Central Alexander’s philosophy is the concept of “life” that:
“…is not a limited mechanical concept which applies to self-reproducing biological machines.” [Book I, p 28]
“What we call ‘life’ is a general condition which exists, to some degree or other, in every part of space: brick, stone, grass, river, painting, building, daffodil, human being, forest, city. And further:…every part of space—every connected region of space, large or small—has some degree of life, and that this degree of life is well defined, objectively existing, and measurable.”
His concern is:
“The feeling of deep life which occurs in traditional artifacts is less common in the 20th century…It is uncommon because…the processes needed to create life were damaged in the 20th century.”
He presents a means to correct this in “The Nature of Order”. Books 1 and 2 describe life, how it comes about in nature through a “smoothly unfolding” process and how we can utilize a similar smoothly unfolding process in the world of our man-made creations, including our virtual, digital creations, in effect reversing the 20th century trend he sees as so destructive.