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Carol Cleland

Professor of Philosophy, University of Colorado Boulder

Carol Edith Cleland is an American philosopher of science and a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado Boulder. She holds affiliations with the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the SETI Institute, and the CU Boulder Center for Astrobiology.

Cleland is known for her work on the definition of life and the shadow biosphere, on the classification of minerals by their geological history, on the distinction between historical and experimental approaches to science, and on the Church–Turing thesis on theoretical limits to physical computation.

She is the author of The Quest for a Universal Theory of Life: Searching for Life as We Don’t Know It and co-author (with Mark Bedau) of The Nature of Life: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives from Philosophy and Science. She has published extensively in both science and philosophy journals.

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