Definitions of Life are not Only Unnecessary, but they can do Harm to Understanding

Foundations of Science 16 (4):323-325 (2011)
Abstract
In my response to the paper by Jagers op Akkerhuis, I object against giving definitions of life, since they bias anything that follows. As we don’t know how life originated, authors characterise life using criteria derived from present-day properties, thus emphasising widely different ones, which gives bias to their further analysis. This makes their results dependent on their initial suppositions, which introduces circularity in their reasoning
Keywords Definitions of life  Methodological difficulties
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Günter Figal (2004). Life as Understanding. Research in Phenomenology 34 (1):20-30.
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