Home > Resources in pathology > History - Epistemology > Medical history > Medical epistemology > Medical concepts > medicalisms > Mechanism

Mechanism

Wednesday 29 October 2003

Definition (from Wikipedia): Mechanism is a theory that all natural phenomena can be explained by physical causes. It can be contrasted with vitalism, the philosophical theory that vital forces are active in living organisms, so that life cannot be explained solely by mechanism.

The doctrine of mechanism in philosophy comes in two different flavors: universal mechanism and anthropic mechanism. They are both doctrines of metaphysics, but they are different in scope and ambitions:

- universal mechanism is the first is a global doctrine about nature.
- anthropic mechanism is a local doctrine about human beings and their minds.

See also

- universal mechanism
- anthropic mechanism

  • man machinery

- biological mechanism

  • cellular machinery

See also

- The machine man (L’Homme-Machine)
- Julien Offray de La Mettrie
- René Descartes

References

- Peters R. Checking and fixing the cellular nanomachinery: towards medical nanoscopy. Trends Mol Med. 2006 Feb;12(2):83-9. PMID: #16406702#

- Piccolino M. Biological machines: from mills to molecules. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Nov;1(2):149-53. PMID: #11253368#

Books in french

- La première révolution biologique. de Mirko D. Grmek. Éditeur : Payot (3 octobre 1990). Collection : Bibliothèque scientifique Payot. ASIN : 2228882771