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  1. Rolf Ahlers (2003). Vitalism and System. Idealistic Studies 33 (1):83-113.
    This paper thematizes the crucial agreement and point of departure between Jacobi and Fichte at the height of the “atheism controversy.” The argument on the proper relationship between philosophy and existence or speculation and life had far-reaching consequences in the history of thought after Jacobi and Fichte in German Idealism on the one hand, primarly advocated by Schelling and Hegel, and on the other hand by existentialism and vitalism. The essay focuses first on Jacobi’s philosophy of life, which centrally influenced (...)
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  2. Denis Alexander & Ronald L. Numbers (eds.) (2010). Biology and Ideology From Descartes to Dawkins. The University of Chicago Press.
    An accessible survey, this collection will enlighten historians of science, their students, practicing scientists, and anyone interested in the relationship ...
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  3. Garland E. Allen (2005). Mechanism, Vitalism and Organicism in Late Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Biology: The Importance of Historical Context. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):261-283.
    The term ‘mechanism’ has been used in two quite different ways in the history of biology. Operative, or explanatory mechanism refers to the step-by-step description or explanation of how components in a system interact to yield a particular outcome . Philosophical Mechanism, on the other hand, refers to a broad view of organisms as material entities, functioning in ways similar to machines — that is, carrying out a variety of activities based on known chemical and physical processes. In the early (...)
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  4. Garland E. Allen (2004). A Pact with the Embryo: Viktor Hamburger, Holistic and Mechanistic Philosophy in the Development of Neuroembryology, 1927-1955. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 37 (3):421 - 475.
    Viktor Hamburger was a developmental biologist interested in the ontogenesis of the vertebrate nervous system. A student of Hans Spemann at Freiburg in the 1920s, Hamburger picked up a holistic view of the embryo that precluded him from treating it in a reductionist way; at the same time, he was committed to a materialist and analytical approach that eschewed any form of vitalism or metaphysics. This paper explores how Hamburger walked this thin line between mechanistic reductionism and metaphysical vitalism in (...)
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  5. Michael Austin (2011). Unthinking Nature: Transcendental Realism, Neo-Vitalism and the Metaphysical Unconscious in Outline. Thinking Nature 1.
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  6. Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino (2011). Ontological Tensions in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Chemistry: Between Mechanism and Vitalism. Foundations of Chemistry 13 (3):173-186.
    The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries marks a period of transition between the vitalistic ontology that had dominated Renaissance natural philosophy and the Early Modern mechanistic paradigm endorsed by, among others, the Cartesians and Newtonians. This paper will focus on how the tensions between vitalism and mechanism played themselves out in the context of sixteenth and seventeenth century chemistry and chemical philosophy, particularly in the works of Paracelsus, Jan Baptista Van Helmont, Robert Fludd, and Robert Boyle. Rather than argue that these (...)
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  7. Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino, Ontological Tensions in 16th and 17th Century Chemistry: Between Mechanism and Vitalism.
    The 16th and 17th centuries marked a period of transition from the vitalistic ontology that had dominated Renaissance natural philosophy to the Early Modern mechanistic paradigm endorsed by, among others, the Cartesians and Newtonians. This paper focuses on how the tensions between vitalism and mechanism played themselves out in the context of 16th and 17th century chemistry and chemical philosophy. The paper argues that, within the fields of chemistry and chemical philosophy, the significant transition that culminated in the 18th century (...)
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  8. William P. Bechtel (1982). Taking Vitalism and Dualism Seriously: Towards a More Adequate Materialism. Nature and System 4 (March-June):23-44.
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  9. Charles G. Bell (1948). Mechanistic Replacement of Purpose in Biology. Philosophy of Science 15 (1):47-51.
  10. Jane Bennett (2010). The Force of Materiality : A Vitalist Stopover on the Way to a New Materialism. In Diana H. Coole & Samantha Frost (eds.), New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics. Duke University Press.
