Short works

Books : reviews

Mark A. Bedau, John S. McCaskill, Norman H. Packard, Steen Rasmussen, eds.
Artificial Life VII: proceedings of the seventh international conference on artificial life, Portland OR.
MIT Press. 2000

(read but not reviewed)

The papers are gathered under the following headings: • Origin of Life, Self-Organization, and Self-Replication • Development and Differentiation • Evolutionary and Adaptive Dynamics • Robots and Autonomous Agents • Communication, Cooperation, and Collective Behavior • Methodological and Technological Applications • The Broader Context


Hector Fabio Restrepo, Daniel Mange, Moshe Sipper. A Self-Replicating Universal Turing Machine: From von Neumann's Dream to New Embryonic Circuits. 2000
Alan Dorin. Creating a Physically-based, Virtual-Metabolism with Solid Cellular Automata. 2000
Hiroki Sayama. Self-Replicating Worms That Increase Structural Complexity through Gene Transmission. 2000
Uwe Tangen. Self-Organisation in Micro-Configurable Hardware. 2000
Hugues Bersini. Reaction Mechanisms in the OO Chemistry. 2000
Pietro Speroni di Fenizio. A Less Abstract Artificial Chemistry. 2000
Yasuhiro Suzuki, Hiroshi Tanaka. Chemical Evolution among Artificial Proto-cells. 2000
Harald Huning. A Search for Multiple Autocatalytic Sets in Artificial Chemistries based on Boolean Networks. 2000
Ezequiel A. Di Paolo. Searching for Rhythms in Asynchronous Random Boolean Networks. 2000
S. Kazadi, D. Lee, R. Modi, J. Sy, W. Lue. Levels of Compartmentalization in Alife. 2000
Keith Downing. Exploring Gaia Theory: Artificial Life on a Planetary Scale. 2000
Chikara Furusawa, Kunihiko Kaneko. Complex Organization in Multicellularity as a Necessity in Evolution. 2000
Kunihiko Kaneko, Tetsuya Yomo. Sympatric Speciation from Interaction-induced Phenotype Differentiation. 2000
Hiroaki Takagi, Kunihiko Kaneko. Evolution of Genetic Code through Isologous Diversification of Cellular States. 2000
Thomas S. Ray, Joseph F. Hart. Evolution of Differentiation in Multithreaded Digital Organisms. 2000
Cefn Hoile, Richard Tateson. Design by Morphogenesis. 2000
Alistair G. Rust, Rod Adams, Hamid Bolouri. Evolutionary Neural Topiary: Growing and Sculpting Artificial Neurons to Order. 2000
David G. Green, David Newth, Michael G. Kirley. Connectivity and Catastrophe---Towards a General Theory of Evolution. 2000
Rob Shipman, Mark Shackleton, Marc Ebner, Richard A. Watson. Neutral Search Spaces for Artificial Evolution: A Lesson from Life. 2000
Richard A. Watson, Torsten Reil, Jordan B. Pollack. Mutualism, Parasitism, and Evolutionary Adaptation. 2000
Michael L. Best. Coevolving Mutualists Guide Simulated Evolution. 2000
Eizo Akiyama, Kunihiko Kaneko. Evolution of Cooperation in Social Dilemma---Dynamical Systems Game Approach. 2000
Takaya Arita, Reiji Suzuki. Interactions between Learning and Evolution: The Outstanding Strategy Generated by the Baldwin Effect. 2000
Hideaki Suzuki. Evolvability Analysis: Distribution of Hyperblobs in a Variable-Length Protein Genotype Space. 2000
Daniel Wagenaar, Christoph Adami. Influence of Chance, History and Adaptation on Evolution in Digitalia. 2000
Stevan Jay Anastasoff. Ecology and Extinction---Macroevolutionary Extinction Dynamics in a Simulated Ecosystem. 2000
Shinichiro Yoshii, Eiichi Miyamoto, Yukinori Kakazu. Quantification of Microscopic Events in the Process of Long-Term Evolutionary Dynamics. 2000
Russell K. Standish. An Ecolab Perspective on the Bedau Evolutionary Statistics. 2000
Patricio Lerena. Mate Choice: Simple or Complex?. 2000
Paul Domjan. A Discussion of the Use of Artificial Life Models to Evaluate Gould's Hypothesis about Progress in Evolution. 2000
Tatsuo Unemi. Should Seeds Fly or Not?. 2000
Bernard D. Reger, Karen M. Fleming, Vittorio Sanguineti, Simon Alford, Ferdinando A. Mussa-Ivaldi. Connecting Brains to Robots: The Development of a Hybrid System for the Study of Learning in Neural Tissues. 2000
Stevan Jay Anastasoff. A ' Fitness Landscaping' Comparison of Evolved Robot Control Systems. 2000
Hod Lipson, Jordan B. Pollack. Evolving Physical Creatures. 2000
Edgar E. Vallejo, Ferdando Ramos. Evolving Insect Locomotion Using Non-uniform Cellular Automata. 2000
Maciej Komosinski, Adam Rotaru-Varga. From Directed to Open-Ended Evolution in a Complex Simulation Model. 2000
Masayasu Atsumi. Artificial Neural Development for Pulsed Neural Network Design---Generating Place Recognition Circuits of Animats. 2000
Yuichi Sato, Takashi Nagai, Hiroshi Yokoi, Takafumi Mizuno, Yukinori Kakazu. Emergent SMA-Net Robot Control by Coupled Oscillator System. 2000
Norman L. Johnson. Developmental Insights into Evolving Systems: Roles of Diversity, Non-Selection, Self-Organization, Symbiosis. 2000
Josh C. Bongard. Reducing Collective Behavioural Complexity through Heterogeneity. 2000
Shin I. Nishimura. Studying Attention Dynamics of a Predator in a Prey-Predator System. 2000
Felix Flentge, Daniel Polani, Thomas Uthmann. On the Emergence of Possession Norms in Agent Societies. 2000
James A. R. Marshall, Jonathan E. Rowe. Investigating the Mechanisms Underlying Cooperation in Viscous Population Multi-Agent Systems. 2000
Lars Kroll Kristensen. Aintz: A Study of Emergent Properties in a Model of Ant Foraging. 2000
Yoshiki Yamaguchi, Tsutomu Maruyama, Tsutomu Hoshino. A Co-evolution Model of Scores and Strategies in IPD Games: Toward the Understanding of the Emergence of the Social Morals. 2000
Norberto Eiji Nawa, Katsunori Shimohara, Osamu Katai. On the Effect of "Stock Alerts" in an Agent-Based Model of a Financial Market. 2000
Frederic Kaplan. Semiotic Schemata: Selection Units for Linguistic Cultural Evolution. 2000
Luc Steels, Pierre-Yves Oudeyer. The Cultural Evolution of Syntactic Constraints in Phonology. 2000
Carlo C. Maley, Stephanie Forrest. Modeling the Role of Neutral and Selective Mutations in Cancer. 2000
Anthony Liekens. From Individuals to Populations, Approaches to the Study of Biological Emergent Phenomena. 2000
Janos Albert. Towards a Comprehensive Alife-model of the Evolution of the Nervous System and Adaptive Behavior. 2000
M. A. Gibney, N. R. Jennings, N. J. Vriend. Market-Based Call Routing in Telecommunications Networks Using Adaptive Pricing and Real Bidding. 2000
Gina M. B. Oliveira, Pedro P. B. de Oliveira, Nizam Omar. Evolving Solutions of the Density Classification Task in 1D Cellular Automata, Guided by Parameters That Estimate Their Dynamic Behaviour. 2000
V. J. Blue, J. L. Adler. Cellular Automata Model of Emergent Collective Bi-Directional Pedestrian Dynamics. 2000
James Macgill. Using Flocks to Drive a Geographical Analysis Engine. 2000
Una-May O'Reilly, Ian Ross, Peter Testa. Emergent Design: Artificial Life for Architecture Design. 2000
Barry McMullin. John von Neumann and the Evolutionary Growth of Complexity: Looking Backwards, Looking Forwards. 2000
Seth Bullock. What Can We Learn from the First Evolutionary Simulation Model?. 2000
David H. Ackley. Real Artificial Life: Where We May Be. 2000
Ezequiel A. Di Paolo, Jason Noble, Seth Bullock. Simulation Models as Opaque Thought Experiments. 2000
Alvaro Moreno. Artificial Life as a Bridge between Science and Philosophy. 2000
J. McKenzie Alexander. Artificial Justice. 2000
Edmund M. A. Ronald, Moshe Sipper. Engineering, Emergent Engineering, and Artificial Life: Unsurprise, Unsurprising Surprise, and Surprising Surprise. 2000
Gary R. Greenfield. Art and Artificial Life---A Coevolutionary Approach. 2000
Eleonora Bilotta, Pietro Pantano, Valerio Talarico. Synthetic Harmonies: An Approach to Musical Semiosis by Means of Cellular Automata. 2000
Christa Sommerer, Laurent Mignonneau. Modeling Emergence of Complexity: The Application of Complex System and Origin of Life Theory to Interactive Art on the Internet. 2000
Arantza Etxeberria. Artificial Evolution: Creativity and the Possible. 2000

