Publication 5517

Marques V. (2016) Positing the presuppositions: Dialectical biology and the minimal structure of life. In: Hamza A. & Ruda F. (eds.) Slavoj Žižek and dialectical materialism. Palgrave Macmillan, New York: 113–132. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/5517
Excerpt: There is a curious passage that has been repeating itself for at least ten years in the work of Slavoj Žižek. In it Žižek identifies, but doesn’t really develop, an interesting parallel connecting the conception of life in Hegelian philosophy and some recent results in the field of theoretical biology: “at this crucial point, the language of contemporary biology starts to resemble, quite uncannily, the language of Hegel. When Varela, for example, explains his notion of autopoiesis, he repeats almost verbatim the Hegelian notion of life as teleological, self-organizing entity. His central notion of the loop or bootstrap points towards the Hegelian Setzung der Voraussetzungen (positing the presuppositions).“

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