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IDS 101: In Search of Life: Books

Online Encyclopedias

Course Description:  What is life? What does it mean to be alive? Is there, or can there ever be, a universally accepted definition of life? In this course, we will explore and integrate both classical and contemporary perspectives on the nature of life. We will consider the thoughts of philosophers including Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant, as well as physicists, chemists and biologists including Haldane, Schrödinger, Sagan, and Dawkins. We will strive to understand how ideas of what defines life have changed over time, and what factors have motivated or contributed to these changes. We will also analyze case studies that include prions, viruses, and ‘extremophiles’ - life forms that exist in the most extreme environments on earth. We will challenge our preconceived assumptions and biases on what constitutes life, and what it means to be alive. 

Taught by: Jason Duncan

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For e-books, try the EBL Ebook Collection.

The library now has over 15,000 e-books as part of the Orbis Cascade Alliance's Demand Driven Acquisitions Project. Access to EBL is limited to current students, staff, and faculty of Willamette.

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EBSCOhost eBooks is a collection of over 4,700 online books with subject strengths in reference, computer science and the Northwest. 

It also includes books from regional university presses and Choice Outstanding Academic Titles.

Note: At this time the only way to read the EBSCOhost e-books is in their viewer.