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  11. Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent (2009). Self-Assembly, Self-Organization: Nanotechnology and Vitalism. [REVIEW] NanoEthics 3 (1):31-42.
    Over the past decades, self-assembly has attracted a lot of research attention and transformed the relations between chemistry, materials science and biology. The paper explores the impact of the current interest in self-assembly techniques on the traditional debate over the nature of life. The first section describes three different research programs of self-assembly in nanotechnology in order to characterize their metaphysical implications: (1) Hybridization (using the building blocks of living systems for making devices and machines) ; (2) Biomimetics (making artifacts (...)
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  12. E. Benton (1974). Vitalism in Nineteenth-Century Scientific Thought: A Typology and Reassessment. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 5 (1):17-48.
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  13. Claire Blencowe, Incorporation : Foucault, Embodiment, and the Historical Conditions of Vitalism.
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  14. Jeffrey Scott Brown (2001). Vitalism and the Modernist Search for Meaning: Subjectivity, Social Order, and the Philosophy of Life in the Progressive Era. Dissertation, The University of Rochester
    This dissertation explores the encounter between American intellectual culture and vitalist theories of mind and metaphysics in the 1910s. The exercise is an attempt to shed new light first, on the consolidation of "scientific" psychotherapeutics in the United States; and second, on the nature and derivation of radical progressivism. The energetic popular response to vitalism and the avid adoption of its key tenets by leading analysts of the American self and society also facilitates a deeper inquiry into the psychic, spiritual, (...)
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  15. Theodore M. Brown (1974). From Mechanism to Vitalism in Eighteenth-Century English Physiology. Journal of the History of Biology 7 (2):179 - 216.
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  16. Frederick Burwick & Paul Douglass (eds.) (1992). The Crisis in Modernism: Bergson and the Vitalist Controversy. Cambridge University Press.
    The modernist movement has been regarded as representing a crisis point in Western thought. This volume looks at that crisis in terms of its reinterpretation of ideas concerning vitalism: the animation of the universe, whether spiritual or based in physical energies) of the universe. Beginning with vitalism's historical background in the enlightenment and the nineteenth century, and moving through scientific, philosophical and literary disciplines, the contributors chart the progress of vitalism and its influence on modernist thought. The focal point is (...)
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  17. John V. Canfield (1966). Purpose in Nature. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,Prentice-Hall.
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  18. William Carlo (1968). Mechanism and Vitalism: A Reappraisal. World Futures 6 (3):57-68.
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  19. Michael T. Casey (1963). Mechanism and Vitalism. Philosophical Studies 12 (6):255-256.
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  20. Anthony M. Cheng (2005). The Real Death of Vitalism. Penn Bioethics Journal 1 (1).
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  21. Joseph Chiari (1992). Vitalism and Contemporary Thought. In Frederick Burwick & Paul Douglass (eds.), The Crisis in Modernism: Bergson and the Vitalist Controversy. Cambridge University Press. 245--273.
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  22. Frederick B. Churchill (1969). From Machine-Theory to Entelechy: Two Studies in Developmental Teleology. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 2 (1):165 - 185.
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  23. Claire Colebrook (2010). Deleuze and the Meaning of Life. Continuum.
    Introduction: The problem of vitalism : active/passive -- Brain, system, model : the affective turn -- Vitalism and theoria -- Inorganic art -- Inorganic vitalism -- The vital order after theory -- On becoming -- Living systems, extended minds, gaia -- Conclusion.
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  24. Alessandro Cordelli (2008). Hedwig Conrad-Martius' Phenomenological Approach to Life Sciences and the Question of Vitalism. Axiomathes 18 (4):503-514.
    The philosophy of Hedwig Conrad-Martius represents a very important intersection point between phenomenological research and the natural sciences in the twentieth century. She tried to open a common pattern from the ontology of the physical being up to anthropology, passing from the biological sciences. An intersection point that, for the particular features of her thought, is rather a perspective point from which to observe, in an interesting and original way, both natural sciences and phenomenology. The 1923 essay entitled Real Ontology (...)
