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Encyclopedia > Materialism

In philosophy, materialism is that form of physicalism which holds that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions; that matter is the only substance. As a theory, materialism belongs to the class of monist ontology. As such, it is different from ontological theories based on dualism or pluralism. In terms of singular explanations of the phenomenal reality, materialism stands in sharp contrast to idealism. The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ... The term physicalism was coined by Otto Neurath, in a series of early 20th century essays on the subject, in which he wrote According to physicalism, the language of physics is the universal language of science and, consequently, any knowledge can be brought back to the statements on the physical... There is no universally accepted theory of what the word existence means. ... Matter is the substance of which physical objects are composed. ... Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its properties. ... The Monad was a symbol referred by the Greek philosophers as The First, The Seed, The Essence, The Builder, and The Foundation Monism is the metaphysical and theological view that all is one, that there are no fundamental divisions, and a unified set of laws underlie nature. ... In philosophy, ontology (from the Greek , genitive : of being (part. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Pluralism is the name of entirely unrelated positions in metaphysics and epistemology. ... This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedias quality standards. ...

Contents

Overview

The view is perhaps best understood in its opposition to the doctrines of immaterial substance applied to the mind historically, famously by René Descartes. However, by itself materialism says nothing about how material substance should be characterized. In practice it is frequently assimilated to one variety of physicalism or another. René Descartes (French IPA: ) (March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650), also known as Renatus Cartesius (latinized form), was a highly influential French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and writer. ... The term physicalism was coined by Otto Neurath, in a series of early 20th century essays on the subject, in which he wrote According to physicalism, the language of physics is the universal language of science and, consequently, any knowledge can be brought back to the statements on the physical...


Materialism is often associated with the methodological principle of reductionism, according to which the objects or phenomena individuated at one level of description, if they are genuine, must be explicable in terms of the objects or phenomena at some other level of description -- typically, a more general level than the reduced one. Non-reductive materialism explicitly rejects this notion, however, taking the material constitution of all particulars to be consistent with the existence of real objects, properties, or phenomena not explicable in the terms canonically used for the basic material constituents. Jerry Fodor influentially argues this view, according to which empirical laws and explanations in "special sciences" like psychology or geology are invisible from the perspective of, say, basic physics. A vigorous literature has grown up around the relation between these views. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Reductionism. ... Jerry Alan Fodor (born 1935) is a philosopher at Rutgers University, New Jersey. ...


Materialism typically contrasts with dualism, phenomenalism, idealism, vitalism and dual-aspect monism. Because it is now a scientifically established fact that less than 4% of the universe is composed of matter as commonly understood[1] modern philosophical materialists attempt to extend the definition of matter to include other scientifically observable entities such as energy, forces, and the curvature of space.[citation needed] However this opens them to further criticism from philosophers such as Mary Midgley who suggest that the concept of "matter" is elusive and poorly defined[2] René Descartes illustration of dualism. ... In epistemology and the philosophy of perception, phenomenalism is the view that physical objects do not exist as things in themselves but only as perceptual phenomena or sensory stimuli (e. ... This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedias quality standards. ... Vitalism is the doctrine that vital forces are active in living organisms, so that life cannot be explained solely by mechanism. ... In the philosophy of mind, double-aspect theory is the view that the mental and the physical are two aspects of the same substance. ... Matter is the substance of which physical objects are composed. ... In physics, force is an influence that may cause an object to accelerate. ... Two-dimensional visualisation of space-time distortion. ... Mary Midgley, née Scrutton, (b. ...


Materialism has been criticised by religious thinkers opposed to it, who regard it as a spiritually empty philosophy. Marxism also uses materialism to refer to a "materialist conception of history", which is not concerned with metaphysics but centers on the roughly empirical world of human activity (practice, including labor) and the institutions created, reproduced, or destroyed by that activity (see materialist conception of history). Look up spiritual in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Marxism takes its name from the praxis (the synthesis of philosophy and political action) of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... Institutions are structures and mechanisms of social order and cooperation governing the behavior of two or more individuals. ... Historical materialism is the methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history which was first articulated by Karl Marx (1818-1883), although Marx himself never used the term (he referred it as philosophical materialism, a term he used to distinguish it from what he called popular materialism). Historical...


