The concept of "immanent question" has been introduced by G. BATESON in "Steps to an Ecology of Mind".(1973, p.371)
However the first example given by him comes from biology: "Consider the case of the unfertilized frog's egg for which the entry point of the spermatozoon defines the plan of bilateral symmetry of the future embryon…. The prick of a hair from a camel's-hair brush can be substitued and still carry the same message… But the internal context into which the message comes must be exceedingly complex. The unfertilized egg, then, embodies an immanent question to which the entry point of spermatozoon provides an answer" (Ibid).
This implies that the egg, the seed or, probably, the brain and even possibly the first germ of a culture, contains (in BATESON's words) an appropriate structure, i.e. the implicit time-totalized order created from former adaptation and evolution. (see "order from noise", for a critique of the well known von FOERSTER's experience with magnets).
Autopoiesis seems thus to be the result of a process of progressive emergence of order, as the source of BATESON's "immanent question".
Remains to find out which is the prime mover of this emergence.
- 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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