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{{about||the desire to accumulate material goods|Economic materialism|the Marxist and other meanings}}{{Use dmy dates|date=February 2018}}{{More footnotes|date=June 2019}}Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. According to philosophical materialism, mind and consciousness are by-products or epiphenomena of material processes (such as the biochemistry of the human brain and nervous system), without which they cannot exist. This concept directly contrasts with idealism, where mind and consciousness are first-order realities to which matter is subject and material interactions are secondary.Materialism is closely related to physicalism—the view that all that exists is ultimately physical. Philosophical physicalism has evolved from materialism with the theories of the physical sciences to incorporate more sophisticated notions of physicality than mere ordinary matter (e.g. spacetime, physical energies and forces, and dark matter). Thus the term physicalism is preferred over materialism by some, while others use the terms as if they are synonymous.Philosophies contradictory to materialism or physicalism include idealism, pluralism, dualism, and other forms of monism.


File:La Mettrie, L'homme machine, 1748 Wellcome L0015753.jpg|thumb|In 1748, French doctor and philosopher La Mettrie exposes the first materialistic definition of the human soul in L'Homme MachineL'Homme MachineMaterialism belongs to the class of monist ontology. As such, it is different from ontological theories based on dualism or pluralism. For singular explanations of the phenomenal reality, materialism would be in contrast to idealism, neutral monism and spiritualism.Despite the large number of philosophical schools and subtle nuances between many,{{citation |editor-last=Edwards |editor-first=Paul |editor-link=Paul Edwards (philosopher)|date=1972 |origyear=1967 |title=The Encyclopedia of Philosophy |volume=Vols.1-4 |postscript=(Originally published 1967 in 8 volumes) |isbn=0-02-894950-1}} Alternative {{ISBN|978-0-02-894950-5}}{{citation |last=Priest |first=Stephen |year=1991 |title=Theories of the Mind |place=London |publisher=Penguin Books |isbn=0-14-013069-1}} Alternative {{ISBN|978-0-14-013069-0}}{{citation |last=Novack |first=George |year=1979 |authorlink=George Novack |title=The Origins of Materialism |place=New York |publisher=Pathfinder Press |isbn=0-87348-022-8}} all philosophies are said to fall into one of two primary categories, which are defined in contrast to each other: idealism and materialism.{{ref label|a|a|none}} The basic proposition of these two categories pertains to the nature of reality—the primary distinction between them is the way they answer two fundamental questions: "what does reality consist of?" and "how does it originate?" To idealists, spirit or mind or the objects of mind (ideas) are primary, and matter secondary. To materialists, matter is primary, and mind or spirit or ideas are secondary—the product of matter acting upon matter.The materialist view is perhaps best understood in its opposition to the doctrines of immaterial substance applied to the mind historically by René Descartes; however, by itself materialism says nothing about how material substance should be characterized. In practice, it is frequently assimilated to one variety of physicalism or another.Materialism is often associated with reductionism, according to which the objects or phenomena individuated at one level of description, if they are genuine, must be explicable in terms of the objects or phenomena at some other level of description—typically, at a more reduced level. Non-reductive materialism explicitly rejects this notion, however, taking the material constitution of all particulars to be consistent with the existence of real objects, properties or phenomena not explicable in the terms canonically used for the basic material constituents. Jerry Fodor argues this view, according to which empirical laws and explanations in "special sciences" like psychology or geology are invisible from the perspective of basic physics.{{Citation needed|date=June 2019}}Modern philosophical materialists extend the definition of other scientifically observable entities such as energy, forces and the curvature of space; however, philosophers such as Mary Midgley suggest that the concept of "matter" is elusive and poorly defined.Mary Midgley The Myths We Live By.Materialism typically contrasts with dualism, phenomenalism, idealism, vitalism and dual-aspect monism. Its materiality can, in some ways, be linked to the concept of determinism, as espoused by Enlightenment thinkers.{{Citation needed|date=June 2019}}During the nineteenth century, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels extended the concept of materialism to elaborate a materialist conception of history centered on the roughly empirical world of human activity (practice, including labor) and the institutions created, reproduced or destroyed by that activity (see materialist conception of history). They also developed dialectical materialism, through taking Hegelian dialectics, stripping them of their idealist aspects and fusing them with materialismCapital Vol. 1, Afterword to the Second German Edition. (see Modern philosophy).


