© 2016 CSIC. The industrial biotechnology calls the products of synthetic biology "living machines". As I want to demonstrate in this article, the concept of "living machine" is misleading. the products of synthetic biology are rather modified organisms. Starting from the Kantian concept of an internal finality as the main characteristic of the living, Hegel showed that all living being is not only a being-for-itself, but also a being-for-others. As Plessner pointed out, this difference is the origin of technique, which is, according to his conception, an integral part of the process of life. We find this idea also in the organic philosophy of Whitehead. the possibility of mechanization of life originates from process of life itself.