Hylozoism

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hylozoism

 

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 ?
Exhibits such as Hylozoic Ground offer an example of what The Leonardo aims to bring to Utah to build upon what Giles refers to as the state's "ecological habitat." His hope is that it turns the center into a repeat destination for all ages.
The book's central chapters, which are organized by topic ("Earth, Mining, Monotheism, and Mountain Theology"; "Air, Water, Woods"; "Hylozoic Poetry: The Lives of Plants"; "Zoic Poetry: Animals, Ornithology, and the Ethics of Empathy"; "Animal Ethics and Radical Justice"), generally read poetry as responding to developments in these fields.
As such, we come to see Bruno's "pantheistic philosophy" (47), in which a hylozoic matter--both as passive and active potentiality--in its dialectic with form is the principle in which opposites coincide, contraction happens, and the soul's assimilation into the Divine is ideally enacted through intellective, not affective, experience.
Water and Salt (II): "Material" Causality and Hylozoic Thought in the Yajnavalka-Maitreyi Dialogue.
N., [communicated by Robert Lewins] "Hylozoic Materialism," Journal of Science 3rd ser.