ssrn-id1780084 - Foundations of Evolutionary Economics by...

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Electronic copy available at: Foundations of Evolutionary Economics by Carsten Herrmann-Pillath Frankfurt School of Finance and Management East West Centre for Business Studies and Cultural Science Chapter Two: Causality Abstract: This is an entirely new draft of the second chapter of my book “Foundations of Evolutionary Economics” which is going to be published by Edward Elgar in due course. With permission of the publisher, the draft chapters are posted on the web to facilitate academic discussion for further improvement. Previous versions have been removed from the site. A full summary of Chapter Two can be found at the beginning of the main text. I propose a physical conception of knowledge that builds on basic ontological propositions about the relation between regularities and singularities in the world, which is approached in naturalistic terms. The evolution of knowledge is analyzed in the framework of Peirce’s triadism, that is, the conjunction of the three causal modes (efficient, formal and final). The paradigmatic model for this conjunction is the ‘function’ as a special form of physical causality. Building on an energetic conception of causality, I relate triadism with the Maximum Entropy approach to open non- equilibrium systems: In this view, evolution is a direct physical expression of the Second Law. In the context of evolutionary analysis, two special kinds of functions play a central role, replication and autocatalysis. Overview of book contents Chapter 1: Ontology Chapter 2: Causality Chapter 3: Evolution Chapter 4: Individuals Chapter 5: Networks Chapter 6: Institutions Chapter 7: Technology Chapter 8: Markets
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Electronic copy available at: 2 Foundations of Evolutionary Economics It may well be a consequence of the uniqueness of the world that the attempt to describe it in terms of universal theories leads to an infinite sequence of approximations, not unlike the attempt to describe an irrational number in terms of ratios of natural numbers. Our attempt to describe the world in terms of universal theories may be an attempt to rationalize the unique, the irrational, in terms of our self-made universal laws. Karl R. Popper (1982: 46) 2. Chapter Two: Causality Chapter summary This chapter builds the conceptual framework for the unification of evolutionary theory and thermodynamics on some fundamental elements taken from the philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce. Advancing a naturalistic approach to semeiosis, I argue that knowledge is an evolving physical structure. The analysis of this structure requires a revision of the standard notion of causality, which is limited to efficient causality in modern science, in order to accommodate the distinction between observer relativity and observer independence and the principle of bimodality in basic ontology.
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This note was uploaded on 10/24/2011 for the course SCIENCE PHY 453 taught by Professor Barnard during the Winter '11 term at BYU.

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ssrn-id1780084 - Foundations of Evolutionary Economics by...

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