Publication 702

Maturana H. R. (2005) The origin and conservation of self-consciousness: Reflections on four questions by Heinz von Foerster. In: Riegler A. (ed.) Heinz von Foerster – in memoriam. Kybernetes: The International Journal of Systems & Cybernetics 34(1–2): 54–88. Fulltext at
Purpose: To reflect on the matter of self-consciousness. Design/methodology/approach – The purpose is achieved through the process of answering four questions presented to me by Heinz von Foerster in the course of our many conversations. Findings: It is not possible to understand the nature of self-consciousness without understanding the operation of human beings as living systems that exist as emotional languaging living systems: self-consciousness is a manner of living. Practical implications: We human beings can become more aware of our responsibility in the design of robots that imitate us. Originality/value – Reflects on what makes us humans special, on subjective experience, and on the world we bring forth.

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