Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 141–143 | Cite as

Jan C. Schmidt: Das Andere der Natur. Neue Wege der Naturphilosophie

Hirzel, Stuttgart 2015, 360 pp, €29.40, ISBN: 9783777624105
  • Brigitte Falkenburg
Book review

The volume deals with the “other” side of nature. According to Jan C. Schmidt, this “other” side is instability, an important feature of nature which has long been neglected in the philosophy of nature but has come into focus of scientific research as a consequence of more recent theories of self-organization. According to the traditional rationalist paradigm of the modern era (Descartes, Newton), nature is governed by laws of physics which create order and stability in the universe. But, as we know today, the order and stability of many complex systems originates in processes of self-organization in which non-linear thermodynamics, chaos, and chance play a vital role. According to Schmidt this means that natural processes which create order are based on instabilities.

The volume combines a history of instability (or better: of our understanding of instability) with the systematic analysis of the role of instabilities in processes of self-organization. Its topics range from traditional...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Philosophy and Political Science, Faculty 14Technische Universität DortmundDortmundGermany

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