Science & Education

, Volume 24, Issue 9–10, pp 1257–1262 | Cite as

Is Increasing Autonomy a Factor of Evolution?

B. Rosslenbroich (ed) (2014) On the Origin of Autonomy: A New Look at the Major Transitions in Evolution. Springer, Heidelberg, ISBN: 978-3-319-04140-7, 297 pp, $129 (hardback)
  • Arantza Etxeberria
Book Review


Bernd Rosslenbroich contends that the physiology of living organisms changes in the course of evolution towards more autonomy. The more autonomous an organism is, the more its organization and processes are determined by the system itself and the less they are disturbed by the environment. For the most part, examples of unicellular bacteria and animals are considered in this book, which examines the conceptual challenges and the factual aspects related to the hypothesis of increasing autonomy in evolution. After referring to the contents and the line of reasoning of the book, this review will raise the question of how to understand autonomy; in particular, in what sense it may be considered that its increase is a factor of evolution.

Traditions in science are largely characterized by the questions they ask. A usual question to frame the work of evolutionary biology has been: “What changes in evolution?” According to the received view of the field, it is the gene...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Logic and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of the Basque Country UPV/EHUDonostia-San SebastiánSpain

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