Book

Holistic Darwinism

Peter Corning

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780226116136
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226116334 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226116334.001.0001
Holistic Darwinism

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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. The author of this book 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—he puts this theory into a much broader framework in this book, addressing many of the issues and concepts associated with the evolution of complex systems. The book'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, the book suggests how all of these domains can be brought firmly within what he characterizes as a post-neo-Darwinian evolutionary synthesis.

Keywords: evolutionary theorists; evolution; complex biological systems; complexity theorists; Synergism Hypothesis; functional synergy; Holistic Darwinism; complex systems; multilevel selection theory; niche construction theory

Book.  554 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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