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Capra Web of Life

Capra Web of Life

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Published by C Dwyer

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Published by: C Dwyer on Jan 30, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Fritjof Capra
The Web of Life
I read this book at first when I was anundergraduate studying economics. It wasfascinating to revisit it after all these years,especially after looking into Complexity andreading some of the other books that I haveencountered about the subject. It was likereading it for the first time
The book is a great history of systems thinking and complexity. Itgoes through all the different schools and iterations of thouightthat came out of the basic ideas. It goes into the social situationsbehind those movements, and how they were backlashes againstnot just science, bu philisophy, economics and socioligy.
The World as a Machine
 Non-material entity
Systems Thinking
An understanding of relationships
Capra's basic theory is a synthesis of the view of the Mechanistsand Vitalists. The mechanists are the old guard of scientists whosee the world as a machine, Newtonian physics and descrateslogic are infalliable. The Vitalists see the world in patterns andshapes, and believe that science and math cannot possibly beused to explain life because there is something else to it, there issome entity that connects the world together. Be it the ego, or theid, or morphogenic fields, they think there is something hiddenbehind the workings of life. Capra says that system thinking is asynthesis of the two. He rejects a vitalist force that controls theworld, and he believes that the webs of relationships are whatmake life possible. He also admits that knowledge of how theindividual parts in the "machine" work is essential to see andunderstand the patterns and relationships.
That being said, all of three of these ways of seeing the world are present in the world today.
Shifts in Thinking
From Parts to WholeFrom Objects to RelationshipsFrom Structure to ProcessFrom Content to Pattern
This has resulted in from major shifts in thinkngabout life.The whole is different from the sum of the individual partsHow do A and B relate and rely oneach other?
evolution, renewal and changeFeedback loops and cycles

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