Modeling Autopoiesis and Cognition with Reaction Networks

This was accidentally posted here due to me doing something wrong with the ‘press this’ bookmarklet in Chrome. Ho hum.

Leaving here for Arthur’s comments, but now reblogged at where it was intended to go originally, and where you can find Much More Like This!

Complexity Digest

Francis Heylighen, Evo Busseniers

Maturana and Varela defined an autopoietic system as a self-regenerating network of processes. We reinterpret and elaborate this conception starting from a process ontology and its formalization in terms of reaction networks and chemical organization theory. An autopoietic organization can be modelled as a network of “molecules” (components) undergoing reactions, which is (operationally) closed and self-maintaining. Such organizations, being attractors of a dynamic system, tend to self-organize—thus providing a model for the origin of life. However, in order to survive in a variable environment, they must also be resilient, i.e. able to recover from perturbations. According to the cybernetic law of requisite variety, this requires cognition, i.e. the ability to recognize and compensate perturbations. Such cognition becomes more effective as it learns to accurately anticipate perturbations by discovering invariant patterns in its interactions with the environment. Nevertheless, the resulting predictive model remains a subjective construction. Such…

View original post 42 more words

7 thoughts on “Modeling Autopoiesis and Cognition with Reaction Networks

    1. I cannot give you a definitive answer on that because (a) I’m not sure I know what it is and I am not sure how I would really be clear about Helighen’s position. I have 83 references in my email archives to Heylighen and Maturana, and they appeared on panels and had a number of discussions together – so I expect he does understand it, but do not know if he agrees with it….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sure, well said.

        Like any guru-expert-thoughtleader[ugh] we all have our own Maturana.

        I’m not sure that HM himself would claim to fully understand his radical conception of biological cognition.

        I think Stuart Kauffmann [mispelt, I know] is probably a better guide to thinking about ‘biological cognition’. Oo, heresy!

        More generally, it seems that every week there is another article in NS about previously undiscovered amazing animal capabilities – crocodiles using sticks to prey on nesting birdies, birdies using sticks to get ants for lunch out of crevices in rotted trees, ants making suspension bridges out of themselves, water remembering things [not that last one, that’s bolx, LOL], blah blah.

        How long will it take, post Darwin, for us to realise that cognition is a characteristic of all living things, maan…

        How the duck can you model cognition if you don’t know what cognition is?

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s