"Production by an object x1 of class X of an object x2 also of class X" (R.L. ACKOFF & F.E. EMERY, 1972, p.22).
Reproduction should not be confused with self-reproduction.
ACKOFF and EMERY observe that reproduction occurs many times through coproducers, which they define as: "Two or more objects, properties and/or environments that are producers of the same product" (Ibid., p.23). This becomes closer, but not identical, to autopoiesis. Sexual reproduction for instance, can be considered an autopoietic mechanism, but then only at the species level.
As observed by H.T. ODUM, error-free reproduction has a cost and, moreover becomes impossible in the long run, at least as to the elements of complex systems (1971, p.142).
The case of practically eternal correct reproduction of amoebas or bacteries remains a puzzle: Why does division, leading to total separation, maintain some kind of identity without limit in time, while autopoietic complex systems are always finally doomed to destruction?
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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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