History of materialism

In Ancient Indian philosophy, materialism developed around 600 BCE with the works of Ajita Kesakambali, Payasi, Kanada, and the proponents of the Carvaka school of philosophy. Kanada was one of the early proponents of atomism. The Nyaya-Vaisesika school (600 BCE - 100 BCE) developed one of the earliest forms of atomism. The tradition was carried forward by Buddhist atomism and the Jaina school. Ancient India may refer to: the ancient History of India, which generally includes the ancient history of the whole Indian subcontinent the legendary Kingdoms of Ancient India in Sanskrit literature the Iron Age Mahajanapadas the Middle kingdoms of India of Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages Category: ... The term Indian philosophy may refer to any of several traditions of philosophical thought, including: Hindu philosophy Buddhist philosophy Jain philosophy Sikh philosophy Carvaka atheist philosophy Lokayata materialist philosophy Tantric religious philosophy Bhakti religious philosophy Sufi religious philosophy Ahmadi religious philosophy Political and military philosophy such as that of Chanakya... Ajita Kesakambali(n), was an ancient Indian philosopher in the 6th century BC. He is considered to be the first known proponent of Indian materialism. ... Payasi was a materialist philosopher in ancient India and was possibly a contemporary of Buddha. ... Kanada (also transliterated as Kanad and in other ways; Sanskrit कणाद) was a Hindu sage who founded the philosophical school of Vaisheshika. ... Carvaka, also frequently transliterated as Charvaka or Cārvāka, and also known as Lokayata or Lokyāta, is a thoroughly materialistic and atheistic school of thought with roots in ancient India. ... In natural philosophy, atomism is the theory that all the objects in the universe are composed of very small, indestructible elements - atoms. ... (Sanskrit ni-āyá, literally recursion, used in the sense of syllogism, inference)) is the name given to one of the six orthodox or astika schools of Hindu philosophy—specifically the school of logic. ... Vaisheshika, also Vaisesika, (Sanskrit: वैशॆषिक)is one of the six Hindu schools of philosophy (orthodox Vedic systems) of India. ... Buddhist Atomism Dharmakirtis tradition of Buddhist atomism Buddhist atoms in the tradition of Buddhist atomism underwent a very rich period during the time of Dharmakirti. ... Jaina Solo (b. ...


Xun Zi developed a Confucian doctrine oriented on realism and materialism in Ancient China. Other notable Chinese materialists of this time include Yang Xiong and Wang Chong. Xunzi Xún Zǐ (荀子, or Hsün Tzu c. ... Confucianism (儒家 Pinyin: rújiā The School of the Scholars), sometimes translated as the School of Literati, is an East Asian ethical, religious and philosophical system originally developed from the teachings of Confucius. ... Water Margin character, see Yang Xiong. ... Wang Chung (27 – 97 C.E.) (Traditional Chinese: 王充; Simplified Chinese: 王充; pinyin: Wáng Chōng) was a Chinese philosopher during the Han Dynasty who developed a rational, secular, naturalistic, and mechanistic account of the world and of human beings. ...


Ancient Greek philosophers like Thales, Parmenides, Anaxagoras, Democritus, Epicurus, and even Aristotle prefigure later materialists. The poem De Rerum Natura by Lucretius recounts the -mechanistic philosophy of Democritus and Epicurus. According to this view, all that exists is matter and void, and all phenomena are the result of different motions and conglomerations of base material particles called "atoms." De Rerum Natura provides mechanistic explanations for phenomena, like erosion, evaporation, wind, and sound, that would not become accepted for more than 1500 years. Famous principles like "nothing can come from nothing" and "nothing can touch body but body" first appeared in the works of Lucretius. Greek philosophy focused on the role of reason and inquiry. ... Thales of Miletos (, ca. ... Parmenides of Elea (Greek: , early 5th century BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Hellenic city on the southern coast of Italy. ... Anaxagoras Anaxagoras (Greek: Αναξαγόρας, c. ... ‎ Democritus (Greek: ) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher (born at Abdera in Thrace around 460 BC). ... Roman marble bust of Epicurus Epicurus (Epikouros or in Greek) (341 BC, Samos – 270 BC, Athens) was an ancient Greek philosopher, the founder of Epicureanism, one of the most popular schools of thought in Hellenistic Philosophy. ... Aristotle (Greek: Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ... Not to be confused with The Nature of Things, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television show about natural science. ... Lucretius Titus Lucretius Carus (c. ... In philosophy, mechanism is a theory that all natural phenomena can be explained by physical causes. ... ‎ Democritus (Greek: ) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher (born at Abdera in Thrace around 460 BC). ... Roman marble bust of Epicurus Epicurus (Epikouros or in Greek) (341 BC, Samos – 270 BC, Athens) was an ancient Greek philosopher, the founder of Epicureanism, one of the most popular schools of thought in Hellenistic Philosophy. ...


