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Encyclopedia > Francisco Varela

Francisco Varela (Santiago, September 7, 1946May 28, 2001, Paris) was a Chilean biologist and philosopher who, together with his teacher Humberto Maturana, is best known for introducing the concept of autopoiesis to biology. The snowcapped Andes are a Santiago landmark Santiago (Spanish: ) is Chiles capital and largest city. ... September 7 is the 250th day of the year (251st in leap years). ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... May 28 is the 148th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (149th in leap years). ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... Part of the Paris area skyline with from left to right: Montparnasse Tower, Eiffel Tower, and La Défense. ... Biology (from Greek βίος λόγος, see below) is the branch of science dealing with the study of life. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Humberto Maturana (born 1928 in Santiago) is a Chilean biologist and philosopher. ... Autopoiesis literally means auto (self)-creation (from the Greek: auto - αυτό for self- and poiesis - ποίησις for creation or production) and expresses a fundamental complementarity between structure and function. ...

Contents


Life

Like his mentor Humberto Maturana, Varela studied first medicine then biology in Chile, then did a Ph.D. in biology at Harvard University. His thesis, defended in 1970 and supervised by Torsten Wiesel, was titled Insect Retinas: Information processing in the compound eye. Humberto Maturana (born 1928 in Santiago) is a Chilean biologist and philosopher. ... Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... Torsten Nils Wiesel (b. ...


After the 1973 military coup led by Augusto Pinochet, Varela and his family spent 7 years in exile in the USA before returning to Chile to become a Professor of biology. General Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte[1] (born November 25, 1915) was head of the military dictatorship that ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990. ...


In 1986, he settled in France, where he at first taught cognitive science and epistemology at the École Polytechnique, and neuroscience at the University of Paris. From 1988 until his death, he led a research group at the CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique). For other Écoles Polytechniques, see École Polytechnique de Montréal and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. ... The Sorbonne, Paris, in a 17th century engraving The historic University of Paris (French: Université de Paris) first appeared in the second half of the 12th century, but was in 1970 reorganized as 13 autonomous universities (University of Paris I–XIII). ... The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) is one of the most prominent scientific research institutions in France. ...


He died of Hepatitis C. "Intimate Distances - Fragments for a Phenomenology of Organ Transplantation" is his account of his 1998 liver transplant. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne, infectious, viral disease that is caused by a hepatotropic virus called Hepatitis C virus (HCV). ...


Varela had four children, including the actress and model Leonor Varela. Leonor Varela Leonor Varela (born December 9, 1972) is an actress from Chile. ...


Ideas

Varela was primarily trained as a biologist, and was fundamentally influenced by his teacher and fellow Chilean, Humberto Maturana, also a biologist with a strong philosophical orientation. Humberto Maturana (born 1928 in Santiago) is a Chilean biologist and philosopher. ...


Varela wrote and edited a number of books and numerous journal articles in biology, neurology, cognitive science, mathematics, and philosophy. He was a founding member of the Integral Institute, a thinktank dedicated to the cross-fertilization of ideas and disciplines. Biology (from Greek βίος λόγος, see below) is the branch of science dealing with the study of life. ... Neurology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the nervous system. ... Rendering of human brain based on MRI data Cognitive science is usually defined as the scientific study either of mind or of intelligence (e. ... For other meanings of mathematics or math, see mathematics (disambiguation). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Integral Institute is a think-tank founded in 1998 by American philosopher, psychologist, and mystic Ken Wilber. ... This article is about the institution. ...


Varela was a proponent of the embodied philosophy which argues that human cognition and consciousness can only be understood in terms of the enactive structures in which they arise, namely the body and the physical world with which the body interacts. He introduced into neuroscience the concepts of neurophenomenology, based on the phenomenological writings of Husserl and of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and on "first person science," in which observers examine their conscious experience using scientifically verifiable methods. Embodied philosophy (also known as the embodied mind thesis, embodied cognition or the embodied cognition thesis) usually refers to a set of beliefs promoted by George Lakoff and his various co-authors (including Mark Johnson, Mark Turner, and Rafael E. Núñez), which suggest that the mind can only be... Look up Cognition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... Edmund Husserl Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (April 8, 1859 - April 26, 1938), philosopher, was born into a Jewish family in Prossnitz, Moravia (Prostejov, Czech Republic), Empire of Austria-Hungary. ... Maurice Merleau-Ponty (March 14, 1908 – May 4, 1961) was a French phenomenologist philosopher, strongly influenced by Edmund Husserl, who is often (some think mistakenly) classified as an existentialist thinker because of his close association with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, and his distinctly Heideggerian conception of Being. ...


