Materialism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 39 pages of information about Materialism.
This section contains 11,463 words
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Nature and Appeal of Materialism

The enduring appeal of materialism arises from its alliance with those sciences that have contributed most to an understanding of the world humans inhabit. Investigations in the physical sciences have a materialist methodology; that is, they attempt to explain a class of phenomena by appeal to physical conditions alone. The claim of materialists is that there is no subject matter that cannot be adequately treated with a materialist methodology. This claim cannot be established by any scientific investigation; it can be established, if at all, only by critical reflection on the whole range of human thought and experience.

Early philosophers proceeded dogmatically, aiming to prove the material nature of the world by mere reflection on what must be. Contemporary materialists are much more modest, offering the claim as a speculative but reasonable generalization from the progress of the physical sciences.

Materialism has been, traditionally...

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This section contains 11,463 words
(approx. 39 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Materialism Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Materialism from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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