In Carlos Gershenson, Diederik Aerts & Bruce Edmonds (eds.), Worldviews, Science, and Us: Philosophy and Complexity. World Scientific. pp. 221--231 (2007)

Authors
Abstract
Our intuition tells us that there is a general trend in the evolution of nature, a trend towards greater complexity. However, there are several definitions of complexity and hence it is difficult to argue for or against the validity of this intuition. Christoph Adami has recently introduced a novel measure called physical complexity that assigns low complexity to both ordered and random systems and high complexity to those in between. Physical complexity measures the amount of information that an organism stores in its genome about the environment in which it evolves. The theory of physical complexity predicts that evolution increases the amount of ‘knowledge’ an organism accumulates about its niche. It might be fruitful to generalize Adami’s concept of complexity to the entire evolution (including the evolution of man). Physical complexity fits nicely into the philosophical framework of cognitive biology which considers biological evolution as a progressing process of accumulation of knowledge (as a gradual increase of epistemic complexity). According to this paradigm, evolution is a cognitive ‘ratchet’ that pushes the organisms unidirectionally towards higher complexity. Dynamic environment continually creates problems to be solved. To survive in the environment means to solve the problem, and the solution is an embodied knowledge. Cognitive biology (as well as the theory of physical complexity) uses the concepts of information and entropy and views the evolution from both the information-theoretical and thermodynamical perspective. Concerning humans as conscious beings, it seems necessary to postulate an emergence of a new kind of knowledge - a self-aware and self-referential knowledge. Appearence of selfreflection in evolution indicates that the human brain reached a new qualitative level in the epistemic complexity.
Keywords complexity  evolution  consciousness  cognitive
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on Amazon.com
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

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

The Person, the Soul, and Genetic Engineering.J. C. Polkinghorne - 2004 - Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (6):593-597.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Conceiving Processes in Atmospheric Models—General Equations, Subscale Parameterizations, and 'Superparameterizations'.Gabriele Gramelsberger - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (3):233-241.
Conceiving Processes in Atmospheric Models—General Equations, Subscale Parameterizations, and ‘Superparameterizations’.Gabriele Gramelsberger - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41 (3):233-241.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-02-06

Total views
679 ( #11,073 of 2,497,796 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
29 ( #29,864 of 2,497,796 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes