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An outline of an autopoietic systems approach to emotion

Stenner, Paul (2005). An outline of an autopoietic systems approach to emotion. Cybernetics and Human Knowing, 12(4) pp. 8–22.

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This paper presents the outline of an autopoietic systems approach to emotion. Distinctions are drawn between organic, psychic and social system types on the basis of the work of Serres, Luhmann and Tomkins. Literature on emotion is reviewed and three forms of reductionism identified, each of which corresponds to one of these system types. A case is then made that emotions are in fact threshold phenomena at the interstices between these system types, and distinctions between affects, emotions and proto-communication are proposed accordingly. These constitute forms of structural coupling best grasped in terms of parasitism and paradox. Emotions, affects and proto-communication de-paradoxify the paradoxes that we must know what we cannot know and share what we cannot share.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2005 Imprint Academic
ISSN: 0907-0877
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetAlexander von Humboldt Stiftung and Leverhulme Trust
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 30648
Depositing User: Paul Stenner
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2011 15:48
Last Modified: 15 May 2018 15:39
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