Does philosophical materialism make sense?

PhiloTalk Forums Subjects Philosophy Metaphysics Ontology Does philosophical materialism make sense?

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    philotalkphilotalk
    Keymaster

    Philosophical materialism is the view that matter and the inter-relations/interactions of matter are the only existents (the only things that exist) in the universe. It is often seen as being synonymous with physicalism, because “matter” and “the physical” are seen as synonyms.

    Taken literally, it is a monistic view. That is, it is a view that there is one type of “stuff” that makes up the world. That is opposed to, say, a dualistic view (such as the one famously adopted by Descartes) that there are two distinct types of “stuff” that make up the world. Some people who see themselves as materialists might take the view that energy is a different kind of stuff from matter, but a literal materialist would not take that view. He/she would view energy as one of the inter-relations of matter. For example, kinetic energy is the change in relative positions of matter with respect to time. i.e. movement of matter.

    What do you think of this view? Is it consistent with what we observe to be the case about the world around us? Is it consistent with what we observe of our own minds and the minds of others? Is it consistent with what we intuitively feel to be the case?

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