The Concept of Life in Contemporary Japan

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The objective of this paper is to contribute to the international discussions on life and scientific technology by examining the images and concepts of life in contemporary Japan. In English the word Inochi can be rendered as "life". However, the nuances of the Japanese term differ in certain cases, and therefore I have chosen to use the term much as is. I first discuss the linguistic meanings of the word, and then consider several important features of the images of inochi that have appeared in publications and responses from questionnaires on this topic. Some philosophical and metaphysical interpretations of the concept of inochi are then proposed. Finally a brief outline of the study of life is presented, suggesting a new way to approach bioethics and discussions on environmental issues.
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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