Publication 617

Maturana H. R. (1991) Response to Jim Birch. Journal of Family Therapy 13(4): 375–393. Fulltext at
I consider that none of the criticisms that Birch makes of my work applies. Moreover, I consider that Birch makes a confusion of conceptual domains. He, in a philosophical mood, wants to save the notion of objectivity as an ontological notion, and, as he does so, he unavoidably distorts, abandons or neglects experience. I, in a scientific mood, want to explain the observer and observing as biological phenomena, and as I do so I find that I have to leave out or abandon reality as an ontological notion, and replace it by reality as an explanatory proposition. After recognizing that there is this fundamental difference between Birch and myself, it is obvious that nothing of what I say will satisfy him, and nothing of what he says will satisfy me.
This is Maturana’s reply to: Birch J. (1991) Re-inventing the already punctured wheel: reflections on a seminar with Humberto Maturana. Journal of Family Therapy 13(4): 349–373. Spanish translation in Maturana H. R. (1996) La realidad: ¿objetiva o construida? II: Fundamentos biológicos de la conocimiento: 255–278.

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