“Life and Value: Creativity as a Sign of Life”

Science, philosophy, technology and literature have approached the issue of the nature of life from many and diverse perspectives. These strikingly different views, share a basic distinction: that between life and mere existence. The search for a more inclusive analysis of the nature of life is of course motivated not only by relatively recent scientific developments, but it is part of the same trend of thought that has impelled the search for more inclusive analyses of intelligence, reason, knowledge, theories, etc. Once we supplement the description of life as we know it (which covers a lot of our biological knowledge) with a more inclusive notion of life, we could get not only a broader picture of biological processes and theories, but also a deeper understanding of the nature of life. In this paper I will suggest that if we deal with the role that the notion of creativity plays in discussions about the nature of life we can get an idea of the sort of gap that neither single nor joined life-defining hallmarks seem able to bridge. Specifically, the thesis I will argue for is that a peculiar notion of the value of life is commonly embedded in many of our descriptions of the features of living systems and that this notion enables us to distinguish life from inert matter better than sophisticated notions of emergence.