Later Indian materialist Jayaraashi Bhatta (6th century CE) in his work Tattvopaplavasimha ("the Upsetting of all principles") refuted the Nyaya Sutra epistemology. The materialistic Carvaka philosophy appears to have died out some time after 1400 CE. Later on, Thomas Hobbes and Pierre Gassendi represent the materialist tradition, in opposition to René Descartes' attempts to provide the natural sciences with dualist foundations. Later materialists included Denis Diderot and other French enlightenment thinkers, as well as Ludwig Feuerbach, and, in England, the pedestrian traveller John "Walking" Stewart, whose insistence that all matter is endowed with a moral dimension had a major imnpact on the philosophical poetry of William Wordsworth. Jayarasi Bhatta (or Jayaraasi Bhatta, fl. ... The Nyāya SÅ«tras is an ancient Indian text on of philosophy composed by Aká¹£apāda Gautama (also Gotama; c. ... “Hobbes” redirects here. ... Pierre Gassendi (January 22, 1592 – October 24, 1655) was a French philosopher, scientist and mathematician, best known for attempting to reconcile Epicurean atomism with Christianity and for publishing the first official observations of the Transit of Mercury in 1631. ... René Descartes (French IPA: ) (March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650), also known as Renatus Cartesius (latinized form), was a highly influential French philosopher, mathematician, scientist, and writer. ... The term natural science as the way in which different fields of study are defined is determined as much by historical convention as by the present day meaning of the words. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Portrait of Diderot by Louis-Michel van Loo, 1767 Denis Diderot (October 5, 1713 – July 31, 1784) was a French philosopher and writer. ... ... Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach (July 28, 1804 - September 13, 1872), German philosopher, fourth son of the eminent jurist Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach, was born in Landshut, Bavaria and died in Rechenberg (since 1899 a district of Nuremberg). ... John Walking Stewart (19 February 1747 – 20 February 1822) was an English traveller and philosopher. ... A moral is a one sentence remark made at the end of many childrens stories that expresses the intended meaning, or the moral message, of the tale. ... William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770 – April 23, 1850) was a major English romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their 1798 joint publication, Lyrical Ballads. ...


Schopenhauer wrote that "...materialism is the philosophy of the subject who forgets to take account of himself." (The World as Will and Representation, II, Ch. 1). He claimed that an observing subject can only know material objects through the mediation of the brain and its particular organization. The way that the brain knows determines the way that material objects are experienced. "Everything objective, extended, active, and hence everything material, is regarded by materialism as so solid a basis for its explanations that a reduction to this (especially if it should ultimately result in thrust and counter-thrust) can leave nothing to be desired. But all this is something that is given only very indirectly and conditionally, and is therefore only relatively present, for it has passed through the machinery and fabrication of the brain, and hence has entered the forms of time, space, and causality, by virtue of which it is first of all presented as extended in space and operating in time." (ibid., I, §7) Arthur Schopenhauer Arthur Schopenhauer (February 22, 1788 – September 21, 1860) was a German philosopher born in Gdańsk (Danzig), Poland. ... Published in 1819, The World as Will and Representation, sometimes translated as The World as Will and Idea (original German title: Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung), is the central work of Arthur Schopenhauer. ...


Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, turning the idealist dialectics of Georg Hegel upside down, provided materialism with a view on processes of quantitative and qualitative change called dialectical materialism, and with a materialist account of the course of history, known as historical materialism. Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 – March 14, 1883) was a 19th century philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary. ... Friedrich Engels (November 28, 1820 – August 5, 1895) was a German social scientist and philosopher, who developed communist theory alongside his better-known collaborator, Karl Marx, co-authoring The Communist Manifesto (1848). ... This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedias quality standards. ... In classical philosophy, dialectic (Greek: διαλεκτική) is an exchange of propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses) resulting in a synthesis of the opposing assertions, or at least a qualitative transformation in the direction of the dialogue. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (IPA: ) (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher and, with Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, one of the representatives of German idealism. ... According to many followers of the theories of Karl Marx (or Marxists), dialectical materialism is the philosophical basis of Marxism. ... Historical materialism is the methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history which was first articulated by Karl Marx (1818-1883), although Marx himself never used the term (he referred it as philosophical materialism, a term he used to distinguish it from what he called popular materialism). Historical...


Many current and recent philosophers — e.g Dennett, Quine, Davidson, Searle, Chalmers, Fodor and Kim — operate within a broadly physicalist or materialist framework, producing rival accounts of how best to accommodate mindfunctionalism, anomolous monism, identity theory and so on. Daniel Clement Dennett (b. ... For people named Quine, see Quine (surname). ... There are two Donald Davidsons: Donald Davidson (poet) Donald Davidson (philosopher) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... John Rogers Searle (born July 31, 1932 in Denver, Colorado) is the Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. ... David John Chalmers (born April 20, 1966) is a philosopher in the area of philosophy of mind. ... The name Fodor can refer to. ... Jaegwon Kim (1934- ) is an American philosopher who explores the limitations of theories of strict psychophysical identity. ... For other uses, see Mind (disambiguation). ... Functionalism is a theory of the mind in contemporary philosophy, developed largely as an alternative to both the identity theory of mind and behaviorism. ... Anomalous monism is a philosophical thesis about the mind-body relationship. ... identity theory is a regularly published, webzine of literature and culture edited by Matt Borondy from Austin, TX, established in 2000. ...


In recent years, Paul and Patricia Churchland have advocated a more extreme position, eliminativist materialism, which holds that mental phenomena simply do not exist at all -- that talk of the mental reflects a totally spurious "folk psychology" that simply has no basis in fact, something like the way that folk science speaks of demon-caused illness. Paul Churchland (born 1942) is a philosopher working at the University of California, San Diego. ... Patricia Smith Churchland (born July 16, 1943) is a Canadian-American philosopher working at the University of California, San Diego since 1984. ... In the philosophy of mind, eliminative materialism is the school of thought that argues for an absolute version of materialism and physicalism with respect to mental entities and mental vocabulary. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Defining matter

The nature and definition of matter have been subject to much debate[3], as have other key concepts in science and philosophy. Is there a single kind of matter which everything is made of (hyle), or multiple kinds? Is matter a continuous substance capable of expressing multiple forms (hylomorphism)[4], or a number of discrete, unchanging constituents (atomism)? [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] Does it have intrinsic properties (substance theory)[11][12], or is it lacking them (prima materia)? In philosophy, hyle refers to matter or stuff. ... Hylomorphism (Greek υλο- hylo-, wood, matter + -morphism < Greek -μορφη, morph, form) is a philosophical concept that highlights the significance of matter in the composition of being, regarding matter to be as essential to a being as its form. ... In natural philosophy, atomism is the theory that all the objects in the universe are composed of very small, indestructible elements - atoms. ... Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its properties. ... The primitive formless base of all matter, according to Aristotle and the Alchemists, given particular manifestation through the influence of Forms. ...


Without question science has made unexpected discoveries about matter. Some paraphrase departures from traditional or common-sense concepts of matter as "disproving the existence of matter". However, most physical scientists take the view that the concept of matter has merely changed, rather than being eliminated.[citation needed] This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


One challenge to the traditional concept of matter as tangible "stuff" is the rise of field physics in the 19th century. However the conclusion that materialism is false may be premature. Relativity shows that matter and energy (including the spatially distributed energy of fields) are interchangeable. This enables the ontological view that energy is prima materia and matter is one of its forms. On the other hand, quantum field theory models fields as exchanges of particlesphotons for electromagnetic fields and so on. On this view it could be said that fields are "really matter".[citation needed] In physics, the term relativity is used in several, related contexts: Galileo first developed the principle of relativity, which is the postulate that the laws of physics are the same for all observers. ... The primitive formless base of all matter, according to Aristotle and the Alchemists, given particular manifestation through the influence of Forms. ... Quantum field theory (QFT) is the quantum theory of fields. ... The Standard Model of Fundamental Particles and Interactions For the Standard Model in Cryptography, see Standard Model (cryptography). ... In modern physics the photon is the elementary particle responsible for electromagnetic phenomena. ... The electromagnetic field (EMF) is composed of two related vectorial fields, the electric field and the magnetic field. ...


