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There is still no consensus definition of complex systems. This article explores, as a heuristic approach, the possibility of using notions associated with life as transversal concepts for defining complex systems. This approach is developed within a general classification of systems, with complex systems considered as a general 'living things' category and living organisms as a specialised class within this category. Concepts associated with life are first explored in the context of complexdoi:10.7906/indecs.11.1.4 fatcat:ntkn567nczaydk3etow52k7nra