{{See also|History of metaphysical naturalism}}

Axial Age

Materialism developed, possibly independently, in several geographically separated regions of Eurasia during what Karl Jaspers termed the Axial Age ({{Circa}} 800–200 BC).In ancient Indian philosophy, materialism developed around 600 BC with the works of Ajita Kesakambali, Payasi, Kanada and the proponents of the Cārvāka school of philosophy. Kanada became one of the early proponents of atomism. The Nyaya–Vaisesika school (c. 600–100 BC) developed one of the earliest forms of atomism (although their proofs of God and their positing that consciousness was not material precludes labelling them as materialists). Buddhist atomism and the Jaina school continued the atomic tradition.{{Citation needed|date=June 2019}}Ancient Greek atomists like Leucippus, Democritus and Epicurus prefigure later materialists. The Latin poem De Rerum Natura by Lucretius (99 â€“ c. 55 BC) reflects the mechanistic philosophy of Democritus and Epicurus. According to this view, all that exists is matter and void, and all phenomena result from different motions and conglomerations of base material particles called "atoms" (literally: "indivisibles"). De Rerum Natura provides mechanistic explanations for phenomena such as erosion, evaporation, wind and sound. Famous principles like "nothing can touch body but body" first appeared in the works of Lucretius. Democritus and Epicurus, however, did not hold to a monist ontology since they held to the ontological separation of matter and space (i.e. space being "another kind" of being) indicating that the definition of "materialism" is wider than the given scope of this article.{{Citation needed|date=June 2019}}

Common Era

Wang Chong (27 â€“ c. 100 AD) was a Chinese thinker of the early Common Era said to be a materialist.{{Google books |id=tAeFipOVx4MC |page=228 |title=The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (2006)}}Later Indian materialist Jayaraashi Bhatta (6th century) in his work Tattvopaplavasimha ("The upsetting of all principles") refuted the Nyaya Sutra epistemology. The materialistic Cārvāka philosophy appears to have died out some time after 1400; when Madhavacharya compiled Sarva-darÅ›ana-samgraha (a digest of all philosophies) in the 14th century, he had no Cārvāka/Lokāyata text to quote from or refer to.History of Indian Materialism, Ramakrishna BhattacharyaIn early 12th-century al-Andalus, the Arabian philosopher, Ibn Tufail ({{a.k.a.}} Abubacer), wrote discussions on materialism in his philosophical novel, Hayy ibn Yaqdhan (Philosophus Autodidactus), while vaguely foreshadowing the idea of a historical materialism.Dominique Urvoy, "The Rationality of Everyday Life: The Andalusian Tradition? (Aropos of Hayy's First Experiences)", in Lawrence I. Conrad (1996), The World of Ibn Tufayl: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān, pp. 38-46, Brill Publishers, {{ISBN|90-04-09300-1}}.

