Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The theory or doctrine that life processes arise from or contain a nonmaterial vital principle and cannot be explained entirely as physical and chemical phenomena.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In biology, the doctrine that ascribes all the functions of an organism to a vital principle distinct from chemical and other physical forces.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Biol.) The doctrine that all the functions of a living organism are due to an unknown vital principle distinct from all chemical and physical forces.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun the doctrine that life involves some immaterial "vital force", and cannot be explained scientifically

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (philosophy) a doctrine that life is a vital principle distinct from physics and chemistry

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

vital +‎ -ism

Examples

  • If anti-vitalism is true, life does not suddenly appear where it was not present before.

    Mindful things « Anglican Samizdat

  • If anti-vitalism is true, life does not suddenly appear where it was not present before.

    2010 February « Anglican Samizdat

  • That a chemical produced by natural organisms could be derived so easily in a flask threatened to overturn the entire conception of living organisms: for centuries, the chemistry of living organisms was thought to be imbued with some mystical property, a vital essence that could not be duplicated in a laboratory—a theory called vitalism.

    The Emperor of All Maladies

  • That a chemical produced by natural organisms could be derived so easily in a flask threatened to overturn the entire conception of living organisms: for centuries, the chemistry of living organisms was thought to be imbued with some mystical property, a vital essence that could not be duplicated in a laboratory—a theory called vitalism.

    The Emperor of All Maladies

  • That a chemical produced by natural organisms could be derived so easily in a flask threatened to overturn the entire conception of living organisms: for centuries, the chemistry of living organisms was thought to be imbued with some mystical property, a vital essence that could not be duplicated in a laboratory—a theory called vitalism.

    The Emperor of All Maladies

  • His fideist Weltanschauung also extends to other areas, e.g., he maintains that physics cannot be capable of explaining human consciousness, which is a mystical position known as vitalism: in effect that human-level sapience amounts to some type of soul that is beyond the study and description of science.

    The Simulation Argument and Christianity « Anglican Samizdat

  • The first and most traditional argument is the idea of vitalism or dualism.

    Sentient Developments

  • It used to be called "vitalism" by philosophers, and is contemptuously dismissed under that name nowadays by the few scientists educated enough to be aware of it.

    Archive 2007-10-01

  • It used to be called "vitalism" by philosophers, and is contemptuously dismissed under that name nowadays by the few scientists educated enough to be aware of it.

    God and evolution: the state of the question

  • The atman concept originally conected to a kind of vitalism and supernaturalism that theories like Darwinian evolution have undermined.

    Summer Institute on Science and Religion at the Jefferson Center - The Panda's Thumb

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