The Self-Reproducing System

  • W. Ross Ashby
Part of the International Federation for Systems Research International Series on Systems Science and Engineering book series (IFSR, volume 7)


High among the interesting phenomena of organization shown by life is that of reproduction. We are naturally led to ask. How can a system reproduce itself? And we go headlong into a semantic trap unless we proceed cautiously. In fact, the answer to the question, “How does the living organism reproduce itself?” is “It doesn’t.”


Decimal Number Biological World Dynamic Drive Model Maker Generalize Dynamic System 
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  1. 1.
    W. Ross Ashby, Principles of the Self-organizing System, Symposium on Self-organizing Systems, University of Illinois, June 7–10, 1960, Pergamon Press, 1962.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. Rosen, “On a Logical Paradox Implicit in the Notion of a Self-reproducing Automaton,” Bull. Math. Biophysics, Vol. 21, pp. 387–394, 1959.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    G. Sommerhoff, Analytical Biology, Oxford University Press, London, 1950.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Ross Ashby

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