36

The famous version of this is Twin Earth thought experiment, which explores two worlds which are identical, except one has no H2O. The H2O in this world is instead replaced with a substance XYZ. Denizens of both worlds call their substance "water." This thought experiment has countless arguments made on both sides. Your particular argument presupposes ...


15

Naturalism does not presuppose materialism In addition to and amending @commando's answer, it is of interest to note that naturalism does not presuppose materialism (or physicalism, as it is called nowadays, in order to make clear that it is not about "matter"). This is important to understand the current debate in philosophy of mind which originated in the ...


15

I think that the only difference between the two is the semantic objective of the definition. Naturalism (see the SEP) is the view that the world can be explained entirely by physical, natural phenomena/laws. Naturalists either assert that there is no supernatural (or metaphysical) existence, or that if there is, it has no impact on our physical world. The ...


14

From what I have read so, atheism and materialism/physicalism are considered to be the same thing. This is incorrect. Atheism is a view about the existence of God. Materialism is a metaphysical view about the kinds of substance that exist. Specifically, atheism is the claim that there does not exist a God, or Gods, in the style of the major religions. ...


10

According to John Burtnet, Thales believed that: The earth floats on the water. Water is the material cause of all things. All things are full of gods. The magnet is alive; for it has the power of moving iron. Aristotle said, in De Anima: Certain thinkers say that soul is intermingled in the whole universe, and that it is perhaps for ...


10

I tend to share your puzzlement. A lot of contemporary metaphysicians seem to have an outdated view of physics, not only about determinism but also about locality or mereology. (This was criticized by Ladyman and Ross in "everything must go".) I think the main reasons are the following: Generally, philosophers are not trained in physics (except ...


9

Being an atheist does not imply a materialistic worldview, it simply means one does not believe in (a) God. Having said that, I think an atheist would likely have a materialist worldview simply because the same thing that caused an atheist to deny the existence of God (lack of evidence for this thing existing in another realm) would lead to a denial of ...


9

The threat of epiphenomenalism is indeed a major issue intensively discussed in the last decades. But while there is a broad consensus against it, there is no agreement as to what exactly blocks it. Burge in Foundations of Mind (Ch. 20) even says that the dominance of materialism in the contemporary philosophy of mind is a reaction (in his view unwarranted) ...


8

This argument is a variation on what Kitcher calls the "rational psychologist's fallacy" in Kant's Transcendental Psychology. It is a particular case of the argument from ignorance fallacy, and was addressed already by Kant in Critique of Pure Reason. In the OP version of the argument the fallacious reasoning is rolled into using premise 3. Sensations, ...


7

One should keep in mind two points. First, historical materialism in its traditional form is later Marx, taking final shape in Das Kapital, the theory of alienation is young Hegelian Marx of 1844 Manuscripts, and the "species-essence" is borrowed from his left Hegelian predecessor, Feuerbach. In 1845 Theses On Feuerbach Marx reinterprets him in the general ...


7

The word "best" implies value judgments, and can't be evaluated independent of your goals for your worldview. But there are clear practical and pragmatic reasons why science is currently a dominant worldview. These include: Science is testable. Science is replicable. Science is attached to a large and growing body of useful, interconnected, internally ...


6

First, the constructive part. Crick, who is as physicalist on neuroscience as one can wish for, in Astonishing Hypothesis discusses "the processing postulate": "It suggests that we may be using the words conscious and unconscious for two many somewhat different activities. They may have to be replaced by some phrase like "processing unit", or, in some ...


6

A relevant distinction here is between "ontological materialism" and "methodological materialism" (compare the discussion in the SEPh article on "naturalism"). Ontological materialism is the claim that only matter exists. (I'm assuming you're using "matter" in a broad sense that includes the kinds of energy and fields studied by physics. Otherwise early ...


6

Twin A experiences the perception, call it PR, of the color red (that is, the material event, call it MR, of photons of a particular wavelength hitting the retina and stimulating neurons). Can you define "perception"? Is it a material event? It is a valid materialist position, if not the materialist position, that "perception" is not an atomic concept, ...


