Reviving the Living: Meaning Making in Living Systems

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Reviving the Living: Meaning Making in Living Systems presents a novel perspective that relates to current biological knowledge and issues. Written by polymath Dr. Yair Neuman, the book challenges the dogmas that frame our understanding of living systems and presents a radical alternative approach to understanding the world around us, one that avoids the pitfalls of non-scientific perspectives such as Vitalism and Creationism.
In this thought provoking and iconoclastic manuscript, Neuman follows the footsteps of Gregory Bateson, Mikhail Bakhtin, Michael Polanyi and others, to suggest that living systems are meaning making systems. The book delves into the unique processes of meaning making that characterize organisms as a unique category of nature, and offers new and fascinating insights into a variety of enigmatic biological phenomena from immune memory to hidden life (cryptobiosis). It consists of four parts divided into 18 chapters and covers topics ranging from reductionism and its pitfalls to genetics; why organisms are irreducible; immunology; meaning making in language and biology; meaning-bridging the gap between physics and semantics; context and memory; and the poetry of living. Core concepts and themes are illustrated using examples based in current science.
This text would be of high interest to biologists, philosophers, cognitive scientists, psychologists, and semioticians, as well as to any reflective individual who is willing to examine the realm of the living from a novel and fascinating perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAmsterdam; Oxford
Number of pages289
ISBN (Electronic)0080560415, 1281189146, 9786611189143
ISBN (Print)0080560415, 0444530339, 9780080560410, 9780444530332
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

NameStudies in multidisciplinarity
Volumev. 6


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