Nothing is alive

Think 16 (47):115-125 (2017)
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Finding an adequate definition of "life" has proven to be a tricky affair. In this article, I discuss the idea that nothing is really alive: we only say so. I shall argue that 'being alive' is not a genuine property of things, and that it only reflects the way we think and talk about things. An eliminativist strategy will then allow us to free ourselves from the burden of having to find a definition of life, and will allow us to focus on the genuinely interesting properties of living (and non-living) entities.

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Jiri Benovsky
University of Fribourg


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