A theory advanced principally by Henri Bergson (in "," Paris, 1907).
Contrary to mechanism, this "new philosophy" maintains that entirely new beings arise which were in no way contained in their antecedents.
Duration, which is the present colored by the entire past and possessed of a persistent eagerness to press forward (the elan vital), is the very stuff of life.
This evolutionary driving force divides into vegetal and animal life; and attains to complete consciousness and liberty in man.
The next advance is to be "intuition," the faculty of apprehending the essence of all things as life.
The system, a form of monism, is undone by its own postulates of production without a cause and progress without a governing idea.
New Catholic Dictionary