Publication 6234

Fernandez J., Moreno A. & Etxeberria A. (1991) Life as emergence: The roots of a new paradigm in theoretical biology. World Futures 32(2–3): 133–149. Fulltext at
A discussion of various theories of emergence is given. It is argued that artificial life and the related theoretical constructs have to be rethought on the basis of new epistemological foundations. In particular, three earlier approaches, the theories of ‘anticipatory systems,’ ‘semantic closure’ and ‘component systems’ are examined from the point of view of representation of emergence. In addition, reductionism and the theory of autopoiesis are considered as possible alternatives. On the basis of these discussions, the possibility for a synthetic view of biological existence, based on the notion of emergence, is outlined.

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