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Questions tagged [materialism]

Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds the fundamental basis of reality is matter and all mental states are caused by states of this material world.

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How can a non-Materialist Atheist explain the Universe's creation without God(s)?

If we define Atheism and Materialism as follows: "Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods." [1] "Materialism: the theory or belief that nothing exists except ...
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Why do the limits to the computation of the universe appear to us as fundamental physical constants? [closed]

According to the Estakhr's Principle of Physical Constants Physical Constants are Computational limits or vice versa. Why do the limits to the computation of the universe appear to us as fundamental ...
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Can physical aspects of the brain reveal everything about what one's subjective experience is like?

In Colin McGinn's "The Mysterious Flame," McGinn argues against the materialistic response to the hard problem of consciousness with the following argument: Suppose I know everything about your ...
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Should we think twice about dualism?

With the rise of Materialism and Physicalism a dualistic ontology has fallen out of favor. The successes of Science makes makes us comfortable to deny any entity beyond the "Observable Universe". ...
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Is injustice the “Achilles Heel” of materialism?

Under materialism (the notion that origins of the world and human society are unguided natural processes), it may be difficult to ground ethics in reality but nevertheless, materialists can be ...
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Do objective improvements to descriptive ethics always improve normative ethics?

Robert Nozick provided an argument against Utilitarianism called Experience Machine. The argument involves only the "Is" part: "We have reason not to plug into the experience machine." But this makes ...
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Nature of Logic and Mathematics, and its relationship with God and materialism

I believe that logic is infallible, mathematics is true and that an entirely mathematical description of the entire universe is possible. Are these inconsistent with materialism and atheism? Can ...
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How do materialists respond to the thought experiment of the perception of blue and red colors being swapped?

By materialism, I mean the belief that the totality of all in existence is material. That is, particles/waves/energy in the space-time fabric. If one were to construct a thought experiment that ...
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is there an any practical application of dialectical materialism?

Are out there practical applications of dialectical materialism? something on sciences, engineering or art?
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If morality comes from our body, why does it contradict it?

Where does morality come from? One possible answer is that morality, as everything else, is a byproduct of interactions between physical matter. The same interactions that came together to produce our ...
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Would there be free will if we assume a stochastic component in the decision making?

I was reading this answer regarding materialism and free will. It says that, under the assumption that there isn't a random process underlying decision making, there is no free will. And isn't that a ...
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Do materialists today consider physical forces as created from matter?

The distinction from materialism and physicalism is usually that materialists believe everything is matter, and physicalists believe that everything is physical, which lets them include modern science ...
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What is the difference between idealism and materialism?

I understand what materialism is, but idealism - not so much. I know however they are opposing views, and would like to know what are the differences. Analogies would be greatly appreciated.
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Does science forces us to embrace materialism?

This is practically a climate of many of my questions, and it's a simple question with possibly many complex answers, so I'd like to know what you will answer. Please note this in your answers: A) I'...
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Paradox for permanent bodies?

For many objects we have the (wrong) intuition, based on our experience, that they are "eternal". As an example, for our purposes, Planets, maybe monuments, ... looks like ever lasting bodies. ...
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Questions about personal identity and materialism with QM and spacetime

Let's assume for a moment that the materialistic view of the universe is correct. There exists a universe that contains energy in various states spread out in the dimensions of space and time that is ...
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Is science really the best solution we have for our world view and analysis?

I've been fighting throughout my philosophical reading with the question of the necessity of science as the only permitted view we (since the late 19th century) have on the world. My question can be ...
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Can order come from chaos?

I've been considering the idea that matter, or some material substance, has either always existed, or just began to exist because it's necessary that it exist. In either event, it was chaotic, ...
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What (if anything) is wrong with Searle's analogy?“…”

...I'm referring to https://www.closertotruth.com/episodes/can-brain-alone-explain-consciousness where Searle (who's basically a "raving materialist":) makes the following (paraphrased here) remark, ...
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How can one say that only matter exists without presupposing the idea of existence/being?

I am having some troubles with the whole notion of materialism which states that only matter exists. Doesn't stating that something exists presuppose the idea of existence/being, and therefore that ...
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Thomas Nagels critique of materialism

By materialism I mean that all phenomena can be explained by matter and its interactions. What are the strongest arguments against materialism? I, being a former materialist, was convinced that ...
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Is there any research into the ethics of immediate gratification?

I assume that the philosophy of hakuna matata (Swahili phrase from The Lion King roughly translated as "no worries") has been studied, almost certainly under a different name. The type of philosophy I ...
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Is the Phaedo relevant to a materialist?

I've just finished reading the Phaedo, and I'm wondering if one does not buy into the mind/body dualism arguments that Socrates advances in the dialogue, is there still anything to learned from it? Is ...
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How can Christian heaven be interpreted as a part of materialist ontology?

Assume that heaven exists and we experience it in a physical way. In other words, we experience heaven as we do this Earth. Also assume we have bodies in heaven. Now, where is a possible place this ...
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Is materialism really an ontological position or is it an epistemic one?

In this post, Is a materialist afterlife possible? , the OP asks if the concept of afterlife as accepted in Christianity (and presumably other religions) is compatible with materialism. Presumably ...
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How can free will be reconciled with materialism? [closed]

I know that my mind is a network of neurons, where some personality resides, with emotional responses, and motivation. I know that love and friendship and fear and many other phenomena stem from ...
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What is the difference between mechanism and materialism?

Are these two philosophies currently considered synonyms?
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Can overthinking be harmful? [closed]

I'm 16 and constantly thinking about the likes of advertising, marketing, consumerism, materialism, narcissism and particularly social media. All of these topics are very negative to me although I ...
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Materialism/consumerism in philosophy

I was just wondering whether anybody knows of a philosopher(s) who have frequently commented and have philosophical ideas on materialism/consumerism.
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What is the argument that materialism has to assume it's false in order to prove that it's true?

I need help understanding this argument and also would like to know where it comes from. I don't really agree with the argument -- it sounded really off, but it caught my interest and so I'd like to ...
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Please explain perspectivism to me

I was wondering if someone could please explain Nietzsche's perspectivism to me. I used to think that it was similar to Descartes' method of thinking. That everything was subjective because everything ...
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How can Marx be a materialist yet still speak of a human “essence” in his theory of alienation?

On one hand, Marx is a staunch materialist: he bases his theory of history on dialectical materialism, and denies any metaphysical realities above and beyond the material conditions that make human ...
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How did George Berkeley justify his disbelief in matter?

I recently read Berkeley's work entitled "Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous" in which he gives an account very similar to that of Kant. "Appearances, so far as they are thought as objects ...
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What are the best arguments against substance dualism? [closed]

As I understand it, substance dualism is a position that holds that current physics and neuroscience cannot account for certain properties of qualia and the mind, implying the existence of some other ...
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How does Materialism provide response to the kantian split between noumena and phenomena?

How do current (and traditional) materialists address the problems Kant provided with the separation of noumena and phenomena? It would seem a materialist wishes the phenomena to disappear and leave ...
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Should we allow metaphysical explanations as a possibility in scientific inquiry? [closed]

For example,suppose that the universe was in fact created by a supernatural god as told in some religions. Suppose for the moment that this scenario is the true one. Now, Rejecting the possibility ...
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What does immaterial mean for Aristotle?

Many old definitions of material and immaterial leave something to be desired. For example, how does a (supposedly) sizeless electron fit into Descartes' world of res extensae and res cogitantes? A ...
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Can a rationalist ever be a materialist?

Note that I am using rationalist in its strict philosophical sense, as in rationalist like Descartes or Leibniz, not rationalist as it might be understood colloquially. from the Encyclopedia ...
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Is there a causal influence of the mental on the physical?

Regardless of whether the mental is ultimately physical or not... doesn't the impact of human knowledge (science, mathematics, etc) on the world (ie: technology, agriculture, basically everything), ...
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What is the difference between Naturalism and Physicalism?

I am trying to figure the difference between Naturalism and Physicalism. As far as I could tell, they were the same thing, except that physicalism (physicalist vs dualist) was the term used when ...
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Does materialism presuppose that a self is a bundle of mental states and perceptions?

The physicalist/materialist (going forward I'll use the two interchangeably) position on the mind body problem is the following: Nothing exits besides the physical and therefore the mind is just a ...
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What are the problems with the argument for the mind-body dualism from immateriality of thoughts?

I have started studying philosophy of mind and I am currently reading an introduction to the field. The first topic that is presented in the book is dualism of the Cartesian brand, and the case for it ...
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Is there a word for the idea that the world is “a collection of collections”?

I'm looking for a (possibly ontological) recognised term for a theory that acknowledges that things can be broken down into smaller things - essentially components, parts and eventually atoms, quarks ...
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Why do modern materialists tend to favor determinism?

There seems to be no logical link between matter and determinism (or ideal and indeterminism for that matter). And libertarian free will was first articulated by a materialist, Epicurus, and is ...
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Can a materialist accept indeterminism? Can a reductionist?

The usual argument against it is that if behavior of matter is not fully determined by its state then it has to be determined by something else, ergo dualism. This begs the question however, unless we ...
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Is beauty about materialism or idealism [closed]

I have a question about the proverb: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". In this proverb, is beauty a materialist concept or an idealist concept, and why? In my opinion, the concept of beauty ...
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Has Marxism been refuted as philosophy?

"For understandable, if philosophically frivolous, reasons the collapse of the Soviet Union has been taken - especially in the media - as signaling the defeat of Marxism qua philosophy", so writes ...
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Can someone be an atheist and subscribe to substance dualism at the same time?

I consider myself to be firmly in the atheist camp. None of the arguments for the existence of a higher being or prime mover convince me, let alone attempts at proving the existence of the old God of ...
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What would Dawkins say about other minds?

If asked questions about other minds, how would/does he respond, and does/would he nest his response in physical science and reductionist/determinist models? Does he say that their existence is easily ...
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Speculative realism: Does changing law of nature collapse the ancestral argument? [closed]

Lets say, I am an astronomer, Bob Down jr. When I was twelve years old I was a perfect naive realist. I did know nature as something bigger and more powerful than me. Not that I had no power. No doubt,...