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  1. W. E. Agar (1948). The Wholeness of the Living Organism. Philosophy of Science 15 (3):179-191.
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  2. Per Erik Ahlberg (1999). Life on Earth. Bioessays 21 (6):533-533.
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  3. Rolf Ahlers (2003). Vitalism and System. Idealistic Studies 33 (1):83-113.
    This paper thematizes the crucial agreement and point of departure between Jacobi and Fichte at the height of the “atheism controversy.” The argument on the proper relationship between philosophy and existence or speculation and life had far-reaching consequences in the history of thought after Jacobi and Fichte in German Idealism on the one hand, primarly advocated by Schelling and Hegel, and on the other hand by existentialism and vitalism. The essay focuses first on Jacobi’s philosophy of life, which centrally influenced (...)
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  4. Gerard A. J. M. Jagers op Akkerhuis (2010). Towards a Hierarchical Definition of Life, the Organism, and Death. Foundations of Science 15 (3):245-262.
    Despite hundreds of definitions, no consensus exists on a definition of life or on the closely related and problematic definitions of the organism and death. These problems retard practical and theoretical development in, for example, exobiology, artificial life, biology and evolution. This paper suggests improving this situation by basing definitions on a theory of a generalized particle hierarchy. This theory uses the common denominator of the “operator” for a unified ranking of both particles and organisms, from elementary particles to animals (...)
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  5. Gerard Jagers op Akkerhuis (2011). Explaining the Origin of Life is Not Enough for a Definition of Life. Foundations of Science 16 (4):327-329.
    The comments focus on a presumed circular reasoning in the operator hierarchy and the necessity of understanding life’s origin for defining life. Below it is shown that its layered structure prevents the operator hierarchy from circular definitions. It is argued that the origin of life is an insufficient basis for a definition of life that includes multicellular and neural network organisms.
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  6. John C. Baez (1989). Is Life Improbable? Foundations of Physics 19 (1):91-95.
    E. P. Wigner's argument that the probability of the existence of self-reproducing units, e.g., organisms, is zero according to standard quantum theory is stated and analyzed. Theorems are presented which indicate that Wigner's mathematical result in fact should not be interpreted as asserting the improbability of self-reproducing units.
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  7. Christiane Bailey (2011). Kinds of Life. On the Phenomenological Basis of the Distinction Between Higher and Lower Animals. Journal of Environmental Philosophy 8 (2):47-68.
    Drawing upon Husserl and Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological constitution of the Other through Einfülhung, I argue that the hierarchical distinction between higher and lower animals – which has been dismissed by Heidegger for being anthropocentric – must not be conceived as an objective distinction between “primitive” animals and “more evolved” ones, but rather corresponds to a phenomenological distinction between familiar and unfamiliar animals.
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  8. Christiane Bailey (2011). The Genesis of Existentials in Animal Life: Heidegger's Appropriation of Aristotle's Ontology of Life. Heidegger Circle Proceedings 1 (1):199-212.
    Paper presented at the Heidegger Circle 2011. Although Aristotle’s influence on young Heidegger’s thought has been studied at length, such studies have almost exclusively focused on his interpretation of Aristotle’s ethics, physics and metaphysics. I will rather address Heidegger’s appropriation of Aristotle’s ontology of life. Focusing on recently published or recently translated courses of the mid 20’s (mainly SS 1924, WS 1925-26 and SS 1926), I hope to uncover an important aspect of young Heidegger’s thought left unconsidered: namely, that Dasein’s (...)
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  9. Renaud Barbaras (2008). Life, Movement, and Desire. Research in Phenomenology 38 (1):3-17.
    In French, the verb "to live" designates both being alive and the experience of something. This ambiguity has a philosophical meaning. The task of a phenomenology of life is to describe an originary sense of living from which the very distinction between life in the intransitive sense and life in the transitive, or intentional, sense proceeds. Hans Jonas is one of those rare authors who has tried to give an account of the specificity of life instead of reducing life to (...)
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  10. Peter W. Barlow (1992). A Constant of Temporal Structure in the Human Hierarchy and Other Systems. Acta Biotheoretica 40 (4).
    The levels that compose biological hierarchies each have their own energetic, spatial and temporal structure. Indeed, it is the discontinuity in energy relationships between levels, as well as the similarity of sub-systems that support them, that permits levels to be defined. In this paper, the temporal structure of living hierarchies, in particular that pertaining to Human society, is examined. Consideration is given to the period defining the lifespan of entities at each level and to a periodic event considered fundamental to (...)
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  11. Gérard Battail (2011). An Answer to Schrödinger's What is Life? Biosemiotics 4 (1):55-67.
