We have found that the principles of dialetheism, which state that some contradictions (typically at the limits of a system) may be true, and which amply demonstrate the limits of thought and conception, can be valuable in sorting out and clarifying some astrobiological problems that impede our ability to define life. The examples include the classification of viruses as alive or not alive, and the description of the transition zone for the abiotic-to-biotic transition. Dialetheism gives us the philosophical tool to state that the viruses may be both alive and not alive, and that chemical systems may exist that are both abiotic and biotic.
We have extracted some philosophical principles of the identity and have applied them to the identity of living organisms and their life forms. The first and most important idea is that we should define an individual organism via its numerical identity. For each organism its identity will be in relation to itself. As the organism undergoes various changes during its development, and as it transitions from one to the next of its life forms, one can observe numerous qualitative differences between these life forms. Although the life forms change and the organism is in a flux, what remains constant is the numerical identity of the organism. If the organism reproduces, for example by a fission mode, then the daughter cells will have their own numerical identity. We can state that the life of an organism is a sum of all its life forms over the period of time of the existence of the organism. Reproduction, particularly by fission, represents an identity dilemma, but it can be resolved by Gallois' occasional identities theory.