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**These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"**

Prigogine's bifurcation theory is a descendent of the theory of stability
initiated by the Russian mathematician Aleksander Lyapounov. Thom's catastrophe theory is a
particular case of bifurcation theory, so they all belong to the same family.
They all elaborate on the same theorem, namely Lyapounov's theorem of 1892: for
isolated systems, thermodynamic equilibrium is an attractor of nonequilibrium
states. Then the story unfolds,
leading to dissipative systems and eventually to the reversing of
Thermodynamics' fundamental assumption, the destruction of structure. Order
emerges from the very premises that seem to deny it. Back to the beginning of the chapter "Self-organization and the Science of Emergence" | Back to the index of all chapters |