Modern philosophy

Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679)Thomas Hobbes (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) and Pierre Gassendi (1592–1665)Pierre Gassendi (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) represented the materialist tradition in opposition to the attempts of René Descartes (1596–1650) to provide the natural sciences with dualist foundations. There followed the materialist and atheist abbé Jean Meslier (1664–1729) and the works of the French materialists: Julien Offray de La Mettrie, the German-French Baron d'Holbach (1723–1789), Denis Diderot (1713–1784) and other French Enlightenment thinkers. In England, John "Walking" Stewart (1747–1822) insisted on seeing matter as endowed with a moral dimension, which had a major impact on the philosophical poetry of William Wordsworth (1770–1850).In late modern philosophy, German atheist anthropologist Ludwig Feuerbach would signal a new turn in materialism through his book The Essence of Christianity (1841), which presented a humanist account of religion as the outward projection of man's inward nature. Feuerbach's anthropological materialismAxel Honneth, Hans Joas, Social Action and Human Nature, Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 18. (a version of materialism which views materialist anthropology as the universal science) would later heavily influence Karl Marx,Nicholas Churchich, Marxism and Alienation, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1990, p. 57: "Although Marx has rejected Feuerbach's abstract materialism," Lenin says that Feuerbach's views "are consistently materialist," implying that Feuerbach's conception of causality is entirely in line with dialectical materialism." who in the late 19th century elaborated the concept of historical materialism—the basis for what Marx and Friedrich Engels outlined as scientific socialism:Engels later developed a "materialist dialectic" philosophy of nature (Dialectics of Nature, 1883). Engels's worldview was given the title "dialectical materialism" by Georgi Plekhanov, the father of Russian Marxism.See Georgi Plekhanov, "For the Sixtieth Anniversary of Hegel's Death" (1891).See also Plekhanov, Essays on the History of Materialism (1893) and Plekhanov, The Development of the Monist View of History (1895). In early 20th-century Russian philosophy, Vladimir Lenin further developed dialectical materialism in his book Materialism and Empirio-criticism (1909), which connected the political conceptions put forth by his opponents to their anti-materialist philosophies.A more naturalist-oriented materialist school of thought that developed in the middle of the 19th century (also in Germany) was German materialism: members included Ludwig Büchner, Jacob Moleschott and Karl Vogt.Owen Chadwick, The Secularization of the European Mind in the Nineteenth Century, Cambridge University Press, 1990, p. 165: "During the 1850s German ... scientists conducted a controversy known ... as the materialistic controversy. It was specially associated with the names of Vogt, Moleschott and Büchner" and p. 173: "Frenchmen were surprised to see Büchner and Vogt. ... [T]he French were surprised at German materialism".The Nineteenth Century and After, Vol. 151, 1952, p. 227: "the Continental materialism of Moleschott and Buchner".

Contemporary philosophy

Analytic philosophy

{{see also|Physicalism|Scientific materialism}}Contemporary analytic philosophers (e.g. Daniel Dennett, Willard Van Orman Quine, Donald Davidson, and Jerry Fodor) operate within a broadly physicalist or scientific materialist framework, producing rival accounts of how best to accommodate the mind, including functionalism, anomalous monism, identity theory, and so onweblink by William RamseyScientific materialism is often synonymous with, and has typically been described as being, a reductive materialism. In the early twenty-first century, Paul and Patricia Churchland advocated a radically contrasting position (at least, in regards to certain hypotheses); eliminativist materialism holds that some mental phenomena simply do not exist at all, and that talk of those mental phenomena reflects a totally spurious "folk psychology" and introspection illusion. An eliminative materialist might believe that a concept like "belief" simply has no basis in fact (e.g. the way folk science speaks of demon-caused illnesses). With reductive materialism being at one end of a continuum (our theories will reduce to facts) and eliminative materialism on the other (certain theories will need to be eliminated in light of new facts), revisionary materialism is somewhere in the middle.

Continental philosophy

{{see also|Speculative materialism|Transcendental materialism}}Contemporary continental philosopher Gilles Deleuze has attempted to rework and strengthen classical materialist ideas.BOOK,weblink Gilles Deleuze, Smith, Daniel, Protevi, John, 1 January 2015, Zalta, Edward N., Winter 2015, Contemporary theorists such as Manuel DeLanda, working with this reinvigorated materialism, have come to be classified as "new materialist" in persuasion.JOURNAL, Dolphijn, Rick, Tuin, Iris van der, 1 January 2013, New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies,weblink EN, New materialism has now become its own specialized subfield of knowledge, with courses being offered on the topic at major universities, as well as numerous conferences, edited collections and monographs devoted to it. Jane Bennett's book Vibrant Matter (2010) has been particularly instrumental in bringing theories of monist ontology and vitalism back into a critical theoretical fold dominated by poststructuralist theories of language and discourse.BOOK,weblink Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things, Bennett, Jane, 4 January 2010, Duke University Press, 9780822346333, en, Scholars such as Mel Y. Chen and Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, however, have critiqued this body of new materialist literature for its neglect in considering the materiality of race and gender in particular.WEB,weblink Animal: New Directions in the Theorization of Race and Posthumanism,, 2016-05-08, BOOK,weblink Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect, Chen, Mel Y., 10 July 2012, Duke University Press, 9780822352549, en, Other scholars such as Hélene Vosters have questioned whether there is anything particularly "new" about this so-called "new materialism", as Indigenous and other animist ontologies have attested to what might be called the "vibrancy of matter" for centuries.BOOK,weblink Performing Objects and Theatrical Things, Schweitzer, M., Zerdy, J., 14 August 2014, Springer, 9781137402455, en, Quentin Meillassoux proposed speculative materialism, a post-Kantian return to David Hume which is also based on materialist ideas.Quentin Meillassoux (2008), After Finitude, Bloomsbury, p. 90.

