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Evolving Hierarchical Systems - Stanley N. Salthe

Evolving Hierarchical Systems

Hardcover

Published: 21st October 1985
For Ages: 22+ years old
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A bold effort to find a functional and transactional framework for synthetic evolutionary theory, Evolving Hierarchical Systems seeks to represent the order in nature by discriminating a hierarchical system and defining the logical boundaries of the concepts inherent in this system (such as time, causality, complexity, partitioning, scale, and polarity). Salthe's basic assumption is that the world is unlimitedly complex. Biology and some other sciences, such as geology and applied physics, have become entangled in this complexity with, the author writes, "as little ability to negotiate it as a fly in a spider's web." He argues that biological nature in particular is undercharacterized in our representations, and because of that so is the rest of nature. The book first describes the principles of hierarchical structure and discusses the process of discovering the relevant aspects of the hierarchy of nature. It then brings in the concept of self-reference and moves onto an interpretation and explanation of organic evolution in this framework.While Salthe's focus is in biology, the outline of a hierarchy theory he presents is asserted to be a "philosophical machine" that can be applied as a hermeneutical tool to many fields of inquiry concerned with change in complex systems. Felt by the author to also be a response to Jacques Monod's Chance and Necessity, this book is a significant statement on the hierarchical organization of the surface of the earth. It is provocative reading not only for biologists but also for anthropologists, sociologists, geologists, and scientists interested in general systems research.

Preface
An Introduction: Structure and Representation of the World
The Individual Entity Some Basics of Hierarchical Structure Representing a Dynamic System Hierarchically: The Basic Triadic System Representing a Dynamic System Hierarchically: The Nontransivity of Effects Across Levels
The Explicit Elaboration of a Hierarchy of Nature Organic Evolution and the Hierarchy of Nature Organic Evolution: Its Origin and Hierarchy Structure
Appendix
Glossary
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780231060165
ISBN-10: 0231060165
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 343
Published: 21st October 1985
Publisher: COLUMBIA UNIV PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.39
Weight (kg): 0.66