By sticking to structural descriptions Maturana aims to empty out all other types of symbolic explanations. The starkness of Maturana's position is ameliorated by Varela (1981) who, while agreeing with Maturana that notions of purpose, information or code cannot play any logical role in the description of autopoietic systems, points out that our human cognitive capabilities will remain unsatisfied unless such explanations are also complemented with carefully constructed symbolic explanations.

« Maturana vs varela about symbolic/semantic explanation »

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