Category Archives: Life

The Purpose Of Life Is Not Happiness: It’s Usefulness

I recently ran into a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the dots finally connected. Emerson says: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference … Continue reading

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Why purpose might be a better goal than happiness

Happiness is the subject of countless quotations, slogans, self-help books and personal choices. It is also being taken seriously by national governments and organisations like the United Nations, as something societies should aim for. Focusing on one’s own happiness can … Continue reading

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Psychology and Life

The more certain existence and the better we know is indisputably ours, because, of all other objects, we possess external and superficial triable notions, while we perceive ourselves internally, deeply. What do we check then? What is, in this exceptional … Continue reading

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Walt Whitman on What Makes Life Worth Living

Tone your wants and tastes low down enough, and make much of negatives, and of mere daylight and the skies.” “Do you need a prod?” the poet Mary Oliver asked in her sublime meditation on living with maximal aliveness. “Do … Continue reading

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Autopoiesis with or without Cognition: defining Life at its Edge

This paper examines two questions related to autopoiesis as a theory for minimal life: (i) the relation between autopoiesis and cognition; and (ii) the question as to whether autopoiesis is the necessary and sufficient condition for life. First, we consider … Continue reading

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Systems View of Life

As the twenty-first century unfolds, it is becoming more and more evident that the major problems of our time – energy, the environment, climate change, food security, financial security – cannot be understood in isolation. They are systemic problems, which … Continue reading

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The Richer You Are, The Longer You’ll Live

Although life expectancy has been rising for Americans as a whole, the people who live in this country aren’t necessary sharing those gains equally. Wealthy people are enjoying longer lifespans than lower income Americans, according to a new analysis from … Continue reading

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Dr. Edgar Morin: Seven Complex Lessons in Education

Dr. Edgar Morin, an eminent sociologist and philosopher, discusses his work on Seven Complex Lessons in Education for the Future, addressing themes related to knowledge, identity and shared global challenges. “It is essential to teach and learn and see the … Continue reading

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Autopoiesis and Life

Life is defined by Maturana and Varela as a type of self-organization: autopoiesis in the physical space. This resembles the concept of metabolism, which itself is typically included in definitions of life. Three senses of  metabolism are distinguished. If  life … Continue reading

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Slow Is Beautiful: Why Learning How to Slow Down Is the Key to Simple Living

More and more it feels like our lives have turned into a grueling race toward a finish line we never reach. No matter how fast we go, no matter how many comforts we forgo in order to quicken our pace, … Continue reading

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