Maturana’s Biology and Some Possible Implications for Education

Maturana is a biologist. He makes it very clear that he speaks and writes only as a biologist. Others may apply his work to other spheres; however he himself does not. This paper is based on notes taken during a three day lecture given by Humberto Maturana. It was obvious from the participants that many non-biologists have found Maturana’s work to be influential in their thinking. The audience included immunologists, family therapists, academics, architects, agriculturalists and information technologists. Apart from the lecture notes I have included commentary on Maturana’s work from other sources. I have also added what I think are similar ideas coming from other fields of study. What follows is an attempt to present some of Maturana’s ideas and to suggest some of the implications of his biological theories for education. We think he would be disappointed to hear that for the same reason that he has expressed his dislike of being labelled as a philosopher when he claims to be a biologist. We have been influenced by him to regard knowledge, not as something which can be attributed to a particular book or person, or expressed as a particular principle, but as something which reveals itself in our own actions and can only be assessed in this way. This idea is at the heart of the excitement which we feel about what we have to say.


Read also: An Introduction to Maturana’s Biology


About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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