Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Vitalism: representatives of vitalism assumed that life is a kind of principle added to the non-living matter. This principle turns inorganic matter into organic matter. Aristotle had already adopted a principle of life by using his concept of entelecheia, which has its goal in itself.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 108
Vitalism/Consciousness/VsChalmers: could a vitalist not argue,...
I 109
...that life would also be added as an "additional fact" to a physically-described body as consciousness, and so could not be explained by the physical facts?
ChalmersVsVs: Vitalism comes from the doubt that physical mechanisms can cope with all those complex functions that are related to life.
But faced with all our present knowledge, the vitalist would admit that life was explained. There is not even a conceptual space for all these functions without the assumption of life.
All that the vitalist could take into account in the end would be that the functional explanation does not explain the "knowing how it is to be alive".

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Cha I
D. Chalmers
The Conscious Mind Oxford New York 1996

Cha II
D. Chalmers
Constructing the World Oxford 2014

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-06-25
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