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Hardcover | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780262150538 | 392 pp. | 7 x 9 in | April 2001
Paperback | $37.00 Short | £27.95 | ISBN: 9780262650632 | 392 pp. | 7 x 9 in | January 2003

Essential Info

Cycles of Contingency

Developmental Systems and Evolution


The nature/nurture debate is not dead. Dichotomous views of development still underlie many fundamental debates in the biological and social sciences. Developmental systems theory (DST) offers a new conceptual framework with which to resolve such debates. DST views ontogeny as contingent cycles of interaction among a varied set of developmental resources, no one of which controls the process. These factors include DNA, cellular and organismic structure, and social and ecological interactions. DST has excited interest from a wide range of researchers, from molecular biologists to anthropologists, because of its ability to integrate evolutionary theory and other disciplines without falling into traditional oppositions.The book provides historical background to DST, recent theoretical findings on the mechanisms of heredity, applications of the DST framework to behavioral development, implications of DST for the philosophy of biology, and critical reactions to DST.

About the Editors

Susan Oyama is Professor of Psychology, Emerita, at

John Jay College, and at the CUNY Graduate Center, New York City.

Russell D. Gray is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the

University of Auckland.

Paul E. Griffiths is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh.