Talk:Élan vital

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I've been reading Bergson and this account of elan vital is wholly inadequate. In his last book, Two Sources of Morality and Religion, he rebuts the misconception that elan vital is being offered as an "explanation" for life, and gives a nuanced but perfectly intelligible explanation of why he developed the idea. I guess the shortest way of putting it is that elan vital stands in for what the scientific / mechanistic explanations for life given in his era failed to account for. It isn't an explanation, but a reminder of the limits of our current explanations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:54, 7 September 2012 (UTC)


I'm not getting how an idea conceived in the late 19th-early 20th century was the inspiration for Mary Shelley's novel written in 1818?! Perhaps I'm missing something... Gotterfunken 23:28, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Julian Huxley quote[edit]

The quotation doesn't show he took the theory seriously - it certainly demonstrates that he was aware of it, but he's using it metaphorically, not scientifically. Pseudomonas(talk) 09:44, 14 November 2008 (UTC)


The idea of a "vital force" was around long before 1907. I think Aristotle came up with it and it was believed well into the age of modern science. I have no idea why a search for vital force led me here. --The Radio Star 21:13, 6 October 2007 (UTC)