Relational Basis Of The Organism’s Self-Organization
Karaca (Caglar)
Source: Academia.edu, Essex University
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. In this thesis, I discuss the organism’s self-organization from the perspective of relational ontology. I critically examine scientific and philosophical sources that appeal to the concept of self-organization. By doing this, I aim to carry out a thorough investigation into the underlying reasons of emergent order within the ontogeny of the organism. Moreover, I focus on the relation between universal dynamics of organization and the organization of living systems.
  2. I provide a historical review of the development of modern ideas related to self-organization. These ideas have been developed in relation to various research areas including thermodynamics, molecular biology, developmental biology, systems theory, and so on. In order to develop a systematic understanding of the concept, I propose a conceptual distinction between transitional self-organization and regulative self-organization. The former refers to the spontaneous emergence of order, whereas the latter refers to the self-maintaining characteristic of the living systems. I show the relation between these two types of organization within biological processes.
  3. I offer a critical analysis of various theories within the organizational approach. Several ideas and notions in these theories originate from the early studies in cybernetics. More recently, autopoiesis and the theory of biological autonomy asserted certain claims that were critical toward the ideas related to self-organization. I advocate a general theory of self-organization against these criticisms.
  4. I also examine the hierarchical nature of the organism’s organization, as this is essential to understand regulative self-organization. I consider the reciprocal relation between bottom-up and top-down dynamics of organization as the basis of the organism’s individuation. To prove this idea, I appeal to biological research on molecular self-assembly, pattern formation (including reaction-diffusion systems), and the self-organized characteristic of the immune system.
  5. Finally, I promote the idea of diachronic emergence by drawing support from biological self-organization. I discuss the ideas related to constraints, potentiality, and dynamic form in an attempt to reveal the emergent nature of the organism. To demonstrate the dynamicity of form, I examine research into biological oscillators. I draw the following conclusions: synchronic condition of the organism is irreducibly processual and relational, and this is the basis of the organism’s potentiality for various organizational states.

Contents
    Abstract – 2
    Table of Contents – 4
    List of Figures – 6
    Acknowledgments – 7
    General Introduction – 8
  1. Chapter 1: Order, Disorder, and Self-Organization – 29
      Introduction – 29
    1. Meaning of Self-organization From a Historical Perspective – 33
    2. Transitional and Regulative Dynamics of Self-organization – 50
      → 2.1 The question of life: Order from order or order from disorder? – 50
      → 2.2 A conceptual distinction – 55
      → 2.3 Autocatalytic sets – 70
      Conclusion – 76
  2. Chapter 2: Life As Organization – 78
      Introduction – 78
    1. Quest For the Organism – 80
      → 1.1 Early attempts in philosophy – 80
      → 1.2 Autopoiesis – 86
      → 1.3 The theory of biological autonomy – 96
    2. Why Self-organization? – 106
      → 2.1 Self-organization between history-based and law-like explanations – 106
      → 2.2 Circular causality – 113
      Conclusion – 119
  3. Chapter 3: Levels of Organization in the Organism – 121
      Introduction – 121
    1. Steps of Biological Complexity – 124
      → 1.1 Hierarchy of the organization and contingency – 125
      → 1.2 Organization at the molecular level – 132
      → 1.3 Organization at the cellular and tissue levels – 139
    2. Regulative Control at the Organism Level – 150
      → 2.1 Genetic regulation as the constraint of the organism – 151
      → 2.2 Centralized mechanisms of organization – 154
      Conclusion – 162
  4. Chapter 4: Emergence, Temporality of Form, and Potentiality – 165
      Introduction – 165
    1. Ways of Emerging – 168
    2. The Form of the Organism – 179
      → 2.1 Hylomorphism – 180
      → 2.2 Relationality and contingency – 186
      → 2.3 A critical analysis: DST, genetic reductionism, and structuralism – 193
    3. Temporality of Self-organization – 201
      → 3.1 The critique of the mechanistic approach – 202
      → 3.2 Potentiality of the organization – 209
      → 3.3 Synchronic and diachronic conditions of self-organization – 216
  5. Conclusion – 230
    General Conclusions – 233
    Bibliography – 242

Comment:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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