Publication 4796

Di Paolo E. A. (2004) Unbinding biological autonomy: Francisco Varela’ s contributions to artificial life. Artificial Life 10(3): 231–233. Fulltext at
Excerpt: As historians of science know very well, concepts and methods evolve, disfavored theories get buried under successful ones (and not necessarily because they are any less valuable), metaphors and languages change, and social perception and pressures influence the directions of research. In view of this, how fortunate that an exceptional and multifaceted scientist like Francisco Varela has not only provided us with a rich legacy of ideas that, both in content and in perspective, are worthy of serious and active (re-)discovery and exploration, but has also himself been a predecessor and supporter of the field. Concrete examples of his work follow the methods of artificial life, both from when the label did not exist and from afterwards. We also have direct collaborators, many of whom are contributors to this special issue, who worry about many of the same problems as Varela did and whose work is directly connected to research lines in this field.

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