1. Overview of relevant material views.
  2. Evidence for existence of this material.
  3. Role of the observer.
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    This seems like a homework question? Commented May 22, 2023 at 15:21
  • This question does not show much prior research on your part. As a start on research, look at this answer to a related question. philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/99428/am-i-a-materialist/…
    – Dcleve
    Commented May 22, 2023 at 15:59
  • You can see SEP's entries on Descrtes' Dualism gor a clear philosophical definition of Matter (extension, later Newton added mass) vs Mind (thinking). Commented May 22, 2023 at 16:11
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    The word derives from Latin materia, in English matter. The term more commonly used now is physicalism.
    – Conifold
    Commented May 22, 2023 at 17:31
  • Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer.
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    Commented May 22, 2023 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


It's been a journey, what materialists mean. See: Is the idea that "Everything is energy" even coherent?

I would relate the idea of the category 'matter' to the aim in scientific method to eliminate action-at-a-distance, in favour of particles colliding. Fields other than gravity can be related to potentials for interactions, like photons of the electromagnetic field to interact with moving charges. This programme has largely suceeded, although quantum nonlocality poses challenges.

Different people have meant different things, but matter in the physicalist-materialist scientific picture, I would relate to this programme. Crucially it dispels the 'mindliness' or personality and intentionality of the non-living world, which allows a great deal of ritual and superstition to be dispensed with, and a much sharper and more productive investigation to be made into the reliable influences we can have on the world.

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