Publication 5653

Meynen H. T. (1992) The bringing forth of dialogue: Latour versus Maturana. In: Van de Vijver G. (ed.) New Perspectives on cybernetics: Self-organization, autonomy and connectionism. Kluwer, Dordrecht: 157–174. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/5653
After introducing the problem and a short impression of the work of Humberto Maturana, I elaborate on his ideas concerning science and the scientific explanation (1.) and objectivity (2.). In an evaluation of these views I claim that we cannot accept some consequences of Maturana’s theory, because they leave no space for discussion (3.). I then turn to Bruno Latour, and after a short introduction (4.) proceed to claim that there are some interesting similarities between Latour and Maturana (5.), especially in their respective ideas on the praxis of explaining. I further claim that Latour’s idea of ‘infrareflexivity’ constitutes a way out of the problems with Maturana’s theory (6.). I conclude with a ‘plea for taking dialogue seriously’ (7.). Along the way, it turns out, I could show Latour a counterexample of his claim that systems theorists are not aware of their own role in creating ‘systems’.

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