Humberto Maturana

Everything said is said by some observer with a particular intent.


Humberto Maturana is a Chilean biologist whose work extends to philosophy and cognitive science and even to family therapy. Aside from making important contributions to the field of Evolution, he is also a founder of Radical Constructivism, a relativistic epistemology built upon empirical findings of neurobiology.

Together with his student Francisco Varela, he invented the concept of Autopoiesis and extended the Santiago Theory of Cognition (see Vital Unconscious and Biocentric Principle and Biological Basis of Biodanza).


Autopoiesis - Defines living systems as self producing mechanisms which maintain their particular form despite material inflow and outflow, through self-regulation and self-reference. Can be a cell or a whole organism. Combines the concepts of Homeostasis and Systems Thinking.

Santiago Theory of Cognition

Santiago Theory of Cognition - Living systems are cognitive systems, and living as a process is a process of cognition. This statement is valid for all organisms, with or without a nervous system. </>