Holistic Darwinism

Author: Peter Corning
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226116334
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

Nature s Magic

Author: Peter Corning
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139442183
Format: PDF, Docs
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Nature's Magic, first published in 2003, presents a bold vision of the evolutionary process from the Big Bang to the 21st century. Synergy of various kinds is not only a ubiquitous aspect of the natural world but it has also been a wellspring of creativity and the 'driver' of the broad evolutionary trend toward increased complexity, in nature and human societies alike. But in contrast with the many theories of emergence or complexity that rely on some underlying force or 'law', the 'Synergism Hypothesis', as Peter Corning calls it, is in essence an economic theory of biological complexity; it is fully consistent with mainstream evolutionary biology. Corning refers to it as Holistic Darwinism. Among the many important insights that are provided by this new paradigm, Corning presents a scenario in which the human species invented itself; synergistic, behavioral and technological innovations were the 'pacemakers' of our biological evolution. Synergy has also been the key to the evolution of complex modern societies, he concludes.

Handbook of Evolution

Author: Franz M. Wuketits
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 3527620338
Format: PDF, ePub
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This two-volume handbook is unique in spanning the entire field of evolution, from the origins of life up to the formation of social structures and science and technology. The author team of world-renowned experts considers the subject from a variety of disciplines, with continuous cross-referencing so as to retain a logical internal structure. The uniformly structured contributions discuss not merely the general knowledge behind the evolution of life, but also the corresponding development of language, society, economies, morality and politics. The result is an overview of the history and methods used in the study of evolution, including controversial theories and discussions. A must for researchers in the natural sciences, sociology and philosophy, as well as for those interested in an interdisciplinary view of the status of evolution today.

The Fair Society

Author: Peter Corning
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226116301
Format: PDF
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We’ve been told, again and again, that life is unfair. But what if we’re wrong simply to resign ourselves to this situation? What if we have the power—and more, the duty—to change society for the better? We do. And our very nature inclines us to do so. That’s the provocative argument Peter Corning makes in The Fair Society. Drawing on the evidence from our evolutionary history and the emergent science of human nature, Corning shows that we have an innate sense of fairness. While these impulses can easily be subverted by greed and demagoguery, they can also be harnessed for good. Corning brings together the latest findings from the behavioral and biological sciences to help us understand how to move beyond the Madoffs and Enrons in our midst in order to lay the foundation for a new social contract—a Biosocial Contract built on a deep understanding of human nature and a commitment to fairness. He then proposes a sweeping set of economic and political reforms based on three principles of fairness—equality, equity, and reciprocity—that together could transform our society and our world. At this crisis point for capitalism, Corning reveals that the proper response to bank bailouts and financial chicanery isn’t to get mad—it’s to get fair.

The Evolution of Social Systems

Author: John Paul Scott
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 9782881243172
Format: PDF, ePub
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First published in 1989. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

The Role of Behavior in Evolution

Author: Henry C. Plotkin
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262161077
Format: PDF, Docs
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These six original essays focus on a potentially important aspect of evolutionary biology, the possible causal role of phenotypic behavior in evolution. Balancing theory with actual or potential empiricism, they provide the first full examination of this topic. Plotkin's opening chapter outlines the "conceptual minefields" that the contributors attempt to negotiate: What is an adequate theory of evolution? What is behavior and is it possible to maintain a distinction between behavior and other attributes of the phenotype? is all, or only a special subset, of behavior both a cause and a consequence of evolution? And what do the theoretical issues mean in empirical terms? He concludes that any attempt to understand the causal role of behavior in evolution requires a more complicated theoretical structure than that of orthodox neoDarwinism, a conceptualization of behavior as a distinctive set of phenotypic attributes, and the accumulation of more data. David L. Hull (Northwestern University) provides an alternative account of the evolutionary process by developing a hierarchy of replicators-interactors-lineages to replace the traditional one of genes-organisms-species. Robert N. Brandon (Duke University) also posits hierarchy as an appropriate architecture for the theoretical complexity needed to support an examination of the role of behavior in evolution. F. J. Odling-Smee (Brunei University) outlines a theoretical structure to encompass the behavior of phenotypes, concentrating on the unrestricted definition of behavior (everything that an animal does). The remaining chapters are as much concerned with evidence as with theory. Plotkin concentrates on a restricted definition of behavior (behavior that is a product of choosing intelligence), reviewing our empirical knowledge of how learning might influence evolution. R.I.M. Dunbar (University College, London) uses empirical studies of vertebrate social behavior to deal with the question of how the social systems, especially of primates, might have a causal role in species evolution. Henry C. Plotkin is Lecturer at the University College, London. A Bradford Book.

Darwinian Politics

Author: Paul H. Rubin
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813530963
Format: PDF, Docs
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"In this lively and insightful book, Paul Rubin shows just how much light can be shed on the institutions of modern life by reference to our long species' history as hunter-gatherers. This is highly recommended reading."-Herbert Gintis, author of Game Theory Evolving "Full of insights and interesting connections among biology, public policy, and economics. It keeps the reader's interest and is well paced. Simply great-I enjoyed every minute of it."-Michael T. McGuire, coauthor of Darwinian Psychiatry "A lucid, responsible, thought-provoking, constructive inquiry into the biological foundations of economic behavior."-Richard Posner, judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit "This is a great book, and more than worthy of serious attention. . . . An interesting and imaginative book. . . . Wonderfully engaging."-Jason Potts, University of Queensland Darwinian Politics is the first book to examine political behavior from a modern evolutionary perspective. Paul H. Rubin demonstrates why certain political-moral philosophies succeed or fail in modern Western culture. He begins by showing relationships between biology and natural selection and the history of political philosophy and explains why desirable policies must treat each person as an individual. He considers the notion of group identity and conflict, observing a human propensity to form in-groups, a behavior that does not necessitate but often leads to deviancies such as racism. In discussing altruism, Rubin shows that people are willing to aid the poor if they are convinced that the recipients are not shirkers or freeloaders. This explains why recent welfare reforms are widely viewed as successful. Rubin illustrates evolutionary premises for religious belief and for desires to regulate the behavior of others, and how in today's world such regulation may not serve any useful purpose. Ultimately, the author argues that humans naturally seek political freedom, and modern Western society provides more freedom than any previous one. Paul H. Rubin is a professor of economics and law at Emory University. He is the author of Managing Business Transactions: Controlling the Costs of Coordinating, Communicating, and Decision Making and Privacy and the Commercial Use of Personal Information.

The Evolution of Culture

Author: Chris Knight
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813527314
Format: PDF, ePub
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This new series presents innovative titles pertaining to human origins, evolution, and behavior from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Subject areas include but are not limited to biological and physical anthropology, prehistoric archaeology, evolutionary psychology, behavioral ecology, and evolutionary biology. The series volumes will be of interest primarily to students and scholars in these fields.

Phenotypes

Author: C.D. Rollo
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9780412410307
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book provides a framework for understanding organism design including constraints, trends and major constellations of adaptive tactics. The fundamental organization revolves around organisms as problem solving machines - the key problems and alternative solutions.