Origins of Order in Evolution: Self-Organization and Selection

  • Stuart A. Kauffman
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 130)


This article is written as a prolegomena, both to a research program, and a forthcoming book discussing the same issues in greater detail (Kauffman, 1991). The suspicion that evolutionary theory needs broadening is widespread. To accomplish this, however, will not be easy. The new framework I shall discuss here grows out of the realization that complex systems of many kinds exhibit high spontaneous order. This implies that such order is available to evolution and selective forces for further molding. But it also implies, quite profoundly, that the spontaneous order in such systems may enable, guide and limit selection. Therefore, the spontaneous order in complex systems implies that selection may not be the sole source of order in organisms, and that we must invent a new theory of evolution which encompasses the marriage of selection and self-organization.


Local Optimum Boolean Function Fitness Landscape Spontaneous Order Adaptive Landscape 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart A. Kauffman
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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