On the Matter of Vitalism

9 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2013

Date Written: January 4, 2013

Abstract

The contemporary conception of mere matter that we have from quantum mechanics is so very different from that available to Descartes and so many others that the distinction between living and non-living that they in part founded on the distinction must be re-thought. The purpose of such a rethinking is not to assert that difference between a rock and an acorn, for example, is not so great as it once was. In this new dispensation they are still very different kinds of things, but the whole conceptual world in which that difference is inscribed and traced is itself a new and by no means complete one.

Keywords: vitalism, matter, chaos, complexity, Bennett, Descartes

Suggested Citation

Benzon, William L., On the Matter of Vitalism (January 4, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2196589 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2196589

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