Materialism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 5 pages of information about Materialism.
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Materialism

Materialism is a term with both metaphysical and social meanings. As a metaphysical position materialism regards matter (Latin materia) as the primary or most real substance. In modern times materialism also has taken practical forms. Because science studies empirical objects and because material entities are more perceptible than are immaterial ones, the scientific worldview tends to assume materialism at least for heuristic purposes or on provisional grounds. Moreover, modern technological progress, especially in its early phases, provided mostly material improvements. Thus, one effect that technology seems to have had on culture is the creation of social forms of materialism such as consumerism.


Metaphysical Materialism

As a form of metaphysical monism, materialism attempts to reduce all phenomena to a single basic substance: matter. Thus, the opposites of metaphysical materialism are doctrines such as spiritualism, which holds that spirit is the ultimate reality; idealism, which sees the phenomenal world and...

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This section contains 1,496 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Materialism Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Materialism from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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