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Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie

Zweimonatsschrift der internationalen philosophischen Forschung

Ed. by Demmerling, Christoph / Esser, Andrea Marlen / Krüger, Hans-Peter / Menke, Christoph

CiteScore 2017: 0.05

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.116
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.050

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Volume 62, Issue 1


Leben Herstellen

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Rödl
Published Online: 2014-05-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/dzph-2014-0006


It is widely believed that we might be able produce life out of nonliving substances if we possessed the relevant knowledge. Thus synthetic biology is said to be on the way towards artificial life. But this is nonsense: “artificial life” cannot be thought. The idea that biological organisms could be produced reflects a misunderstandig of the concept “life”. Life is formally characterized by the fact that that which in the case of artifacts is three distinct activities - being something, producing it, and using it - is one. For a living being, to be is to be the source of its own activity through its own activity. Hence, if there is an activity of producing distinct from being what is produced - as would have to be the case in artificial life - what is thus produced is not life.

Keywords: artificial life; creation; function; organism; synthetic biology

About the article

Published Online: 2014-05-28

Published in Print: 2014-05-01

Citation Information: Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, Volume 62, Issue 1, Pages 74–89, ISSN (Online) 2192-1482, ISSN (Print) 0012-1045, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/dzph-2014-0006.

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