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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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3 votes
1 answer
143 views

Illusionism in the philosophy of mind

Illusionism is a branch of materialism which argues that phenomenal properties of consciousness aren't ontologically subjective. Illusion is that we tend to think it is, hence the name. Ontologically, ...
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), ...
2 votes
2 answers
113 views

Ethics of the unborn/non-sentient - Conflicting ideas

I hold two positions that I find to be conflicting with each other, and I wanted to see where I am going wrong. The first position is that moral weight is predicated on sentience, something lacking ...
4 votes
4 answers
323 views

Materialism can cover idealism but idealism cannot cover materialism?

It seems to me that materialism can cover idealism, but not the contrary. A materialist can recognize that reality is in part made of ideas, simply by saying that ideas are made of a bunch of ...
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 ...
-7 votes
1 answer
141 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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
325 views

Why we haven’t observed any galactic civilization of III or IV type? [closed]

This question is scoped to natural philosophy. The study of natural philosophy seeks to explore the cosmos by any means necessary to understand the universe https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
1 vote
1 answer
60 views

Is having infinite amount of a quantity same as having none of it? [closed]

Ithink that if you have an infinite amount of material, you actually have none of it. I interpret this as you having imaginary material. Am I correct in making this assessment?
2 votes
0 answers
50 views

Interpreting this paragraph from Schopenhauer

I've read some posts here citing this very interesting paragraph (extract pasted below) from Schopenhauer, a refutation of materialism as ultimate explanation of reality: Of all systems of philosophy ...
6 votes
7 answers
881 views

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 ...
9 votes
22 answers
3k views

Who am I? Mind, body, mind and body or something else?

The mind with it's thoughts, emotions, memories, perceptions, and various mental processes. Including the conscious and unconscious aspects of mental activity, shaping one's identity and influencing ...
2 votes
3 answers
217 views

Is consciousness fundamental to the universe?

In January 2023, Entropy published a paper entitled "Fusions of Consciousness" by Hoffman, Prakash and Prentner. They propose that consciousness is fundamental to the universe, rather than ...
0 votes
2 answers
82 views

How in a purely physical universe would a perfect recreation of a human not necessarily imply a "transfer" of its conciousness? [closed]

I've been kicking around this idea for a while and I have attempted to propose it in different forums yet the idea is treated as illogical but I cannot find/understand why it would be so impossible. ...
3 votes
1 answer
196 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....
3 votes
2 answers
135 views

Are the interests of every bourgeois person (not just the class in general) against the working class?

Are the interests of every bourgeois person (not just the class in general) always against those of the working class? I'm just intrigued whether a socialist bourgeois is necessary acting against ...
1 vote
0 answers
134 views

Does utilitarianism imply materialism?

Does utilitarianism imply materialism? Utilitarianism has for one component epicurianism, which is a materialist philosophy, and also consequentialism which cares about real life consequences of ...
0 votes
3 answers
274 views

Is liberal economics theory materialist?

I know only about a few liberal economists who directly adhered to philosophical materialism, while not all were vocal about it (Locke, Adam Smith, Voltaire, David Friedman*). I am not completely sure ...
0 votes
1 answer
72 views

How shall I understand these two "oppositions": pragmatism against idealism, positivism against irrationalism?

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Western-philosophy/The-19th-century says As for the 19th century, however, if one single feature of its thought could be singled out for emphasis, it might be called ...
4 votes
3 answers
913 views

How did Nietzsche prove his will to power?

Was Nietzsche right about the will to power? Specifically, did he (or any of his interpreters) prove (let's take Kant's system as a cut off for 'proof') that the will to power, either individually or ...
2 votes
5 answers
623 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 ...
5 votes
3 answers
469 views

Is there a term for materialistic non-determinism?

I was trying to explain to someone that an underlying assumption of science is ... and then couldn't come up with a term to describe it. What I'm hoping to give a name to, is the idea that the world ...
3 votes
4 answers
323 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 ...
9 votes
1 answer
700 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
57 views

Is there a privileged link between materialism and natural sciences? [closed]

Is there a privileged link between materialism and natural sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics), which study the physical world? (1) Extreme supposition: is it contradictory to do natural ...
0 votes
0 answers
215 views

Arguments against idealism / arguments against materialism

Are there any counter-argument to these arguments against idealism on the one hand, materialism in the other? (1) Argument against idealism. What is the relationship between idealists and their bodies?...
1 vote
2 answers
134 views

How to make the notion of materialism testable/falsifiable?

