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To understand how complex dynamic systems, living or non-living, linguistic or non-linguistic, come to be organized as systems, to understand how their inherent dynamic nature gives rise to organisations and forms that have found a balance between potentiality for change and evolution on the one hand, and requisite stability in a given environment on the other, is the main ambition of the study of evolutionary systems.The aim of the present volume is to elucidate the scientific and philosophical backgrounds that play a role in one of the major debates taking place in that field, namely that on the relation between selection and self-organization. The book represents a genuine interdisciplinary forum in which the major representatives of evolutionary systems take part. This volume will be interest to biologists, philosophers of science, systems scientists, mathematicians, physicists, sociologists of science. It is highly recommended to those interested in an interdisciplinary and complex approach to evolution, as well as to those interested in developing a genuinely historical viewpoint in the sciences.
Part 1 Evolutionary Systems: a biological point of view; self-organization versus selection?; development and evolution - thermodynamical information; theoretical and mathematical perspectives. Part 2 Evolutionary Systems: an epistemological point of view; causality and explanation; symbols, signs and meaning.
'...the book is a statement of exciting open problems at the interface of self-organization and selection, and of how multidisciplinary perspectives can help refine evolutionary theory. It should prove valuable to future work on the subject.' The Quarterly Review of Biology, 76:3(2001)