"Attribute of an organizationally closed system, i.e. a system whose organization is self explanatory and, by implication, circular" (K. KRIPPENDORFF, 1986, p.5)
Autonomy in MATURANA and VARELA's sense is self -generated through an organizational closure process. In R.N. ADAMS words: "… control over relations of production is wholly internal" (1988, p.63).
This is a property of living systems. H. von FOERSTER writes: "By autonomy we mean that all decisions regarding an organism's action are made within its skin. A living organism is a universe in itself". von FOERSTER proceeds, giving the following example:
"1. The interpretations of an organism's sensations determine its activity;
"2. An organism's activity determines the interpretations of its sensations" (1981, p.215)
He resumed his stand in these terms: "A living organism is an independent, autonomous and organizationally closed being" (1992, p. 42). By "independent" (in the German text "selbstandig", i.e. "existing by itself"), one should understand "entificated" in R. GERARD sense.
von FOERSTER also stated that autonomy is "self-regulation" or "regulation of regulation" (1981, p.306), which locates him quite close to VENDRYES.
P. GOMEZ and G.J.B. PROBST, in turn, write:
"1. The development and viability of a system depend much more on internal coherences than on environmental inputs. What is important is what the system does, how it acts, and finally, how it reacts to noise from the environment
"2. An autonomous system produces its limit and the limits define the system. Research should emphasize the search for sources and rules of the internal transformations of coherences" (1989, p.314)
The first statement could be somewhat misleading No system can emerge, develop and maintain itself if the necessary inputs are not available in the environment. Only the pre adapted systems are viable. Of course, preadaptation is a result of autopoietic transmission of formerly emerged conditions. As an example, an astronaut is viable in space only if the basic environment he/she imperatively needs for survival is artificially recreated and maintained.
Autonomy itself is obtained only within the specifications of an inherited or formerly emerged template
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
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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