Preview of My Textbook

My forthcoming book is the realization of a dream I have had for many years. It is a multidisciplinary textbook, coauthored with my friend and colleague Pier Luigi Luisi, Professor of Biology at the University of Rome, and to be published by Cambridge University Press in April 2014.

In this book, titled The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision, we present a coherent systemic framework that integrates four dimensions of life: the biological, the cognitive, the social, and the ecological dimension; and we discuss the philosophical, social, and political implications of this unifying vision.

SystemsView_400x550To write this book, I went through all my previous books, collected the relevant passages, updated and modified them as appropriate for an undergraduate textbook, and added many new passages in collaboration with my coauthor. So, for me this book is a summary of my work as a writer over the past forty years.

We believe that it will be critical for present and future generations of young students and researchers to understand the new systemic conception of life and its implications for a broad range of professions — from economics, management, and politics, to medicine, psychology, and law. In addition, the book will be useful for undergraduate students in the life sciences and the humanities.

The book offers a broad sweep through the history of ideas and across scientific disciplines. Beginning with the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution, the historical account includes the evolution of Cartesian mechanism from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, the rise of systems thinking, the development of complexity theory, recent discoveries at the forefront of biology, the emergence of the systems view of life at the turn of this century, and its economic, ecological, political, and spiritual implications.