Defining matter

The nature and definition of matter—like other key concepts in science and philosophy—have occasioned much debate.CE1913, Matter, Is there a single kind of matter (hyle) which everything is made of, or multiple kinds? Is matter a continuous substance capable of expressing multiple forms (hylomorphism)"Hylomorphism" Concise Britannica or a number of discrete, unchanging constituents (atomism)?"Atomism: Antiquity to the Seventeenth Century" {{webarchive|url= |date=9 September 2006 }} Dictionary of the History of Ideasweblink" title="">"Atomism in the Seventeenth Century" Dictionary of the History of IdeasArticle by a philosopher who opposes atomism {{webarchive|url= |date=21 December 2006 }}Information on Buddhist atomism {{webarchive|url= |date=16 February 2007 }}Article on traditional Greek atomism"Atomism from the 17th to the 20th Century" Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Does it have intrinsic properties (substance theory)WEB,weblink ''Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' on substance theory,, 2013-06-24, WEB,weblink The Friesian School on Substance and Essence,, 2013-06-24, or is it lacking them (prima materia)?One challenge to the traditional concept of matter as tangible "stuff" came with the rise of field physics in the 19th century. Relativity shows that matter and energy (including the spatially distributed energy of fields) are interchangeable. This enables the ontological view that energy is prima materia and matter is one of its forms. On the other hand, the Standard Model of particle physics uses quantum field theory to describe all interactions. On this view it could be said that fields are prima materia and the energy is a property of the field.{{Citation needed|date=June 2019}}According to the dominant cosmological model, the Lambda-CDM model, less than 5% of the universe's energy density is made up of the "matter" described by the Standard Model, and the majority of the universe is composed of dark matter and dark energy, with little agreement among scientists about what these are made of.Bernard Sadoulet "Particle Dark Matter in the Universe: At the Brink of Discovery?" Science 5 January 2007: Vol. 315. no. 5808, pp. 61 - 63With the advent of quantum physics, some scientists believed the concept of matter had merely changed, while others believed the conventional position could no longer be maintained. For instance Werner Heisenberg said, "The ontology of materialism rested upon the illusion that the kind of existence, the direct 'actuality' of the world around us, can be extrapolated into the atomic range. This extrapolation, however, is impossible... atoms are not things."{{Citation needed|date=June 2019}} Likewise, some philosophers{{which|date=November 2010}} feel that these dichotomies necessitate a switch from materialism to physicalism. Others use the terms "materialism" and "physicalism" interchangeably."Many philosophers and scientists now use the terms `material' and `physical' interchangeably" Dictionary of the Philosophy of MindThe concept of matter has changed in response to new scientific discoveries. Thus materialism has no definite content independent of the particular theory of matter on which it is based. According to Noam Chomsky, any property can be considered material, if one defines matter such that it has that property.Chomsky, Noam (2000) New Horizons in the Study of Language and Mind


George Stack distinguishes between materialism and physicalism: }}However, not all conceptions of physicalism are tied to verificationist theories of meaning or direct realist accounts of perception. Rather, physicalists believe that no “element of reality” is missing from the mathematical formalism of our best description of the world. “Materialist” physicalists also believe that the formalism describes fields of insentience. In other words, the intrinsic nature of the physical is non-experiential.{{Citation needed|date=June 2019}}

