David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 40 (2):169-177 (2010)
The plurality of definitions of life is often perceived as an unsatisfying situation stemming from still incomplete knowledge about ‘what it is to live’ as well as from the existence of a variety of methods for reaching a definition. For many, such plurality is to be remedied and the search for a unique and fully satisfactory definition of life pursued. In this contribution on the contrary, it is argued that the existence of such a variety of definitions of life undermines the very feasibility of ever reaching a unique unambiguous definition. It is argued that focusing on the definitions of specific types of ‘living systems’ – somehow in the same way that one can define specific types of ‘flying systems’ – could be more fruitful from a heuristic point of view than looking for ‘the’ right definition of life, and probably more accurate in terms of carving Nature at its joints.
|Keywords||Definition of life Living systems Origin of life Pluralism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Sylvie Pouteau (2014). Beyond “Second Animals”: Making Sense of Plant Ethics. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 27 (1):1-25.
Similar books and articles
R. Barbaras (2003). Life and Perceptual Intentionality. Research in Phenomenology 33 (1):157-166.
Zachary Simpson (2011). Desire and Subcritical Life: An Attempted Rapprochement Between Renaud Barbaras and Contemporary Systems Science. Research in Phenomenology 41 (1):90-108.
Abel Schejter & Joseph Agassi (1994). On the Definition of Life. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 25 (1):97 - 106.
Christopher Southgate & Andrew Robinson (2010). Interpretation and the Origin of Life. Zygon 45 (2):345-360.
Neil A. Manson (2000). There is No Adequate Definition of ?Fine-Tuned for Life? Inquiry 43 (3):341 – 351.
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.
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.
Carol E. Cleland (2012). Life Without Definitions. Synthese 185 (1):125-144.
Added to index2010-06-17
Total downloads50 ( #50,862 of 1,700,378 )
Recent downloads (6 months)18 ( #39,449 of 1,700,378 )
How can I increase my downloads?