In May 1992, within the Arctic Circle and under the midnight sun, a small group of researchers from diverse disciplines met to study one of the most fundamental questions of existence: What are the roles of conflict and cooperation in the evolution of life?
The answers that camefrom such fields as physics, literature, biology, economics, linguistics, and computer scienceshed new light on this very old question.
Sponsored by the Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research, these internationally renowned scholars discussed and debated the complementary effects of individual self-interest and collective group interests. The twelve chapters in this volume, representing a wide range of perspectives, are the fruit of this meeting. They illustrate the dynamics of evolution and, contrary to many traditional ideas of nature, make a compelling case for the crucial role of cooperation in successful evolutionary adaptation.
The fascination of this volume lies in watching the push and pull of conflict and cooperation play out in such areas as economic organization, computer science, the development of urban structures, the evolution of languages, and molecular formation in the primeval environment.
Among the specific issues raised and illuminated:
- What are the roles of stability vs. instability in the evolution of primitive life?
- What does research into game theory and computer models tell us about the most successful survival strategies in conflictcooperation dilemmas?
- What parts do randomness and uncertainty play in the evolution of biological as well as mathematical systems?
- What is the relationship between our stories of evolution and the process of evolution itself?
- Is there a link between the evolution of our bodies and our ability to make choices about conflict or cooperation?
- How is it possible for a cooperative entity to arise and prosper in a situation presumably driven by competition?
- What were the mechanisms of genetic formation in the primordial world?
- How does meaning evolve in the development of natural language?
Theoretical and evolutionary biologists, system theorists, economists, computer scientists, and mathematical modelers will find Cooperation and Conflict in General Evolutionary Processes a provocative and stimulating book that may open new perspectives on their own work.
Is Nature red in tooth and claw''?
The twelve chapters in this volume offer an overview of the dynamics of evolutionary phenomena across a stimulating array of fields, including biology, economics, literature, physics, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science. Written by internationally recognized experts, they trace the issue of conflict vs. cooperation through such topics as molecular formation, city planning, and the building of intellectual structures.
Urban Systems and Evolution W. Brian Arthur
Modeling Errors and Parasites in the Evolution of Primitive Life: Possibilities of Spatial Self-Structuring Clas Blomberg and Mikael Cronhjort
Cooperation: The Ghost in the Machinery of Evolution John L. Casti
Randomness in Arithmetic and the Decline and Fall of Reductionism in Pure Mathematics Gregory J. Chaitin
Narratives of Evolution and the Evolution of Narratives N. Katherine Hayles
Biologically Bound Behavior, Free Will, and the Evolution of Humans Philip Lieberman
A Hierarchy of Complex Behaviors in Microbiological Systems Erik Mosekilde, Heidi Stranddorf, Jesper Skovhus Thomsen and Gerold Baier
Chaotic Dynamics of Linguistic-like Processes at the Syntactic and Semantic Levels: In Pursuit of a Multifractal Attractor John S. Nicolis and Anastassis A. Katsikas
Cooperation and Chimera Robert Rosen
Minimal Properties for Evolutionary Optimization Peter Schuster
A Perception Machine Built of Many Cooperating Agents Erik Skarman
Language, Evolution, and the Theory of Games Karl Wrneryd
Theoretical and evolutionary biologists, system theorists, economists, computer scientists, and mathematical modelers will find Cooperation and Conflict in General Evolutionary Processes a strong stimulus to the evolution of their own ideas.
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