Vital force (?), n. (Physiol.)

That force or power which is inherent in organization; that form of energy which is the cause of the vital phenomena of the body, as distinguished from the physical forces generally known.

The vital forces, according to Cope, are nerve force (neurism), growth force (bathmism), and thought force (phrenism), all under the direction and control of the vital principle. Apart from the phenomena of consciousness, vital actions no longer need to be considered as of a mysterious and unfathomable character, nor vital force as anything other than a form of physical energy derived from, and convertible into, other well-known forces of nature.

 

© Webster 1913.

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