I use
to refer to a set of concepts, methods, and reformulations of cer-
tain fundamental ideas in biology and the social sciences. The term should
not be taken to imply a congealed party line or to have other connotations
of "theory" more narrowly construed. In chapter
I discuss some of the
considerations involved in delineating the changing groups of people and
ideas that make up such alternative approaches.
Developmental system
has also been used by others for different com-
plexes of ideas, usually in a less formal manner (but see note
As always,
there is the possibility of confusion, but this book should make clear when
a coincidence of terms is just that, and when it signals substantive kinship.
Some of this can be found elsewhere. See van der Weele's
parison of developmental systems theory with process structuralism and
neo-Darwinism, and my
elaboration and extension of her treatment
to include the autopoeisis of Maturana and Varela. There are· also some
brief comments on Gibsonian ecological psychology in Oyama
as well. Fuller treatment of some of these matters
appears in Oyama, Griffiths and Gray (in press) and in the reissue of my
Ontogeny ofInformation
gives a nice description of the basic tenets of what he calls
"constructionism" (what I here term "constructivist interactionism"). Grif-
fiths and Gray
(1994, 1997)
deploy many of them to address some funda-
mental issues in evolutionary biology, and Griffiths
does the same
for the emotions.
For works on developmental biology using a similar view of develop-
ment, see Nijhout
and van der Weele
and to see what it looks
like in molecular biology and genetics, see Moss
and K. C. Smith
The dynamical systems approach, which
has a great deal in common with the one under discussion, is employed by
and Thelen and Smith
in developmental psychology,
and by Hendriks-Jansen
and van Gelder and Port
in cogni-
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