Reflections on recursion and the evolution of learning

R. Hammond Debora (Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California, USA)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Publication date: 11 November 2013



The purpose of this paper is to explore the significance of recursive processes in the evolution of learning in both individuals and organisations, beginning with a clarification of the distinction between recursion and other types of feedback, drawing on insights from Humberto Maturana and George Richardson.


Further work informing this inquiry includes Gregory Bateson on learning levels, Chris Argyris and Donald Schon on double loop learning, Peter Senge on organizational learning, and James G. Miller on the processing of matter/energy and information in living systems, at different levels of organization.


The paper provides an original synthesis of insights from Miller's living systems theory, in exploring the implications of Bateson's learning levels, as well as further insights from the work of Argyris, Schon and Senge, at cellular, individual, organisational, and global levels, to reinforce the need for a higher order, global level of learning.


Value in findings outlined above.



R. Hammond, D. (2013), "Reflections on recursion and the evolution of learning", Kybernetes, Vol. 42 No. 9/10, pp. 1396-1403.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.