Thoughts, matter and life

Maturana states that actuality is completely different for each residing being as a result of it’s perceived in line with the sensory processes of every organism.

Due to this fact no residing being has entry to a actuality impartial of its personal organism, and subsequently nobody can declare to have entry to an absolute fact.


We all the time knew in science that an absolute fact just isn’t reachable: the Santiago concept offers a theoretical foundation for it, undermining some of the necessary assumptions of contemporary science: objectivity.

The ‘fact’ arises in conversations, as a consensus with others, and subsequently always adjustments in line with every historic second.

Furthermore, as beings residing in language, every new fact (accepted thought) has the potential to alter us too: paradoxically, language creates actuality as properly.

However, opposite to our present understanding, for Maturana feelings are extra necessary than language and cause: “We people are emotional beings that use cause to justify or deny in line with our personal preferences.”

Why are these concepts related for the longer term? They free us from a worldview separated between physique and thoughts, topic and object, organisms and setting, arduous and tender sciences, particular person and society.


They present us that in evolution, cooperation is stronger than competitors. As an alternative of being in a race for attending to the final word fact via reasoning, we’re free to determine how we need to be.

To realize that is determined by our potential to achieve consensus collectively via language because the cooperative behaviour that made us people.

Democracy just isn’t merely a system of presidency, however quite a way of life in mutual acceptance. What we imagine actually issues as a result of we’re co-creating our actuality as we expect it.

In conclusion, the concepts of Humberto Maturana contain a radical shift within the understanding of life, opening the door to chance and entire techniques transformation in direction of a extra simply existence amongst us people and with the remainder of the residing world.

This Writer

Alfredo Erlwein-Vicuña is professor on the Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Soil Science, and the Transdisciplinary Centre for Environmental Research, at Universidad Austral de Chile, and is a founding member of the Manfred Max-Neef Basis. This text first appeared within the Resurgence & Ecologist journal, out now



Leave a Reply