Investigations: Investigations
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Investigations: Investigations

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Description

In the tradition of Schrodinger's classic What Is Life?, this book is a tour-de-force investigation of the basis of life itself, with conclusions that radically undermine the scientific approaches on which modern science rests-the approaches of Newton, Boltzman, Bohr, and Einstein. Kauffman's At Home in the Universe, which The New York Times Book Review called "passionately written" and nature named "courageous," introduced pivotal ideas about order and evolution in complex life systems. In investigations, Kauffman builds on these theories and 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? By defining and explaining autonomous agents and work in the contexts of thermodynamics and of information theory, Kauffman supplies a novel answer to this age-old question that goes beyond traditional scientific thinking. Much of Investigations unpacks the progressively surprising implications of his definition. Kauffman lays out a foundation for a new concept of organization, and explores the requirements for the emergence of a general biology that will transcend terrestrial biology to seek laws governing biospheres anywhere in the cosmos. Moreover, he presents four candidate laws to explain how autonomous agents co-create their biosphere and the startling idea of a "co-creating" cosmos. A showcase of Kauffman's most fundamental and significant ideas, Investigations presents a new way of thinking about the basics of general biology that will change the way we understand life itself-on this planet and anywhere else in the cosmos.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 308 pages
  • 150 x 226 x 20mm | 480.81g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numerous figures
  • 0195121058
  • 9780195121056
  • 438,736

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 "Investigations is fun in a way not many books of this intellectual magnitude are. Kauffman cuts the hard science with wit and pondering of the utmost human persuasion....With a mix of speculation, cutting-edge science and hypothesis steeped in years of grappling with hard questions,...[this book] is sure to inspire and intrigue."-Frontwheeldrive.com [REVIEW FOR AT HOME IN THE UNIVERSE:] "Kauffman's explanations of his scientific work are concise and convincing.... Whoever reads Invesigations (At Home in the Universe) for its account of Kauffman's insightful models of adaptation and self-organzation will find that the scientific results speak for themselves."-Seth Lloyd, Scientific American [REVIEW FOR AT HOME IN THE UNIVERSE:] "One of the pioneers of complexity theory is Stuart Kauffman, who lays out its rudiments in an accessible way with this challenging and audacious book."-The Economistshow more

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

Rating details

101 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 35% (35)
4 43% (43)
3 18% (18)
2 3% (3)
1 2% (2)
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