Publication 598

Maturana H. R. (1988) Reality: The search for objectivity or the quest for a compelling argument. Irish Journal of Psychology 9(1): 25–82. Fulltext at http://cepa.info/598
It is said that we human beings are rational animals. On account of this, we devalue emotions and exalt rationality so much that, whenever we see some complex behavior in a non-human animal, we want to ascribe rational thinking to it. In this process, we have made the notion of objective reality a reference to something that we deem universal and independent of what we do, and which we use as an argument aimed at compelling someone to do something against his or her will. As an analysis of this, the article concerns the ontology of reality and is a reflection on the social and ethical consequences that understanding such an ontology may have.
Reprinted as Maturana H. R. (1991) Reality: The search for objectivity, or the quest for a compelling argument. Reprinted in the American Society for Cybernetics (ASC) 1992 conference workbook “Language, emotion, the social and the ethical: An in-depth exploration of the cybernetics of Herbert Brün and Humberto R. Maturana.” Spanish translation “Realidad: La búsqueda de lat objetividad o la búsqueda de un argumento convincente” published as Maturana H. R. (1996) Realidad: La búsqueda de la objetividad o la persecución del argumento que obliga and in Maturana H. R. (1996) La realidad: ¿objetiva o construida? II: Fundamentos biológicos de la conocimiento: 11–95. German translation “Realität: Die Suche nach Objektivität oder der Kampf um ein zwingendes Argument” in Maturana H. R. (1998) Biologie der Realität: 226–319.

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