonomy, Autopoiesis and Enaction

Mario Villalobos, Dave Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The autopoietic theory and the enactive approach are two theoretical streams that, in spite of their historical link and conceptual affinities, offer very different views on the nature of living beings. In this paper, we compare these views and evaluate, in an exploratory way, their respective degrees of internal coherence. Focusing the analyses on certain key notions such as autonomy and organizational closure, we argue that while the autopoietic theory manages to elaborate an internally consistent conception of living beings, the enactive approach presents an internal tension regarding its characterization of living beings as intentional systems directed at the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-239
Number of pages15
JournalPhilosophy & Technology
Issue number2
Early online date12 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Autonomy
  • Organizational closure
  • Autopoietic theory
  • Enactivism


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