Term used in philos., biology, physics, and psychol. to denote a theory which holds that natural processes, esp. those of life, are mechanically determined and are to be explained by laws of physics and chemistry; it has no fixed meaning; its meaning was often modified by its antithesis (e.g., supernaturalism,* teleology,* vitalism).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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