The Ontogeny of Information: Developmental Systems and Evolution / Edition 2

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Overview

In The Ontogeny of Information, Susan Oyama draws on psychology, biology, and anthropology, as well as philosophy and history, to explore the many facets of the nature-nurture debate. Our deepest beliefs about what is natural, inevitable and unchangeable, what is normal and good, are affected by our concept of biological nature. Because the non-academic world also continues to frame important questions in terms of genetic necessity and cultural overlay, this distinction between nature and culture has serious implications for the conduct of private lives and for the making of public policy.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In the tale of the emperor’s new clothes, the small boy’s genius lay in his naive recognition of the great man’s nudity. Oyama has a similar, if more sophisticated genius: she recognizes the subtle manner in which molecular biologists have allowed metaphors to replace explanations. It is no exaggeration to claim that she has resolved the nature-nurture dispute and provided an altogether new vision of the processes of development and evolution.”—Peter Klopfer, Duke University

“The publication of this revised edition of The Ontogeny of Information is timely and welcome, especially given the current dominance of simplistic views about genetic causation, aided by constant misuse of the ideas of information, coding and programming. Oyama’s classic discussion of these concepts combines patient, subtle dissection with bold and novel moves. The Ontogeny of Information is a work of brilliant originality and enduring relevance.”—Peter Godfrey-Smith, Stanford University

“This is among the most important books on developmental theory published in the last several decades. It continues to be cited regularly in work from several different disciplines, including developmental biology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and psychology.”—Robert Lickliter, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822324669
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Series: Science and Cultural Theory Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Oyama is Professor of Psychology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, as well as in the Subprogram in Developmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface to Second Edition
Preface
1 Introduction 1
2 The Origin and Transmission of Form: The Gene as the Vehicle of Constancy 12
3 The Problem of Change 28
4 Variability and Ontogenetic Differentiation 42
5 Variations on a Theme: Cognitive Metaphors and the Homunculoid Gene 54
6 The Ghosts in the Ghost-in-the-Machine Machine 84
7 The Ontogeny of Information 129
8 Reprise 158
9 Prospects 185
Afterword to Second Edition 194
Notes 217
References 243
Index of Names 261
Index of Subjects 266
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