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  25. Marguerite W. Crookes (1928). Vitalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 6 (4):283 – 294.
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  26. Andrew S. Cunningham (2007). Hume's Vitalism and its Implications. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (1):59 – 73.
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  27. Michael J. Denton, Govindasamy Kumaramanickavel & Michael Legge (2013). Cells as Irreducible Wholes: The Failure of Mechanism and the Possibility of an Organicist Revival. Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):31-52.
    According to vitalism, living organisms differ from machines and all other inanimate objects by being endowed with an indwelling immaterial directive agency, ‘vital force,’ or entelechy . While support for vitalism fell away in the late nineteenth century many biologists in the early twentieth century embraced a non vitalist philosophy variously termed organicism/holism/emergentism which aimed at replacing the actions of an immaterial spirit with what was seen as an equivalent but perfectly natural agency—the emergent autonomous activity of the whole organism. (...)
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  28. John E. Drabinski (2011). Donna V. Jones, The Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy: Négritude, Vitalism, and Modernity. Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 19 (2):180-188.
    An extended discussion of Donna V. Jones, The Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy: Négritude, Vitalism, and Modernity (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010), 217 pp.
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  29. Hans Driesch (1914). The History & Theory of Vitalism. Authorised Translation by C.K. Ogden. Rev. And in Part Re-Written for the English Ed. By the Author. [REVIEW] Macmillan.
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  30. Hans Driesch & James Johnstone (1916). The History and Theory of Vitalism. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 13 (4):103-109.
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  31. François Duchesneau (1983). The Strategy of Life: Teleology and Mechanics in Nineteenth Century German Biology Timothy Lenoir Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1982. 314 P. $59.00. [REVIEW] Dialogue 22 (04):738-741.
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  32. Savilla Alice Elkus (1911). Mechanism and Vitalism. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 8 (13):355-358.
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  33. Claus Emmeche (2001). Does a Robot Have an Umwelt? Reflections on the Qualitative Biosemiotics of Jakob von Uexküll. Semiotica 2001 (134):653-693.
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  34. Adam Ferner (forthcoming). Vitalism and the Scientific Image in Post-Enlightenment Life Science, 1800–2010. Edited by Sebastian Normandin and Charles T. Wolfe. Springer, 2013, 377pp, £117. ISBN: 978-94-007-2445-7. [REVIEW] Philosophy:1-5.
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  35. Mariam Fraser, Sarah Kember & Celia Lury (eds.) (2006). Inventive Life: Approaches to the New Vitalism. Sage.
    This book demonstrates how and why vitalism—the idea that life cannot be explained by the principles of mechanism—matters now. Vitalism resists closure and reductionism in the life sciences while simultaneously addressing the object of life itself. The aim of this collection is to consider the questions that vitalism makes it possible to ask: questions about the role and status of life across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities and questions about contingency, indeterminacy, relationality and change. All have special importance now, (...)
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  36. A. Furjelová (2001). Remarks On Štúr's Conception of the Life Build-Up as A Positive Alternative to Vitalism. Filozofia 56:657-661.
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  37. A. Furjelova (2001). Remarks on Stur's Concept of Life Presented as a Positive Alternative to Vitalism. Filozofia 56 (9):657-661.
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  38. Brian Garrett (2003). Vitalism and Teleology in the Natural Philosophy of Nehemiah Grew. British Journal for the History of Science 36 (1):63-81.
    This essay examines some aspects of the early history of the vitalism/mechanism controversies by examining the work of Nehemiah Grew in relation to that of Henry More , Francis Glisson and the more mechanistically inclined members of the Royal Society. I compliment and critically comment on John Henry's exploration of active principles in pre-Newtonian mechanist thought. The postulation of ‘active matter’ can be seen as an important support for the new experimental philosophy, but it has theological drawbacks, allowing for a (...)
