Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Sounding the Limits of LifeEssays in the Anthropology of Biology and Beyond$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stefan Helmreich

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164809

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164809.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

The Signature Of Life

The Signature Of Life

Designing the Astrobiological Imagination

(p.73) Chapter 7 The Signature Of Life
Sounding the Limits of Life

Stefan Helmreich

Sophia Roosth

Michele Friedner

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the project of astrobiology and its object, the “signature of life,” by drawing on the work of Hillel Schwartz, particularly his writing on time in Century's End, on duplication in The Culture of the Copy, and on signification in “De-Signing.” Schwartz's work can provide a fresh angle on the doublings, redoublings, definitions, and redefinitions at the heart of astrobiology's quest for extraterrestrial life. His crabwise approach offers provocative paratactical techniques for traversing the networks of association, acknowledged and unacknowledged, that support the concept of the signature of life. The chapter first considers the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), through the optic of Schwartz's writings on copying and his work on noise before discussing astrobiology's notion of the signature of life. It also offers suggestions for thwarting the overreaching of the theoretical impulse in both life sciences and humanities.

Keywords:   astrobiology, Hillel Schwartz, time, Century's End, The Culture of the Copy, signification, extraterrestrial life, extraterrestrial intelligence

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.