The Whole Creature: Complexity, Biosemiotics and the Evolution of Culture
In this ground-breaking synthesis of evolutionary and cultural theory, Wendy Wheeler draws on the new field of complex adaptive systems and biosemiotics in order to argue that - far from being opposed to nature - culture is the way that nature has evolved in human beings. Her argument is that these evolutionary processes reveal the fundamental sociality of human creatures, and she thus rejects the selfish individualism that is implied both in the biological reductionism of much recent evolutionary psychology, and in the philosophies of neoliberalism. She shows, instead, that the complex structures of biosemiotic evolution have always involved a creativity which is born from the difficult but productive phenomenological encounter between the Self and its Others; and she argues that this creativity, in both the sciences and the humanities, is fundamental to human progress. In this major contribution to both cultural studies and ecocriticism, Wheeler shows how complexity and biosemiotics forge the link between nature and culture, and provide a new and better understanding of how 'the whole human creature' operates as both social and biological being.
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the complexity revolution
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argues argument articulate language autopoiesis behaviour biology biosemiotics Boden body Brian Goodwin Candace Pert causal cell century Changed its Spots Chapter communication complex systems complexity science consciousness course Creative Mind creatures described disattending discussion ecocriticism embodied emergence emotional environment especially evolution evolutionary evolved example experience experiential knowledge flourishing genes genetic Goodwin human creativity human sociality ibid idea immune system individual internalised Jesper Hoffmeyer kind Laughlin Leopard Changed liberal linguistic living London Long Revolution Marmot Merlin Donald Michael Polanyi modern science nature Nicaraguan Sign Language object organisation organism passionate phenomenological philosophy physical political problem psychoneuroimmunology rationality reality recognise reductionism relation relationship religion Robert Laughlin sacred scientific Sebeok semiosis semiosphere semiotic freedom sense Sickening Mind Signs of Meaning simply skilful structure of tacit swarm intelligence swarms symbiogenesis Tacit Dimension tacit knowledge things thinking thought tion Umwelt understanding understood