Arturo Escobar
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


This paper performs a reading of the Western rationalistic (Cartesian, abstract) tradition based on the phenomenological framework on cognition and computation advanced by Maturana, Varela and Flores. Ontological dualism is analyzed, particularly its effects on prevalent beliefs on the individual, economy, the objective science, and the real. Finally, while in a very schematic way, the idea of relationality, or relational ontologies, is presented, as a different approach to analyze the relation between knowledge, experience, practice and action. From this proposal, the notion of pluriverse arises, as well as a potential re-reading of design as involved in the creation of worlds.

Keywords: ontology, rationalistic tradition, Maturana and Varela, cognition, design.