What Is Life According to Mark A. Bedau

Martin Jabůrek


This article deals with the possibility of a philosophical definition of life and provides a critical analysis of Mark A. Bedau’s definition. According to Bedau, it is possible to formulate a definition of life and it is also useful for many scientific disciplines. Bedau rejects attempts to define life using a list of characteristics. He proposes a model of minimal chemical life called Program-Metabolism-Container Model (PMC model). It is characterized as a system of mutually reinforcing elements: 1. a program in the form of hereditary information, 2. the existence of metabolism, 3. a container ensuring the insulation of the system from the external environment and the identity of the individual organism. PMC model of a minimal chemical life helps to solve issues related to the nature and origin of life. Other approaches have failed in attempts to solve these problems.


philosophy of biology, definition of life, origin of life, PMC Model, Mark A. Bedau


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Published by the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.
ISSN: 1212-9097