Authors
Charles T. Wolfe
Università Di Venezia "Ca' Foscari"
Abstract
I distinguish between ‘substantival’ and ‘functional’ forms of vitalism in the eighteenth century. Substantival vitalism presupposes the existence of a (substantive) vital force which either plays a causal role in the natural world as studied scientifically, or remains an immaterial, extra-causal entity. Functional vitalism tends to operate ‘post facto’, from the existence of living bodies to the search for explanatory models that will account for their uniquely ‘vital’ properties better than fully mechanistic models can. I discuss representative figures of the Montpellier school (Bordeu, Ménuret, Fouquet) as functional rather than substantival vitalists, and suggest an additional point regarding the reprisal of vitalism(s) in the 20th century, from Driesch to Canguilhem: that in addition to the substantival and functional varieties, we encounter a third species of vitalism, which I term ‘attitudinal’, as it argues for vitalism as a kind of attitude.
Keywords vitalism, organism, organization, Enlightenment
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References found in this work BETA

Les Mote et les Choses.Michel Foucault - 1969 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 74 (2):250-251.
A Happiness Fit for Organic Bodies: La Mettrie's Medical Epicureanism.Charles T. Wolfe - 2009 - In Neven Leddy & Avi Lifschitz (eds.), Epicurus in the Enlightenment. Voltaire Foundation. pp. 69--83.
Vitalizing Nature in the Enlightenment.Peter Hanns Reill - 2006 - Journal of the History of Biology 39 (1):199-203.
Do Organisms Have an Ontological Status?Charles T. Wolfe - 2010 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 32 (2-3):195-232.

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Citations of this work BETA

Canguilhem and the Logic of Life.Arantza Etxeberria & Charles T. Wolfe - 2018 - Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science 4:47.

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Similar books and articles

Forms of Materialist Embodiment.Charles T. Wolfe - 2012 - In Matthew Landers & Brian Muñoz (eds.), Anatomy and the Organization of Knowledge, 1500-1850. Pickering & Chatto.
Forget Vitalism: Foucault and Lebensphilosophie.John S. Ransom - 1997 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 23 (1):33-47.

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