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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7551/978-0-262-33936-0-ch111
Page 702
First published July 1 2016

Nonequilibrium thermodynamic stability: the apparent teleology of living beings

Mario Villalobos

Abstract (Excerpt)

Among physical systems, living beings are usually thought of as the only genuinely teleological natural systems. In this paper, I argue that the alleged teleology of living beings is not a real property but only an appearance, behind which what really exists is a complex version of stability. The complexity of living beings as stable systems has to do mainly, though not exclusively, so I argue, with the fact that living beings are dissipative structures which obey the thermodynamic principle of maximum entropy production.