Publication 4548

Boden M. A. (2009) Life and mind. Minds and Machines 19: 453–463. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/4548
It’s sometimes said, and even more often assumed, that life is necessary for mind. If so, and if A-Life promises to throw light on the nature of life as such, then A-Life is in principle highly relevant to the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. However, very few philosophers have attempted to argue for the relation between life and mind. It’s usually taken for granted. Even those (mostly in the Continental tradition, including some with a following in A-Life) who have insisted on the linkage have stated it rather than justified it. If an evolutionary account of intentionality is acceptable, then perhaps biological life ‘makes room’ for mind. But that claim is problematic, since it’s not clear that the type of self-organization involved in life-as-such must necessarily include evolution. Even if it does, it’s a further step to show that life is strictly necessary for mind.

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