When one puts objectivity in parenthesis, all views, all verses in the multiverse are equally valid. Understanding this, you lose the passion for changing the other.
|comment: system is us
||comment: ‘As found in Maturana. . .objectivity or the search for a good argument.’ (I’ll reveal the secondary source of this in a follow-up.)
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(from Oikos) When one puts objectivity in parenthesis, all views, all verses in the multiverse are equally valid. Understanding this, you lose the passion for changing the other. One of the results is that you look apathetic to people. Now, those who do not live with objectivity in parentheses have a passion for changing the other. So they have this passion and you do not. For example, at the university where I work, people may say, ‘Humberto is not really interested in anything,’ because I don’t have the passion in the same sense that the person that has objectivity without parentheses. And I think that this is the main difficulty. To other people you may seem too tolerant. However, if the others also put objectivity in parentheses , you discover that disagreements can only be solved by entering a domain of co-inspiration, in which things are done together because the participants want to do them. With objectivity in parentheses, it is easy to do things together because one is not denying the other in the process of doing them. Humberto Maturana
H.M. and Francisco Varela, Autopoiesis and Cognition: The realization of the living.
All doing is knowing, and all knowing is doing.
“On the one hand, one can move down a level and study the properties of the components, disregarding their mutual interconnection as a system. On the other hand, one can disregard the detailed structure of the components, treating their behaviour only as contributing to that of a larger unit. … We cannot conceive of components if there is no system from which they are abstracted; and there cannot be a whole unless there are constitutive elements.”
(Lots of fore-running in M&V to ecosociosemio traversing.
This is for you Mike, if you haven’t been dealed in yet. Varela, from 1995:
Francisco Varela (Edge.org): I guess I’ve had only one question all my life. Why do emergent selves, virtual identities, pop up all over the place creating worlds, whether at the mind/body level, the cellular level, or the transorganism level? This phenomenon is something so productive that it doesn’t cease creating entirely new realms: life, mind, and societies. Yet these emergent selves are based on processes so shifty, so ungrounded, that we have an apparent paradox between the solidity of what appears to show up and its groundlessness. That, to me, is a key and eternal question.
As a consequence, I’m interested in the nervous system, cognitive science, and immunology, because they concern the processes that can answer the question of what biological identity is. How can you have some kind of identity that simultaneously allows you to know something, allows cells to configure their own relevant world, the immune system to generate the identity of our body in its own way, and the brain to be the basis for a mind, a cognitive identity? All these mechanisms share a common theme.
I’m perhaps best known for three different kinds of work, which seem disparate to many people but to me run as a unified theme. These are my contributions in conceiving the notion of autopoiesis — self-production — for cellular organization, the enactive view of the nervous system and cognition, and a revising of current ideas about the immune system.
Regarding the subject of biological identity, the main point is that there is an explicit transition from local interactions to the emergence of the “global” property — that is, the virtual self of the cellular whole, in the case of autopoiesis. It’s clear that molecules interact in very specific ways, giving rise to a unity that is the initiation of the self. There is also the transition from nonlife to life. The nervous system operates in a similar way. Neurons have specific interactions through a loop of sensory surfaces and motor surfaces. This dynamic network is the defining state of a cognitive perception domain. I claim that one could apply the same epistemology to thinking about cognitive phenomena and about the immune system and the body: an underlying circular process gives rise to an emergent coherence, and this emergent coherence is what constitutes the self at that level. In my epistemology, the virtual self is evident because it provides a surface for interaction, but it’s not evident if you try to locate it. It’s completely delocalized.
Organisms have to be understood as a mesh of virtual selves. I don’t have one identity, I have a bricolage of various identities. I have a cellular identity, I have an immune identity, I have a cognitive identity, I have various identities that manifest in different modes of interaction. These are my various selves. I’m interested in gaining further insight into how to clarify this notion of transition from the local to the global, and how these various selves come together and apart in the evolutionary dance. In this sense, what I’ve studied, say, in color vision for the nervous system or in immune self-regulation are what Dan Dennett would call “intuition pumps,” to explore the general pattern of the transition from local rules to emergent properties in life. We have at our disposal beautiful examples to play around with, both in terms of empirical results and in terms of mathematics and computer simulations. The immune system is one beautiful, very specific case. But it’s not the entire picture