A constant theme of the founding texts of vitalism was the damage done to medicine by "systems" and theoretical abstractions. Although the vitalist physicians distanced themselves from Diderot and the Encyclopedists in important ways, in this respect they exemplified the spirit of the Encyclopedie, with its high valuation of the useful arts and denigration of metaphysical "'flights." Indeed this emphasis on the practical was the most pronounced feature of vitalist discourse from the mid-1750s to the 1770s, after which grand theorizing again came into vogue, eventuating in Barthez's synthesis, Nouveaux e/emens de fa science de l'homme ( 1778 ).