Journal Article

Is metabolism necessary?

MA Boden

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 50, issue 2, pages 231-248
Published in print June 1999 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online June 1999 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/50.2.231
Is metabolism necessary?

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Metabolism is a criterion of life. Three senses are distinguished. The weakest allows strong A-Life: virtual creatures having physical existence in computer electronics, but not bodies, are classes as 'alive'. The second excludes strong A-Life but allows that some non-biochemical A-Life robots could be classed as alive. The third, which stresses the body's self-production by energy budgeting and self-equilibrating energy exchanges of some (necessary) complexity, excludes both strong A-Life and living non-biochemical robots.

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Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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