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The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision
     

The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision

4.0 1
by Fritjof Capra, Pier Luigi Luisi
 

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ISBN-10: 1107011361

ISBN-13: 9781107011366

Pub. Date: 04/10/2014

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Over the past thirty years, a new systemic conception of life has emerged at the forefront of science. New emphasis has been given to complexity, networks, and patterns of organisation, leading to a novel kind of 'systemic' thinking. This volume integrates the ideas, models, and theories underlying the systems view of life into a single coherent framework. Taking a

Overview

Over the past thirty years, a new systemic conception of life has emerged at the forefront of science. New emphasis has been given to complexity, networks, and patterns of organisation, leading to a novel kind of 'systemic' thinking. This volume integrates the ideas, models, and theories underlying the systems view of life into a single coherent framework. Taking a broad sweep through history and across scientific disciplines, the authors examine the appearance of key concepts such as autopoiesis, dissipative structures, social networks, and a systemic understanding of evolution. The implications of the systems view of life for health care, management, and our global ecological and economic crises are also discussed. Written primarily for undergraduates, it is also essential reading for graduate students and researchers interested in understanding the new systemic conception of life and its implications for a broad range of professions - from economics and politics to medicine, psychology and law.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781107011366
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
04/10/2014
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
510
Sales rank:
642,269
Product dimensions:
6.85(w) x 9.72(h) x 0.98(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction: paradigms in science and society; Part I. The Mechanistic World View: 1. The Newtonian world-machine; 2. The mechanistic view of life; 3. Mechanistic social thought; Part II. The Rise of Systems Thinking: 4. From the parts to the whole; 5. Classical systems theories; 6. Complexity theory; Part III. A New Conception of Life: 7. What is life?; 8. Order and complexity in the living world; 9. Darwin and biological evolution; 10. The quest for the origin of life on Earth; 11. The human adventure; 12. Mind and consciousness; 13. Science and spirituality; 14. Life, mind, and society; 15. The systems view of health; Part IV. Sustaining the Web of Life: 16. The ecological dimension of life; 17. Connecting the dots: systems thinking and the state of the world; 18. Systemic solutions; Bibliography; Index.

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The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
UpstateNYReader More than 1 year ago
Systems seemed to find a home whatever my career choice.  In the chemistry lab, in the church, in the family, and in computer science - each required an understanding of systems theory.  Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi’s The Systems View of Life is attempt to meld the concept of systems into the far ranging fields of physical science, biological science, social science, and religion.  The success with which this is done might depend on the reader’s interest and training, but the book makes for interesting reading regardless of the reader’s background.  Claiming to be an undergraduate textbook, Capra and Luisi’s text explores the history of scientific thinking from ancient times forward.  The authors attempt to move the student through the rolling attitudes that seem to bounce between a very mechanistic approach (i.e. the entire universe is a machine) and a holistic approach (i.e. the universe is more than its whole). Recognizing that the philosophy of science seems to be a pendulum that moves between these to extremes, the book stresses that the 21st century is in the much more holistic than we have seen in the immediate past.  That being so, there is room in the current scientific landscape for a spiritual (not necessarily religious) perspective of our world.  The authors point out that there are fundamentalists that are both religious (e.g. Christian or Muslim) and scientific (e.g. Richard Dawkins) who attempt to exclude each other from valid scholarship. Though coming from Cambridge University Press, the book is not a specifically Christian (or even religious) view of science or a scientific view of religion.  Rather, it is an attempt to allow members of each community to appreciate the contribution of the scientific community and the religious community toward a holistic world view.  The authors, early in the book, make it clear that they are writing for an undergraduate audience.  This might be true for an undergraduate class in the Philosophy of Science, but otherwise the book might not find a place in most undergraduate degree programs.  On the other hand, it would find a home in the seminary training for a modern pastor (at least for some) or the graduate science student looking beyond the typical laboratory setting. ______________ This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.