The form of life. I. It is possible but not necessary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

However we deny naive realism, it is difficult to describe the form of life in a Newtonian paradigm. Because any formal descriptions of biological systems inevitably include the concept of "function," they entail the problem of self-reference. The description of function can be compared to that of meaning of a word, and in philosophy we no longer understand that there exists meaning inherent in a word of a language. As well as the problem of meaning, we cannot describe the aspect resulting from the function, because we cannot identify the specific function of a shape or morphology with the relationship between the shape itself and its environment. Therefore, even if we construct a new formal language in which the self-contradiction resulting from the self-reference is alleviated, that language is just one of various possible ones. In this sense, the form of life in formal description is possible but not necessary. The phrase "not necessary" just refers to the outside of the formal description. In this paper reference to the outside of a formal system is discussed in the context of time-space complementarity, and it is strongly related to the origin of irreversible time. We have to introduce both forward and backward time, as proposed previously by the author and coworkers, even in this context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-288
Number of pages22
JournalApplied Mathematics and Computation
Volume47
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

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Necessary
Formal languages
Formal Languages
Complementarity
Biological systems
Biological Systems
Space-time
Paradigm
Life
Form
Meaning
Context
Language
Concepts
Relationships
Philosophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Numerical Analysis

Cite this

The form of life. I. It is possible but not necessary. / Gunji, Yukio.

In: Applied Mathematics and Computation, Vol. 47, No. 2-3, 1992, p. 267-288.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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