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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"A refreshing and new approach to cognition—one which has dramatic cultural, social, and ethical ramifications. . . . While stimulating the imagination of readers it has, however, not received the scholarly acclaim it richly deserves."— Journal of Religion and Psychical Research



"A book with great breadth and ambition . . . In the age of specialization, it is refreshing to come across a book with conceptual breadth and originality."— Contemporary Psychology

"An important milestone in our current efforts to recognize that science is not value-free, and that fact and value are inevitably tied together."—Morris Berman, author of Coming to Our Senses



"A beautiful and clearly written guide to thought and perception—something that, like life itself, we take for granted but do not understand. The authors were the pioneers and are now the authoritative figures in the science of cognition: their book is rewarding, thorough, and very readable to anyone curious about the mind and the way that it works."—James Lovelock, author of Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth



"The ideas presented in this book are radical and exciting, disturbing and challenging. For the first time we are shown the outlines of a unified scientific conception of mind, matter, and life. The fruits of Maturana and Varela's Tree of Knowledge include the central insight that cognition is not a representation of the world 'out there,' but rather a 'bringing forth of the world through the process of living itself,' and the stunningly beautiful conclusion: 'We have only the world that we can bring forth with others, and only love helps bring it forth."—Fritjof Capra, author The Tao of Physics

Biographie de l'auteur

Humberto R. Maturana, Ph.D., is a biologist who teaches at the University of Chile. He is also co-author with Dr. Varela of Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living.


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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 272 pages
  • Editeur : Shambhala; Édition : 3rd Revised edition (31 mars 1992)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0877736421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877736424
  • Dimensions du produit: 16,7 x 1,7 x 23,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 28.441 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Format: Broché
Un excellent parcours sur le chemin de la connaissance. Les auteurs nous font découvrir les sources de la connaissance de la cellule en passant par la faune et la flore et en finissant sur l'être humain, ses comportements, ses langages, etc.
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Par Schmitt Daniel sur 10 novembre 2014
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Un ouvrage essentiel pour toute personne s'intéressant au savoir, à la connaissance et ses fondements biologiques et notamment la dimension corporelle de la connaissance.
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Amazon.com: 24 commentaires
60 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
So, what's your story? 2 mai 2007
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I came to this book years ago through, of all things, a two-year course in business and sales, for which it was required reading along with "Computers and Cognition", another eye-opener; the latter anticipated the current transactional nature of the Internet. You might ask how a work as theoretical and speculative as "Tree of Knowledge" could be part of a pragmatic and hardnosed business course, and that is one key to its attraction for me: as intellectually intriguing as the ideas and assertions in this book are, even more engaging is how they might actually change the way we act in the world.

The authors drill down to molecular biology and then carefully build upward their premise that we construct the worlds we live in out of language. Each of us exists inside a story we tell ourselves about the way the world is, and we are completely contained within that story. In that sense, we interact with other people through the way our stories talk to their stories. And the success of our relationships and the effectiveness with which we act in our world is dependent on how well we can recognize the stories of others and understand the nature of our own story.

This is good news, once we recognize it, because we are a narrative species. On my way to work in the morning, I am telling myself a story about the way I want my day to go: what I expect, what I want to accomplish, how I will confront the challenges along the way. The story I tell myself about my life has heroes and villains, goals and challenges, grand themes and petty foibles. The more we understand the grand, rich, complex stories those around us are telling themselves, the more we can overcome misunderstandings, conflicts and cultural dissonance - the more, in a sense, we can constuct a meta-story that serves us all as human beings.

This is not a quick and simple read, but it is so logically and carefully laid out that I never felt lost along the journey. It is a wonderful book to read in tandem with a friend, or as part of a book club. The discussion and the "aha!" experiences it prompts make for a lively exploration of its ideas. Part of the joy of "Tree of Knowledge" is its potential for promoting tolerance of those different from us, through recognition of what drives their story rather than through compromising our own values.

