General Introduction.- I Examples of Evolving Physical Systems.- 1 On Origins: Galaxies, Stars, Life.- 2 On Rivers.- II Genesis and Evolution of Life.- 3 A Hardware View of Biological Organization.- 4 The Origin of Self-Replicating Molecules.- 5 Self-Organization of Macromolecules.- 6 Is a New and General Theory of Evolution Emerging?.- III Differentiation, Morphogenesis, and Death of Organisms.- 7 Virus Assembly and Its Genetic Control.- 8 Molecular Biology in Embryology: The Sea Urchin Embryo.- 9 Developing Organisms as Self-Organizing Fields.- 10 The Slime Mold Dictyosteliumas a Model of Self-Organization in Social Systems.- 11 The Orderly Decay of Order in the Regulation of Aging Processes.- IV Networks, Neural Organization, and Behavior.- 12 On a Class of Self-Organizing Communication Networks.- 13 Neural Circuits for Generating Rhythmic Movements.- 14 Ordered Retinotectal Projections and Brain Organization.- 15 A View of Brain Theory.- V Epistemology of Self-Organization.- 16 Biological Reductionism: The Problems and Some Answers.- 17 Instabilities and Information in Biological Self-Organization.- 18 Programmatic Phenomena, Hermeneutics, and Neurobiology.- VI Control Theory View of Self-Organization.- 19 Control Paradigms and Self-Organization in Living Systems.- 20 Control Theory and Self-Reproduction.- VII Physics of Self-Organization.- 21 Synergetics: An Approach to Self-Organization.- 22 Role of Relative Stability in Self-Repair and Self-Maintenance.- 23 Broken Symmetry, Emergent Properties, Dissipative Structures, Life: Are They Related?.- 24 Thermodynamics and Complex Systems.- VIII Extensions of Physical Views of Self-Organization.- 25 A Thermodynamic Approach to Self-Organizing Systems.- 26 Interfaces between Quantum Physics and Bioenergetics.- 27 A Physics for Complex Systems.- 28 A Physics for Studies of Civilization.- IX TopologicaL Representation of Self-Organization.- 29 Dynamics: A Visual Introduction.- 30 Dynamics and Self-Organization.
Technological systems become organized by commands from outside, as when human intentions lead to the building of structures or machines. But many nat ural systems become structured by their own internal processes: these are the self organizing systems, and the emergence of order within them is a complex phe nomenon that intrigues scientists from all disciplines. Unfortunately, complexity is ill-defined. Global explanatory constructs, such as cybernetics or general sys tems theory, which were intended to cope with complexity, produced instead a grandiosity that has now, mercifully, run its course and died. Most of us have become wary of proposals for an "integrated, systems approach" to complex matters; yet we must come to grips with complexity some how. Now is a good time to reexamine complex systems to determine whether or not various scientific specialties can discover common principles or properties in them. If they do, then a fresh, multidisciplinary attack on the difficulties would be a valid scientific task. Believing that complexity is a proper scientific issue, and that self-organizing systems are the foremost example, R. Tomovic, Z. Damjanovic, and I arranged a conference (August 26-September 1, 1979) in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, to address self-organizing systems. We invited 30 participants from seven countries. Included were biologists, geologists, physicists, chemists, mathematicians, bio physicists, and control engineers. Participants were asked not to bring manu scripts, but, rather, to present positions on an assigned topic. Any writing would be done after the conference, when the writers could benefit from their experi ences there.
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