On Autopoiesis & free will

*Autopoietic Noumenon* 

(An Argument in Generation)

Varela & Maturna’s Notion of Autopoiesis w/ the Kantian Noumenon (i.e., the transcesental immersion)as opposed to the Heideggerian Dasein (i.e., the purest essence of being) is the Autopoietic Noumenon i.e., inherently complex self-regulating living cells/systems function upon the discontinuous awareness of the Metaphysical which allows for the Novelty induced artistic communications. 

This will be the core point of the upcoming blog post/essay on & around Autopoietic Noumenon wherein I’ll sketch out its phenomenological structure which is essentially a broader argument for autopoietically induced creativity.

“[Humberto] Maturana and [Francisco] Varela’s revolutionary theory of cognition became the centerpiece of a larger overall explanation of how all organisms gunction and evolve, which they call “Autopoiesis,” from the Greek word “self-making.” “Autopoiesis” refers to the unique ability of living systems to remake themselves by means of their eown internal dynamics. Or put differently, living systems are autopoietic because, through their internal interactions with their component parts and their external interactions with the environment, they continually maintain themselves and generate their own organization. Autopoietic systems are also autonomous and have individuality, meaning that they maintain an identity that is independent of their interactions with an observer.

[. . .]

What does any of this have to do with education? If, as Maturana writes, “learning is not a process of accumulating representations of the environment; it is a continuous process of transformation of behavior through continuous change in the capacity of the nervous system to synthesize it”and if “man[woman/child] changes and lives in a changing frame of reference in a world continuously created and transformed by him[her],” then the fixed body of knowledge we hold up as the goal of education might not even exist.”

—Chris Mercogliano (In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids’ Inner Wildness; pp. 30/32)

“Autopoiesis attempts to define the uniqueness of the emergence that produces life in its fundamental cellular form. It’s specific to the cellular level. There’s a circular or network process that engenders a paradox: a self-organizing network of biochemical reactions produces molecules, which do something specific and unique: they create a boundary, a membrane, which constrains a network that has produces the constituents of the membrane. This is a logical bootstrap, a loop: a network produces entities that create a boundary, which constrains the network that produces the boundary. This bootstrap is precisely what is unique about cells. A self-distinguishing entity exists when the bootstrap is completed. This entity has produced its own boundary. It doesn’t require an external agent to notice it, or to say “I’m here”. It is, by itself, a self-distinction. It bootstraps itself out of a soup of chemistry and physics.”

—Francisco Varela, ‘The Emergent Self’

On ‘Free Will

We enter the concept or totalise the concept of free-will when we enter into a social contract (Jacques Rousseau) with the society or our immediate external environment. One could argue that the peak of this free will is realised at its maximum during the sensorimotor stages of childhood development (Jean Piaget)— when the individual is around 0-3yrs old and totally relies on his mother and his/her senses for support and care. During this stage, the individual is incapable of entering a social contract with its environment because it hasn’t developed any sense of shred values and communal ethics- it is after this very stage of development that the individual enters into a social contract wherein he/she fulfils their own moral and ethical duty. One can also argue, that the core of this idea lies within the arguments of facticity (by Jean-Paul Sartre & Simone de Beauvoir)— that ‘facticity’ signifies all of the concrete details against the background of which human freedom exists and is therefore, limited i.e., human freedom or ‘free will’ is essentially contextual- that it only exists in the need for it to contrast well with the social contract. 

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