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  12. Timothy M. Beardsley (2013). Life 2.0: Researchers Close in on the Ultimate Chicken-or-Egg Question. BioScience 63 (3):157-163.
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  13. Mark Bedau (ed.) (2010). The Nature of Life: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives From Philosophy and Science. Cambridge University Press.
    Bringing together the latest scientific advances and some of the most enduring subtle philosophical puzzles and problems, this book collects original historical and contemporary sources to explore the wide range of issues surrounding the nature of life. Selections ranging from Aristotle and Descartes to Sagan and Dawkins are organised around four broad themes covering classical discussions of life, the origins and extent of natural life, contemporary artificial life creations and the definition and meaning of 'life' in its most general form. (...)
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  14. Mark A. Bedau (2012). A Functional Account of Degrees of Minimal Chemical Life. Synthese 185 (1):73-88.
    This paper describes and defends the view that minimal chemical life essentially involves the chemical integration of three chemical functionalities: containment, metabolism, and program (Rasmussen et al. in Protocells: bridging nonliving and living matter, 2009a ). This view is illustrated and explained with the help of CMP and Rasmussen diagrams (Rasmussen et al. In: Rasmussen et al. (eds.) in Protocells: bridging nonliving and living matter, 71–100, 2009b ), both of which represent the key chemical functional dependencies among containment, metabolism, and (...)
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  15. Josef Berger (1976). The Genetic Code and the Origin of Life. Acta Biotheoretica 25 (4).
    The problem of the origin of life understandably counts as one of the most exciting questions in the natural sciences, but in spite of almost endless speculation on this subject, it is still far from its final solution. The complexity of the functional correlation between recent nucleic acids and proteins can e.g. give rise to the assumption that the genetic code (and life) could not originate on the Earth. It was Portelli (1975) who published the hypothesis that the genetic code (...)
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  16. Constance M. Bertka (ed.) (2009). Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life: Philosophical, Ethical, and Theological Perspectives. Cambridge University Press.
    Machine generated contents note: 1. Astrobiology in societal context Constance Bertka; Part I. Origin of Life: 2. Emergence and the experimental pursuit of the origin of life Robert Hazen; 3. From Aristotle to Darwin, to Freeman Dyson: changing definitions of life viewed in historical context James Strick; 4. Philosophical aspects of the origin-of-life problem: the emergence of life and the nature of science Iris Fry; 5. The origin of terrestrial life: a Christian perspective Ernan McMullin; 6. The alpha and the (...)
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  17. Harry Binswanger (1992). Life-Based Teleology and the Foundations of Ethics. The Monist 75 (1):84-103.
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  18. Charles Birch (1981). The Liberation of Life: From the Cell to the Community. Cambridge University Press.
    This book is about the liberation of the concept of life from the bondage fashioned by the interpreters of life ever since biology began, and about the liberation of the life of humans and non-humans alike from the bondage of social structures and behaviour, which now threatens the fullness of life's possibilities if not survival itself. It falls into a tradition of writings about human problems from a perspective informed by biology. It rejects the mechanistic model of life dominant in (...)
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  19. Carlos Blanco (2013). Life, Inwardness and Struggle. The Definition of Life in the Thought of H. Plessner and H. Jonas. Ideas Y Valores 62 (151):129-141.
    El objetivo de este artículo es examinar la definición de "vida" en el pensamiento de Helmut Plessner y de Hans Jonas, para, con base en las evidencias biológicas y las reflexiones de estos autores, plantear la pregunta por las categorías fundamentales que diferencian lo vital de lo inerte, que son, a nuestro juicio, tres: la célula como unidad estructural y funcional, la transmisión de información genética, y la evolución por selección natural. The objective of the article is to explore the (...)
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  20. Wilhelm Blasius (1976). Problems of Life Research: Physiological Analyses and Phenomenological Interpretations. Springer-Verlag.
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  21. Niels Bohr (1958/2010). Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge. New York, Wiley.
    These articles and speeches by the Nobel Prize-winning physicist date from 1934 to 1958. Rather than expositions on quantum physics, the papers are philosophical in nature, exploring the relevance of atomic physics to many areas of human endeavor. Includes an essay in which Bohr and Einstein discuss quantum and_wave equation theories. 1961 edition.
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  22. A. Brack (2003). Origin and Early Evolution of Life, Tom Fenchel and Life Evolving, Christian de Duve. Bioessays 25 (11):1139-1140.
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  23. André Brack (2003). Book Reviews: Origin and Early Evolution of Life & Life Evolving. Bioessays 25 (11):1139-1140.
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  24. Horace James Bridges (1928/1969). Taking the Name of Science in Vain. Freeport, N.Y.,Books for Libraries Press.