Varela became a Tibetan Buddhist in the 1970s, initially studying with the meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of Shambhala Buddhism, and later with Tulku Ugyen, a Nepalese master of higher tantras. Chögyam Trungpa (February 1940 - April 4, 1987) was a Buddhist meditation master, scholar, teacher, artist, and a Trungpa tülku. ... Seal of Shambhala International displaying the Tiger, Lion, Garuda, and Dragon The term Shambhala Buddhism has come into use as an umbrella term referring to the teachings of Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism as propagated by the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, mixed with the various Shambhalian teachings and... now. ...


See also

Autopoiesis literally means auto (self)-creation (from the Greek: auto - αυτό for self- and poiesis - ποίησις for creation or production) and expresses a fundamental complementarity between structure and function. ... Cartesian anxiety refers to the notion that, ever since René Descartes, Western civilization has suffered from a longing for ontological certainty, or feeling that scientific methods, and especially the study of the world as a thing separate from ourselves, should be able to lead us to a firm and unchanging... Humberto Maturana (born 1928 in Santiago) is a Chilean biologist and philosopher. ... Seal of Shambhala International displaying the Tiger, Lion, Garuda, and Dragon The term Shambhala Buddhism has come into use as an umbrella term referring to the teachings of Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism as propagated by the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, mixed with the various Shambhalian teachings and... Look up Phenomenology in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Writings by Varela

Comprehensive bibliography by Randall Whitaker.

  • 1980 (with Humberto Maturana). Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living. Boston: Reidel.
  • 1979. Principles of Biological Autonomy. North-Holland.
  • 1998 (1987) (with Humberto Maturana). The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding. Boston: Shambhala Press.
  • 1991 (with Evan Thompson and Eleanor Rosch). The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. MIT Press.
  • 1992 (with P. Bourgine, eds.). Towards a Practice of Autonomous Systems: The First European Conference on Artificial Life. MIT Press.
  • 1992 (with J. Hayward, eds.). Gentle Bridges: Dialogues Between the Cognitive Sciences and the Buddhist Tradition. Boston: Shambhala Press.
  • 1993 ( with D. Stein, eds.). Thinking About Biology: An Introduction to Theoretical Biology. Addison-Wesley, SFI Series on Complexity.
  • 1997 (ed.). Sleeping, Dreaming and Dying. Boston: Wisdom Book.
  • 1996-99. Invitation aux sciences cognitives. Paris: Seuil.
  • 1999. Ethical Know-How: Action, Wisdom and Cognition. Stanford University Press.
  • 1999 (with J. Shear, eds.). The View from Within: First-Person Methodologies in the Study of Consciousness. London: Imprint Academic.
  • 1999 (with J. Petitot, B. Pachoud, and J-M. Roy, eds.). Naturalizing Phenomenology: Contemporary Issues in Phenomenology and Cognitive Science. Stanford University Press.

Humberto Maturana (born 1928 in Santiago) is a Chilean biologist and philosopher. ... Humberto Maturana (born 1928 in Santiago) is a Chilean biologist and philosopher. ... Eleanor Rosch is a professor of psychology at The University of California, Berkeley. ...

Filmography

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Francisco Varela - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (468 words)
Varela was primarily trained as a biologist, and was fundamentally influenced by his teacher and fellow Chilean, Humberto Maturana, also a biologist with a strong philosophical orientation.
Varela was a proponent of the embodied philosophy which argues that human cognition and consciousness can only be understood in terms of the enactive structures in which they arise, namely the body and the physical world with which the body interacts.
Varela became a Tibetan Buddhist in the 1970s, initially studying with the meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of Shambhala Buddhism, and later with Tulku Ugyen, a Nepalese master of higher tantras.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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