Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 20, Issue 2–3, pp 409–416 | Cite as

DDS: Dynamics of Developmental Systems

  • Evelyn Fox Keller


The acronym Developmental systems theory (DST) has been introduced into the literature on development in at least three different contexts in recent years – twice for DST, and before that, for Dynamical Systems Theory – and in all cases, to designate a new perspective for understanding development. Subtle but significant differences in argument and aims distinguish these uses, and confound the difficulty of saying just what DST is. My aim in this paper is to disambiguate these different terms – both to call attention to the difference of perspectives, and to carve out a conceptual space for the concrete issues at stake.

Key words:

Development Developmental systems theory Dynamical systems theory Epigenesis Inheritance Non-linear systems 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program in Science, Technology, and Society, MIT; Minnesota Center for the Philosophy of ScienceUMNUSA

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