Humberto Maturana

Humberto Maturana



After completing secondary school at the "Liceo Manuel de Salas" in 1947, Maturana enrolled at the University of Chile, studying first medicine then biology. In 1954, he obtained a scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation to study anatomy and neurophysiology at University College London. He obtained a PhD in biology from Harvard University in 1958.

He works in neuroscience at the University of Chile, in the research center "Biología del Conocer" (Biology of Knowledge). Maturana's work has been developed and integrated into the work on Ontological Coaching done by Fernando Flores and Julio Olalla.

As of the year 2000, professor Maturana established his own reflection and research center: the Instituto de Formación Matriztica.


Maturana's work extends to philosophy and cognitive science and even to family therapy. He was early inspired by the work of the biologist Jakob von Uexküll.

Constructivist epistemology

Maturana and his student Francisco Varela were the first to define and employ the concept of autopoiesis. Aside from making important contributions to the field of evolution, Maturana is also a founder of constructivist epistemology or radical constructivism, an epistemology built upon empirical findings of neurobiology.

Maturana and Varela wrote in their 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."

Biology of Knowledge

At the Instituto de Formación Matriztica Maturana has contributed extensively to the Biology of Knowledge and Biology of Loving. At this point, Maturana has formulated, with Ximena Davila, new perspectives about human life and continues to do so; psychology, the use of language, experience, and the general impulse to understand serve as explanatory bases for the depiction of human ways of life.

ee also

* Molecular Cellular Cognition
* Santiago Theory of Cognition


Books, a selection:
* 1972 (with F.G. Varela). "De máquinas y seres vivos". Santiago, Chile: Editorial Universitaria. English version: "Autopoiesis: the organization of the living," in Maturana, H. R., and Varela, F. G., 1980. "Autopoiesis and Cognition". Dordrecht, Netherlands: Reidel.
* 1982. "Erkennen: Die Organisation und Verkörperung von Wiklichkeit". Wiesbaden: Friedrich Vieweg & Sohn Braunschweig.
* 1987 (with F. J. Varela). "The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding". Boston: Shambhala. ISBN 0-87773-373-2
*(with F. J. Varela). "Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living".
* 1993 (with G. Verden-Zöller), "Liebe und Spiel, die vergessene Grundlage der Menschlichkeit". Carl Auer Verlag.

Articles, chapters and papers, selection:
* 1959. Lettvin, J. T., Maturana, H. R., McCulloch, W. S., Pitts, W. H. "What the frog's eyes tells the frog's brain?" in: "Proc. Inst. Radio Engr". 47 (11): 1940- 1951, (1959).
* 1978, " [ Biology of language: The epistemology of reality,] " in Miller, George A., and Elizabeth Lenneberg (eds.), "Psychology and Biology of Language and Thought: Essays in Honor of Eric Lenneberg". Academic Press: 27-63.
* 1980, "Man and society" in Benseler, Hejl, and Köck: 11-32.
* 1988, " [ Ontology of Observing, The biological foundations of self-consciousness and the physical domain of existence,] " "Conference Workbook: Texts in Cybernetics", American Society For Cybernetics Conference, Felton, CA. 18-23 October, 1988.
* 1988, " [ REALITY: The Search for Objectivity or the Quest for a Compelling Argument,] " "The Irish Journal of Psychology 9": 25-82.
* 1991, "The origin of the theory of autopoietic systems," in Fischer, H. R. (ed.), "Autopoiesis. Eine Theorie im Brennpunkt der Kritik". Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag.
* 1996 (with G. Verden-Zöller), "Biology of love," in Opp, G., and F. Peterander, F. (eds.), "Focus Heilpadagogik". Munchen/Basel: Ernst Reinhardt.
* 1997, "Metadesign, [] "
* 1999, " [ Autopoiesis, Structural Coupling and Cognition.] "
* 2000 (with J. Mpodozis). "The origin of species by means of natural drift," "Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 73": 261-310.


External links

* [ The official site of Humberto Maturana]
* [ Cultural Biology Certification - Brazil]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Humberto Maturana — Humberto Romesín Maturana (* 14. September 1928 in Santiago de Chile) ist ein chilenischer Biologe (mit dem Schwerpunkt Neurobiologie) und Philosoph. Zusammen mit Francisco J. Varela gilt Maturana als einer der Begründer des radikalen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Humberto — ist die italienische, portugiesische als auch spanische Variante des deutschen Vornamens Humbert. Bekannte Namensträger sind: Humberto Castelo Branco (1900–1967), Präsident von Brasilien Humberto Brenes (* 1951), costa ricanischer Pokerspieler… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Maturana — is a surname, and may refer to: Humberto Maturana Francisco Maturana Marcos Maturana This page or section lists people with the surname Maturana. If an internal link …   Wikipedia

  • Maturana — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Francisco Maturana (* 1949), kolumbianischer Fußballtrainer Humberto Maturana (* 1928), chilenischer Biologe und Philosoph Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung meh …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Maturana — Maturạna,   Humberto R., chilen. Biologe und Erkenntnistheoretiker, * 1928; formulierte (mit F. Varela) das Konzept der Autopoiese, nach der Wahrnehmung und Erkenntnis wesentlich durch wechselseitigen Austausch zw. lebenden Systemen und ihrer… …   Universal-Lexikon

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