1. the doctrine that phenomena are only partly controlled by mechanical forces, and are in some measure self-determining.Compare dynamism(def 1), mechanism(def 8).
  2. Biology. a doctrine that ascribes the functions of a living organism to a vital principle distinct from chemical and physical forces.


  1. the philosophical doctrine that the phenomena of life cannot be explained in purely mechanical terms because there is something immaterial which distinguishes living from inanimate matterCompare dynamism, mechanism

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