The Self-Organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications of the Emerging Paradigm of Evolution (Systems Science and World Order Library. Innovations in Systems Science)

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9780080243115: The Self-Organizing Universe: Scientific and Human Implications of the Emerging Paradigm of Evolution (Systems Science and World Order Library. Innovations in Systems Science)

The evolution of the universe - ranging from cosmic and biological to sociocultural evolution - is viewed in terms of the unifying paradigm of self-organization. The contours of this paradigm emerge from the synthesis of a number of important, recently developed concepts, and provide a scientific foundation to a new world-view which emphasizes process over structure, nonequilibrium over equilibrium, evolution over permanency, and individual creativity over collective stabilization. The book, with its emphasis on the interaction of microstructures with the entire biosphere, ecosystems etc., and on how micro- and macrocosmos mutually create the conditions for their further evolution, provides a comprehensive framework for a deeper understanding of human creativity in a time of transition.

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Language Notes:

Text: English, German (translation)

Review:

I don't know how this book has escaped WER review for so long. Its main theme is an exploration of how most natural systems seem to behave; they make things up as they go along. Author Erich Jantsch shows the commonalities in the way in which seemingly different systems organize themselves and change over time, and the picture which emerges is entrancing. Whether discussing simple inorganic chemical processes or the complexities of cultural revolution, Jantsch's unifying vision restores to nature the self-directedness and spontaneity which science has denied it since the seventeenth century. While the book is, of necessity, a reconnaissance, it paints the most expansive and generous view of nature I have come across. I have a friend who set aside a winter to read this book properly.
Whole Earth Review

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