Evolution of an idea

The concept of evolution has been applied, not only to biology, but to numerous other fields as well. In various disciplines, both the study of the history of technology and the history of philosophy, the concept is invoked to structure the successive changes in a technology, a concept, or the thinking of an individual philosopher over the course of his work. Selective Evolution has also been proposed as a means by which ideas propagate, spread and change (See Meme, History of philosophy, History of technology, Philosophy of science).

In general use, evolution in this context refers to theories which identify, and then connect, the discrete steps involved in the process of change from original idea, to its stable form, for example, the first telephone used a different process for converting sound into electricity than the first commercial phone, this step would be part of the telephone's evolution.

The evolution of an idea or concepts should be further analyzed. Changes occur due to specifiable types of stimulus or input during the analytical process; these changes occur along specifiable dementions.

Types of input may include outside information supplied by another thinker external to one's mind, or the realization of a flaw on one's own due to an inherent contradiction or paradox. Changes can also occur seemingly spontaneously, during the evolution of an idea one can receive "inspiration" from various sources that are often seemingly unspecifiable.

Changes can happen to the overall way an idea is structured. One may realize that a simple rearrangement can shed light that seems to fill an invisible void. Changes can occur to specific elements of the idea, some specific component of a conceptual construct can sometimes be altered to be more specific or more broad, or even completely different without disturbing the overall structure, but changing the understanding that the pattern conveys in a beneficial or detrimental way.

Key thinkers in the use of evolution of ideas include Hegel, Karl Popper, Richard Dawkins, Thomas Kuhn and Michael Pratt.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Evolution of ageing — Enquiry into the evolution of ageing aims to explain why almost all living things weaken and die with age. There is not yet agreement in the scientific community on a single answer. The evolutionary origin of senescence remains a fundamental… …   Wikipedia

  • Evolution of mammals — Restoration of Thrinaxodon, a member of the cynodont group, which includes the ancestors of mammals Further information: Evolutionary history of life The evolution of mammals within the synapsid lineage (sometimes called mammal like reptiles )… …   Wikipedia

  • Evolution of biological complexity — Part of the Biology series on Evolution Mechanisms and processes Adaptation Genetic drift Gene flow Mutation Selection Speciation …   Wikipedia

  • Evolution of complexity — The evolution of complexity is an important outcome of the process of evolution. Evolution has produced some remarkably complex organisms although this feature is hard to measure accurately in biology, with properties such as gene content, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Evolution of the Daleks — Doctorwhobox number=186b serial name=Evolution of the Daleks show=DW caption=The Daleks prepare to create human hybrids.cite episode | title = Evolution of the Daleks | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Helen Raynor, Director James Strong,… …   Wikipedia

  • Evolution of the horse — This image shows a representative sequence but should not be construed to represent a straight line evolution of the horse. Reconstruction, left forefoot skeleton (third digit emphasized yellow) and longitudinal section of molars of selected… …   Wikipedia

  • Evolution of flagella — The evolution of flagella is of great interest to biologists because the three known varieties of flagella (eukaryotic, bacterial, and archaebacterial) each represent an extremely sophisticated cellular structure that requires the interaction of… …   Wikipedia

  • Formation and evolution of the Solar System — Artist s conception of a protoplanetary disk The formation and evolution of the Solar System is estimated to have begun 4.568 billion years ago with the gravitational collapse of a small part of a giant molecular cloud …   Wikipedia

  • The Evolution of Physics — The Evolution of Physics: From Early Concept to Relativity and Quanta (1938) is a book by Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld. It was originally published by Cambridge University Press.ContentsThe book has four chapters, each with eight or more… …   Wikipedia

  • Evolution (term) — Evolution is a term with many meanings. For instance, Merriam Webster lists biological evolution as one meaning out of a total of six.Evolution is not exclusively a term of biology. There are also evolutionary economics, evolution of languages,… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”