Publication 5888

Colapinto J. (1985) Maturana and the ideology of conformity. The Family Therapy Networker 9(3): 29–30. Fulltext at
Criticizes H. R. Maturana and F. J. Varela’s (1980) proposition that the passion to change others is not just ethically wrong but essentially impossible. Maturana argued that since reality is observer-dependent, no knowledge about an objective reality is possible. Maturana also stated that the behavior of people is not a purposeful accommodation to the environment but a manifestation of internal structure. It is suggested that Maturana’s distinction between organization and structure is not incompatible with the idea that the therapist may purposefully structure the therapeutic environment to encourage a family to change in a given direction. It is concluded that the passion to change others is intrinsically constitutive of the therapist and that even Maturana is a closeted agent of change in his effort to shift the thinking of family therapists.

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