    TAKING THE NAME OF SCIENCE IN VAIN CHAPTER I THE MEANING OF LIFE AND ITS VALUES 1. THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PRESENT DISCONTENTS He in whose honor these ...
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  25. Joanne M. Britto, David Tannahill & Roger J. Keynes (2000). Life, Death and Sonic Hedgehog. Bioessays 22 (6):499-502.
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  26. Nicolas J. Bullot (forthcoming). Agent Tracking: A Psycho-Historical Theory of the Identification of Living and Social Agents. Biology and Philosophy:1-24.
    To explain agent-identification behaviours, universalist theories in the biological and cognitive sciences have posited mental mechanisms thought to be universal to all humans, such as agent detection and face recognition mechanisms. These universalist theories have paid little attention to how particular sociocultural or historical contexts interact with the psychobiological processes of agent-identification. In contrast to universalist theories, contextualist theories appeal to particular historical and sociocultural contexts for explaining agent-identification. Contextualist theories tend to adopt idiographic methods aimed at recording the heterogeneity (...)
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  27. George Bosworth Burch (1951). The Nature of Life. Review of Metaphysics 5 (1):1 - 10.
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  28. Antony W. Burgess (1989). Life After LIF? Bioessays 10 (5):166-169.
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  29. R. C. Carrier (2004). The Argument From Biogenesis: Probabilities Against a Natural Origin of Life. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 19 (5):739-764.
    No evidence exists that the accidental origin of life is too improbable to have occurred naturally, but there are numerous attempts to argue so. Dizzying statistics are cited to show that a god had to be responsible. This paper identifies the Argument from Biogenesis, then explains why all these arguments so far fail, and what would actually have to be done to make such an argument succeed. Describes seven general types of error, with examples. Includes a table of forty-seven statistics (...)
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  30. S. Chadarevian (2002). Reconstructing Life. Molecular Biology in Postwar Britain. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (3):431-448.
    The Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (formerly the Medical Research Council Unit for the Study of Molecular Structure of Biological Systems) in Cambridge (England) played a key role in the postwar history of molecular biology. The paper, focussing on the early history of the institution, aims to show that the creation of the laboratory and the making of molecular biology were part of a new scientific culture set in place after World War II. In five interlinked parts it (...)
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  31. Marc Champagne (2011). Axiomatizing Umwelt Normativity. Sign Systems Studies 39 (11):9-59.
    Prompted by the thesis that an organism’s umwelt possesses not just a descriptive dimension, but a normative one as well, some have sought to annex semiotics with ethics. Yet the pronouncements made in this vein have consisted mainly in rehearsing accepted moral intuitions, and have failed to concretely further our knowledge of why or how a creature comes to order objects in its environment in accordance with axiological charges of value or disvalue. For want of a more explicit account, theorists (...)
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  32. Marc Champagne (2009). A Note on M. Barbieri's "Scientific Biosemiotics&Quot;. American Journal of Semiotics 25 (1-2):155-161.
    A densely-packed critique of some current trends in semiotics.
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  33. Tom Cheetham (1993). The Forms of Life: Complexity, History, and Actuality. Environmental Ethics 15 (4):293-311.
    A fundamental misapprehension of the nature of our being in the world underlies the general inhumanity and incoherence of modern culture. The belief that abstraction as a mode of knowing can be universalized to provide a rational ground for all human knowledge and action is a pernicious and unacknowledged background to several modern diseases. Illustrative of these maladies is the seeming dichotomy between the aesthetic and the analytic approaches to nature. One critical arena in which the incoherences of our current (...)
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  34. Ruth García Chico & José Luis González Recio (2009). Life in Three Dimensions, or, The Well-Tempered Biological Space. In González Recio & José Luis (eds.), Philosophical Essays on Physics and Biology. G. Olms.
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  35. Jui-Pi Chien (2004). Schema as Both the Key to and the Puzzle of Life. Sign Systems Studies 32 (1-2):187-207.
    Jakob von Uexküll’s problematic is manifested in his paradoxical portraiture of form within the plan of nature: the one a sensual schema and the other a transsensual ideal form. At first sight, Uexküll’s belief in the Platonic and the Reformational notions of the immobile becoming of form seems to be a resignation from the heated debates among his contemporary materialists, vitalists, dynamists, and evolutionists. However, in terms of the Kantian subjective teleology, Uexküll’s appropriation of the ancient philosophy reinstates the invisible, (...)
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  36. Carol E. Cleland (2013). Is a General Theory of Life Possible? Seeking the Nature of Life in the Context of a Single Example. Biological Theory 7 (4):368-379.
