Humberto Maturana


This article is written from the view of Humberto R. Maturana and was developed under the title of Biology of Cognition.
The biology of cognition arises in the process of accepting that cognition is a biological phenomenon, and that it has to be explained as such. To do so entails asking the question, how do we do what we do as observers while we operate as living systems? Accepting such a question entails accepting all questions about how do we do what we do as living systems and as human beings. But it also entails that any explanatory answer that we may propose must be embedded in the understanding that living systems are structure determined systems, and that all that happens in them, to them, or with them, must happen in their continuous realization as structure determined systems.
This means that as structure determined systems, we human beings are such that, nothing external impinging upon us can specify what happens in us, and that external agents impinging upon us can only trigger in us structural changes determined in us. This fact has consequences in all the dimensions of our living.
One of these consequences, is that the phenomena proper to our physiology and the phenomena proper to our behavior, occur in non-intersecting phenomenal domains, and cannot be reduced one to the other.
Another consequence of structural determinism is, that as living systems interact recurrently, they enter into the dynamics of recursively triggering structural changes in each other, such that they undergo congruent structural changes that keeps them in congruent behaviour. It is from this understanding that we say all that we say in this article about education, and particularly, that education is a process in which both students and teachers change together congruently as long as they remain in recurrent interactions, so that the students learn to live with their teachers in whatever domain of living.

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