4 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2023
    1. The notion of functional integration as a basis for biological identity was fully developed only in the 19th century, where it was transformed by the rise of both cell and evolutionary theory. Herbert Spencer
      • Herbert Spencer fully developed Digby's concept into the modern concept of functional integration
        • Spencer introduced the term "survival of the fittest"
        • ‘He tried to unite complex new findings about metabolism and organismic development with evolution and the seeming correspondence of organisms to their environments.
          • In The Principles of Biology (1864), Spencer wrote
            • a biological individual is one in which
            • the interdependence of the parts allows it to function and
            • respond to environmental change as a whole.
          • That is: ‘any concrete whole having a structure which enables it,
            • when placed in appropriate conditions,
        • to continuously adjust its internal relations to external relations, - so as to maintain the equilibrium of its functions.’
  2. Jan 2023
    1. Kropotkin’s actual argument is far more interesting. Much of it, for instance, is concerned with how animal cooperation often has nothing to do with survival or reproduction, but is a form of pleasure in itself. “To take flight in flocks merely for pleasure is quite common among all sorts of birds,” he writes. Kropotkin multiplies examples of social play: pairs of vultures wheeling about for their own entertainment, hares so keen to box with other species that they occasionally (and unwisely) approach foxes, flocks of birds performing military-style maneuvers, bands of squirrels coming together for wrestling and similar games

      Perhaps play helps to provide social lubrication, communication, and bonding between animals which may help in creating cooperation which improves survival or reproduction?

    2. Spencer, in turn, was struck by how much the forces driving natural selection in On the Origin of Species jibed with his own laissez-faire economic theories. Competition over resources, rational calculation of advantage, and the gradual extinction of the weak were taken to be the prime directives of the universe.
  3. Nov 2022
    1. the phrase “survival of the fittest” — usually considered central to the theory and often attributed to Darwin — instead came from British philosopher Herbert Spencer, and didn't appear until the fifth edition of the text.