Volume 6 · Number 3 · Pages 342–351
The Cognitivist Paradigm 20 Years Later. Commentary on Nelson Vaz

Alfred Tauber

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Upshot: The cognitive paradigm organizes immune phenomena with an eye towards understanding the immune system as a perceptive faculty, where examination of the basic regulation of unstimulated immune activity becomes the primary investigative focus.  While a fecund research program organized around the hypothesized “autonomous network theory” has yielded important insight into the “conservative physiology of the immune system,” the theoretical basis for these studies offers little more than one set of metaphors (arranged around “cognition”) challenging another (“selfhood”). However, breaking the theoretical hold of protecting the immune self as the focus of immunology is no mean feat in terms of shifting research interest towards a key, but neglected aspect of immunity.


Tauber A. (2011) The cognitivist paradigm 20 years later. Commentary on nelson vaz. Constructivist Foundations 6(3): 342–351. http://constructivist.info/6/3/342

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