Symbolic Generalizations or Definitions



Entity
A unit of interaction described by an observer. (NC 4, BC 6,7)

Domain of Interaction
The set of all interactions into which an entity can enter. (NC 4, BC 7)

Domain of Relations
The set of all relations in which an entity can be observed. (NC 4, BC 7)

Niche
The part of the environment which living systems interact with or the class of interactions into which an organism can enter. (NC 5, BC 10-11)

Self-referring System
A living system with a self-referring domain of interaction. (NC 5, BC 9)

Cognitive System
A system whose organization defines a domain of interactions in which it can act with relevance to the maintenance of the system itself. (NC 7, BC 15)

Cognitive Process
The actual (inductive) acting (or behaving) in the above domain. (NC 7, BC 15)

Abstract Thinking
Interactions with one's own internal states as if they were independant entities. (NC 8, BC 16, 44)

Neuron
Anatomical and functional unit of the nervous system and an integrated and self-referring metabolic and genetic unit. ( NC 9, BC 18, CS 461)

Allopoietic System
A mechanistic system in which the product of its operation is different from itself (A 188-189, CS 460)

Autopoietic Organization
An organization with a network of productions of components which (1) participate recursively in the same network of productions of components which produced these components; and (2) realize the network of productions as a unity in the space in which the components exist. (A 188, CS 460)

Self-consciousness
The act of making descriptions of ourselves and then interacting with our descriptions. (BC 17, 43)

Communication
Nonphysical interactions between organisms. (NC 8)

Principle of Undifferentiated Encoding
The brain receives only neuronal impulses from sensory organs, it does not "see light" or "hear sounds." (NC 12, BC 29)

Homeostasis/Stability
The ability of a system to maintain its fundamental, internal balances even while undergoing various processes of change. (BC 15, NC 18, CS 460)

Equifinality
A condition in which different initial conditions lead to similar effects. (NC 9-10, BC 19-2-, 33)



This page was last updated on June 25, 1996, by Rob Sable.