Theoreticians as Professional Outsiders: The Modeling Strategies of John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Oren Harman & Michael Dietrich (eds.), Outsider Scientists: Routes to Innovation in Biology. Chicago University Press (2013)
Both von Neumann and Wiener were outsiders to biology. Both were inspired by biology and both proposed models and generalizations that proved inspirational for biologists. Around the same time in the 1940s von Neumann developed the notion of self reproducing automata and Wiener suggested an explication of teleology using the notion of negative feedback. These efforts were similar in spirit. Both von Neumann and Wiener used mathematical ideas to attack foundational issues in biology, and the concepts they articulated had lasting effect. But there were significant differences as well. Von Neumann presented a how-possibly model, which sparked interest by mathematicians and computer scientists, while Wiener collaborated more directly with biologists, and his proposal influenced the philosophy of biology. The two cases illustrate different strategies by which mathematicians, the “professional outsiders” of science, can choose to guide their engagement with biological questions and with the biological community, and illustrate different kinds of generalizations that mathematization can contribute to biology. The different strategies employed by von Neumann and Wiener and the types of models they constructed may have affected the fate of von Neumann’s and Wiener’s ideas – as well as the reputation, in biology, of von Neumann and Wiener themselves.
|Keywords||modeling generalization abstraction systems biology theoretical biology teleology self-replication cybernetics purpose|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Salim Rashid (1994). John von Neumann, Scientific Method and Empirical Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 1 (2):279-294.
Lon Becker (2004). That Von Neumann Did Not Believe in a Physical Collapse. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):121-135.
Alasdair Urquhart (2010). Von Neumann, Gödel and Complexity Theory. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 16 (4):516-530.
Leah Henderson (2003). The Von Neumann Entropy: A Reply to Shenker. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):291-296.
Giambattista Formica (2010). Von Neumann's Methodology of Science: From Incompleteness Theorems to Later Foundational Reflections. Perspectives on Science 18 (4):480-499.
Ulrich Krohs & Werner Callebaut (2007). Data Without Models Merging with Models Without Data. In Fred C. Boogerd, Frank J. Bruggeman, Jan-Hendrik S. Hofmeyr & Hans V. Westerhoff (eds.), Systems Biology: Philosophical Foundations. Elsevier. 181--213.
Yorick Wilks (1982). Reviews. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 33 (3):191-195.
Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker (2006). Von Neumann's Entropy Does Not Correspond to Thermodynamic Entropy. Philosophy of Science 73 (2):153-174.
Joerg Oechssler, Josef Hofbauer & Frank Riedel, Brown-Von Neumann-Nash Dynamics: The Continuous Strategy Case.
Román Sasyk & Asger Törnquist (2009). Borel Reducibility and Classification of von Neumann Algebras. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 15 (2):169-183.
Michael Stöltzner (2002). Bell, Bohm, and von Neumann: Some Philosophical Inequalities Concerning No-Go Theorems and the Axiomatic Method. In T. Placek & J. Butterfield (eds.), Non-Locality and Modality. Kluwer. 37--58.
Eric Steinhart (2002). Why Numbers Are Sets. Synthese 133 (3):343 - 361.
Titus R. Neumann, Susanne Huber & Heinrich H. Bülthoff (2001). Artificial Systems as Models in Biological Cybernetics. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (6):1071-1072.
Miklós Rédei (2007). The Birth of Quantum Logic. History and Philosophy of Logic 28 (2):107-122.
Miklos Redei (1995). Logical Independence in Quantum Logic. Foundations of Physics 25 (3):411-422.
Added to index2011-09-05
Total downloads17 ( #101,015 of 1,099,541 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #20,437 of 1,099,541 )
How can I increase my downloads?