A Century of mathematics in America, by Peter Duren

By Peter Duren

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236-37). In the w ork of Margulis, Lovelock, and Sagan biosphere science rem ains largely propositional and intuitive. O ther theorists, particularly those associ­ ated w ith the sciences of complexity, have developed a m ore solid m ath em at­ ical fram ew ork for thinking thro u g h the dynamics of self-organizing systems. The w ork of Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers (1979, 1984, 1992) in partic­ ular has gone furthest in exploring the implications of biosphere science for understanding the relationship betw een the physical-chemical laws of nature and the specific tem porality of life.

For Schum peter the tim e arrow of innovation is necessarily "convulsive," the unfettered grow th of capital subject to violent booms and busts. Again, it is not surprising to see complexity theorists in the natural sciences, from Prigogine and Stengers (1984, 2 0 7-8) to Kauffman (1995, 296-7), ref­ erencing the w ork of Schum peter as if it provided a m odel for the evolution of life itself. IN D U S T R IA L IS M B E Y O N D TH E L IM IT : B IO R E M E D IA T IO N , ENERGY , F U T U R E S A N D TH E B IO E C O N O M Y A lthough theories of complex biological and economic grow th have largely developed in parallel academic universes, there is one discourse that merges th em together—th at of the bioeconomy.

Yet in place of A dam Smith's principle of equilibrium —the invisible h an d of the self-regulating econom y— they argue th a t econom ies evolve m ost productively in far-from -equilibrium conditions. W hat is neo ab o u t neoliberalism is its tendency to couple the idea of the self-organizing econom y w ith the necessity for continual crisis (a conceptual m ove th at has obvious affinities w ith complexity theory). A first step in this direction was m ade by arch neoliberal theorist Friedrich von Hayek as early as 1969, w h en he decided to trade in his self-organizing equilibrium models of the econom y for biological models of nonlinear developm ent.

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