Self-organization and Emergence in Life Sciences

Self-organization and Emergence in Life Sciences

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Description

Self-organization constitutes one of the most important theoretical debates in contemporary life sciences. The present book explores the relevance of the concept of self-organization and its impact on such scientific fields as: immunology, neurosciences, ecology and theories of evolution.


Historical aspects of the issue are also broached. Intuitions relative to self-organization can be found in the works of such key western philosophical figures as Aristotle, Leibniz and Kant. Interacting with more recent authors and cybernetics, self-organization represents a notion in keeping with the modern world's discovery of radical complexity.


The themes of teleology and emergence are analyzed by philosophers of sciences with regards to the issues of modelization and scientific explanation.


The implications of self-organization for life sciences are here approached from an interdisciplinary angle, revealing the notion as already rewarding and full of promise for the future.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 165.1 x 241.3 x 25.4mm | 635.04g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 2006 ed.
  • XII, 352 p.
  • 1402039166
  • 9781402039164

Back cover copy

Self-organization constitutes one of the most important theoretical debates in contemporary life sciences. The present book explores the relevance of the concept of self-organization and its impact on such scientific fields as: immunology, neurosciences, ecology and theories of evolution. Historical aspects of the issue are also broached. Intuitions relative to self-organization can be found in the works of such key western philosophical figures as Aristotle, Leibniz and Kant. Interacting with more recent authors and cybernetics, self-organization represents a notion in keeping with the modern world's discovery of radical complexity. The themes of teleology and emergence are analyzed by philosophers of sciences with regards to the issues of modelization and scientific explanation. The implications of self-organization for life sciences are here approached from an interdisciplinary angle, revealing the notion as already rewarding and full of promise for the future.
show more

Table of contents

List of Contributors. Introduction; Bernard Feltz, Marc Crommelinck and Philippe Goujon.
I. Scientific Approach.
A. Self-Organization and Biology: General Standpoints.
The Complex Adaptative Systems Approach to Biology; Gerard Weisbuch. Emergence and Reductionism: from the Game of Life to Science of Life; Vincent Bauchau. Formalizing Emergence: the Natural After-Life of Artificial Life; Hugues Bersini.
B. Self-Organization and Biology: Thematic Standpoints.
Analysis and Synthesis of Regulator Networks in Terms of Feedback Circuits; Rene Thomas. Properties Emerging from Sensorimotor Interfaces. Interaction Between Experimentation and Modeling in Neurosciences; Philippe Lefevre, Cheng Tu, Marcus Missal and Marc Crommelinck. Neuronal Synchrony and Cognitive Functions; Francisco Varela. About Biology and Subjectivity in Psychiatry; Philippe Meire. Self-Organization and Meaning in Immunology; Henri Atlan and Irun Cohen.
II. Historic Approach.
A. Early Philosophical Conceptualizations.
Kant and the Intuitions of Self-Organization; Gertrudis Van de Vijver. On a 'Mathematical Neo-Aristotelism' in Leibniz; Laurence Bouquiaux. 'Essential Force' and 'Formative Force': Models for Epigenesis in the 18th Century; Francois Duchesneau. From Logic to Self-Organization. Learning about Complexity; Philippe Goujon. The Concept of Emergence in the XIXth Century: from Natural Theology to Biology; Paul Mengal.
B. Contemporary Origins.
Artificial Life and the Sciences of Complexity: History and Future; Jean-Claude Heudin. Self-Organization in Second-Order Cybernetics: Deconstruction or Reconstruction of Complexity; Pierre Livet.
III. Epistemological and Conceptual Approaches.
A. Teleology andIntentionality.
Teleology in Self-Organizing Systems; Robert Brandon. Phenomenology and Self-Organization; Marc Maesschalck and Valerie Kokoszka.
B. Explanation.
A Role for Mathematical Models in Formalizing Self-Organizing Systems; Paul Thompson. Explanation and Causality in Self-Organizing Systems; Robert C. Richardson. Self-Organization, Selection and Emergence in the Theories of Evolution; Bernard Feltz.
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