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 ask the reader to note the sequence of events: I started simply with the desire to
examine alternatives to the prevailing metaphysics. Interesting as those
exceptions were, they did not of themselves fall into a coherent narrative. It was
not until I ...
Should the reader be reluctant to make a clean break with historical foundations,
I would hope that he or she would at least entertain the feasibility of viewing
phenomena through multiple windows in order to obtain a "stereoscopic vision"
I certainly do not wish to insult any reader's intelligence by implying that he or she
fully accepts this two-hundred- year-old consensus. To the best of my experience,
no one today holds firmly to all five postulates. It is no exaggeration to say that ...
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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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