Francisco Varela Research – The ‘Magic Eight Model’

Magic Eight Model - Slides

Francisco Varela Research

The ‘Magic Eight Model’

In our work, we will focus our attention on what we define as ‘personal learning’ process, trying to answer the following question: how do we build a coherent meaning from our experience? Through the studies of Francisco Varela on the fundamental role played by the sensory-motor coordination in cognition, we propose a model called the ‘Magic Eight’, which we use to show recurring patterns in the learning process of the person, focusing on interdependent relationships among perception, emotion and action, which define a self-organizing system that allows the emergence of coherent meanings for the person. These relationships are based on the activity of the entire body, allowing the emergence of both the ‘inner’ world of the person and what she considers her ‘outer’ world, in a process of generating interrelated and consistent meanings.

Starting from Francisco Varela’s studies on enaction, our aim is to outline the meanings we give to our everyday experiences and to our reality as emergent phenomena from the sensory-motor couplings with our context, rather than ready-made information that we extract from a pre-given world.

Through the theory of complexity, we place at the center of our investigation the person as the source of her knowledge. Knowledge is our embodied know-how that we learn to recognize and observe through the help of others. We consider learning as a process of cooperation and mutual coordination in which the relational aspect becomes the foundation of all knowledge, rather than an adaptive ability to a given context. Through the personal perception of the world in which we take part by acting in it, we enter the context that changes while we transform ourselves.

Therefore we will focus our attention on what we define as ‘personal learning’, as the process that occurs between the person and her context when they relate to each other, through which the person changes herself – not only at a purely cognitive level, but in every part of her body – changing her context: it is a form of embodiment of experience and cognition.

The aim of our work is to try to answer the following question which, in our view, necessarily follows from this premise: how we build a coherent meaning of our experience?

Through the studies of Varela on the fundamental role played by the sensory-motor coordination in cognition, we propose a model called the ‘Magic Eight’, which is used to show recurring patterns in the learning process of the person, focusing on interdependent relationships among perception, emotion and action, which define a self-organizing system that allows the emergence of coherent meanings for the person. These relationships are based on the activity of the entire body, allowing the emergence of both the ‘inner’ world of the person and what she considers the ‘outer’ world, in a process of generating interrelated and consistent meanings.


The ‘Magic Eight Model’.

The Enactive Approach of Francisco Varela and the Generative Learning Circle

Marinella De Simone, Dario Simoncini
METHODS, MODELS, SIMULATIONS AND APPROACHES TOWARDS A GENERAL THEORY OF CHANGE
Proceedings of the Fifth National Conference of the Italian Systems Society
edited by Gianfranco Minati (Italian Systems Society, Italy), Mario Abram (Italian Systems Society, Italy), & Eliano Pessa (Italian Systems Society, Italy & University of Pavia, Italy) – WORLD SCIENTIFIC, Singapore

 

per informazioni:
info@complexityinstitute.it
franciscovarelaproject@gmail.com

Cell. +39-327-3523432


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