Meaning of vitalism

vi•tal•ism

Pronunciation: (vīt'l-iz"um), [key]
  1. the doctrine that phenomena are only partly controlled by mechanical forces, and are in some measure self-determining. Cf.(def. 1),(def. 8).
  2. a doctrine that ascribes the functions of a living organism to a vital principle distinct from chemical and physical forces.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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