Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Catching up with Maturana

For some time the innovative work of Humberto Maturana has been neglected, or sidelined, within the fields of perception/cognition research as the current mainstream paradigm pursues, to my mind, a barren trajectory. But the situation may be changing - take a look at this Ted Talk which adds empirical evidence to much of what can be found in Maturana's work (which was itself empirically based).

My own 2010 book, Systems Practice: How to act in a climate-change World (Springer/Open University) is shaped by Maturana's biology of cognition.

As may be seen from this site, Beau Lotto, who delivers the Ted Talk has a new model of lab, the Lottolab, under development at UCL in London. It is claimed:

"Lottolab Studio is the world’s first public perception research space. Perception underpins everything that we feel, think and believe. It is the source of all artistic expression and scientific exploration. What we perceive IS who we are." 

Humberto Maturana, in the workshop conversations that I have experienced, always begins by exploring how and why humans in our living can not, in the moment, distinguish between perception and illusion. This is the human condition, as this Ted Talk makes clear.

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