Respect for Structure

  • Ermanno Bencivenga
Part of the Topoi Library book series (TOPI, volume 3)


Imagine the following. There is a planet out there in the universe that, you know with absolute certainty, no humans or other intelligent forms of life will ever come into any significant contact with. By that, I mean at least that no such forms of life will ever land on the planet, use any of it, or even know enough about it to be able to appreciate its existence or qualities aesthetically. Besides, the planet contains no life of its own: no animals, no bacteria, no plants. It does, on the other hand, have a perfectly definite (inanimate) structure: there are mountains and rivers there, oceans and lakes and deserts. And there is a button on your desk here, and if you press that button the planet will instantaneously disintegrate.


Absolute Certainty Significant Contact Large Scheme Intelligent Form Full Relief 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ermanno Bencivenga
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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