David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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World Futures 58 (2 & 3):149 – 157 (2002)
We can revive Natural Philosophy using thermodynamics and information theory. In constructing an intelligible picture of the world, Natural Philosophy systematizes information from all the sciences so that every field of knowledge of nature supports every other as parts of a concept of general evolution. Change in material systems involves both development and evolution. General evolution is primarily developmental; the specification hierarchy of integrative levels can be used to model it. In this hierarchy, biology is seen as a kind of material system, and social phenomena as kinds of biological systems. This pattern implies that there was a preferred tendency toward psychology in the history of the earth. This scheme is biased by having been produced by psychological, social, biological beings-ourselves, and so it embodies valuation, integrating humans with the rest of the world. Natural Philosophy welcomes the effect of values upon its constructions. There has never been a culture without an origination myth, but the one we call general evolution will differ by referring to its own genesis within a picture of the genesis of the world.
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