The University of Sussex

Artificial life and historical processes

Ezequiel A. Di Paolo

Artificial Life is partly aimed at understanding the organisation and complexity of living processes. In this paper the concept of a historical process is discussed with the aim of providing a framework with which to approach diverse phenomena in organismic, ecological, and evolutionary contexts. A historical process is such, not because it is subject to contingencies, nor because it may be explained in historical terms, but because it presents a special relation between its dynamics and changes in its own conditions of realisation. Such processes may lead to durable spontaneous patterns and novelty. It is argued that such patterns can provide powerful explanatory tools and that Artificial Life simulation techniques are well fitted for their exploration.

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