All known solid, liquid, and gaseous substances are composed of protons, neutrons and electrons. All three are fermions or spin-half particles, whereas the particles that mediate fields in quantum field theory are bosons. Thus matter can be said to divide into a more tangible fermionic kind and a less tangible bosonic kind. However it is now known that less than 5% of the physical composition of the universe is made up of such "matter", and the majority of the universe is composed of Dark Matter and Dark Energy - with no agreement amongst scientists about what these are made of[13]. This obviously refutes the traditional materialism that held that the only things that exist are things composed of the kind of matter with which we are broadly familiar ("traditional matter") - which was anyway under great strain as noted above from Relativity and quantum field theory. But if the definition of "matter" is extended to "anything whose existence can be inferred from the observed behaviour of traditional matter" then there is no reason in principle why entities whose existence materialists normally deny should not be considered as "matter"[14] Fermions, named after Enrico Fermi, are particles which form totally-antisymmetric composite quantum states. ... Quantum field theory (QFT) is the quantum theory of fields. ... Boson (game) Bosons, named after Satyendra Nath Bose, are particles which form totally-symmetric composite quantum states. ... In astrophysics and cosmology, dark matter refers to hypothetical matter of unknown composition that does not emit or reflect enough electromagnetic radiation to be observed directly, but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter. ... In physical cosmology, dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to increase the rate of expansion of the universe. ... In physics, the term relativity is used in several, related contexts: Galileo first developed the principle of relativity, which is the postulate that the laws of physics are the same for all observers. ... Quantum field theory (QFT) is the quantum theory of fields. ...


Some philosophers feel that these dichotomies necessitate a switch from materialism to physicalism. Others use materialism and physicalism interchangeably.[15]


Criticism and Alternatives

A number of philosophers and scientists are highly critical of materialism.


Religious and spiritual objections

It is incompatible with Islam, Hinduism, some schools of Buddhism and almost all forms of Christianity (including Thomism). Theologian-philosopher Alvin Plantinga criticises it, and Theologian-philosopher Keith Ward suggests that materialism is rare amongst contemporary UK philosophers: "Looking around my philosopher colleagues in Britain, virtually all of whom I know at least from their published work, I would say that very few of them are materialists."[16]. For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages[1]) is a religious tradition[2] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch... Thomism is the philosophical school that followed in the legacy of Thomas Aquinas. ... Alvin Cornelius Plantinga (born 15 November 1932 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, of Frisian ancestry) is a contemporary American philosopher known for his work in epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. ... The Reverend Professor (John Stephen) Keith Ward (born 22 August 1938) is a British cleric, philosopher, theologian, and scholar. ...


Coherence as an idea

Philosopher Mary Midgley[17], among others [18][19][20], argues that materialism is a self-refuting idea, at least in its eliminative form. While some critics hold that matter is an ill-defined concept, it is not clear that substitutes, such as Spirit, or Hegelian Geist fare any better.[citation needed] Mary Midgley, née Scrutton, (b. ... Self-refuting ideas are ideas or statements whose falsehood is a logical consequence of the act or situation of holding them to be true. ... The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus (breath). // The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, meaning breath (compare spiritus asper), but also soul, courage, vigor, ultimately from a PIE root *(s)peis- (to blow). In the Vulgate, the Latin word translates Greek (πνευμα), pneuma (Hebrew (רוח) ruah), as... Geist - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...


