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Francisco Varela: Late Interview

I chanced upon this video of Francisco Varela, clearly his illness at an advanced stage. I’m not a Spanish speaker so the substance of the video is lost on me. If you don’t know who FV is, here is an obituary by one of his closest friends and collaborators, the very excellent Evan Thompson. Running the video’s…

Proceedings of the Artificial Life Conference 2016

Available for free download here. The special theme of the conference: How can the synthetic study of living systems contribute to societies: scientifically, technically, and culturally? The goal of the conference theme is to better understand societies with the purpose of using this understanding for a more efficient management and development of social systems. AutopoiesisCarlos GershensonCollective…

Remembering Varela

Four articles (and more) of interest to theorists interested in enaction: 1. Tom Froese’s new article in Adaptive Behavior: Critics of the paradigm of enaction have long argued that enactive principles will be unable to account for the traditional domain of orthodox cognitive science, namely “higher-level” cognition and specifically human cognition. Moreover, even many of the…

Autopoiesis and Cognition

Maturana and Varela’s classic Autopoiesis and Cognition is freely available here (H/T to Paul Loader). What makes a living system a living system? What kind of biological phenomenon is the phenomenon of cognition? These two questions have been frequently considered, but, in this volume, the authors consider them as concrete biological questions. Their analysis is bold and…