, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 195-205
Date: 27 Sep 2011

Many Windows: Reflections on Robert Ulanowicz’s Search for Meaning in Science

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

This paper is an extended discussion of Robert Ulanowicz’s critique of mechanistic and reductionistic metaphysics of science. He proposes “process ecology” as an alternative. In this paper I discuss four sets of question coming out of Ulanowicz’s proposal. First, I argue that universality remains one of the hallmarks of the scientific enterprise even with his new process metaphysics. I then discuss the Second Law of Thermodynamics in the interpretation of the history of the universe. I question Ulanowicz’s use of the terms “random” and “chance” in his definition of process. Finally, I discuss what difference a relational and process metaphysics might make in addressing the political and practical problems in the twenty-first century.