Stanley N. Salthe: Evolutionary Biology (a textbook). New York, 1972; Holt, Rinehart
Stanley N. Salthe: Evolving Hierarchical Systems: Their Structure and
Representation. New York, 1985; Columbia University Press.
This book summarizes most of the prior works on the scalar hierarchy system
-- e.g., [ population [ organism [cell [ macromolecule]]]], with the
interpretation [[smaller scale] larger scale]. The discussion focuses on
issues in evolutionary biology and ecology, but goes beyond these into
systems science in order to discuss the principles of this kind of
hierarchy. There is a brief comparison with the specification hierarchy
(here called a "hierarchy of generalization") in connection with Figure 16,
worth mentioning because several persons have found that it reveals the
difference between these two major hierarchical systems particularly well.
Three major conclusions of this text were: (a) One needs to model minimally
three scalar levels in order to capture the complexity involved here
(extensional complexity) -- the "Basic Triadic System". (b) Dynamics at
the different levels are screened off from each other because they proceed
at order of magnitude different rates, and so informational relations
between levels are nontransitive. (c) In this system new levels always
emerge between two already existing levels.
Stanley N. Salthe: Development and Evolution: Complexity and Change in Biology.
Cambridge, MA, 1993; MIT Press.
Booknews, Inc. , April 1, 1994
Salthe (biology, City U. of New York) furthers his
investigation of evolutionary theory begun in Evolving
Hierarchical Systems (1985). Negating many of the implicit
philosophical mechanisms in the earlier work, he initiates a
theory of biology from the perspective of development rather
than of evolution, applies general systems theory to biological
and social phenomena, and clears ground toward a
non-Darwinian, postmodern biology. Annotation copyright
Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
May be ordered here (Amazon)
Gertrudis Van De Vijver, Stanley N. Salthe and Manuela Delpos (eds.): Evolutionary Systems: Biological and Epistemological
Perspectives on Selection and Self-organization. Dordrecht,
1998; Kluwer Academic Publishers.
To understand how complex dynamic systems, living or
non-living, linguistic or non-linguistic, come to be organized as
systems, to understand how their inherent dynamic nature gives
rise to organisations and forms that have found a balance
between potentiality for change and evolution on the one hand,
and requisite stability in a given environment on the other, is the
main ambition of the study of evolutionary systems. The aim of
the present volume is to elucidate the scientific and
philosophical backgrounds that play a role in one of the major
debates taking place in that field, namely that on the relation
between selection and self-organization. The book represents a
genuine interdisciplinary forum in which the major
representatives of evolutionary systems take part. Audience:
This volume will be interest to biologists, philosophers of
science, systems scientists, mathematicians, physicists,
sociologists of science. It is highly recommended to those
interested in an interdisciplinary and complex approach to
evolution, as well as to those interested in developing a
genuinely historical viewpoint in the sciences.
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