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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Struggling with understanding Platonic idealism and idealism in general

I probably incorrectly understand some basic things, so I'll show my layman thinking process for easier identification of where lies the problem. Let's start with basic dichotomy - materialism vs. ...
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What do philosophers mean when they say qualia do not exist?

In university, my professor said that his position is that there are no qualia. He acknowledged that non-philosophers can find this position bizarre, but did not explain the rationale behind why he ...
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Translation of Lenin's “Materialism and Empirio-Criticism”

What is the best translation of Lenin's Materialism and Empirio-criticism (Материализм и эмпириокритицизм) into English (or perhaps other wide-spread languages)? I would like to have the closest there ...
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This is a question of ethics

Few thousand years ago two Indian schools carvakas and Ajivikas challenged Karma doctrine , as there was no good or bad deeds and no reward or punishment , Is there any Western thought similar to this ...
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Why is “The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco often regarded as postmodern?

Why is “The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco often regarded as postmodern? The only somewhat plausible explanation (yet I’m still quite sure that it is not correct) I’ve managed to come up with is ...
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How can complex material systems emerge in ways that allow them to transcend fundamental material structures?

One of the quandaries of reductionism from what I understand is how complex systems can emerge to overtake simple ones. This may sound convoluted, so bear with me as I try to explain. According to a ...
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Productive Forces vs. Conditions of Bourgeois Property

In The Communist Manifesto, page 331 of the 2002/2014 Penguin Edition, Marx and Engels write; "The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the ...
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Henry George vs. Karl Marx

I recently came across some of Marx's critique of Georgism, and was wondering where else the theories of these two thinkers conflict. Georgism to me certainly seems to have a slight materialist bent ...
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Source of Godel's quote on materialism

In an interview, David Berlinski quoted Godel's view on materialism: It [materialism] succeeds to the extent that the materialists assign material objects all the properties that used to be ...
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If each of our thoughts is entirely determined by the brain, can there be free will or a soul?

Supposing that every single thing that exists in our mind is due to the brain, and supposing that each and every decision we have is determined by our neurons, can there be free will? How? If ...
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Can any philosophy of mind be empirically verified?

(This is sort of a follow-up from this question) Can dualism, materialism, or anything in between be empirically verified? There seems to be some disagreement here. This page presents both views ...
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What does the experience of free will imply in a materialistic worldview?

In responses and comments to Do human thoughts interact with matter?, one answer begins, "Thoughts consist of nerve impulses..." Which, as I understand the materialist view, is partially correct. ...
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What did Bohm exactly mean when he said that mind and matter were the same?

In 1990, the physicist David Bohm published a paper named "A new theory of the relationship of mind and matter" promoting a "panpsychist" theory of consciousness based on Bohm's interpretation of ...
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Is materialism a philosophy accepted by the majority in western societies?

I was in a philosophy class and the teacher mentioned some philosophical ideas and asked us to raise our hands if we agreed with a certain statement. The overwhelming majority agreed with materialism ...
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Is there a reason to know? [closed]

I am going to talk about the necessity of the reason to know by talking about the nature of spacetime, and therefore, of our nature. I'm not sure whether this is specific enough for StackExchange, but ...
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Agential Realism and diffractive reading to analysis a specific topic

together I am currently facing a very big challenge, based on my studies. I am currently attending a seminar of New Materialism, which above all thematizes agential realism. An essential element here ...
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Can science prove or provide evidence that the brain is the source of the mind

I am seeking published discussions or arguments about this proposition, though some discussion here would be useful: Science can prove or provide significant evidence that the brain is the source ...
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Is everything that exists an actual entity?

My professor asked us to think about this question as we go through the unit but I am not sure what the question means. I would greatly appreciate could help me understand the question or give me a ...
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Making It with Death: The complicity of Phenomenology with Effort

In his essay, Making it with Death, Nick Land makes some assertions about Phenomenology: Work is also complicit with phenomenology, which grounds the experience of effort, rather than treating this ...
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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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Does science provide the most accurate depiction of reality for analyzing and describing an accurate worldview?

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 might ...
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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 ...