David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 13 (4):541-554 (1998)
I criticize Herbert Simon's argument for the claim that complex natural systems must constitute decomposable, mereological or functional hierarchies. The argument depends on certain assumptions about the requirements for the successful evolution of complex systems, most importantly, the existence of stable, intermediate stages in evolution. Simon offers an abstract model of any process that succeeds in meeting these requirements. This model necessarily involves construction through a decomposable hierarchy, and thus suggests that any complex, natural, i.e., evolved, system is constituted by a decomposable hierarchy. I argue that Stuart Kauffman's recent models of genetic regulatory networks succeed in specifying processes that could meet Simon's requirements for evolvability without requiring construction through a decomposable hierarchy. Since Kauffman's models are at least as plausible as Simon's model, Simon's argument that complex natural systems must constitute decomposable, mereological or functional hierarchies does not succeed.
|Keywords||complex natural system stability evolvability decomposable hierarchy genetic network Random NK Boolean Network|
|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
H. M. Malm (1989). Commodification or Compensation: A Reply to Ketchum. Hypatia 4 (3):128 - 135.
J. L. Schellenberg (2005). The Hiddenness Argument Revisited (II). Religious Studies 41 (3):287 - 303.
H. E. Baber (1987). How Bad Is Rape? Hypatia 2 (2):125 - 138.
P. X. Monaghan (2010). A Novel Interpretation of Plato's Theory of Forms. Metaphysica 11 (1):63-78.
Sent E.-M. (2001). Sent Simulating Simon Simulating Scientists. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 32 (3):479-500.
Dale Hample, Bing Han & David Payne (2010). The Aggressiveness of Playful Arguments. Argumentation 24 (4):405-421.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads8 ( #167,939 of 1,098,358 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #78,724 of 1,098,358 )
How can I increase my downloads?