Other ontologies

Bundle Theory. It can be argued that it is the properties of material bodies, such as size and shape, which are perceived, and not the material substrate itself. Locke said we "know not what" the basic substance is.[21]As Berkeley wrote "I acknowledge it is possible we might perceive all things just as we do now, though there was no Matter in the world; neither can I conceive, if there be Matter, how it should produce any idea in our minds". If mind-independent properties (properly speaking property-instances or tropes) are held to exist in association with each other but without a material substrate, bundle theory results. If bundle theory is shown to be illogical or inconceivable, the existence of a substrate is thereby demonstrated conceptually, despite the unpercievability of matter per se. This article is about John Locke, the English philosopher. ... George Berkeley (IPA: , Bark-Lee) (12 March 1685 – 14 January 1753), also known as Bishop Berkeley, was an influential Irish philosopher whose primary philosophical achievement is the advancement of a theory he called immaterialism (later referred to as subjective idealism by others). ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... This article contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ...


Idealism. An argument for idealism, such as those of Hegel and Berkeley is ipso facto an argument against materialism. Matter can be argued to be redundant, as in bundle theory, and mind-independent properties can in turn be reduced to subjective percepts. This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedias quality standards. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... George Berkeley (IPA: , Bark-Lee) (12 March 1685 – 14 January 1753), also known as Bishop Berkeley, was an influential Irish philosopher whose primary philosophical achievement is the advancement of a theory he called immaterialism (later referred to as subjective idealism by others). ... Percept - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...


Dualism. If matter is seen a necessary to explain the physical world, but incapable of explaining mind, dualism results. René Descartes illustration of dualism. ...


Emergence, Holism and Process philosophy are some of the approaches that seek to ameliorate the perceived shortcomings of traditional (especially mechanistic) materialism without abandoning materialism entirely. A termite cathedral mound produced by a termite colony: a classic example of emergence in nature. ... Holism (from holos, a Greek word meaning all, entire, total) is the idea that all the properties of a given system (biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc. ... Process philosophy identifies metaphysical reality with change and dynamism. ... In philosophy, mechanism is a theory that all natural phenomena can be explained by physical causes. ...


Skepticism about metaphysics in general

Kant argued against all three of materialism, normal idealism (which he contrasts with his "transcendental idealism"[22]) and dualism.[23] However, Kant also argues that change and time require an enduring substrate.[24], and does so in connection with his Refutation of Idealism[25] Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 &#8211; February 12, 1804) was a Prussian philosopher, generally regarded as one of Europes most influential thinkers and the last major philosopher of the Enlightenment. ... A pocket watch, a device used to tell time Look up time in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Postmodern/poststructuralist thinkers also express a skepticism about any all-encompassing metaphysical scheme. Postmodernity (also called post-modernity or the postmodern condition) is a term used by philosophers, social scientists, art critics and social critics to refer to aspects of contemporary art, culture, economics and social conditions that are the result of the unique features of late 20th century and early 21st century... Post-structuralism is a body of work that followed in the wake of structuralism, and sought to understand the Western world as a network of structures, as in structuralism, but in which such structures are ordered primarily by local, shifting differences (as in deconstruction) rather than grand binary oppositions and...


Materialism as methodology

Some critics object to materialism as part of an overly skeptical, narrow or reductivist approach to theorizing, rather than to the ontological claim that matter is the only substance. Particle physicist and theologian John Polkinghorne objects to what he calls promissory materialism — claims that materialistic science will eventually be able to explain phenomena it has not so far been able to explain.[26] He prefers dual-aspect monism to materialism [27]. Descartes held that non-human animals could be reductively explained as automata — De homines 1622. ... Thousands of particles explode from the collision point of two relativistic (100 GeV per ion) gold ions in the STAR detector of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... John Polkinghorne, KBE, FRS, PhD, ScD, MA, (born October 16, 1930 in Weston-super-Mare, England) is a British particle physicist and theologian. ...


The psychologist Imants Barušs suggests that "materialists tend to indiscriminately apply a 'pebbles in a box' schema to explanations of reality even though such a schema is known to be incorrect in general for physical phenomena. Thus, materialism cannot explain matter, let alone anomalous phenomena or subjective experience [28], but remains entrenched in academia apparently for largely political reasons"[29] (Compare with Charles Fort). Imants BaruÅ¡s is Professor of Psychology at Kings University College at The University of Western Ontario. ... This article is not about Charles Forte. ...


