Francisco Varela (September 7, 1946 - May 28, 2001) was a Chilean biologist and philosopher most well-known for introducing the concept of autopoiesis to biology.

He was born in Santiago and died in Paris.


For a comprehensive bibliography, see Randall Whitaker's page.
  • H. Maturana and F. Varela: Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living, Boston: D. Reidel, 1980
  • F. Varela: Principles of Biological Autonomy, New York: Elsevier/North-Holland, 1979
  • H. Maturana and F. Varela: The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding, Boston: Shambhala, 1987-1998
  • F. Varela, E. Thompson and E. Rosch: The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1991
  • F. Varela and P. Bourgine (Eds.): Towards a Practice of Autonomous Systems: The First European Conference on Artificial Life, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1992
  • J. Hayward and F. Varela (Eds.): Gentle Bridges: Dialogues Between the Cognitive Sciences and the Buddhist Tradition, Boston: Shambhala, 1992
  • D. Stein and F. Varela (Eds.): Thinking About Biology: An Introduction to Theoretical Biology, Reading: Addison-Wesley, SFI Series on Complexity, 1993
  • F. Varela (Ed.): Sleeping, Dreaming and Dying, Boston: Wisdom Book, 1997
  • F. Varela: Invitation aux sciences cognitives, Paris: Seuil, 1996-1999
  • F. Varela: Ethical Know-How: Action, Wisdom and Cognition, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999
  • F. Varela and J. Shear (Eds.): The View from Within: First-Person Methodologies in the Study of Consciousness, London: Imprint Academic, 1999
  • J. Petitot, F. Varela, B. Pachoud and J-M. Roy (Eds.): Naturalizing Phenomenology: Contemporary Issues in Phenomenology and Cognitive Science, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999

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