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Название: Mathematical Models of Morphogenesis (Mathematics and Its Applications)
Автор: Thom R.
The English language reader knows Catastrophe Theory principally through the books of Zceman. Poston and Stewart, and Gillniore (see below). All these works, particularly the last two, are inclined to give C. T. a utilitarian aspect. Reading the present collection of papers, he will be struck by a palpably different viewpoint, at once more speculative and philosophical, and hence, less preoccupied with pragmatic results. The reader will consequently be in a position to ask himself whether the considerations offered here are susceptible of experimental verification, or even whether they are true. I must admit that the problem of truthf has not concerned me directly. I am, however, convinced of one point: as well as the truth of a theory,orof a model,one must also consider its interest. If we are to believe Karl Popper, psychoanalysis is not 'falsifiable', and hence must be placed outside science. And yet psychoanalysis offers infinitely more interest than many scientific theories whose truth is indisputably assured. It is in this spirit that I offer here these models, not so much as testable hypotheses or as experimentally controllable models but as a stimulus to the imagination which leads to the exercise of thought and thus an increase in our understanding of the world and of man. The papers translated here date from 1967 to 1981. Many of them might well be revised in the light of our present perspective. It is for this reason that each is preceded by a short introduction which sets them in the context of contemporary problematics, such as I conceive this to be. It is my aim and my hope that my readers might find, in discovering these models, even a small part of the pleasure that I felt myself in conceiving them. Rene Thorn
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