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  1. What Are Definitions of Life Good For? Transdisciplinary and Other Definitions in Astrobiology.Tarja Knuuttila & Andrea Loettgers - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1185-1203.
    The attempt to define life has gained new momentum in the wake of novel fields such as synthetic biology, astrobiology, and artificial life. In a series of articles, Cleland, Chyba, and Machery claim that definitions of life seek to provide necessary and sufficient conditions for applying the concept of life—something that such definitions cannot, and should not do. We argue that this criticism is largely unwarranted. Cleland, Chyba, and Machery approach definitions of life as classifying devices, thereby neglecting their other (...)
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  • Interactive Models in Synthetic Biology: Exploring Biological and Cognitive Inter-Identities.Leonardo Bich - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    The aim of this article is to investigate the relevance and implications of synthetic models for the study of the interactive dimension of minimal life and cognition, by taking into consideration how the use of artificial systems may contribute to an understanding of the way in which interactions may affect or even contribute to shape biological identities. To do so, this article analyzes experimental work in synthetic biology on different types of interactions between artificial and natural systems, more specifically: between (...)
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  • Defining Life as a Non-Essentialist Natural Kind.Jaime Soler Parra - 2019 - Quaderns de Filosofia 6 (2):27.
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  • Synthetic Modelling of Biological Communication: A Theoretical and Operational Framework for the Investigation of Minimal Life and Cognition.Leonardo Bich & Ramiro Frick - 2018 - Complex Systems 27 (3):267-287.
    This paper analyses conceptual and experimental work in synthetic biology on different types of interactions considered as minimal examples or models of communication. It discusses their pertinence and relevance for the wider understanding of this biological and cognitive phenomenon. It critically analyses their limits and it argues that a conceptual framework is needed. As a possible solution, it provides a theoretical account of communication based on the notion of organisation, and characterised in terms of the functional influence exerted by the (...)
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  • Beyond Categorical Definitions of Life: A Data-Driven Approach to Assessing Lifeness.Christophe Malaterre & Jean-François Chartier - forthcoming - Synthese.
    The concept of “life” certainly is of some use to distinguish birds and beavers from water and stones. This pragmatic usefulness has led to its construal as a categorical predicate that can sift out living entities from non-living ones depending on their possessing specific properties—reproduction, metabolism, evolvability etc. In this paper, we argue against this binary construal of life. Using text-mining methods across over 30,000 scientific articles, we defend instead a degrees-of-life view and show how these methods can contribute to (...)
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