Russell K. Standish, Mark A. Bedau, Hussein A. Abbass, eds.
Artificial Life VIII: proceedings of the eighth international conference on artificial life, Sydney, Australia.
MIT Press. 2003

(read but not reviewed)


Carlos Gershenson. Classification of Random Boolean Networks. 2003
Jean-Claude Heudin. Complexity Classes in Three-dimensional Gravitational Agents. 2003
Tatsuya Nomura. Formal Description of Autopoiesis for Analytic Models of Life and Social Systems. 2003
Kazumasa Oida. The Birth and Death Process of Hypercycle Spirals. 2003
David Cornforth, David G. Green, David Newth, Michael G. Kirley. Do Artificial Ants March in Step? Ordered Asynchronous Processes and Modularity in Biological Systems. 2003
Satoshi Kurihara, Kensuke Fukuda, Toshio Hirotsu, Osamu Akashi, Shinya Sato, Toshiharu Sugawara. Importance of Evolved Structure for Emerging Self-organization in a Complex Competitive Situation. 2003
Eleonora Bilotta, Antonio Lafusa, Pietro Pantano. Is Self-replication an Embedded Characteristic of Artificial/Living Matter?. 2003
Hiroki Sayama. Von Neumann's Machine in the Shell: Enhancing the Robustness of Self-Replication Processes. 2003
Andre Stauffer, Moshe Sipper. Interactive Self-Replicating, Self-Incrementing and Self-Decrementing Loops. 2003
Naoaki Ono, Takashi Ikegami. Selection of Catalysts through Cellular Reproduction. 2003
Chrystopher L. Nehaniv. Evolution in Asynchronous Cellular Automata. 2003
Thomas E. Portegys. An Abstraction of Intercellular Communication. 2003
Hiroaki Takagi, Kunihiko Kaneko. Dynamic Relationship between Diversity and Plasticity of Cell types in Multi-cellular State. 2003
Dennis L. Chao, Stephanie Forrest. Generating Biomorphs with an Aesthetic Immune System. 2003
Takamasa Sawada, Atsuko Mutoh, Shohei Kato, Hidenori Itoh. A Model of Biological Differentiation in Adaptiogenesis to the Environment. 2003
Jaime Lagunez-Otero, Pedro Pablo Gonzalez Perez, Maura Cardenas-Garcia, Octavio Rosa, Armando Franyuti. Cellulat. 2003
Lucian Prodan, Gianluca Tempesti, Daniel Mange, Andre Stauffer. Embryonics: Electronic Stem Cells. 2003
D. A. Mac Donaill. Tautomerism as a Constraint on the Composition of Alternative Nucleotide Alphabets. 2003
Gianluca Tempesti, Daniel Roggen, Eduardo Sanchez, Yann Thoma, Richard O. Canham, Andy M. Tyrrell, Juan-Manuel Moreno. A POEtic Architecture for Bio-Inspired Hardware. 2003
Wei-Min Shen, Cheng-Ming Chuong, Peter Will. Digital Hormone Models for Self-Organization. 2003
Marc Metivier, Claude Lattaud, Jean-Claude Heudin. A Stress-based Speciation Model in LifeDrop. 2003
Gary R. Greenfield. On Attaining Maximal Fitness or How to Evolve Virtual Redwoods. 2003
Russell K. Standish. Diversity Evolution. 2003
Xin-She Yang. Characterization of Multispecies Living Ecosystems With Cellular Automata. 2003
Lee Spector. Adaptive Populations of Endogenously Diversifying Pushpop Organisms are Reliably Diverse. 2003
Joshua Mitteldorf, David H. Croll, S. Chandu Ravela. Multilevel Selection and the Evolution of Predatory Restraint. 2003
James R. Watson, Nicholas Geard, Janet Wiles. Stability and Task Complexity: A Neural Network Model of Evolution and Learning. 2003
Dale Thomas. Aesthetic Selection of Developmental Art Forms. 2003
Hideaki Suzuki, Hidefumi Sawai. Chemical Genetic Algorithms -- Coevolution between Codes and Code Translation. 2003
Alastair D. Channon. Improving and Still Passing the ALife Test: Component-Normalised Activity Statistics Classify Evolution in Geb as Unbounded. 2003
Shengxiang Yang. Adaptive Crossover in Genetic Algorithms Using Statistics Mechanism. 2003
Daniel W. Franks, Jason Noble. The Origins of Mimicry Rings. 2003
Seth Bullock. Will Selection for Mutational Robustness Significantly Retard Evolutionary Innovation on Neutral Networks?. 2003