"ladylucero", in her review, noted that "Tree of Knowledge" is required reading in some American universities. I read that in the authors' native Chile it is even taught in high schools. This, I believe, is good news: the earlier in life we recognize how our individual stories drive our hopes and expectations, our fears and disappointments, the more capable we will be of living well with our fellow human beings.
118 internautes sur 128 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Together, we make a world 20 mai 2001
Par "ladylucero" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book, a foundation piece of "New Thought," is required reading for college courses at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and at California's Humboldt State University. Its reputation is well-deserved.
Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, two Chilean scientists, lucidly establish HOW we know WHAT we know, as they engage the reader in a series of perceptual experiments designed to present the case for each entity's absolute right to its own "reality."
According to Maturana and Varela, an individual's "reality" is constructed from his or her (or its) perceptions, and these perceptions are interactive with the environment. The authors use the graphic analogy of a raindrop which falls on the mountainside and, as it courses downward, both affects and is affected by the slope down which it rolls. That raindrop's experience is its incontrovertible truth, though rain falling on an opposite slope finds quite a different path.
Thus, our "reality" is interactive. Moreover, our reality is mutually constructed. Our commonly agreed-upon view of reality is in fact a shared set of assumptions/perceptions. You and I see what we see because we have agreed that this is what is "out there." Together, we bring forth the world we experience as objective reality.
The implications of this idea are profound. We cannot afford to scorn another's views, for they are just as valid as our own, and without them our greater "reality" is incomplete.
This compelling book will challenge your assumptions about science and philosophy. But if you stay open to these ideas, you will not see the world, nor your fellow beings, in the same limited way again. And you will more deeply appreciate your own part in bringing forth the dream.
90 internautes sur 99 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Between Bateson and Buddha are Maturana and Varela 16 août 2001
Par Scott Snyder - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book was my introduction to the concept of autopoesis, the process of self-creation.
The book is constucted in a circular path taking the reader from the beginning of the big bang, and working up from atoms to molecules, molecules to organisms, organisms to multicellular life forms and from there into the linguistic domain and language.
Each of these shift to the next level is a result of the interplay of the forces of structural integrity to keep the organism together and whole, and adaptation to the surrounding environment. Like the Escher drawing of one hand drawing the other in a chicken-and-egg creation loop, conservation of structure and adaptation to environment each give rise to the other.
The universe is self created -- no God required!
The authors present biology in the most beautiful poetic prose. If high school biology were this eloquent I may have taken a different path, i.e., my ontogenic drift would have been altered.
Reading their words, I had the same response as I do to the poetry of Wallace Stevens. The show clearly how language is something we "do" and a medium in which we exist. How language gives rise to mind, consciousness and self-awareness. It brought new meaning to Steven's line, "Man made out of words."
Part of their narrative drift is an explanation of the workings of the neurosystem. How it is neither representational or solipsistic. We are not "like" computers at all. We do not repond to "reality" out there, but to the neural electrical impulses the external reality triggers on our membrane. From these impulses to the brain, we create a model of the world and respond to that. Looking at others respond we say they exhibit certain behaviour because we interpret their movement in the context with which we see them.
Their entire approach is systems oriented. They stop and language and consciousness, but I would be interested in seeing how their ideas continue into the realm of economics and culture. But these areas are out of scope for this slim volume.
If you are interested in biology, NLP, Buddhism, neurology, linguistics, systems theory, Bateson, Stevens or the movie "The Matrix," this book will give you a lot to chew on for a good long while. Highly recommended.
21 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Difficult philosophical premises, so it's recommended for the philosophically inclined 30 juillet 2009
Par A. Panda - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I am afraid I did not enjoy this book as much as I should have, since I found its philosophical premises too difficult to understand. For people with less difficulties in following philosophical twists and reasoning, this book will probably give them new insights or alternative views to the process of knowledge.

