Artificial Life is developing into a new type of discipline, based on computational construction as its main tool for exploring and producing a science of life “as it could be.” In this area of research, the generation of complex virtual systems, in place of the traditional empirical domain, has become the actual object of theory. This entails a profound change in the tradi-tional relationship between ontological, epistemological and methodological levels of analy-sis, which forces us to recon-sider the differences apparently firmly established between science and philosophy. Even if the frontiers between these two kinds of knowledge do not completely disappear, new, dynamic, complex, technologi-cally mediated interactions are being developed between them.

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Author notes

Originally presented at the Seventh International Conference on Artificial Life (Alife VII), 1-6 August 2000, Portland, OR, U.S.A. First published in M.A. Bedau, J.S. McCaskill, N.H. Packard and St. Rasmussen, eds., Artificial Life VII: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000). Reprinted by permission.