Hylozoism: hy•lo•zo•ism: noun \ˌhī-lə-ˈzō-ˌi-zəm\ from the Greek hylē matter, literally, wood + zōos alive, living; akin to Greek zōē life.
1. a doctrine held especially by early Greek philosophers that all matter has life
2. the philosophical conjecture that all or some material things possess life
3. that all life is inseparable from matter
4. that the universe is essentially alive, or
5. that "inanimate" matter has latent powers of abiogenesis (amino chains giving rise to life).
There is distinction drawn between Hylozoistic “possessing life” and the Panpsychic “Possessing mind”, a fact hard to maintain as the distinction of applying life is usually augmented with the association of at least some consciousness. By that same token, animism, the association of spirits to the world around us, is also less than clear in that some sort of ‘life’ and ‘consciousness’ are, or at least can be, applied to the spiritual essence of places, people, and things.
It is important to remember that Hylozoism does not imply separate life or identity. The life was intrinsic to the object, latent or otherwise, be it a marble or a Lion. Though, the stoics believed in the idea of the world soul, or anima mundi, the vital force of the universe… but that’s starting to move into pandeism (which will explore in another installment) some.
For now, we need understand that Hylozoism started out as the belief that life was inseparable from matter, which was then expanded to include the latent and insipient forms of life as distinguished by an example (a rock (latent) a dog (incipient)). This led to a mechanistic view of life in things, the height of which is the soul of Descartes’ work, depriving the material from anything but mechanism, and then flowing back into a single set of distinctions that sees life as indivisible between animate and inanimate objects again. Are you thoroughly confused yet? I know I am.
Animism is the view that spirits inhabit the world (universe). Panpsychism is the idea that all matter is imbued with some (greater or lesser) form of consciousness. Hylozoism is the association that all matter has intrinsically linked with life. Animism has elements of panpsychism (the assignment of consciousness to the soul) and Hylozoism (the assignment of life to the soul).
It’s hard for me to imagine mind and life without soul (probably the reason I’m an animist) and the idea that life and consciousness are not separable from the object to which it is attached is a limiting factor preventing the same being said about animism.