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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the philosophical doctrine that all matter is animated. The term was introduced in the 17th century.

Hylozoism dates from the very beginning of philosophy and occurs in the Ionian school of natural philosophers— Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes. Heraclitus, Emped-ocles, and the stoics were close to hylozoism, and elements of it were included in Aristotle’s teachings. During the Renaissance, it appeared again in the teachings of the Italian natural philosophers B. Telesio and G. Bruno, Paracelsus, and others. Spinoza studied thought as a quality present in all of nature, as an attribute of matter. After him several French materialists, such as Diderot, Robinet, and Des-champs, acknowledged the general animation of matter. E. Haeckel defended a point of view similar to hylozoism.

According to hylozoism, life and hence sensitivity are present in all things in nature, in all forms of matter. Opposed to this philosophy is dialectical materialism, which considers sensation a property of only highly developed organic matter.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Both claims are possible together thanks to his hylozoism, that is akin to Newton's alchemical animism of the years 1670.
Rather the Comprehensive as a spiritual idea comes closer to what Jaspers calls hylozoism, and perhaps closer still to the idea of an emergent geocentric divinity that is found in the work of Tielhard de Chardin.
In addition to accounts of seventeenth century Christian hylozoism, monist and vitalist philosophies, and land-use polemics, Poetry and Ecology suggests another possible source of sustenance for ecological thought during this period: empiricism.
However, careful examination of Kant's proof of the specific causal principle in the Foundations reveals that his key premise rests not on metaphysical analysis, but on our empirical ignorance of any instances of hylozoism. With this, Kant's foundational order of philosophical priority is destroyed, as are the deductivist, "scientific" aspirations embodied in Kant's grand vision of "scientific" philosophy.
Such "hylozoism" (63), which resists emergent enlightenment ideology, humanizes teleology, creating a "relatively non-abstract universe within which [Blake's] readers might feel a sense of unalienated community with all things" (67).
Queneau's hylozoism has a multitude of precedents, the most venerable being Plato's insistence that the world is "a living being with soul and intelligence" in the Timaeus, and the most striking, the notes Andre Chenier made for his unfinished verse cosmogony Hermes (Plato 43, Andrews 64-65).
With hyle meaning "matter" and zoe meaning "life," Hylozoism is the doctrine "that energy is inherent in matter itself, and not dependent on any influx from outside, or in other words on extranatural influence." (10) The effect of this epistemology is that each individual sentient being is "the Maker or Creator, or Demiurge of the only universe--abstract or concrete, visible or invisible, to which it has access." (11) Lewins' thought is, of course, a part of a much bigger movement of materialist thought.
Pierre Maupertuis then took up the idea and went to extreme lengths to deny the existence of structure at all, replacing the idea with "a vague sort of hylozoism" (89).
283: `The role of the gods in traditional epic is superseded by a kind of Stoic hylozoism; the Olympians yield to the workings of natural phenomena.
Referred to as hylozoism, this view of life is so general as to be meaningless.
The entire middle section of Zammito's book is to be recommended both for its extensive discussion of the often neglected second half of the Third Critique, as well as for its treatment of teleology against the backdrop of Kant's critique of contemporary science and its attendant concept of hylozoism. This central section concludes with a discussion of Kant's position in the Pantheism Controversy, which prepares the ground for the third and final section--and third and dinal 'turn' of the book.