LEVELS OF ANALYSIS


Oyama: The Ontogeny of Information

Incongruities across levels of analysis - if we aquestion an assumption for one level we must question it across all levels (p. 19).

Biological, psychological, social, and cultural are related as levels of analysis, not as alternative causes (p. 81).

"Biological" reasoning - often collapses levels of analysis to biological. Distinctions between individual conduct (motivation) and institutions or customs are ignored - new phantom levels are created (e.g. genetic), deduced but not actually seen. Reducing institutions to sets of "rules" shared by members (p. 99).

The strange relation between the biological and social sciences. Some portions of the higher ones are considered really the province of the lower ones. Some things are genetically determined and others learned (p. 114).

Shifting among levels of analysis is not to be conceived, then, as movement along some axis defining degrees of essential reality or causal primacy, but rather as choice of dimensions along which a complex reality is constituted (p. 145).

Disciplines as complementary (structured on levels?). Alternative paths to understanding. Multi-level analysis for coordinating inquiry. Difficult question - the identification of legitimate levels (p. 154).

Distinguishing questions of developmental state (early appearance, presence at birth) from questions of uniformity within individuals (stability, stereotypy) or across individuals (universality), and keeping these separate from the question of levels of analysis (p. 158).

Confusing the relationship of biological and psychological with that of cause and effect (p. 167).

Information as dispersed across levels (p. 177).





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E-Mail: Laurence E. Heglar, PhD