Evolutionary Systems

Biological and Epistemological Perspectives on Selection and Self-Organization

  • Gertrudis van de Vijver
  • Stanley N. Salthe
  • Manuela Delpos

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Evolutionary Systems: A Biological Point of View

    1. Introduction: Evolutionary Systems and Darwinian Theory of Evolution

    2. Self-Organization Versus Selection?

    3. Development and Evolution: Thermodynamical, Information Theoretical and Mathematical Perspectives

  3. Evolutionary Systems: An Epistemological Point of View

  4. Back Matter
    Pages 423-438

About this book


The three well known revolutions of the past centuries - the Copernican, the Darwinian and the Freudian - each in their own way had a deflating and mechanizing effect on the position of humans in nature. They opened up a richness of disillusion: earth acquired a more modest place in the universe, the human body and mind became products of a long material evolutionary history, and human reason, instead of being the central, immaterial, locus of understanding, was admitted into the theater of discourse only as a materialized and frequently out-of-control actor. Is there something objectionable to this picture? Formulated as such, probably not. Why should we resist the idea that we are in certain ways, and to some degree, physically, biologically or psychically determined? Why refuse to acknowledge the fact that we are materially situated in an ever evolving world? Why deny that the ways of inscription (traces of past events and processes) are co-determinative of further "evolutionary pathways"? Why minimize the idea that each intervention, of each natural being, is temporally and materially situated, and has, as such, the inevitable consequence of changing the world? The point is, however, that there are many, more or less radically different, ways to consider the "mechanization" of man and nature. There are, in particular, many ways to get the message of "material and evolutionary determination", as well as many levels at which this determination can be thought of as relevant or irrelevant.


development evolution science self-organization

Editors and affiliations

  • Gertrudis van de Vijver
    • 1
  • Stanley N. Salthe
    • 2
  • Manuela Delpos
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of GhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of BiologyCity University of New York — Binghamton UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Konrad Lorenz InstituteViennaAustria

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1998
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-5103-5
  • Online ISBN 978-94-017-1510-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site