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Posts Tagged ‘Evolution’

Discussion: Becoming cognitive

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Reply here to provide your challenge to the speakers of the second day’s general discussion. This should take the form of: i) a tweet-like question (maximum of 144 characters) and ii) a follow up explanation, abstract or set of bullet points with a minimum of 150 words and maximum of 300, in the following format:

Group Name
Short description of challenge in bold
Content of the summary or abstract or bullet points

 

Development and evolution in a world without labels

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Susan Oyama
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
The Graduate School and University Center, CUNY,
USA

Accounts of development and evolution typically involve complementary notions of prespecification–organismic and environmental ‘labeling,’ if you will. In the case of development these can take the form of genetic programs or instructions and the like, while descriptions of evolution often invoke preexisting environmental demands or problems that organisms must meet.
The traditions of thought informing The Embodied Mind and Developmental Systems Theory (DST) both challenge such ways of conceiving life processes. Yet these traditions sprang from different grounds, and they bring distinctive sensibilities to their overlapping projects. I describe the systemic contingencies of self-organizing systems in DST, pointing out the importance of alternative pathways, both in biological processes and the theorizing they inspire.

 

Susan Oyama: Development and evolution in a world without labels from eSMCs on Vimeo.