a mouse by any other

"Mice are surely mice no  matter what we call them. But mice remain mice as long as they survive to pass on their genome--it is what neo-Darwinism calls satisficing. Satisficing is a performative standard for existing. And there is no mouse-flavored DNA. There isn't even any DNA-flavored DNA--it is a palimsest of mutations, viral code insertions and so on. There isn't even any life-flavored life. DNA requires ribosomes and ribosomes require DNA, so to break the vicious cycle, there must have been an RNA world of RNA attached to a nonorganic replicator such as a silicate crystal. So there is a mouse--this is neither a nominalist nor an idealist argument. But the mouse is a non-mouse, or what I call a strange stranger. Even more weirdly, this is why the mouse is real. The fact that wherever we look we cannot find a mouse, is the very reason why it exists!"

--Timothy Morton, in Poisoned Ground: Art and Philosophy in the Time of Hyperobjects