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Descriptor English: Vitalism
Descriptor Spanish: Vitalismo
Descriptor Portuguese: Vitalismo
Descriptor French: Vitalisme
Entry term(s): Vitalisms
Tree number(s): HP1.007.338
K01.752.935
RDF Unique Identifier: https://id.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/D014799
Scope note: The metaphysical doctrine that the functions and processes of life are due to a vital principle distinct from physicochemical forces and that the laws of physics and chemistry alone cannot explain life functions and processes. Vitalism is opposed to mechanistic materialism. The belief was that matter was divided into two classes based on behavior with respect to heat: organic and inorganic. Inorganic material could be melted but could always be recovered by removing the heat source. Organic compounds changed form upon heating and could not be recovered by removing the heat source. The proposed explanation for the difference between organic and inorganic compounds was the Vitalism Theory, which stated that inorganic materials did not contain the "vital force" of life.
Allowable Qualifiers: HI history
PX psychology
DeCS ID: 15200
Unique ID: D014799
Documents indexed in the Virtual Health Library (VHL): Click here to access the VHL documents
Date Established: 1966/01/01
Date of Entry: 1999/01/01
Revision Date: 1999/11/03
Vitalism - Preferred
Concept UI M0022785
Scope note The metaphysical doctrine that the functions and processes of life are due to a vital principle distinct from physicochemical forces and that the laws of physics and chemistry alone cannot explain life functions and processes. Vitalism is opposed to mechanistic materialism. The belief was that matter was divided into two classes based on behavior with respect to heat: organic and inorganic. Inorganic material could be melted but could always be recovered by removing the heat source. Organic compounds changed form upon heating and could not be recovered by removing the heat source. The proposed explanation for the difference between organic and inorganic compounds was the Vitalism Theory, which stated that inorganic materials did not contain the "vital force" of life.
Preferred term Vitalism
Entry term(s) Vitalisms



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