By John Mingers
This booklet bargains with the contribution of a structures method of more than a few disciplines from philosophy and biology to social thought and administration. It weaves jointly fabric from a number of the pre-eminent thinkers of the day. In doing so it creates a coherent course from basic paintings on philosophical problems with ontology and epistemology via particular domain names of data concerning the nature of knowledge and which means, human verbal exchange, and social intervention.
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Extra info for Realising Systems Thinking: Knowledge and Action in Management Science (Contemporary Systems Thinking)
Nor can it be explained in a reductionist way in terms of particular structures or components of the cell, such as the nucleus or DNA/RNA. The difference must stem from the way the parts are organized as a whole. To understand Maturana and Varela's answer, we need to look at two related questions—what is it that the cell does, that is, what is it that the cell produces? And, what is it that produces the cell? I mean this in the sense of its ongoing existence rather than its reproduction. Living Systems: Autopoiesis 35 What does a cell do?
That is, it begins with some accepted happening or occurrence and asks what must the world be like for this to occur or to be intelligible? In this case, what is accepted by both empiricism and many forms of idealism is that we do have perceptual experience of the world, and that science is carried out through experimental activity in which scientists bring about particular outcomes. The argument is that neither empiricism nor idealism can successfully explain these occurrences, and that they necessitate some form of realist ontology.
Only the plane as a whole can fly—this is its constitutive property as a unity, its organisation. Its parts, however, can interact in their own domains depending on all their properties but they do so only as individual components. A bird-strike can stop an engine; a short-circuit can damage the controls. These are perturbations of the structure—this may affect the whole and lead to a loss of organisation, or it may be compensatable, the plane still able to fly. With this background, we can consider Maturana and Varela's definition of autopoiesis.