Tylor, the doctrine of spiritual beings, including human souls; in practice, however, the term is often extended to include panthelism or animatism, the doctrine that a great part, if not the whole, of the inanimate kingdom, as well as all animated beings, are endowed with reason, intelligence and volition, identical with that of man.
But it is difficult in practice to distinguish the two phases of thought and no clear account of animatism can yet be given, largely on the ground that no people has yet been discovered which has not already developed to a greater or less extent an animistic philosophy.
On theoretical grounds it is probable that animatism preceded animism; but savage thought is no more consistent than that of civilized man; and it may well be that animistic and panthelistic doctrines are held simultaneously by the same person.
Animism may have arisen out of or simultaneously with animatism as a primitive explanation of many different phenomena; if animism was originally applied to non-human or inanimate objects, animism may from the outset have been in vogue as a theory of the nature of man.
Marett proposed the term " Animatism," Folk Lore (1900), xi.