Criticism and alternatives

{{Over-quotation|date=September 2019}}

From scientists

Rudolf Peierls, a physicist who played a major role in the Manhattan Project, rejected materialism, saying, "The premise that you can describe in terms of physics the whole function of a human being [...] including knowledge and consciousness, is untenable. There is still something missing".WEB,weblink The Economic Times, 2 November 2012, 21 June 2019, Matter Undermined, Erwin Schrödinger said, "Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else"."General Scientific and Popular Papers," in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334Werner Heisenberg, who came up with the uncertainty principle, wrote, "The ontology of materialism rested upon the illusion that the kind of existence, the direct ‘actuality’ of the world around us, can be extrapolated into the atomic range. This extrapolation, however, is impossible…Atoms are not things".W. Heisenberg (1962). Physics and philosophy: the revolution in modern science

Quantum mechanics

Some 20th-century physicists (such as Eugene Wignerweblink and Henry Stapp)"Quantum interactive dualism - an alternative to materialism," Journal of Consciousness Studies and modern day physicists and science writers (such as Stephen Barr,weblink Paul Davies and John Gribbin) have argued that materialism is flawed due to certain recent scientific findings in physics, such as quantum mechanics and chaos theory. In 1991, Gribbin and Davies released their book The Matter Myth, the first chapter of which, "The Death of Materialism", contained the following passage:{{quotation|Then came our Quantum theory, which totally transformed our image of matter. The old assumption that the microscopic world of atoms was simply a scaled-down version of the everyday world had to be abandoned. Newton's deterministic machine was replaced by a shadowy and paradoxical conjunction of waves and particles, governed by the laws of chance, rather than the rigid rules of causality. An extension of the quantum theory goes beyond even this; it paints a picture in which solid matter dissolves away, to be replaced by weird excitations and vibrations of invisible field energy.Quantum physics undermines materialism because it reveals that matter has far less "substance" than we might believe. But another development goes even further by demolishing Newton's image of matter as inert lumps. This development is the theory of chaos, which has recently gained widespread attention.|Paul Davies and John Gribbin|The Matter Myth|Chapter 1}}

Digital physics

The objections of Davies and Gribbin are shared by proponents of digital physics who view information rather than matter to be fundamental. Famous physicist and proponent of digital physics John Archibald Wheeler wrote, "all matter and all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe"."Information, Physics, Quantum: The Search for Links" in Complexity, Entropy and the Physics of Information (1990), ed. by Wojciech H. Zurek Their objections were also shared by some founders of quantum theory, such as Max Planck, who wrote:{{quotation|As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.|Max Planck|Das Wesen der Materie|1944}}James Jeans concurred with Planck saying, "The Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter".James Jeans, The Mysterious Universe p. 137, 1937 ed.

Religious and spiritual views

According to Constantin Gutberlet writing in Catholic Encyclopedia (1911), materialism, defined as "a philosophical system which regards matter as the only reality in the world [...] denies the existence of God and the soul".CE1913, Constantin, Gutberlet, Materialism, 10, In this view, materialism could be perceived incompatible with world religions that ascribe existence to immaterial objects.WEB,weblink Encyclopaedia Britannica: Soul Religion and Philosophy, Materialism could be conflated with atheism.{{Citation needed|date=January 2018}} However, Friedrich Lange wrote in 1892, "Diderot has not always in the Encyclopædia expressed his own individual opinion, but it is just as true that at its commencement he had not yet got as far as Atheism and Materialism".BOOK, Lange, Friedrich Albert, Friedrich Albert Lange, English and foreign philosophical library, History of Materialism and Criticism of Its Present Importance,weblink 2: History of materialism until Kant, K. Paul, Trench, Trübner, & Company, Limited, 1892, 4, 25–26, 21 June 2019, Diderot has not always in the Encyclopædia expressed his own individual opinion, but it is just as true that at its commencement he had not yet got as far as Atheism and Materialism., Most of Hinduism and transcendentalism regard all matter as an illusion called Maya, blinding humans from knowing the truth. Transcendental experiences like the perception of Brahman are considered to destroy the illusion.mahavidya.caJoseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, taught: "There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter."Doctrine and Covenants {{lds||dc|131|7|8}} This spirit element is believed to always have existed and to be co-eternal with God.BOOK, Smith, Joseph, Joseph Smith, 1938, Joseph Fielding, Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (book), Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Salt Lake City, Deseret Book, 718055, 352–354, .Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science movement, denied the existence of matter on the basis of the allness of Mind (which she regarded as a synonym for God).Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Boston: The First Church of Christ Scientist, 1934, p. 468.