Gina M. B. Oliveira, Jose C. Bortot, Pedro P. B. de Oliveira. Multiobjective Evolutionary Search for One-Dimensional Cellular Automata in the Density Classification Task. 2003
Hiroshi Ito, Takashi Ikegami. Evolutionary Dynamics of a Food Web with Recursive Branching and Extinction. 2003
Takashi Ikegami, Tomoharu Iwata, Koh Hashimoto. A Network of Dynamic Keystone Species. 2003
Tom Lenaerts, Anne Defaweux, Piet van Remortel, Joke Reumers, Bernard Manderick. Multi-level Selection and Immune Networks: Preliminary Discussion of an Abstract Model. 2003
Tim F. Cooper, Charles Ofria. Evolution of Stable Ecosystems in Populations of Digital Organisms. 2003
Andre Skusa, Mark A. Bedau. Towards a Comparison of Evolutionary Creativity in Biological and Cultural Evolution. 2003
Peter Eggenberger Hotz, Gabriel Gomez, Rolf Pfeifer. Evolving the Morphology of a Neural Network for Controlling a Foveating Retina -- and its Test on a Real Robot. 2003
Janne Haverinen, Juha Roning. A Stochastic Evolutionary Neuron Migration Process with Emerged Hebbian Dynamics. 2003
Amelie Schmolke, Hanspeter A. Mallot. Territory Formation in Mobile Robots. 2003
Elaine Catterall, Kristof Van Laerhoven, Martin Strohbach. Self-Organization in Ad Hoc Sensor Networks: An Empirical Study. 2003
Bertrand Mesot, Eduardo Sanchez, Carlos-Andres Pena, Andres Perez-Uribe. SOS++: Finding Smart Behaviors Using Learning and Evolution. 2003
Tom Smith, Philip Husbands, Andy Philippides, Michael O'Shea. Temporally Adaptive Networks: Analysis of GasNet Robot Control Networks. 2003
Matthias Scheutz, Paul Schermerhorn. Steps Towards a Systematic Investigation of Possible Evolutionary Trajectories from Reactive to Deliberative Control Systems. 2003
Andy Philippides, Philip Husbands, Tom Smith, Michael O'Shea. Fast and Loose: Biologically Inspired Couplings. 2003
Matt Quinn, Lincoln Smith, Giles Mayley, Philip Husbands. Evolving Teamwork and Role-Allocation with Real Robots. 2003
Jason Teo, Hussein A. Abbass. Multi-Objectivity for Brain-Behavior Evolution of a Physically-Embodied Organism. 2003
Hiroyuki Iizuka, Takashi Ikegami. Simulating Turn-Taking Behaviours with Coupled Dynamical Recognizers. 2003
Jon Klein. breve: a 3D Environment for the Simulation of Decentralized Systems and Artificial Life. 2003
Dario Floreano, Nicolas Schoeni, Gilles Caprari, Jesper Blynel. Evolutionary Bits'n'Spikes. 2003
Chrystopher L. Nehaniv, Daniel Polani, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Rene te Boekhorst, Lola Canamero. Meaningful Information, Sensor Evolution, and the Temporal Horizon of Embodied Organisms. 2003
Jin Akaishi, Takaya Arita. Misperception, Communication and Diversity. 2003
Steven Mascaro, Kevin B. Korb, Ann E. Nicholson. ALife Investigation of Parental Investment in Reproductive Strategies. 2003
O. Burchan Bayazit, Jyh-Ming Lien, Nancy M. Amato. Better Group Behaviors in Complex Environments using Global Roadmaps. 2003
Zachary Mason. Programming with Stigmergy: Using Swarms for Construction. 2003
Pedro Mariano, Luis Correia. The Effect of Agreements in a Game with Multiple Strategies for Cooperation. 2003
Jason Noble, Daniel W. Franks. Social Learning Mechanisms Compared in a Simple Environment. 2003
Tamon Oboshi, Shohei Kato, Atsuko Mutoh, Hidenori Itoh. Collective or Scattering: Evolving Schooling Behaviors to Escape from Predator. 2003
Mark Dras, K. David Harrison. Emergent Behavior in Phonological Pattern Change. 2003
Anders Eriksson, Kristian Lindgren. Cooperation in an Unpredictable Environment. 2003
Dominique Gross, Barry McMullin. The Creation of Novelty in Artificial Chemistries. 2003
Tatsuo Unemi. SBEAT3: A Tool for Multi-part Music Composition by Simulated Breeding. 2003
Pavel O. Luksha. Formal Definition of Self-reproductive Systems. 2003
Stephen Jones. Organizing Relations and Emergence. 2003
Alan Dorin, Jon McCormack. Self-Assembling Dynamical Hierarchies. 2003