The first half of the book is quite good, it explains "autopoiesis", a characteristic of living organisms by which their main activity is "generating themselves". It explains this "autopoietic" property as defining living organisms (for other equally challenging and astonishing elements that define life I recommend Life Itself: Exploring the Realm of the Living Cell) and Stuart Kauffman's Investigations. Then it explains how organisms interact with their environment and how other organisms within that environment are also part of it and therefore also interact with the organism. The environment shapes the evolution of the organisms, but it is also true the other way around: organisms shape their environment. This is explained with the analogy of raindrops flowing down a mountainside, the characteristics of the terrain determine the raindrops' path, but the raindrops leave a mark on the terrain that further influences new raindrops' paths. For other interesting accounts of evolutionary systems and the mutual interaction with the organisms that conform them see Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics. Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution is an excellent account of how microorganisms re-shaped the chemical composition of our planet and Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity explains the concept starting from the chemical and physical point of view. Mr. Kauffman calls it co-evolution between the biosphere and the organisms that are part of it.

Then the explanation shifts towards the nervous system and how it cannot be autonomous but belongs to an organism. The way the brain is constructed is shaped by the environment and shapes it also back. Up to here everything was more or less ok. From the previous explanations, the author concludes that "knowing is bringing forth a world", "The world exists in our knowing together with others and due to our mutual love" or something like that, I do not remember the exact wording but it seemed difficult to me. It may have to do with my "school" English, which is probably not good enough to understand philosophical nuances, but I definitely did not understand the second part of the book, nor how the first part was linked with the second. What does "bringing forth a world" mean, how does it manifest itself and what has love got to do with it? His ethical implications are fine (love is always a good thing and being good to others and to the environment is also excellent). For me his ethical propositions can stand alone, I mean they are valid independently of the rest of the theory, I just could not follow what this has to do with knowing.

The author really seems to be giving an alternative view to mainstream neuroscience of knowledge, unfortunately I could not grasp it, but I am sure other readers will, and they might find it refreshing and comforting, at least that's the impression it gave me. (For an excellent explanation of the neuroscience of learning and memory without the philosophy read In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind).
39 internautes sur 47 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Red Pill 14 mars 2002
Par Michael Chiao - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The reason I like it is not because I suddenly got interest in the field of biology, but it gives me an exposition of Phenomenonlogy philosophy (Husserl, Heiddeger, Gadamer), not from very abstract first philosophical princples, but from phisical and biological roots, so renders this heavy idea far eaiser to be assimilated (although it is still enormously heavy to me:-) ).

So why I like Phenomenology and Autopoiesis? It fundamentally change the way I see the world, both in terms of the nature, humanbeing, and society. Those concepts of "Structural Coupling", "Natural Drifting", "Structure Determined Behavior", "Consensual Domain" are very powerful and proves how so much of our common sense are fundamentally wrong. Those powerful idea has implications and applications, which permeat our life everytime, everywhere.

Drawing on those conceptualizations, I can induce convicing answers to those seemingly simple, but actually very complex questions, at a underlying structural level, such as why defeating ourselves and changing our bad habit is so difficult and how to achieve that feat? How we can be in control of our own lives? Why misunderstanding with and among our relatives, friends are so common, and how to handle? Why different persons have the exactly contrary interpretations to the same situation, the root of multi-perspectives? Why constantly our contributions to others result in indifferent response or even revenge (this conceptulization is actually, sometimes wrong).... and, maybe most importantly, why love lies at the core of our being!

I also, borrows the idea of Autopoieis to elaborate and address the corporate cutural issues inherent in the ERP system implementation, which is the core idea of my dissertation that I am now working on.

Rememeber "Matrix"? the movie features Lewis, the idea behind this movie can be explained precisely by the concept Autopoiesis. The idea of Matrix, which is built to control human mind and render them to slaves of power supplier is ofcourse, radical, but if we can learn from Neo, the main figure, try to break out of our mind structure, to learn to be more open, then it is much likely that we can realize our full potential as human being, the most advanced form of Autopoiesis. The concept of Autopoiesis gives you the RED PILL!

Science is powerful not because it is true, science is true because it is powerful! I believe if I keep asking myself the question "why", remain "childish" in this sense, then I gonna make a difference from the ORIGINAL me!
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