Volume 13 · Number 1 · Pages 151–154
Francisco Varela and Immune System Modeling, Closure, Cognition and Enaction

Irun R. Cohen

Log in download the full text in PDF

> Citation > Similar > References > Add Comment


Open peer commentary on the article “The Epigenetic Immune Network” by Nelson Monteiro Vaz & Luiz Antônio Botelho Andrade. Upshot: Vaz and Andrade recount how Varela collaborated with a group of immunologists to advance a nonconformist view of the immune system. Here, I outline my interpretation of four concepts related to the philosophy of the immune system that Vaz and Andrade associate with the ideas of Varela: modeling, cognition, closure and enaction.


Cohen I. R. (2017) Francisco Varela and immune system modeling, closure, cognition and enaction. Constructivist Foundations 13(1): 151–154. http://constructivist.info/13/1/151

Export article citation data: Plain Text · BibTex · EndNote · Reference Manager (RIS)


Cohen I. R. (1994) Kadishman’s tree, Escher’s angels, and the immunological homunculus. In: Coutinho A. & Kazatchkine M. D. (eds.) Autoimmunity: Physiology and disease. Wiley-Liss, New York: 7–18. https://www.weizmann.ac.il/pages/search/publications?pub_id=000009551.
Cohen I. R. (2000) Discrimination and dialogue in the immune system. Seminars in immunology 12(3): 215–219; 321–323. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Cohen I. R. (2000) Tending Adam’s garden: Evolving the cognitive immune self. Academic Press, London. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Cohen I. R. (2007) Real and artificial immune systems: Computing the state of the body. Nature Reviews Immunology 7(7): 569–574. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Cohen I. R. (2013) Autoantibody repertoires, natural biomarkers and system controllers. Trends in Immunology 34(12): 620–625. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Dekel N., Gnainsky Y., Granot I., Racicot K. & Mor G. (2014) The role of inflammation for a successful implantation. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology 72(2): 141–147. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Frankenstein Z., Alon U. & Cohen I. R. (2006) The immune-body cytokine network defines a social architecture of cell interactions. Biology Direct 1(1): 32. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Swiatczak B. & Cohen I. R. (2015) Gut feelings of safety: Tolerance to the microbiota mediated by innate immune receptors. Microbiololgy and Immunology 59(10): 573–85. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar
Varela F. J., Thompson E. & Rosch E. (1991) The embodied mind: Cognitive science and human experience. MIT Press, Cambridge. ▸︎ Google︎ Scholar

Comments: 0

To stay informed about comments to this publication and post comments yourself, please log in first.