To appear in Luciano Floridi, ed., Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information

Artificial life (also known as “ALife”) is a broad, interdisciplinary endeavor that studies life and life-like processes through simulation and synthesis. The goals of this activity include modelling and even creating life and life-like systems, as well as developing practical applications using intuitions and methods taken from living systems. Artificial life both illuminates traditional philosophical questions and raises new philosophical questions. Since both artificial life and philosophy investigate the essential nature of certain fundamental aspects of reality like life and adaptation, artificial life offers philosophy a new perspective on these phenomena. This chapter provides an introduction to current research in artificial life and explains its philosophical implications.
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