The term autopoietic (Greek = “self-creating”) refers to a system capable of reproducing and maintaining itself.
Plants and animals are autopoietic. They engage in their own maintenance and reproduction. Whether by eating, or taking in CO2, and by sex or pollination, these dynamical systems run by themselves. Vervaeke elucidates the idea by saying, “If i cut my arm, it heals itself. If I damage a machine, it doesnt repair itself, it is not autopoietic.”
I hope that helps.
For more summaries of Vervaeke’s work, feel free to look here.