Despite the renewed attention paid in recent years to the doctrine or doctrines associated with the Faculty of Medicine of the Université de Montpellier in the second half of the eighteenth century, and known as “vitalism” – chiefly Roselyne Rey's 1987 thèse d'État, which only appeared in print in 2000, and works by François Duchesneau, Elizabeth Williams, Timo Kaitaro, and Dominique Boury, some of whom have contributed to this volume – the existence of a specifically medical vitalism in the eighteenth century still continues to pose a problem. Commentators speaking in rather monolithic terms continue to describe vitalism in terms entirely derived from late nineteenth- or early twentieth-century “neo-vitalism,” that is, in the language of vital force, of supplemental, extra-causal agents powering the living body. Philosophers of biology and, more surprisingly, historians of ideas tend to sound like the very confident Francis Crick, speaking like a prophet from a mountaintop to the entire scientific community: “To those of you who may be vitalists, I would make this prophecy: what everyone believed yesterday, and you believe today, only cranks will believe tomorrow” (Crick 1966, 99). In less prophetic, but still very polarizing tones, a recent review discussion on biological development promotes “organicism” as a scientifically viable view – one which the authors of the review quickly distinguish from the more metaphysically laden “vitalism,” according to which (they write), “living matter is ontologically greater than the sum of its parts because of some life force (‘entelechy,’ ‘élan vital,’ ‘vis essentialis,’ etc.)” (Gilbert and Sarkar 2000, 1).