Much of this controversy stemmed from the argument of mechanism versus vitalism .
It is often rooted in mysticism and a metaphysical belief in vitalism (Barrett).
He discarded vitalism , the idea that living things possess a vital essence, that separates them from all other matter.
But for long after that the elaborate organization of living things remained daunting and mysterious, and left plenty of room for vitalism as a respectable concept.
Influential Nazis tended to approve of the occult and of unscientific manifestations of vitalism and quasi-holism, including biodynamic farming, homeopathy, and a precursor of holistic medicine.
Unlike his Italian counterparts, Nolde looked to the art of non-Europeans as repositories for an authentic mysticism and vitalism that had been lost in industrial Europe.
Strangely, the pope's statement seems at odds with his own earlier writing, and comes curiously close to endorsing the notion of vitalism , a philosophy that he has firmly rejected in the past.
We should stress that we are not suggesting any form of vitalism - the discredited notion that living matter differs from all other matter by possessing some peculiar ingredient or elan vital.
This work led to the elucidation of the enzymes involved, and also dealt a blow to vitalism , the belief that life possessed a special force that distinguished it from non-living chemicals.
Since the demise of vitalism , we do not think of life per se as something distinct from living things.