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2nd “Methodologies” Study Group Session, 2nd Unit

2nd “Methodologies” Study Group Session, 2nd Unit

1   On March 1, 2014, the 2nd Unit of the Ircp hosted a presentation by Kawamoto Hideo (Ircp Researcher) entitled “Autopoiesis as Method” at the Toyo University Hakusan Campus (Building 6, Meeting Room 3). Serving as the second meeting of the “Methodologies” study group, the event was co-sponsored by the university’s Transdisciplinary Initiative for Eco-Philosophy.

  Through his works Metamorufoze: Otopoieshisu no kakushin (2002, Metamorphosis: The Core of Autopoiesis), Shisutemu genshogaku (2006, System Phenomenology), and Rinsho suru otopoieshisu (2010, Clinical Autopoiesis), Kawamoto has constructed a philosophical theory that is centered particularly on the concept of autopoiesis. This presentation built on the foundations of his previous research in order to zero in on how the autopoiesis concept can be applied from a methodological perspective. It is difficult to describe or understand the system of autopoiesis using only models such as consciousness or perception, or through only language in general. Kawamoto’s presentation took as its starting point, albeit with modifications, the arguments of the theorists who formulated the concept of autopoiesis: Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela, and Niklas Luhmann. While noting his differences with the ideas of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Kawamoto used illustrations and photographs to carefully elucidate a way of thinking whose keys are to be found in such topics as systems in dynamic equilibrium, self-organizing systems, the emergence of systems, double operations, and coupling. Throughout his talk, Kawamoto clearly laid out the most important areas of contestation when thinking about autopoiesis as method, including the emergence of reality during the process, clarifying the categories of system and environment, setting up the category of double operations, clarifying what tactile phenomena are, examining coupling and its applications, and isolating external indicators from internal alternatives.   

  2   The event was well attended by people both with and without connections to the Ircp, and the discussion was vigorous. Comments were varied and diverse, touching on everything from such philosophical issues as the differences between Kawamoto’s understanding of autopoiesis and the thinking of Deleuze and Guattari and on the possibilities for ethics based on autopoiesis, to comments that were grounded on actual experiences in the field of rehabilitation. The gathering was a deep one that went long over its allotted time.