Jordan B. Pollack, Mark A. Bedau, Philip Husbands, Takashi Ikegami, Richard A. Watson.
Artificial Life IX: proceedings of the ninth international conference on artificial life, Boston, USA.
MIT Press. 2004

(read but not reviewed)

Luis Mateus Rocha, Larry S. Yaeger, Mark A. Bedau, Dario Floreano, Robert L. Goldstone, Alessandro Vespignani.
Artificial Life X: proceedings of the ninth international conference on artificial life, Bloomington, USA.
MIT Press. 2006

(read but not reviewed)

Mark A. Bedau, Paul Humphreys, eds.
Emergence: contemporary readings in philosophy and science.
MIT Press. 2008

Emergence, largely ignored just thirty years ago, has become one of the liveliest areas of research in both philosophy and science. Fueled by advances in complexity theory, artificial life, physics, psychology, sociology, and biology and by the parallel development of new conceptual tools in philosophy, the idea of emergence offers a way to understand a wide variety of complex phenomena in ways that are intriguingly different from more traditional approaches. This reader collects for the first time in one easily accessible place classic writings on emergence from contemporary philosophy and science. The chapters, by such prominent scholars as John Searle, Stephen Weinberg, William Wimsatt, Thomas Schelling, Jaegwon Kim, Robert Laughlin, Daniel Dennett, Herbert Simon, Stephen Wolfram, Jerry Fodor, Philip Anderson, and David Chalmers, cover the major approaches to emergence. Each of the three sections (“Philosophical Perspectives,” “Scientific Perspectives,” and “Background and Polemics”) begins with an introduction putting the chapters into context and posing key questions for further exploration. A bibliography lists more specialized material.


