Why would a German scholar specializing in pedagogical thought travel thousands of miles to Santiago de Chile for an interview with a aging scientist who, it seems, has created for himself a solid reputation in the field of “biology of vision” without being hailed by his peers as a path-breaking innovator? In the German intellectual context, the answer to this question could be as laconic as it would be superfluous: it consists in a deictic reference to the name and, implicitly, to the work of Niklas Luhmann. American readers, in contrast, may need some introductory explanation in order to understand the epistemological triangle between contemporary pedagogical thought, Maturana’s biology, and Luhmann’s philosophy – and, above all, in order to assess and even to appreciate its intellectual potential.
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