Journal of Philosophy of Life

An international peer-reviewed open access journal dedicated to the philosophy of life, death, and nature, supported by the Project of Philosophy and Contemporary Society, Advanced Research Center for Human Sciences, Waseda University


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Life in Progress
: Musings about Speech, Thought and Understanding

Allan Savage

Journal of Philosophy of Life Vol.8, No.2 (July 2018):35-47




In the world of living organisms, the phenomena of movement and activity are not to be identified as equal, although both occur there. Activity, which is proper to humans, has a particular conscious quality that infra-human life and physical matter in its inanimate (chemical) movement lack. Human life is consciously value-oriented through speech, thought and understanding, the contemplation of which through a philosophical approach may indicate that a life in progress need not be classically understood necessarily. Humans must fashion their life through speech, thought and understanding (a philosophy of mind) within a contemporary and particular social context which infra-human life, and the AI of digital computers cannot do.

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