James P. Crutchfield. Is anything ever new? Considering emergence. 1994
James P. Crutchfield, J. Doyne Farmer, Norman H. Packard, Robert S. Shaw. Chaos. Sci. Am., 254(12), 46-58. 1986
Philip W. Anderson. More is Different. Science, 177, 393-396. 1972
Andrew M. Assad, Norman H. Packard. Emergent Colonization in an Artificial Ecology. 1992
Stephen Wolfram. Undecidability and intractability in theoretical physics. Phys.Rev.Lett 54:735-738. 1985
Daniel C. Dennett. Real patterns. The Journal of Philosophy 87. 1991
As Dennett says in the introduction, the ideas here are utterly central to his thinking. It covers the ontological status of abstract objects, including patterns, particularly those obscured by more or less noise. It moves on to patterns in the Game of Life, and a nice description of his three stances: physical (for describing the underlying cellular automaton with cells changing state), design (for describing gliders, glider guns, etc: moving patterns), and intentional (for describing what a GoL CA emulating a chess playing program is doing at the level of "wanting to play chess"). This leads to a discussion of the reality of the intentional patterns. Dennett's position is somewhere between the (implausible) extremes of Realism and Instrumentalism.
Brian P. McLaughlin. The Rise and fall of British Emergentism. From Emergence or Reduction?. 1992
Carl Hempel, Paul Oppenheim. On the idea of Emergence. From Aspects of Scientific Explanation. 1965
John R. Searle. Reductionism and the Irreducibility of Consciousness. From The Rediscovery of the Mind. 1992
Brian P. McLaughlin. Emergence and supervenience. Excerpt, Intellectica 25. 1997
William C. Wimsatt. Aggregativity: reductive heuristics for finding emergence. Philosophy of Science 644. 1997
Paul Humphreys. How properties emerge. Philosophy of Science 64. 1997
Jaegwon Kim. Making sense of Emergence. Philosophical Studies 95. 1999
Mark A. Bedau. Downward causation and autonomy in weak emergence. Principia Revista Internacional de Epistemologica 6. 2003
Thomas C. Schelling. Micromotives and macrobehaviour. Excerpt. 1978
Herbert A. Simon. Alternative views of complexity. From The Sciences of the Artificial. 1996
Robert B. Laughlin, David Pines. The theory of everything. PNAS 97. 2000
Edmund M. A. Ronald, Moshe Sipper, Mathieu S. Capcarrere. Design, Observation, Surprise! A test of emergence. Artificial Life 5. 1999
Steen Rasmussen, Nils A. Baas, Bernd Mayer, Martin Nillson. Ansatz for dynamical hierarchies. Artificial Life 7. 2001
Steven Weinberg. Newtonianism, Reductionism, and the art of Congressional testimony. Nature 330. 1987
Ernest Nagel. Teleology revisited. Excerpt. 1982
Jerry A. Fodor. Special sciences, or the disunity of science as a working hypothesis. Synthese 28. 1974
David Chalmers. Supervenience. Excerpt from The Conscious Mind. 1996
Jaegwon Kim. The nonreductivist's troubles with mental causation. From Mental Causation. 1993

Mark A. Bedau, Emily C. Parke.
The Ethics of Protocells: moral and social implications of creating life in the laboratory.
MIT Press. 2009

Teams of scientists around the world are racing to create protocells – microscopic, self-organizing entities that spontaneously assemble from simple organic and inorganic materials. The creation of fully autonomous protocells – a technology that can, for all intents and purposes, be considered literally alive – is only a matter of time. This book examines the pressing social and ethical issues raised by the creation of life in the laboratory. Protocells might offer great medical and social benefits and vast new economic opportunities, but they also pose potential risks and threaten cultural and moral norms against tampering with nature and “playing God.” The Ethics of Protocells offers a variety of perspectives on these concerns. After a brief survey of current protocell research (including the much-publicized “top-down” strategy of J. Craig Venter and Hamilton Smith, for which they have received multimillion dollar financing from the U.S. Department of Energy), the chapters treat risk, uncertainty, and precaution; lessons from recent history and related technologies; and ethics in a future society with protocells. The discussions range from new considerations of the precautionary principle and the role of professional ethicists to explorations of what can be learned from society’s experience with other biotechnologies and the open-source software movement.

