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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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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 ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
8 votes
6 answers
3k views

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 ...
Adrian's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
15 votes
8 answers
1k views

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), ...
Ameet Sharma's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
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What Does Being Spiritual Mean?

When people say they are spiritual, although atheist, what do they mean, if they mean something at all? Can you claim being spiritual if you don't believe in gods, ghosts and the like? Is there a ...
Quora Feans's user avatar
28 votes
3 answers
25k views

What is the difference between naturalism and materialism?

What is the difference between naturalism and materialism, if any? I see definitions of naturalism that say, in effect, it is the belief that there is no supernatural. But what is the supernatural ...
David Lewis's user avatar
16 votes
4 answers
3k views

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 ...
Conifold's user avatar
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11 votes
12 answers
4k views

Is materialism essential to scientific progress?

A common argument against any hint of non materialism in science, be it idealism, supernaturalism, substance dualism, etc. is that complete materialism is essential for making scientific progress. I ...
yters's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
David Smith's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
376 views

Can empiricists and materialists accept metaphysical modality?

There are some propositions such as 1+1=2 that seem to be true in all possible worlds. That is, there is no possible world in which 1+1=2 is not true. Propositions like this that seem to be true in ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
770 views

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 ...
natojato's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
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About atheism and secularism and what exactly they are

If Atheism and secularism and Materialism are not belief systems what are they? They are not facts ; nothing one way or the other has been proven. They are more like a set of assumptions and beliefs ...
user128932's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
620 views

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". ...
christo183's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
NationWidePants's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
657 views

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 ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
773 views

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 ...
Yechiam Weiss's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
678 views

How materialism can be consistent in the context of qualia and simplicity?

Apologies for my English. Some thoughts from the camp of idealists. :) The following is the explanation of the question in the title. I think that the fact that in our days physicists may be ...
a1111exe's user avatar
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6 votes
7 answers
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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 ...
David Lewis's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
602 views

Does the existence of colors give evidence against materialism?

It seems to me the only thing about colors that can be understood rationally is that they are distinct. We interact with other people who for the most part label my red as their red, my green as their ...
abnry's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
1k views

Are there any physicalist arguments against strong AI?

Are there any arguments against strong AI in principle, given physicalism? Are there any arguments against strong AI in practice, given physicalism? Basically, I want to be aware of any potential ...
Dave's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Are there any replies to Searle's philosophy of mind but Bennett's and Hacker's?

For a term paper I am looking for specific responses to Searle's philosophy of mind (though it's hard to even call it that) as presented in Minds, Brains and Science or the paper Consciousness (2000). ...
iphigenie's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Polisetty's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
337 views

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 ...
Conifold's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
398 views

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 ...
Benjamin Hornigold's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
288 views

Seeking Help on Cartesian Dualism and the Mind-Body Relationship

I'm currently studying philosophy and I'm struggling with the concept of Cartesian dualism, particularly in relation to other theories about the mind-body relationship. I'm wondering if anyone here ...
cricket900's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

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 ...
Conifold's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
192 views

How exactly does representational theory of mind help resolve the materialist problem of a qualia without physical origin?

I was reading this stanford entry and I can't understand how representationalism helps overcome the problem of a sensory quality without external origin that otherwise undermines belief in materialism....
infatuated's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

If materialism is true, then what accounts for pleasure and pain?

[I went and wrote a long answer to a question that was in the interim deleted, so rather than waste that, I thought I'd do my best to reproduce it here. Credit to Micheal Lee for the original, some ...
selfConceivedAsEvil's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

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. ...
Don Branson's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
365 views

Name for a form of naturalism that allows for abstract objects

Some of the more pressing arguments against materialism involve their inability to account for abstract objects such as meaning or reference. A few definitions before I continue: Abstract object: an ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
621 views

Am I a materialist?

I believe that there is nothing even close to non-trivial certainty in philosophy, at least outside of ethics and psychology. For this reason, I believe in monism at about 60%. Furthermore, I believe ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
926 views

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 ...
viuser's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
451 views

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 ...
Cosmic Hawk's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
147 views

What are the justifications for holding concretes to be more important than abstractions?

What are the justifications for holding concretes to be more real or more important than abstractions like ideas and thoughts?
MIKEY SINGH's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
958 views

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 ...
Ronald Railgun's user avatar
-8 votes
1 answer
131 views

Is atheism religion with all attributes? [closed]

To people who are believers, that science proved that God doesn’t exists, I want to remind that science tell that consciousness doesn’t exist too, however obviously consciousness exists. I guess ...
Dmytro Brazhnyk's user avatar