Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory

In Daniel J. Nicholson & John Dupré (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. pp. 225-245 (2018)
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Abstract

Griffiths and Russell D. Gray (1994, 1997, 2001) have argued that the fundamental unit of analysis in developmental systems theory should be a process – the life cycle – and not a set of developmental resources and interactions between those resources. The key concepts of developmental systems theory, epigenesis and developmental dynamics, both also suggest a process view of the units of development. This chapter explores in more depth the features of developmental systems theory that favour treating processes as fundamental in biology and examines the continuity between developmental systems theory and ideas about process in the work of several major figures in early 20th century biology, most notable C.H Waddington.

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Author Profiles

Paul Edmund Griffiths
University of Sydney
Karola Stotz
Last affiliation: Macquarie University