hylozoism


hylozoism

View that all matter is alive, either in itself or by participation in the operation of a world soul or some similar principle. Hylozoism is logically distinct both from early forms of animism, which personify nature, and from panpsychism, which attributes some form of consciousness or sensation to all matter. The word was coined in the 17th century by Ralph Cudworth, who with Henry More (1614–1687) spoke of “plastic nature,” an unconscious, incorporeal substance that controls and organizes matter and thus produces natural events as a divine instrument of change.

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