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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.

vi′tal·ist adj. & n.
vi′tal·is′tic adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Homeopathic physicians and proponents argue that vaccines interfere with our innate immune functioning, disturbing its subtle energetic, vitalistic healing.
Reaching in the other direction, he makes reference to a work of the 1720s by John Quincy, whose theory of the nerves was iatromechanical rather than vitalistic in character.
Nevertheless, and according to Braidotti's proposal of an optimistic and vitalistic politics, the productive force of zoe, or life in its inhuman aspects, should be privileged in order to contest the arrogance of anthropocentrism (Braidotti, The Posthuman 139).
The four essential aspects identified are: the vitalistic dimension, sacred dimension, relationality, and freedom and responsibility which have been identified as constituting the core elements of African personality discourse.
Brassier's cosmic reinscription of Freud's model [of the death drive] only manages to successfully eliminate the vitalistic horizon implicit in the antihuman definition of capitalism proposed by Land.
For a time, starting in the nineteenth century, as Newman noted from within that period, surrogates for theology proclaimed speculations still less well-founded, because they sought, in alternatively mechanistic and vitalistic ways, to reduce the reality of the human soul rather than, like theology, to try to explain how psychic and material realities can coexist in one cosmos.
To take one prominent example of performance theory's vitalistic tendency, D.
This vitalistic energy sits at the heart of being, plays a role in illness and distress.
This history of naturopathy details a system that, like other popular modalities of the nineteenth century, advocated a philosophy linking body, mind, and soul to an eclectic blend of intuitive and vitalistic therapies.
Even though he concedes that the Atlantic bridge provides Europe with "jets of restorative juice, vitalistic enthusiasm and revelation in excesses of body and soul" (Atlantski most 9), he does not leave his national and cultural wellspring behind.
The organicistic and vitalistic notion of the world is explicit here.
Tennant's new work, true to his liberal project, continued to develop his vitalistic account of sin as merely another name for lingering animal impulses impeding, but not preventing, the advance of the human spirit.