The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision
Over the past thirty years, a new systemic conception of life has emerged at the forefront of science. New emphasis has been given to complexity, networks, and patterns of organisation leading to a novel kind of 'systemic' thinking. This volume integrates the ideas, models, and theories underlying the systems view of life into a single coherent framework. Taking a broad sweep through history and across scientific disciplines, the authors examine the appearance of key concepts such as autopoiesis, dissipative structures, social networks, and a systemic understanding of evolution. The implications of the systems view of life for health care, management, and our global ecological and economic crises are also discussed. Written primarily for undergraduates, it is also essential reading for graduate students and researchers interested in understanding the new systemic conception of life and its implications for a broad range of professions - from economics and politics to medicine, psychology and law.
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The Newtonian worldmachine
The mechanistic view of life
Mechanistic social thought
From the parts to the whole
Classical systems theories
What is life?
The human adventure
Mind and consciousness
Science and spirituality
Life mind and society
The systems view of health
The ecological dimension of life
systems thinking and the state of the world
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Amory Lovins atomic attractor autopoiesis autopoietic basic behavior billion biological biologists biomimicry Cartesian cell chaos theory Chapter characteristic chemical cognitive complex components concept consciousness cultural cybernetics Daisyworld Darwin decades Descartes dimension discussed dynamic Earth ecodesign ecological economic ecosystems emergent properties energy environment environmental epigenetics equations evolution evolutionary example experience feedback loops Figure framework Francisco Varela fuels functions Gaia theory genes genetic genome global growth human idea important industrial integrated interactions Julia sets known living organisms living systems mathematical Maturana means mechanisms mechanistic models modern molecular molecules nature networks Newtonian nonlinear notion nuclear organismic pattern of organization perspective phase space phenomena philosophical physicists physics plants prebiotic principles problems processes production proteins relationships Schumacher College scientific scientists Section self-organization social species spiritual structures sustainable systems thinking systems view technologies theory thermodynamics today’s understanding Varela