Boden M. A. (1999) Is metabolism necessary? The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50(2): 231–248.
Is metabolism necessary?
The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50(2): 231–248.
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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