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Life as Autarchy: Deconstructing Bio-Theological Western Paradigm

Life as Autarchy: Deconstructing Bio-Theological Western Paradigm

Martín Grassi

Catholic University of Argentina (Universidad Católica Argentina), Philosophy Department and National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET)

Email: martingrassi83@gmail.com

 

ABSTRACT

How can life be defined? In this paper, I will stress the importance of self-sufficiency (or, more rigorously, “autarchy”) in defining what life is in Western thought. I will address philosophy, biology, and theology, by studying Aristotle’s natural philosophy, Thomas Aquinas’ theology, and Maturana and Varela’s biological theory of autopoiesis. Although self-sufficiency is quite revealing of what life is, I will argue that it does notdo justice to the relational essence of life, being my goal to open new perspectives on life by placing the prefix syn- over the prefix autós-. The philosophical task today seems to be to understand what relationality and community means, and I argue that for that end the “autarchy paradigm” should be challenged, understanding life (bíos) essentially as “life in common” (symbiosis).
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

December

Vol. 50, Iss. 6, Pages 1999-2398

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