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the condition of subordinating all changes to the maintenance of the organization. Self-asserting capacity of living systems to maintain their identity through the active compensation of deformations. (Maturana and Varela, 1979)
Attribute of an organizationally closed system, i.e., a system whose organization is self-explanatory and by implication circular. The understanding of autonomous systems requires references neither to events outside that system e.g. causes (see causality), nor to a metasystem of which it maybe a part for reasons other than what constitutes its organization. Autonomous systems possess (a) a recursive form of organization of (b) processes which continually constitute their own unity by maintaining (c) a boundary within which its organization is realized (see recursion, recognition, constitution). (krippendorff)
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