Publication 5636

Maturana H. R. & Varela F. J. (1992) Social phenomena. Chapter 8 in: The tree of knowledge: The biological roots of human understanding. Revised Edition. Shambhala, Boston: 179–201.
Excerpt: As in the case of cellular interactions in metacellulars, it is evident that from the standpoint of the internal dynamics of one organism, the other represents a source of perturbations indistinguishable from those that come from a “nonbiotic” environment. It is possible, however, for these interactions between organisms to acquire in the course of their ontogeny a recurrent nature. This will necessarily result in their consequent structural drifts: co-ontogenies with mutual involvement through their reciprocal structural coupling, each one conserving its adaptation and organization. When this happens, the co-drifting organisms give rise to a new phenomenological domain, which may become particularly complex when there is a nervous system. The phenomena arising from these third-order structural couplings will be the subject of this chapter and the next.
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