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The Ontogeny of Information


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Table of Contents

Foreword / Richard Lewontin
Preface to Second Edition
The Origin and Transmission of Form: The Gene as the Vehicle of Constancy

The Problem of Change

Variability and Ontogenetic Differentiation

Variations on a Theme: Cognitive Metaphors and the Homunculoid Gene

The Ghosts in the Ghost-in-the-Machine Machine

The Ontogeny of Information


Afterword to Second Edition



Index of Names

Index of Subject

Promotional Information

In this work, the author attempts to complicate certain conventional dichotomies (particularly the nature/nurture split) that she believes impede scientific inquiry and thought about individual development, and to untangle the often subtle assumptions embedded in socio-biological theory.

About the Author

Susan Oyama is Professor of Psychology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, as well as in the Subprogram in Developmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center.


"The publication of this revised edition of The Ontogeny of Information is timely and welcome, especially given the current dominance of simplistic views about genetic causation, aided by constant misuse of the ideas of information, coding, and programming. Oyama's classic discussion of these concepts combines patient, subtle dissection with bold and novel moves. The Ontogeny of Information is a work of brilliant originality and enduring relevance."- Peter Godfrey-Smith, Stanford University "This is among the most important books on developmental theory published in the last several decades. It continues to be cited regularly in work from several different disciplines, including developmental biology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and psychology."- Robert Lickliter, Virginia Polytechnic Institute "It is no exaggeration to claim that [Oyama] has resolved the nature-nurture dispute and provided an altogether new vision of the processes of development and evolution."- Peter Klopfer, Duke University

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