Hostname: page-component-7d684dbfc8-4nnqn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-09-27T05:04:40.216Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForArticlePurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForBookPurchase": false, "coreDisableEcommerceForElementPurchase": false, "coreUseNewShare": true, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

The Sciences of Complexity and “Origins of Order”

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2023

Stuart A. Kauffman*
University of Pennsylvania


A new science, the science of complexity, is birthing. This science boldly promises to transform the biological and social sciences in the forthcoming century. My own book, Origins of Order: Self Organization and Selection in Evolution, (Kauffman, 1992), is at most one strand in this transformation. I feel deeply honored that Marjorie Grene undertook organizing a session at the Philosophy of Science meeting discussing Origins, and equally glad that Dick Burian, Bob Richardson and Rob Page have undertaken their reading of the manuscript and careful thoughts. In this article I shall characterize the book, but more importantly, set it in the broader context of the emerging sciences of complexity. Although the book is not yet out of Oxford press’s quiet womb, my own thinking has moved beyond that which I had formulated even a half year ago. Meanwhile, in the broader scientific community, the interest in “complexity” is exploding.

Part VII. Self-Organization, Selection and Evolution
Copyright © Philosophy of Science Association 1991

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Bagley, R. (1991), A Model of Functional Self Organization. Ph.D Thesis, University of California, San Diego.Google Scholar
Dawkins, R. (1976), The Selfish Gene. Oxford University Press, Oxford, N.Y.Google Scholar
Derrida, B. and Pomeau, Y. (1986), “Random networks of automata: a simple annealed approximation.Europhys. Letters. 1(2): 4549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Edwards, D.F., and Anderson, P.W. (1975), Journal of Physics F 5:965.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eigen, M. and Schuster, P. (1979), The Hypercycle: A Principle of Natural Self Organization, Springer Verlag, N.Y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fogleman-Soulie, F. (1985), “Parallel and sequential computaiton in Boolean networks.” In Theoretical Computer Science 40, North Holland.Google Scholar
Fontana, W. (1991), “Artificial Life II”, in Langton, Farmer, Taylor (eds.) in press. Addison Wesley.Google Scholar
Hopfield, J.J. (1982), Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. U.S.A. 79: 25542558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jacob, F., and Monod, J. (1961), “On the regulation of gene activity.” Cold Spring Harbor Symposium. Quantum Biology 26: 193211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jacob, F., and Monod, J. (1963), “Genetic repression, allosteric inhibition, and cellular differentiation.” In È. (M. Locke, ed.) 21st Symposium for the Society for the Study of Development and Growth. Academic Press, N.Y. pp. 30-64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kauffman, S.A. (1969), “Metabolic stability and epigenesis in randomly connected nets.Journal of Theoretical Biology 22: 437467.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kauffman, S.A. (1986) “Autocatalytic sets of Protiens.Journal Theoretical Biology 119: 124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kauffman, S.A. (1989), “Principles of Adaptation in Complex Systems.” In Lectures in the Sciences of Complexity in Stein, Dan (ed.) The Santa Fe Institute Series. Addison Wesley.Google Scholar
Kauffman, S.A. (1991), “Antichaos and Adaptation.” Scientific American, August 1991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kauffman, S.A. (1992), Origins of Order: Self Organization and Selection in Evolution. In press, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Langton, C. (1991), in Artificial Life II, (eds.) Langton, Farmer, Taylor, in press, Addison Wesley.Google Scholar
Smolensky, P. (1988), “On the proper treatment of connectionism.Behavioral and Brain Science 11: 174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stauffer, D. (1987), “Random Boolean networks: analogy with percolation.Philosophical Magazine B, 56 no. 6: 901916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar