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EmergenceContemporary Readings in Philosophy and Science$
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Mark A. Bedau and Paul Humphreys

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026215

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026215.001.0001

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Ansatz for Dynamical Hierarchies

Ansatz for Dynamical Hierarchies

(p.305) 17 Ansatz for Dynamical Hierarchies

Steen Rasmussen

Nils A. Baas

Bernd Mayer

Martin Nillson

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the dynamical hierarchies in biological systems and molecular systems as well as higher-order dynamical hierarchies. In biological systems, hierarchies with multiple functionalities at different scales can be found everywhere. On the molecular level, novel functionalities can arise in at least two ways: by assembly; and by evolution. The properties associated with each level are generated by the collective dynamics of the elements in these dynamical hierarchies; however, here arises the problem of creating a formal framework for consistently describing such hierarchical systems, with a procedure for moving between levels. It is probably necessary to embrace assembly and evolution as two complementary and equally important aspects of how to generate bio-complexity that can account for the generation and prevalence of dynamical hierarchies in living systems.

Keywords:   dynamical hierarchies, biological systems, molecular systems, hierarchical systems, assembly, evolution, bio-complexity, novel functionalities

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