Kauffman, Stuart A. Investigations: The Nature of Autonomous Agents and the Worlds
They Mutually Create
September 13, 1996.
Kauffman, Stuart A. “What is life?: was Schrödinger right?” p 83-114 What is Life? The Next Fifty Years, Michael P. Murphy and Luke A. O’Neill, eds. Cambridge University Press 1995. ;
Liane Gabora’s AUTOCATALYTIC CLOSURE IN A COGNITIVE SYSTEM: A TENTATIVE SCENARIO FOR THE ORIGIN OF CULTURE;
I am skeptical of Kauffman’s brave thrust but I can find no worse
pessimism to throw at it than Kauffman has already provided
in his introduction.
Yet two small points. Thermodynamics, which he looks to as a rôle model of a new kind of science, deals at its core with averages. Evolution thwarts averages by selecting the unusual and greatly amplifying it. I think that this is equivalent to edge of chaos observations.
I fear that evolution theorists, being themselves creatures of evolution, cannot foresee future evolution, just as a computation cannot be generally predicted short of running the computation. Perhaps all evolution theory must be retrospective.
Kauffman has recently extended his notion of the ‘adjacent possible’ to the realm of economics. Too Agents have agenda.
A new book: The Emergence of Organizations and Markets