|Abstract||This essay will not attempt to provide a definition that answers Schrödinger’s question. We shall instead address it by describing a spectrum of biological entities that illustrates why no sharp dividing line between living and non-living things is likely to be useful. The more positive goal of these reflections will be to offer a flexible view of life that does in fact make good sense of why particular organizations of matter can be described as living. By identifying the different capacities exhibited by the various entities constituting our spectrum, especially problem cases such as viruses, we hope to address at least some of the issues that lie behind Schrödinger’s question and its many earlier precursors and subsequent echoes. Such concerns have been raised in a striking way by recent attempts under the rubric of ‘synthetic biology’ to synthesize life from basic chemical building blocks|
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|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
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