Steen Rasmussen, Mark A. Bedau, Liaohai Chen, David W. Deamer, David C. Krakauer, Norman H. Packard, Peter F. Stadler.
Protocells: bridging nonliving and living matter.
MIT Press. 2009

Protocells offers a comprehensive resource on current attempts to create simple forms of life from scratch in the laboratory. These minimal versions of cells are entities with lifelike properties created from nonliving materials; the book provides in-depth investigations of processes at the interface between nonliving and living matter. Chapters by experts in the field put this state-of-the-art research in the context of theory, laboratory work, and computer simulations on the components and properties of protocells. The book also provides perspectives on research in related areas and such broader societal issues as commercial applications and ethical considerations.

The book covers all major scientific approaches to creating minimal life, both in the laboratory and in simulation. It emphasizes the bottom-up view of physicists, chemists, and material scientists but also includes the molecular biologists top-down approach and the origin-of-ljfe perspective. Ihe capacity to engineer living technology could have a enormous socio-economic impact and could bring both good and ill. Protocells promises to be the essential reference for research on bottom-up assembly of life and living technology for years to come.

Mark A. Bedau, Carol E. Cleland, eds.
The Nature of Life: classical and contemporary perspectives from philosophy and science.
CUP. 2010

Bringing together the latest scientific advances and some of the most enduring subtle philosophical puzzles and problems, this book collects original historical and contemporary sources to explore the wide range of issues surrounding the nature of life.

Selections ranging from Aristotle and Descartes to Sagan and Dawkins are organized around four broad themes covering classical discussions of life, the origins and extent of natural life, contemporary artificial life creations, and the definition and meaning of “life” in its most general form. Each section is preceded by an extensive introduction connecting the various ideas discussed in individual chapters and providing helpful background material for understanding them. With its interdisciplinary perspective, this fascinating collection is essential reading for scientists and philosophers interested in astrobiology, the origin of life, synthetic biology, and the philosophy of life.


Aristotle. De Anima (selections). 2010
René Descartes. Treatise on Man. 1985
Immanuel Kant. Critique of the teleological power of judgment (selections). 2001
Erwin Schrödinger. What is Life? (selections). 1967
Alexander I. Oparin. The nature of life. 1964
Ernst Mayr. What is the meaning of "life"?. 1997
Tibor Gánti. The principles of life (selections). 2003
Leslie E. Orgel. The origin of life: a review of facts and speculation. 1998
Robert Shapiro. Small molecule interactions were central to the origin of life. 2007
Iris Fry. Are the different hypotheses on the emergence of life as different as they seem?. 1995
Norman R. Pace. The universal nature of biochemistry. 2001
Steven A. Benner, Alonso Ricardo, Matthew A. Carrigan. Is there a common chemical model for life in the universe?. 2004
Kenneth H. Nealson. Searching for life in the universe: lessons from Earth. 2001
Carol E. Cleland, Shelley D. Copley. The possibility of alternative microbial life on Earth. 2005
National Research Council of the National Academies. Introduction to the limits of organic life in planetary systems. 2007
Elliott Sober. Learning from Functionalism--Prospects for Strong Artificial Life. 1992
Marc Lange. Life, "artificial life," and scientific explanation. 1996
Margaret A. Boden. Alien life: how would we know?. 2003
Hod Lipson, Jordan B. Pollack. Automatic design and manufacture of robotic life forms. 2000
David W. Deamer. A giant step towards artificial life?. 2005
Pier Luigi Luisi, Francesca Ferri, Pasquale Stano. Approaches to semi-synthetic minimal cells: a review. 2006
Evelyn Fox Keller. Creating "real life". 2002
Carl Sagan. Definitions of life. 1970
Daniel E. Koshland. The seven pillars of life. 2002
Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo, Juli Peretó, Alvaro Moreno. A universal definition of life: autonomy and open-ended evolution. 2004
Carol E. Cleland, Christopher Chyba. Does 'life' have a definition?. 2007
Lynn Margulis, Dorion Sagan. Sentient symphony. 2000
Kim Sterelny, Paul E. Griffiths. What is life?. 1999
Richard Dawkins. Universal Darwinism. 1983
Stuart A. Kauffman. What is Life?. 1997
Mark A. Bedau. Four puzzles about life. 1998