Philosophical objections

In the Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant argued against materialism in defending his transcendental idealism (as well as offering arguments against subjective idealism and mind–body dualism).See Critique of Pure Reason where he gives a "refutation of idealism" in pp. 345–52 (1st Ed.) and pp. 244–7 (2nd Ed.) in the Norman Kemp Smith editionCritique of Pure Reason (A379, p. 352 NKS translation)."If, however, as commonly happens, we seek to extend the concept of dualism, and take it in the transcendental sense, neither it nor the two counter-alternatives — pneumatism [idealism] on the one hand, materialism on the other — would have any sort of basis [...] Neither the transcendental object which underlies outer appearances nor that which underlies inner intuition, is in itself either matter or a thinking being, but a ground (to us unknown)..." However, Kant with his refutation of idealism, argues that change and time require an enduring substrate."Kant argues that we can determine that there has been a change in the objects of our perception, not merely a change in our perceptions themselves, only by conceiving of what we perceive as successive states of enduring substances (see Substance)".Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy {{webarchive|url= |date=6 February 2007 }}"All determination of time presupposes something permanent in perception. This permanent cannot, however, be something in me [...]" Critique of Pure Reason, B274, p. 245 (NKS translation) Postmodern/poststructuralist thinkers also express a skepticism about any all-encompassing metaphysical scheme. Philosopher Mary Midgley argues that materialism is a self-refuting idea, at least in its eliminative materialist form.See Mary Midgley (1990), The Myths we Live By.Baker, L. (1987). Saving Belief Princeton, Princeton University PressReppert, V. (1992). "Eliminative Materialism, Cognitive Suicide, and Begging the Question". Metaphilosophy 23: 378–92.Seidner, Stanley S. (10 June 2009) "A Trojan Horse: Logotherapeutic Transcendence and its Secular Implications for Theology". Mater Dei Institute. p. 5.Boghossian, P. (1990). "The Status of Content" Philosophical Review 99: 157–84. and (1991) "The Status of Content Revisited". Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 71: 264–78.


Arguments for idealism, such as those of Hegel and Berkeley, often take the form of an argument against materialism; indeed, the idealism of Berkeley was called immaterialism. Now, matter can be argued to be redundant, as in bundle theory, and mind-independent properties can, in turn, be reduced to subjective percepts. Berkeley presents an example of the latter by pointing out that it is impossible to gather direct evidence of matter, as there is no direct experience of matter; all that is experienced is perception, whether internal or external. As such, the existence of matter can only be assumed from the apparent (perceived) stability of perceptions; it finds absolutely no evidence in direct experience.{{Citation needed|date=June 2019}}If matter and energy are seen as necessary to explain the physical world, but incapable of explaining mind, dualism results. Emergence, holism and process philosophy seek to ameliorate the perceived shortcomings of traditional (especially mechanistic) materialism without abandoning materialism entirely.{{Citation needed|date=June 2019}}

Materialism as methodology

Some critics object to materialism as part of an overly skeptical, narrow or reductivist approach to theorizing, rather than to the ontological claim that matter is the only substance.Particle physicist and Anglican theologian John Polkinghorne objects to what he calls promissory materialism—claims that materialistic science will eventually succeed in explaining phenomena it has not so far been able to explain.However, critics of materialism are equally guilty of prognosticating that it will never be able to explain certain phenomena. "Over a hundred years ago William James saw clearly that science would never resolve the mind-body problem." Are We Spiritual Machines? Dembski, W. Polkinghorne prefers "dual-aspect monism" to materialism.WEB,weblink Interview with John Polkinghorne,, 2013-06-24, Some scientific materialists have been criticized for failing to provide clear definitions for what constitutes matter, leaving the term "materialism" without any definite meaning. Noam Chomsky states that since the concept of matter may be affected by new scientific discoveries, as has happened in the past, scientific materialists are being dogmatic in assuming the opposite.

See also

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a. {{note label|a|a|none}} Indeed, it has been noted it is difficult if not impossible to define one category without contrasting it with the other.



Further reading

External links

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