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  39. Brian Jonathan Garrett (2006). What the History of Vitalism Teaches Us About Consciousness and the "Hard Problem". Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (3):576 - 588.
    Daniel Dennett has claimed that if Chalmers' argument for the irreducibility of consciousness were to succeed, an analogous argument would establish the truth of Vitalism. Chalmers denies that there is such an analogy. I argue that the analogy does have merit and that skepticism is called for.
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  40. Alessandra Gerolin (2011). Beyond Determinism and Vitalism: Chronicle of Conference" What is Life? Theology, Science, and Philosophy". Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica 103 (4):745-752.
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  41. Philip D. Gingerich (1989). New Vitalism in Evolution. BioScience 39 (3):195-196.
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  42. Attila Grandpierre (2013). The Origin of Cellular Life and Biosemiotics. Biosemiotics (3):1-15.
    Recent successes of systems biology clarified that biological functionality is multilevel. We point out that this fact makes it necessary to revise popular views about macromolecular functions and distinguish between local, physico-chemical and global, biological functions. Our analysis shows that physico-chemical functions are merely tools of biological functionality. This result sheds new light on the origin of cellular life, indicating that in evolutionary history, assignment of biological functions to cellular ingredients plays a crucial role. In this wider picture, even if (...)
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  43. M. Greco (2005). On the Vitality of Vitalism. Theory, Culture and Society 22 (1):15-27.
    The term ‘vitalism’ is most readily associated with a series of debates among 18th- and 19th-century biologists, and broadly with the claim that the explanation of living phenomena is not compatible with, or is not exhausted by, the principles of basic sciences like physics and chemistry. Scientists and philosophers have continued to address vitalism - mostly in order to reject it - well into the second half of the 20th century, in connection with classic concepts such as mechanism, reductionism, emergence, (...)
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  44. O. W. Griffith (1914). Hans Driesch, The Problem of Individuality, and The History and Theory of Vitalism. [REVIEW] Hibbert Journal 13:438.
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  45. J. Albert Haldi (1925). Mechanism and Vitalism. The Monist 35 (4):590-604.
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  46. Viktor Hamburger, Garland E. Allen, Jane Maienschein & Hans Spemann (1999). Hans Spemann on Vitalism in Biology: Translation of a Portion of Spemann's "Autobiography". [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 32 (2):231 - 243.
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  47. Donna Jeanne Haraway (1976/2004). Crystals, Fabrics, and Fields: Metaphors That Shape Embryos. North Atlantic Books.
    Acclaimed theorist and social scientist Donna Jeanne Haraway uses the work of pioneering developmental biologists Ross G. Harrison, Joseph Needham, and Paul Weiss as a springboard for a discussion about a shift in developmental biology from a vitalism-mechanism framework to organicism. The book deftly interweaves Thomas Kuhn's concept of paradigm change into this wide-ranging analysis, emphasizing the role of model, analogy, and metaphor in the paradigm and arguing that any truly useful theoretical system in biology must have a central metaphor.
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  48. K. Hasebroek (1939). Das Vererbungsproblem in Seinen Beziehungen Zum Mechanismus Und Vitalismus. Acta Biotheoretica 4 (3):165-180.
    I tried to analyse the proceedings of heredity, methodologically separating the factors of “irritation and the reaction” upon it on the part of the living substance. The question was, to investigate the development of the hereditarily directed growth of the cells by “formative irritation” according to the conception of H.Driesch, that is to say in their homogeneousness with the biological reaction upon irritation on the part of the nutritive substances. It so became evident, that mechanism and vitalism have to co-operate (...)
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  49. Hilde Hein (1972). The Endurance of the Mechanism: Vitalism Controversy. Journal of the History of Biology 5 (1):159 - 188.
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  50. Hilde Hein (1969). Molecular Biology Vs. Organicism: The Enduring Dispute Between Mechanism and Vitalism. Synthese 20 (2):238 - 253.
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