Investigations

Investigations

4.06 (105 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"It may be that I have stumbled upon an adequate description of life itself." These modest yet profound words trumpet an imminent paradigm shift in scientific, economic, and technological thinking. In the tradition of Schrodinger's classic "What Is Life?", Kauffman's "Investigations" is an exploration of the very essence of life itself, with conclusions that radically undermine the scientific approaches on which modern science rests - the approaches of Newton, Boltzman, Bohr, and Einstein. Building on his pivotal ideas about order and evolution in complex life systems, Kauffman finds that classical science does not take into account that physical systems - such as people in a biosphere - effect their dynamic environments in addition to being affected by them. These systems act on their own behalf as autonomous agents, but what defines them as such? In other words, what is life? Kauffman supplies a novel answer that goes beyond traditional scientific thinking by defining and explaining autonomous agents and work in the contexts of thermodynamics and of information theory. Much of "Investigations" unpacks the progressively surprising implications of his definition.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 302 pages
  • 159.5 x 243.3 x 25.7mm | 576.07g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 50 line illustrations
  • 019512104X
  • 9780195121049

About Stuart A. Kauffman

Stuart Kauffman, winner of the MacArthur "genius" award, is a founding member of the Santa Fe Institute, the leading center for the emerging sciences of complexity. A major force in science and its applications to the business world, he formed BiosGroup LP in 1996 in partnership with Ernst & Young. The author of previous bestsellers Origins of Order and At Home in the Universe, he lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.show more

Review quote

"I have watched the long gestation of Investigations with some apprehension but more anticipation. Its reach is gigantic, from the most primitive origins of life to the macroeconomics of innovation. What comes up in its grasp is original and stimulating. This is a must read for anyone interested in the outer edges of understanding of the world around us."--Philip Anderson, Nobel Laureate, Princeton University"A fascinating exploration of the very essence of life itself."--Forecast "I have watched the long gestation of Investigations with some apprehension but more anticipation. Its reach is gigantic, from the most primitive origins of life to the macroeconomics of innovation. What comes up in its grasp is original and stimulating. This is a must read for anyone interested in the outer edges of understanding of the world around us."--Philip Anderson, Nobel Laureate, Princeton University "A fascinating exploration of the very essence of life itself."--Forecast "I have watched the long gestation of Investigations with some apprehension but more anticipation. Its reach is gigantic, from the most primitive origins of life to the macroeconomics of innovation. What comes up in its grasp is original and stimulating. This is a must read for anyone interested in the outer edges of understanding of the world around us."--Philip Anderson, Nobel Laureate, Princeton University "A fascinating exploration of the very essence of life itself."--Forecast "I have watched the long gestation of Investigations with some apprehension but more anticipation. Its reach is gigantic, from the most primitive origins of life to the macroeconomics of innovation. What comes up in its grasp is original and stimulating. This is a must read for anyone interested inthe outer edges of understanding of the world around us."--Philip Anderson, Nobel Laureate, Princeton University"A fascinating exploration of the very essence of life itself."--Forecastshow more

Rating details

105 ratings
4.06 out of 5 stars
5 35% (37)
4 43% (45)
3 17% (18)
2 3% (3)
1 2% (2)
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