The whole idea behind the scientific method is that reality is material in nature, is there any way that we could test this notion? All attempts by the scientific method to prove or substantiate the ...
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?
0 votes
8 answers
604 views

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, ...
13 votes
12 answers
5k views

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 ...
9 votes
7 answers
3k views

Scientific stance on 'life from non-life, naturally'?

As far as I'm aware, almost everyone (from Dawkins to Lennox to Hovind) agrees that at some point in the past there was no life in our universe, and currently there is. Therefore life somehow arose ...
5 votes
5 answers
378 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
72 views

Is Egoism of Max Stirner idealization of Free consciousness?

In more simple language when Stirner talks about having no fix ideas or not treating ideas as sacred somehow makes it (Egoism of Stirner) having a fix idea itself ? Is creative nothing an idea or ...
4 votes
1 answer
245 views

How can materialists make claims?

I dont have all the modern philosophical terms down, but I cannot see how materialists/physicalists can make any claims. If there is nothing but physical universe, then there is no “truth”. Actually ...
-2 votes
3 answers
133 views

Does consent exist? [closed]

If we are our bodies and nothing else?
1 vote
1 answer
99 views

Can a Materialist who belives 'You = Your Body' still follow Memory Theory?

From what I have been reading, materialists generally believe that, when it comes to personal identity, that You = Your Body. Would it be contradicting for a materialist to agree with the tenets of ...
2 votes
3 answers
377 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
46 views

Anthropocentrism, aboriginal stuff and materialism

"Thinking like a mountain : toward a council of all beings" book is an introduction to deep ecology by Joanna Macy, John Seed, Pat Flemming and Arne Naess. "Beyond anthropocentrism"...
4 votes
4 answers
23k views

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.
0 votes
1 answer
132 views

Mechanistic fallibility

I've often seen fallibilism discussed with reference to the Münchhausen trilemma and the problem of scientific induction. There is a simpler and more encompassing model of fallibilism that I might ...
13 votes
13 answers
5k views

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 ...
2 votes
6 answers
807 views

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 if you could help me understand the question or give ...
0 votes
1 answer
606 views

Understanding Marx's "Theses on Feuerbach" and "Materialism"

Materialism, in the common parlance, is about our material circumstances and our material interests. It's cast against an idealism that thinks the world is simply ideas, shaped by thought- but isn't ...
1 vote
0 answers
73 views

Is there a materialist explanation for the type-token distinction?

Is there a materialist theory in philosophy that goes beyond giving a dictionary definition of the type/token distinction and attempts to explain what types and tokens really are in material terms, e....
7 votes
12 answers
4k views

If all we see is the sensible world, what are the proofs to affirm that matter exists?

I am new to philosophy and I have been looking for a way to find answers to my disturbing doubt for a long time, I was reading Berkeley but I did not find a convincing refutation, especially because ...
0 votes
2 answers
188 views

How does a determinist explain darwin and chess? [closed]

I think the consensus among most materialists is that "living beings" have a common ancestor. I say "living beings" in quotes because I don't even know what it means that something ...
8 votes
8 answers
3k views

Why is the statement about "Freewill is an illusion" considered profound? [closed]

So my understanding of the "freewill is an illusion" argument is if I know everything about a system since the laws of physics are deterministic the final solution is unique. Anyone who ...
3 votes
8 answers
515 views

How do we explain the brain's ability of thinking about non-materialistic concepts? [closed]

Question edited to avoid distraction If a physical event from a materialistic point of view cannot be good or evil, and the brain is just made of matter, does this mean the concept of good/evil came/...
0 votes
0 answers
134 views

Can Thomas Nagel be considered an epiphenomenalist?

Regarding the mind-body-problem, Thomas Nagel argues against both materialism and ontological dualism, presenting a view which revolves around subjective phenomena (individualism). Could these ...
5 votes
3 answers
203 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
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Does Marx make a metaphysical/ontological argument for Materialism anywhere?

As I understand it currently, I read Marx as more of a historian, economist and sociologist and I am finding it hard to locate any metaphysical argument against Hegel's 'idealism'. All I know is this ...