Life and Mind: The Common Tetradic Structure of Organism and Consciousness – a Phenomenological Approach

Dialectical Systems: A Forum in Biology, Ecology, and Cognitive Science (2024)
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Abstract

The question of the holistic structure of an organism is a recurring theme in the philosophy of biology and has been increasingly discussed again in recent years.[2] Organisms have recently been described as complex systems[3] that autonomously create, maintain and reproduce themselves[4] while constantly interacting with their environment. Key focal points include their autopoiesis[5], autonomy[6], agency[7] and teleological structure[8]. This perspective marks a significant advancement from the 20th-century viewpoint, which predominantly saw organisms as genetically programmed, randomly generated and blindly selected survival-machines. However, crucial questions about the shape and development of organisms still lack answers. Shape and development are deeply interconnected and seem to require a holistic approach. Here, I will briefly outline a phenomenological perspective which could provide a framework for seeking answers to these fundamental questions.

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Christoph Hueck
Akanthos Academy Stuttgart

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