Reviews

“Alexander has written a book of dazzling sparkle, charm and intellectual range. Her eleven chapters in The Biologist’s Mistress make an easy tour through some very difficult terrain, and always one is aware of a sturdy armature of argument, lightly carried.”  –Angus Fletcher, author of New Theory for American Poetry and Time, Space and Motion in the Age of Shakespeare.

“In The Biologist’s Mistress, Alexander has achieved something so remarkable that one might have been thought impossible before reading her new book. She has persuasively shown how the notion of teleology, reinterpreted in the light of both complexity theory and Peircian semiotics, can illuminate aspects of the novelty producing core of creative process and art-making that had long remained obscure and inaccessible.” –Jeffrey Goldstein

This “very personal inquiry into creativity, as apprehended by way of teleology with its historical depth reconceives final cause in connection with the process of self-organization, …bridging the ‘two cultures,’ and allowing cross reflection between them.” –Stanley Salthe, author of Development and Evolution and Evolving Hierarchical Systems.

“Looking at the role of purpose in art and life, The Biologist’s Mistress should strongly appeal to those interested in the dovetailing of the sciences and the arts, and especially those enthralled by literary criticism and the craft of fiction. In the end it is a kind of modern artistic manifesto, telling us what we’ve been missing and why.”–Dorion Sagan, co-author of Microcosmos and Into the Cool.

“Alexander has an uncanny way of anticipating critical artistic concerns – how much of what we produce is directed, and how much owes to chance? – and then rephrasing the issues in ways that illuminate and promote creativity itself.” –Ellen K. Levy, visual artist, past President of the College Art Association, and co-organizer (2002) of a traveling exhibition, Complexity.

Victoria N. Alexander “has refined a fresh and roundabout style of exposition building to a strong and coherent argument. With winningly explicit self-awareness and seasoned conviction conveyed in a plainspoken and lively conversational tone, she has come out swinging at ‘postmodernist’ idols of both the intellectual and the artistic marketplace. Her thesis is original and entirely stimulating. As I understand, it is that the modern evacuation of teleology—the loss of a properly understood and hence secular notion of purposiveness in both nature and art—has led to an impoverished postmodern sensibility…” —Bruce Clarke, co-editor of  Emergence and Embodiment: New Essays on Second-Order Systems TheoryReview in Configurations

“I’m thrilled! Someone from the humanities, using the methods of the humanities, illustrates how practitioners of the humanities can find new meaning through a radical joining of art and science. Along the way Dr. Alexander lays out her prescription for the meaning of evolution. This is a wonderful example of what this site was set up for, to celebrate and encourage new thinking in evolution.” —Shaun Johnson, Evolution for the Humanities


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