Ulanowicz’s Process Ecology, Duality and Emergent Deism

DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.33062   PDF   HTML     3,474 Downloads   4,548 Views   Citations


The different forms of duality in Robert Ulanowicz’s (2009) book A Third Window are compared to the notion of neo-duality found in Logan and Schumann (2005). The influence of Heraclitus on the formulation Ulanowicz’ duality is described. It is argued that the origin of language, which led to conceptualization and emotional intelligence, also gave rise to human spirituality, cooperation and altruism all of which contributed to human survival. The four mysteries of the existence of 1) matter/energy, 2) life, 3) human intelligence, and 4) human spirituality are identified. It is suggested that physics and chemistry deal with mystery number one; that Ulanowicz’s process ecology describes mystery number two and the relation of life to energy/matter. Mystery number three entails process ecology and consideration of the effects of language. The emergence of the fourth mystery of spirituality and/or a belief in God is shown to have emerged from two uniquely human attributes, namely the abstract form of language-based intelligence and altruism. It is suggested rather than as an agent that influences events in the universe God, an idea that arises in the minds of humankind as a metaphor of all that is good in humankind.

Share and Cite:

Logan, R. (2013). Ulanowicz’s Process Ecology, Duality and Emergent Deism. Open Journal of Philosophy, 3, 422-428. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.33062.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Deacon, T. (2012). Incomplete nature: How mind emerged from matter. New York: Norton.
[2] Diamond, J. (2007). Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed. New York: Penguin Books.
[3] Elasser, W. M. (1969). A causal phenomena in physics and biology: A case for reconstruction. American Scientist, 57, 502-516.
[4] Elasser, W. M. (1981). A form of logic suited for biology. In R. Rosen (Ed.), Progress in theoretical biology (pp. 23-62). New York: Aca demic Press.
[5] Kauffman, S. (2010). Reinventing the sacred: A new view of science. New York: Basic Books.
[6] Logan, R. K. (2000). The extended mind: understanding language and thought in terms of complexity and chaos theory. In L. Strate (Ed.), 2000 Communication and speech annual (pp. 63-80). New York: The New York State Communication Association.
[7] Logan, R. K. (2006). Neo-dualism and the bifurcation of the sym bolosphere into the mediasphere and the human mind. Semiotica, 160, 229-242.
[8] Logan, R. K. (2007). The extended mind: the emergence of language, the human mind and culture. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
[9] Logan, R. K. (2010). Understanding new media: Extending Marshall McLuhan. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
[10] Logan, R. K. (2013a forthcoming). McLuhan misunderstood: Setting the record straight. Toronto: The Key Publishing House.
[11] Logan, R. K. (2013b forthcoming). What is information? Toronto: DEMO Publishing. doi:10.1515/semi.2005.2005.155.1part4.201
[12] Logan, R. K., & Schumann, J. (2005). The symbolosphere, conceptu alization, language and neo-dualism. Semiotica, 155, 201-214.
[13] McLuhan, M., & Logan, R. K. (1977). Alphabet, mother of invention. Et Cetera, 34, 373-383.
[14] Merton, R. K. (1968). Ch. 3: The self-fulfilling prophecy. In Social theory and social structure (2nd ed.) (pp. 475-490). New York: Free Press.
[15] Thomas, W. I., & Thomas, D. S. (1928). The child in America: Behav ior problems and programs. New York: Knopf.
[16] Ulanowicz, R. E. (1991). The ecosystem structure of Lake Annie, High lands County, Florida: Preliminary research needs. http://www.archbold-station.org/station/documents/publicationspdf/Ulanowicz-1991-LkAnnie-visinvrep.pdf
[17] Ulanowicz, R. E. (2009). A third window: Natural life beyond Newton and Darwin. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Foundation Press.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.