Volume 18 · Number 1 · Pages 089–093
Author’s Response: Further Reflections on the Language of Immunology

Nelson Monteiro Vaz

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Abstract: The composition of living systems is subject to constant change. This suggests a focus on processes rather than entities. So, if questioning the rigid ontological foundations of immunology leads to the question of whether another immunology is possible, a possible candidate is “process immunology.” In the target article, I claimed that antibodies are constructed, but I am also open to the view that immunoglobulins are formed by the same naming process. Furthermore, I point out that the problem with “oral tolerance” is that it implies a stimulus-response-regulatory framework. I also draw attention to the “epistemological trap of language,” as it is relevant for the public understanding of vaccination. Finally, I discuss the theoretical and practical consequences of accepting Maturana’s or Varela’s position in explaining the immune system, including the question of whether the activity of our immune system has any influence on our behavior and thus influences our inter-personal world. I conclude by emphasizing that Maturana’s biology of cognition and language is not mechanistic because it points to realities “in parentheses” that emerge in the history of human observers.


Vaz N. M. (2022) Author’s response: Further reflections on the language of immunology. Constructivist Foundations 18(1): 089–093. https://constructivist.info/18/1/089

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