Friday, March 2, 2012


Cosmology deals with matter.

Some cosmologists have adopted the view that only matter matters - anything that means anything is a play of matter and energy.

More formally:

In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter or energy; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance, and reality is identical with the actually occurring states of energy and matter.

To many philosophers, 'materialism' is synonymous with 'physicalism'. However, materialists have historically held that everything is made of matter, but physics has shown that gravity, for example, is not made of matter in the traditional sense of ‘an inert, senseless substance, in which extension, figure, and motion do actually subsist’…

So it is tempting to use ‘physicalism’ to distance oneself from what seems the historically important but no longer scientifically relevant thesis of materialism. Related to this, physicalists emphasize a connection to physics and the physical sciences.” Therefore much of the generally philosophical discussion below on materialism may be relevant to physicalism.

Also related with materialism are the ideas of methodological naturalism (i.e. "let's at least do science as though physicalism is true") and metaphysical naturalism (i.e. "philosophy and science should operate according to the physical world, and that's all that exists").

A variety of schools of thought call themselves "materialist", particularly those associated with Marxism, dialectical materialism and historical materialism. The term can be used pejoratively, for example in the popular usage of the term "vulgar materialism" by Marxists and post-Marxists.

Contrasting philosophies include idealism, other forms of monism, dualism and pluralism.

1 comment:

  1. there is a very good article exploring this very subject at: