Hylozoism and the Nature of Material Substance

  • Robert Crocker
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas / Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Idées book series (ARCH, volume 185)


When not contained by his limited vitalism, ‘pure’ mechanism seemed to More to lead to a ‘nullibism’, where spirit was said to be in effect ‘nowhere’. In Descartes this had arisen from his conception of the physical world as an indefinite material extension, and his radical exclusion of all rational spiritual beings from this extension. In Hobbes this ‘nullibism’ was made more explicit: there was simply nothing that could be known from observation but matter in motion. For More such an exemplary ‘atheism’ was not strictly speaking the result of a disbelief in the existence of God, or even in the immortality of the soul, but of a philosophy which might be taken to imply such a disbelief.


Material Substance Medical Writer Energetic Substance Immaterial Substance Intellectual Humility 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Crocker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AustraliaAustralia

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