    Is one of the roles of theory in biology answering the question “What is life?” This is true of theory in many other fields of science. So why should not it be the case for biology? Yet efforts to identify unifying concepts and principles of life have been disappointing, leading some (pluralists) to conclude that life is not a natural kind. In this essay I argue that such judgments are premature. Life as we know it on Earth today represents a (...)
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  37. Athel Cornish-Bowden, Gabriel Piedrafita, Federico Morán, María Luz Cárdenas & Francisco Montero (2013). Simulating a Model of Metabolic Closure. Biological Theory 8 (4):383-390.
    The goal of synthetic biology is to create artificial organisms. To achieve this it is essential to understand what life is. Metabolism-replacement systems, or (M, R)-systems, constitute a theory of life developed by Robert Rosen, characterized in the statement that organisms are closed to efficient causation, which means that they must themselves produce all the catalysts they need. This theory overlaps in part with other current theories, including autopoiesis, the chemoton, and autocatalytic sets, all of them invoking some idea of (...)
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  38. D. A. Cowan (1999). Life at the Edge. Bioessays 21 (4):362-362.
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  39. Antoine Danchin (2007). Archives or Palimpsests? Bacterial Genomes Unveil a Scenario for the Origin of Life. Biological Theory 2 (1):52-61.
    The three processes needed to create life, compartmentalization, metabolism, and information transfer (memory stored in nucleic acids and manipulation operated by proteins) are embedded in organized genome features. The core of life puts together growth and maintenance (which drives survival), while life in context explores and exploits specific niches. Analysis of gene persistence in a large number of genomes shows that the former constitutes the paleome, which recapitulates the three phases of the origin of life: metabolism of small molecules on (...)
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  40. U. Deichmann & M. Morange (2011). The Origin of Life: Scientific, Historical and Philosophical Perspective. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 34 (3):337-339.
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  41. Anna Deplazes-Zemp (2012). The Conception of Life in Synthetic Biology. Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (4):757-774.
    The phrase ‘synthetic biology’ is used to describe a set of different scientific and technological disciplines, which share the objective to design and produce new life forms. This essay addresses the following questions: What conception of life stands behind this ambitious objective? In what relation does this conception of life stand to that of traditional biology and biotechnology? And, could such a conception of life raise ethical concerns? Three different observations that provide useful indications for the conception of life in (...)
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  42. J. Andrew DeWoody (2011). Remarkable Creatures: Epic Adventures in the Search for the Origins of Species. BioScience 61 (2):154-155.
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  43. Ezequiel Di Paolo (2009). Extended Life. Topoi 28 (1):9-21.
    This paper reformulates some of the questions raised by extended mind theorists from an enactive, life/mind continuity perspective. Because of its reliance on concepts such as autopoiesis, the enactive approach has been deemed internalist and thus incompatible with the extended mind hypothesis. This paper answers this criticism by showing (1) that the relation between organism and cogniser is not one of co-extension, (2) that cognition is a relational phenomenon and thereby has no location, and (3) that the individuality of a (...)
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  44. Antonio Diéguez (2013). Life as a Homeostatic Property Cluster. Biological Theory 7 (2):180-186.
    All of the attempts to date to find a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for life, in order to provide an essential definition of life, have failed. We only have at our disposal series of lists that contain diverse characteristics usually found in living beings. Some authors have drawn from this fact the conclusion that life is not a natural kind. It will be argued here that this conclusion is too hasty and that if life is understood as a (...)
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  45. F. G. Donnan (1937). Integral Analysis and the Phenomena of Life. II. Acta Biotheoretica 3 (1).
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  46. F. G. Donnan (1936). Integral Analysis and the Phenomena of Life. Acta Biotheoretica 2 (1).
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  47. W. Ford Doolittle (2010). The Attempt on the Life of the Tree of Life: Science, Philosophy and Politics. Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):455-473.
  48. Scott A. Elias (2013). Secrets of the Ice: Antarctica's Clues to Climate, the Universe, and the Limits of Life. BioScience 63 (4):306-307.
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  49. Eva-Maria Engelen (2007). Georges Canguilhem – Philosoph und Wissenschaftshistoriker der Lebenswissenschaften. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 55 (3):480-481.
    Review of "Maß und Eigensinn. Studien im Anschluß an Georges Canguilhem“, ed. by Cornelius Borck, Volker Hess and Henning Schmidgen, München (Fink Verlag) 2005.".
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  50. Roger J. Faber (1986). Clockwork Garden: On the Mechanistic Reduction of Living Things. University of Massachusetts Press.
    ONE Wholes and Parts: Introductory Survey COMMON WISDOM ABOUT THE WORLD GUIDES us WELL in daily living, but getting along practically is not enough; ...
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