In L. LÖFGREN words: "… an automaton where the behavior function F is considered self-reproducing if, from some stimulus, it produces another automaton with the same function F This leads to the question whether a function can contain itself in its range" (1978, p.247)
In view of GÖDEL'S incompleteness theorem, this does not seem to be a very promising proposition.
However ATLAN states: "…up to now the only self-reproducing automata known are the natural machines, i.e. the living organisms" (1972, p.22). But even this view should be qualified: reproduction by division is not the same process as sexual reproduction. Besides, self-reproduction has now a specific autopoietic meaning.
ATLAN also writes:
"a) Living organisms' specificity is related to (cybernetic) principles of organization, and not anymore to irreductible vital principles
"b) Once these principles are outlined, nothing should impede their application to artificial automata, whose performance could equalize those of living organisms" (p.22-23)
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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