The scientist and philosopher Axel Randrup suggests that "The scientific study of cognition in the context of biological evolution (Cognition and Evolution, CE) has led to the result, that all our thoughts and cognitions, including science and philosophy, are dependent on our cognitive apparatus in its present stage of evolution. I find, that this result is in contradiction with ... the philosophy of materialist realism[30].


See also

This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... Carvaka, also frequently transliterated as Charvaka, and also known as Lokayata, is a thoroughly materialist and atheist school of thought with ancient roots in India. ... Christian materialism is the combination of the theology, concepts, and holy writings of Christianity with the philosophy of materialism, which places primary importance on material objects and their interrelationships. ... The term Cultural materialism refers to two separate scholarly endeavours: It is an anthropological research paradigm championed most notably by Marvin Harris. ... According to many followers of the theories of Karl Marx (or Marxists), dialectical materialism is the philosophical basis of Marxism. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Dialectical materialism. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Eliminativists argue that our modern belief in the existence of mental phenomena is analogous to our ancient belief in obsolete theories such as the geocentric model of the universe. ... The grotesque body is a concept (a literary trope) ideated by Russian literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin in his study of Francois Rabelais work. ... Historical materialism is the methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history which was first articulated by Karl Marx (1818-1883), although Marx himself never used the term (he referred it as philosophical materialism, a term he used to distinguish it from what he called popular materialism). Historical... In philosophy, hyle refers to matter or stuff. ... This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedias quality standards. ... Matter is the substance of which physical objects are composed. ... Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its properties. ... Theravada (Pāli: theravāda; Sanskrit: स्थविरवाद sthaviravāda; literally, the Way of the Elders) is the oldest surviving Buddhist school, and for many centuries has been the predominant religion of Sri Lanka (about 70% of the population[1]) and most of continental Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand). ...

Notes

http://www.stolaf.edu/events/sciencesymposium/speakers.html
1. Turner, M. S. (2007). Quarks and the cosmos. Science 315, 59–61.

  1. ^ Michael S. Turner Quarks and the CosmosScience Vol. 315. no. 5808, pp. 59 - 61
  2. ^ Mary Midgley The Myths we live by
  3. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia
  4. ^ Concise Britannica on hylomorphism
  5. ^ Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Atomism: Antiquity to the Seventeenth Century
  6. ^ Dictionary of the History of Ideas:Atomism in the Seventeenth Century
  7. ^ Article by a philosopher who opposes atomism
  8. ^ Information on Buddhist atomism
  9. ^ Article on traditional Greek atomism
  10. ^ Atomism from the 17th to the 20th Century at Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  11. ^ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on substance theory
  12. ^ The Friesian School on Substance and Essence
  13. ^ Bernard Sadoulet Particle Dark Matter in the Universe: At the Brink of Discovery? Science 5 January 2007: Vol. 315. no. 5808, pp. 61 - 63
  14. ^ eg C S Lewis in The Great Divorce suggested that Heaven was composed of super-massive matter that was more substantial than normal matter
  15. ^ Dictionary of the Philosophy of mind -- "Many philosophers and scientists now use the terms `material' and `physical' interchangeably"
  16. ^ Is Religion Dangerous? p 91
  17. ^ see Mary Midgley The Myths we Live by
  18. ^ Baker, L. (1987). Saving Belief Princeton, Princeton University Press
  19. ^ Reppert, V. (1992). Eliminative Materialism, Cognitive Suicide, and Begging the Question. Metaphilosophy 23: 378-92.
  20. ^ Boghossian, P. (1990). The Status of Content Philosophical Review 99: 157-84. and (1991)The Status of Content Revisited. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 71: 264-78.
  21. ^ Locke, J. Essay Concerning Human Understanding/
  22. ^ see Critique of Pure Reason where he gives a "refutation of idealism" in pp345-52 (1st Ed) and pp 244-7 (2nd Ed) in the Norman Kemp Smith edition
  23. ^ Critique of Pure Reason (A379, p352 NKS translation). "If, however, as commonly happens, we seek to extend the concept of dualism, and take it in the transcendental sense, neither it nor the two counter-alternatives — pneumatism [idealism] on the one hand, materialism on the other — would have any sort of basis [...] Neither the transcendental object which underlies outer appearances nor that which underlies inner intuition, is in itself either matter or a thinking being, but a ground (to us unknown)..."
  24. ^ "Kant argues that we can determine that there has been a change in the objects of our perception, not merely a change in our perceptions themselves, only by conceiving of what we perceive as successive states of enduring substances (see Substance)".Routledge Encyclopedia of philosophy
  25. ^ "All determination of time presupposes something permanent in perception. This permanent cannot, however, be something in me [...]" Critique of Pure Reason, B274, P245 (NKS translation)
  26. ^ However, critics of materialism are equally guilty of prognosticating that it will never be able to explain certain phenomena " Over a hundred years ago William James saw clearly that science would never resolve the mind-body problem". Dembski, W. Are We Spiritual Machines
  27. ^ Interview with John Polkinghorne
  28. ^ Baruss, I. (1993). Can we consider matter as ultimate reality? Some fundamental problems with a materialist interpretation of reality. Ultimate Reality and Meaning: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Philosophy of Understanding, 16(3-4), 245-254
  29. ^ Baruss, I. (2001). The art of science: Science of the future in light of alterations of consciousness. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 15(1), 57-68
  30. ^ Axel Randrup Cognition and Biological Evolution

