Holistic DarwinismSynergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics of Evolution

Holistic DarwinismSynergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics of Evolution

Peter Corning

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226116136

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


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.

Table of Contents

Part I Synergy and Evolution: From the Origins of Life to Global Governance

Part II Bioeconomics and Evolution

Part III From Thermodynamics and Information Theory to Thermoeconomics and Control Information

Part IV Evolution and Ethics