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Evolution as context-driven actualization of potential: Toward an interdisciplinary theory of change of state


It is increasingly evident that there is more to biological evolution than natural selection; moreover, the concept of evolution is not limited to biology. We propose an integrative framework for characterising how entities evolve, in which evolution is viewed as a process of context-driven actualisation of potential (CAP). Processes of change differ according to the degree of non-determinism, and the degree to which they are sensitive to, internalise and depend upon a particular context. The approach enables us to embed phenomena across disciplines into a broad conceptual framework. We give examples of insights into physics, biology, culture and cognition that derive from this unifying framework.

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