quote:In relation to the word "life", this debate has been about countering the suggestion made by you that Stacy was writing nonsense when she suggested that love was an essential part of life.
That is not what I was suggesting at all, Moonbeam. The difference is about generalization and specification. She generalized using the word "life" and then tried to describe that general thing with a specific attribute which doesn't live up to the breadth of the general thing. You suggest that she meant something narrower than "life" in general when she said "life", but I think that is trying to read her mind and explain away the error of projecting the importance of love as if it is as large or larger than life itself. In any case, I am not saying or suggesting her writing is nonsense. I am just pointing out where I disagree and find it mistaken.
It comes to the same thing Ess. You were indeed suggesting that the failure of ALL biological life to have the ability to love ruled her suggestion out of court. But you are wrong about me restricting my argument to fit Stacy's postulate by simply narrowing the definition of life so as to exclude those forms of biological life that cannot love because I go further than that and say that the life she is talking about isn't biological life at all. Perhaps when I wrote "when she uses the word "life" she refers to those forms of biological life that can experience the kind of psychological processes necessary to give her argument the possibility of validity" that was inadvisable. You seem to have latched onto it, and it expresses only one possibility i.e. that of some forms of biological life to experience Life (I use the uppercase to signify a life apart from and quite distinct from biological life).
You ask why I won't "accept that life means life [in the biological sense only]". The answer is simply because there is no reason that it should, because biological life is not the only possibility. Sure I could do as you are doing and assume that Stacy meant just a biological life, but that would to imply that Stacy was being illogical or ignorant or both in her statement when there is absolutely no need to imply that. I prefer to assume that she is logical, and this implies in turn that she was not talking purely about biological life but about Life.
"Life" is not the equivelant to specifying "psychological life" or "life of the mind" anymore than saying "bird" is equivelant specifically saying "crow". If I say "An animal's life is about swimming" it means "an animal", not "a fish".
You're completely missing the point by trying to suggest that a "psychological life" or a "life of the mind" are somehow subordinate elements within the larger set of biological life, just as a crow is a species within the larger group know as bird. This is not what I'm suggesting at all. Life as Stacy means it is quite distinct from biological life, it has nothing whatsoever to do with physical life at all. Call it metaphysical, spiritual, life of the mind, psychological, it doesn't matter. As I said before it doesn't even necessarily reside "within" biological life, in fact I rather suspect it doesn't, but that's another discussion.
"Life (cf. biota) is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have self-sustaining biological processes ("alive," "living"), from those which do not —either because such functions have ceased (death), or else because they lack such functions and are classified as "inanimate."
In biology, the science that studies living organisms, "life" is the condition which distinguishes active organisms from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, functional activity and the continual change preceding death. A diverse array of living organisms (life forms) can be found in the biosphere on Earth, and properties common to these organisms—plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria — are a carbon- and water-based cellular form with complex organization and heritable genetic information. Living organisms undergo metabolism, maintain homeostasis, possess a capacity to grow, respond to stimuli, reproduce and, through natural selection, adapt to their environment in successive generations. More complex living organisms can communicate through various means.
In philosophy and religion, the conception and nature of life varies, and offer interpretations in the frameworks of existence and consciousness, and touch on many other related issues, such as, ontology, value, life stance, purpose, conceptions of God, the soul and the afterlife."
I thought your "rather reckless without limitation" comment was great . And you are right of course, there is a point where contemporary poetry crosses a boundary imv, from interesting exploration into meaningless yet important sounding waffle. I think one of the main challenges of modern writing is to balance at that point, for it is there that new discoveries are made and fresh ideas formed. But it's not easy, and undoubtedly a lot of rubbish results. Yet is that not better than endlessly digging over the old, in search of ... what?