50 Years with Autopoiesis

In memory of Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela

Thursday 22 July 2021, 19.45-21.00 CET

An event hosted @ ALIFE2021 ON-LINE CONFERENCE

Organized by Pasquale Stano, Luisa Damiano, Takashi Ikegami and Olaf Witkowski

Humberto Maturana (1928-2021)

Francisco Varela (1946-2001)

An autopoietic machine is a machine organized (defined as a unity) as a network of processes of production (transformation and destruction) of components which: (i) through their interactions and transformations continuously regenerate and realize the network of processes (relations) that produced them; and (ii) constitute it (the machine) as a concrete unity in space in which they (the components) exist by specifying the topological domain of its realization as such a network.

H. Maturana, F. Varela (1980). Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living. Dordrecht, Holland.

We intend to commemorate Humberto Maturana just few months after his departure (May 2021) and Francisco Varela (20th anniversary of his premature death), while it is exactly 50 years since the word "Autopoiesis" was invented.

It will be an occasion for discussing on the relevance of Autopoiesis in biology, chemistry, artificial intelligence, cognitive sciences, artificial life, social sciences, philosophy, ... and more.

And, maybe, sketching the perspectives of Autopoiesis for the next 50 years!

Program (22 July 2021, 19.45-21.00)

  • Individual talks (ca. 30-40 minutes overall)

    • Pier Luigi Luisi (ETH Zurich, Switzerland; University RomaTre, Rome, Italy), "Autopoiesis: an overview"

    • Juan Carlos Letelier (University of Chile, Santiago, Chile), Biology of Cognition Lab, "Early connections between Cybernetics and Autopoiesis: The Humberto Maturana-Heinz von Foerster friendship"

    • Jorge Soto-Andrade (University of Chile, Santiago, Chile), "The Ouroboros in Maturana's and Varela's work"

  • Round-table discussion (ca. 15 minutes)

  • Q&A with audience (ca. 15 minutes)