Interview with Humberto Maturana and Ximena Davila, of Matriztica School in Santiago, Chile.
Humberto Maturana is a renowned biologist and philosopher from Chile. He invented a theory of autopoiesis, about the nature of reflexive feedback control in living systems. Ximena Davila is a Professor from Chile who collaborates with Maturana, together they developed the dynamic vision that entangled the Biology of Knowledge and the Biology of Love that conform the basis for the Biological Matrix of Human Existence. Together they co-founded “la Escuela Matriztica de Santiago”.
In this interview, done by Cristina Moreno together with the staff members of the Methodist University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Humberto Maturana and his colleague Ximena Davila offer their insights and reflections about the meaning of the Earth Charter and its relevance for today’s challenges.
Our purpose in this essay is to introduce new concepts (dynamic architecture and dynamic ecological organism-niche unity, among other) in a wide and recursive view of the systemic consequences of the following biological facts that I (Maturana in Biology of cognition, 1970, Unity and diversity of man. Le Seuil, Paris, 1978; Maturana and Varela in Autopoiesis and cognition: the realization of the living. D. Riedel Publishing Co, Boston, 1980, El Árbol del Conocimiento: Las Bases Bioógicas del Conocer Humano, 1a Edición. Editorial Universitaria, Santiago, 1984; Maturana and Mpodozis in Rev Chil Hist Nat 73:261–310, 2000) and we (Maturana and Dávila in Habitar humano: en seis ensayos de biología-cultural. Juan Carlos Sáez Editorial, Chile, 2008) have presented that can be resumed as: (1) that as living systems we human beings are molecular autopoietic system; (2) that living systems live only as long as they find themselves in a medium that provides them with all the conditions that make the realization of their living possible, that is, in the continuous conservation of their relation of adaptation to the circumstances in which they find themselves; (3) that as a living system exists only in a relation of adaptation with the medium that operates as its ecological niche, its reproduction necessarily occurs as a process of systemic duplication or multiplication of the ecological organism-niche unity that it integrates; (4) that the worlds of doings that we generate as languaging beings in our conversations, explanations, reflections and theories are part of our ecological niche; and (5) that we human beings as living beings that exist in languaging, are biological–cultural beings in which our cultural and our biological manners of existences can be distinguished but cannot be separated. Of the systemic consequences of these biological facts that we consider in this essay, we wish to mention two as the principal: (1) that the diversification of manners of living produced in biological evolution is the result of differential survival in a changing medium through the conservation of adaptation, and not through competitive survival of the best; and (2) that we in our living as languaging human beings (observers) are the epistemological fundament of all that we do and know as such. Read More