Publication 3200

Bopry J. & Brier S. (2002) Foreword: The ages of Francisco Varela. Cybernetics & Human Knowing 9(2): 5–8. Fulltext at
The present issue is a memorial issue for Francisco Varela both as a scholar and as a colleague. Varela passed away in his home in Paris on May 28 2001. He was part of the editorial board of this journal and thus in this memorial issue we would like to look into his heritage. Most of the papers we present have authors that have known and worked with Varela in some period of their and his life: Ranulph Glanville, Louis Kauffman, Andreas Weber. Weber makes the case that Varela’s thinking can provide a foundation for biosemiotics and as such it provides a further foundation for the cybersemiotic project. Most interesting and promising is his comparison with Varela’s concept of the organism and Bruno Latour’s concept of quasi-objects. The other articles all have some relationship to Varela’s elaboration on the work of Spencer-Brown. Using the metaphor of the Uroboros, Marks-Tarlow, Robertson, and Combs explore the notion of re-entry in Varela’s ‘A Calculus for Self-Reference ’ and his contribution to a theory of consciousness. In their articles, Glanville and Kauffman reflect upon their experience working with Varela on joint papers.

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