Living systems - autonomous unities
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The question which is never entirely resolved is: what is life? Biology, claims to stand for the study of life and living things, yet we would say that it cannot make a thoroughly clear distinction between living and non living, except in some very obvious cases. There are textbook definitions, of course, based on certain notable properties such as the ability to metabolize or reproduce, but these are arbitrary. If we are familiar with the characteristics of a particular animal or plant, we know enough to be able to pronounce that it is dead when certain internal and external behaviours are no longer evident. Even this has difficulties - such as revealed in the arguments about whether to switch off a human life support system or not. When you find a squishy object on the seashore, can you be sure if it is alive or dead - or never living? The same dilemma confronts medical scientists and microbiologists trying to decide, for example, whether viruses are living, or quasi living, or intermittently living, or what.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Boris Hennig (2007). Der fortbestand Von lebewesen. Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 32 (1):81-91.
Christophe Malaterre (2010). Lifeness Signatures and the Roots of the Tree of Life. Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):643-658.
Brooke Alan Trisel (2007). Judging Life and Its Value. Sorites (18):60-75.
Gary S. Rosenkrantz (2001). What Is Life? The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 2001:125-134.
Marjorie Weinzweig (1986). Should a Feminist Choose A Marriage-Like Relationship? Hypatia 1 (2):139 - 160.
John Dupré & Maureen A. O'Malley (2009). Varieties of Living Things: Life at the Intersection of Lineage and Metabolism. Philosophy and Theory in Biology 1 (20130604).
Aaron Smuts (2013). Five Tests for What Makes a Life Worth Living. Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (4):1-21.
Claus Emmeche (forthcoming). Modeling Life: A Note on the Semiotics of Emergence and Computation in Artificial and Natural Living Systems. Biosemiotics: The Semiotic Web 1991.
Added to index2009-10-25
Total downloads9 ( #146,831 of 1,096,248 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?