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EnactionToward a New Paradigm for Cognitive Science$
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John Stewart, Olivier Gapenne, and Ezequiel A. Di Paolo

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014601

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014601.001.0001

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Life and Exteriority: The Problem of Metabolism

Life and Exteriority: The Problem of Metabolism

Chapter:
(p.88) (p.89) 3 Life and Exteriority: The Problem of Metabolism
Source:
Enaction
Author(s):

Renaud Barbaras

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262014601.003.0004

This chapter presents an initial analysis of life as put forth by Hans Jonas in his book The Phenomenon of Life. The task Jonas sets himself is the conception of life in such a way that intentional consciousness can find a true grounding from the “insights” which derive from consciousness. Jonas’s philosophy of life calls for certain remarks. First of all, the dimension of self—the internal identity to which we have access in our own experience—can be reinvested in the external description of living organisms only on the condition that it is considered as an act. Second, this theory of life refers to a theory of individuation, making the fundamental presupposition that a living organism is an individual, and that a living individuality is the only authentic form of individuality. The third and final remark bears on what seems to be a major difficulty in this first stage of Jonas’s investigation.

Keywords:   analysis of life, Hans Jonas, Phenomenon of Life, intentional consciousness, dimension of self, theory of individuation, living individuality

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