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

Yukio Pegio Gunji*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


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
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 1992 Feb
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'The form of life. I. It is possible but not necessary'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this