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In terms, vitalist (LH:3) is one who espouses the doctrine that life cannot be entirely reduced to physical and chemical factors; those who hold that social energy is independent of mechanical law (Sims, 1924). A vitalist can be compared to an “anti-vitalist”, meaning: one against or opposed to vitalism, or "abioist", meaning: one who does not believe life exists.


The following are quotes:

“Properly speaking, Spencer's work was little more than a physical philosophy of society. Stimulating though it has proved to all subsequent students in this field, it did not give direction to the main line of development. Those who since Spencer have striven to make of sociology a science have shifted it to other grounds. They have delivered it into the hands of the vitalists or those who hold that social energy is independent of mechanical law.”
Newell Sims (1924), Society and Surplus (pg. viii)[1]
“I have a strong suspicion, that it is the Christians, and the Catholics in particular who write as vitalists and it is the agnostics and atheist who are the anti-vitalists.”
Francis Crick (1966), Of Molecules and Men (pg. 25-27) [2]

End matter


  1. Sims, Newell L. (1924). Society and its Surplus: a Study in Social Evolution (pg. 3). Appleton and Co.
  2. Crick, Francis. (1966). Of Molecules and Men (John Danz Lecture: "Is Vitalism Dead?", University of Washington, Feb and Mar) (pg. 5). Prometheus, 2004.

External links

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