Volume 6 · Number 3 · Pages 325–333
The Logic of Maturana’s Biology

Seiichi Imoto

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Context: Maturana’s work is not easy to follow. Correct and full understanding of his work has still to be achieved in spite of its importance. Problem: The objective of this paper is to investigate the core logic penetrating Maturana’s wide-ranging work and to place his work in the history of western thought. Method: Through intensive reading of his wide-ranging work, I intended to grasp the core biological structure that he advocates, namely, his core logic. Results: Maturana’s biology is the biology of structural determinism. It is embodied in a composite entity called a “structure-determined system” with two non-intersecting domains - the domain of interactions and the domain of the composition of components – which can be called the core structure or the core logic of his biology. From the perspective of the history of western thought, Aristotle and Schopenhauer can be regarded as good candidates as the precursors of Maturana’s work, and his work can be characterized as an advanced form of Aristotle’s hylomorphism, depicted on the horizon of Schopenhauer’s world of “Vorstellung” (bringing-forth). Implications: This finding will be useful for understanding Maturana’s wide-ranging work and its place in the history of western thought.

Key words: Humberto Maturana, structural determinism, structure-determined system, non-intersecting, Aristotle, Arthur Schopenhauer


Imoto S. (2011) The logic of Maturana’s biology. Constructivist Foundations 6(3): 325–333. http://constructivist.info/6/3/325

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