Mary Midgley, née Scrutton, (b. ... Clive Staples Lewis (November 29, 1898 &#8211; November 22, 1963), commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis, was an author and scholar. ... The Great Divorce: A Dream is a work of fantasy by C. S. Lewis . ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Is Religion Dangerous? is a book by Keith Ward examining the questions: Is religion dangerous? Does it do more harm than good? Is it a force for evil? Looking at the evidence from history, philosophy, sociology and psychology, Ward focuses on the main question at issue: does religion do more... Mary Midgley, née Scrutton, (b. ... Title page of the 1781 edition. ... Title page of the 1781 edition. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... René Descartes illustration of mind/body dualism. ...

References

  • Churchland, Paul (1981). Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes. The Philosophy of Science. Boyd, Richard; P. Gasper; J. D. Trout. Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press.
  • Flanagan, Owen (1991). The Science of the Mind. 2nd edition Cambridge Massachusetts, MIT Press.
  • Fodor, J.A. (1974) Special Sciences, Synthese, Vol.28.
  • Kim, J. (1994) Multiple Realization and the Metaphysics of Reduction, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 52.
  • Lange, Friedrich A.,(1925) The History of Materialism. New York, Harcourt, Brace, & Co.
  • Moser, P. K.; J. D. Trout, Ed. (1995) Contemporary Materialism: A Reader. New York, Routledge.
  • Schopenhauer, Arthur, (1969) The World as Will and Representation. New York, Dover Publications, Inc.
  • Vitzthum, Richard C. (1995) Materialism: An Affirmative History and Definition. Amhert, New York, Prometheus Books.
  • Buchner, L. (1920). Force and Matter. New York, Peter Eckler Publishing CO.
  • La Mettrie, Man The machine.

Published in 1819, The World as Will and Representation, sometimes translated as The World as Will and Idea (original German title: Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung), is the central work of Arthur Schopenhauer. ... Julien Offray de La Mettrie (December 25, 1709 - November 11, 1751) was a French physician and philosopher, the earliest of the materialist writers of the Enlightenment. ...

External links

Look up Materialism in
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  Results from FactBites:
 
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Materialism (5324 words)
Materialism in the narrow sense, that is the denial of the soul.
Materialism, must deny the immortality of the soul, since in the dissolution of the body the soul must also perish, and he labours to no effect when he tries to bolster up the doctrine of survival with all kinds of fantastic ideas.
Materialism." What he says indeed of the relaxation of philosophical effort is no longer true today; on the contrary, seldom has there been so much philosophizing by the qualified and the unqualified as at the beginning of the present and the end of the last century.
Materialism (613 words)
Materialism can refer either to the simple preoccupation with the material world, as opposed to intellectual or spiritual concepts, or to the theory that physical matter is all there is. This theory is far more than a simple focus on material possessions.
Materialism as a philosophy is held by those who maintain that existence is explainable solely in material terms, with no accounting of spirit or consciousness.
Materialism, at its simpler level, involves the focus on material "things" as opposed to that which is spiritual or intellectual in nature.
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