Pessimism of the Intellect, and the Optimism of the Will

Rahul Mahajan rahul at peaches.ph.utexas.edu
Wed May 29 04:45:40 MDT 1996


Adam:

>I feel far more comfortable disagreeing.
>
>But first you'll have to explain what you mean by "vitalism".
>In the UK, Vital is a particularly expensive sort of milk.

Vitalism is the belief that there is some special "life force" in living
organisms that transcends ordinary material reality, such as the laws of
physics. No scientist, whether biologist or physicist, would fail to
understand that evolution and the life processes of living organisms cannot
possibly fail to obey the second law of thermodynamics. Vitalism is the
intellectual province of obscurantist reactionary 19th-century philosophers
and Catholic mystics.

Rahul




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