6

You are asking one of the outstanding unknown questions in philosophy: do mental states supervene on brain states or not? "Supervene" is a really great word. If A supervenes on B, it means that if you know everything about B, you automatically can deduce everything about A. For example, the value of a pile of $1 bills supervenes on the list of serial ...


6

There are several questions here and there are several different domains of philosophy involved. One major question is about ontology: is what we call 'free will' a 'real' experience and what's the difference between that and it being 'only a perception'? There's a broad range of thoughts on this, some of which veer into theology, but also things like "...


5

Especially given what you observe about electromagnetic forces, not to mention atomic theory post 1911 (c.f. the Rutherford model) and gravity post 1916 (c.f. general relativity theory), the notion of what is "material" becomes a rather significant question. To say nothing of special relativity and the Einstein equation linking matter to energy... I would, ...


5

There has been a vast literature critiquing Searle's viewpoints, enough to be collected, e.g., John Searle and His Critics. Ernest Lepore and Robert Van Gulick, eds.; 1991. (Wiley link) There are also collected criticisms of his Chinese Room Argument; see the excellent Wikipedia article, and this collection: Views into the Chinese Room: New essays on ...


5

Marxism has many aspects to it; the main difference appears to be as a political movement, and as a school of thought. As a political movement, it is as political and legal theorist Roberto Unger put it: no longer a live option; as a school of thought its influence is still apparent. The collapse of the Soviet Union ... signalled the defeat of Marxism ...


5

Berkeley gives two arguments in the quoted passage, and the first one does resonate with Kant's later arguments. But Berkeley's came before Kant's. First, he says that the notion of matter is "inconsistent". This is roughly because it is usually defined in terms of attributes (extension, color, sound, etc.), which only make sense as perceived (by their ...


5

Searle's argument fails because there's nothing specific to consciousness in it. As such, if you replace "possesses consciousness" with "plays chess" then his argument still stands but is patently wrong. The reason why the weather simulation won't make you wet is that the computer that Searle is implicitly assuming doesn't have the actuation ability of ...


5

Welcome, October ! Some contrasts between Marx and George are drawn out in an article by John Haynes Holmes. Holmes' plain and sometimes undiscerning lack of sympathy for Marx and extolling of George, and his over-use of exclamation marks, do not prevent some helpful points from being made: It is unlikely, had Karl Marx and Henry George ever met, or ...


4

Henri Lefebvre wrote a book Dialectical Materialism to attempt to divorce DM from its vulgarization by Stalinists and official Communist party philosophers and develop it as a form of "logic." I consider this book to be a little too Hegelian and philosophically concerned for it to be in the tradition of Engels' Anti-Duhring and Dialectics of Nature. A more ...


4

I believe Marx proposed Dialectic materialism by "reversing" the Hegelian dialectic idealism so to make it stand with "the feet on the ground". As i know "material" for Hegel is an idea. But "idea" is not something just in man's head, but the whole spirit of the world, so some times an "idea" is pure materialistic. Correct me if i 'm wrong.


4

Hegel himself can be read as materialistic (in a very, very weak sense): In the sense that the general in which the particular being is thought, the concept ("Begriff"), is always "grounded" in the very being of this particular, as it is the generality of the being. BUT he descriminates between being ("Dasein") and reality ("Wirklichkeit"), where reality is ...


4

They are belief systems. Any conjecture on a situation that has no proven answer is a belief. No exceptions. Nobody knows for certain the meaning or lack of meaning in the universe and thus any opinion on the matter is exactly that, opinion, belief, idea, or philosophy.


4

According to wikipedia, physicalism is now-a-days the preferred term to materialism in order to better include physical phenomenon which might be considered immaterial, e.g., fields or space itself. I'm not sure how important this distinction is, but it does help to emphasize: That the physical world contains many complex phenomenon that are not, at least ...


4

There's no inconsistency between the reality of qualia and materialism unless one has an excessively reductive conception of "the physical" -- using things like Locke's inverted spectrum and "Is your red the same as my red?" to try and prove the mind has its own special reality (i.e, with its own special laws unrelated to the physical) is this kind of ...


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