A third window: natural life beyond Newton and Darwin
Templeton Foundation Press, 1 kwi 2009 - 196
Thus far, the dominant paradigms through which modern scientists have viewed nature have been structured primarily around Newtonian and Darwinian approaches. As theoretical ecologist Robert E. Ulanowicz observes in his new work, A Third Window, neither of these models is sufficient for explaining how real change-in the form of creative advance or emergence-takes place in nature. The metaphysical foundations laid by these great thinkers centuries ago are ill suited to sustain today's search for a comprehensive description of complex living systems. Ecosystem dynamics, for example, violate each and every one of the Newtonian presuppositions. Hence, Ulanowicz offers his titular "third window"-a new way of understanding evolution and other natural processes beyond the common mechanistic or materialistic philosophies of nature. Drawing on the writings of Walter Elsasser, Karl Popper, Gregory Bateson, Robert Rosen, and Alfred North Whitehead, as well as his own experience as a theoretical ecologist, Ulanowicz offers a new set of axioms for how nature behaves. Chance and disarray in natural processes are shown to be necessary conditions for real change. Randomness is shown to contribute richness and autonomy to the natural world. The metaphysical implications of these new axioms will lend A Third Windowa wide appeal not only among scientists, but also among philosophers, theologians, and general readers who follow the science and religion dialogue. Ulanowicz's fresh perspective adds a new voice to the discussion.
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I stopped short, however, of declaring outright that increasing ascendency is at
odds with the foundational assumptions of science as we know it. In the
immediate wake of writing EAP, I set about to investigate exactly what
To apply it forces one to accept a set of assumptions regarding how chance is
distributed, e.g., normally, exponentially via power-law, etc. More importantly still,
probability theory can be used only after a more fundamental set of assumptions
An inevitable, rational outcome of the Newtonian assumptions was that all higher
human endeavors and sensitivities be relegated to the secondary status of "
epiphenomena" (as it perplexed me to learn in my freshman philosophy course).
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LibraryThing ReviewRecenzja użytkownika - BillHall - LibraryThing
Ulanowicz is a systems ecologist whose work I generally admire. This book, "A Third Window: Natural Life beyond Newton and Darwin" tries to look at life from a viewpoint that is neither reductionist ... Przeczytaj pełną recenzję
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