Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics of Evolution

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University of Chicago Press, Aug 15, 2010 - Science - 504 pages
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In recent years, evolutionary theorists have come to recognize that the reductionist, individualist, gene-centered approach to evolution cannot sufficiently account for the emergence of complex biological systems over time. Peter A. Corning has been at the forefront of a new generation of complexity theorists who have been working to reshape the foundations of evolutionary theory. Well known for his Synergism Hypothesis—a theory of complexity in evolution that assigns a key causal role to various forms of functional synergy—Corning puts this theory into a much broader framework in Holistic Darwinism, addressing many of the issues and concepts associated with the evolution of complex systems. Corning's paradigm embraces and integrates many related theoretical developments of recent years, from multilevel selection theory to niche construction theory, gene-culture coevolution theory, and theories of self-organization. Offering new approaches to thermodynamics, information theory, and economic analysis, Corning suggests how all of these domains can be brought firmly within what he characterizes as a post–neo-Darwinian evolutionary synthesis.
 

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Contents

Part II Bioeconomics and Evolution
213
Part III From Thermodynamics and Information Theory to Thermoeconomics and Control Information
311
Part IV Evolution and Ethics
377
Acknowledgments
449
Notes
453
References
473
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About the author (2010)

Peter A. Corning is director of the Institute for the Study of Complex Systems. He is the author of The Synergism Hypothesis and Nature's Magic, among other books.

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