Matsuno K. & Salthe S. N. (1995) Global idealism/local materialism. Biology and Philosophy 10(3): 309–337.
Global idealism/local materialism.
Biology and Philosophy 10(3): 309–337.
We are concerned with two modes of describing the dynamics of natural systems. Global descriptions require simultaneous global coordination of all dynamical operations. Global dynamics, including mechanics, remain invariant in the absence of external perturbation. But, failing impossible global coordination, dynamical operations could actually become coordinated only locally. In local records, as in global ones, the law of the excluded middle would be strictly observed, but without global coordination it could only be fullfilled sequentially by passing causative factors forward onto subsequent contiguous operations. The local dynamics of sequential operations would be indefinite with regard to how commitments will be made which will avoid violating the law of the excluded middle, but any resulting record will be as definite as if there had been global coordination. While maintaining an agential capacity for making contingent choices internally, local dynamics could be cumulated into a global record of seemingly simultaneous operations. Natural selection within a framework of local dynamics would have a capacity for making opportunistic commitments, but its effects in a posterior record can be reduced to the mechanistic neodarwinian version as if there had been a global dynamics. However, the resulting global description falsifies the actual material nature of the dynamics.
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