versão impressa ISSN 0187-0173
The authors discuss the presence of the notion of autopoiesis, developed by biologist Humberto Maturana and his colleagues, in the social sciences. The study looks at the adoption of a concept that referred strictly to a biological phenomenon and its dissemination from a peripheral country (Chile) to the plane of universalist social theories. The presentation is organized in three parts: the first deals with the emergence of the theory of autopoiesis and aims to pinpoint the context and conditions that favored its being accepted in the social sciences, particularly in Niklas Luhmann's application; the second part presents the results of an analysis applied to the data bases of recent scientific publications that make it possible to specify the generalization of the concept; and finally, the authors develop certain hypotheses to explain this exceptional case of the dissemination of Latin American scientific thought in social theory.
Palavras-chave : science; social sciences; social theory; autopoiesis; sociopoiesis.