Chapter  4 : Metaphysics


(NOTE:  You must read only those linked materials that are preceded by the capitalized word READ.)

MATERIALISM is a tradition of thought in which all things that exist are made up of matter in some way.  To update this theory it might be restated that all existence is made up of energy in some form.  Matter is a form of energy.  All things that exist are made of energy, atoms, molecules, forces and other entities that consist of energy.  There are no non-physical or non-material existents.

READ: Materialism in Catholic Encyclopedia  

Philosophical Materialism by  Richard C. Vitzthum

In this view all human behavior is explained in physical terms.  There are no minds separate from the brain.  There are no souls or spirits and no god.  For those who hold the position of materialism there is the need to account for the existence of such entities as emotions and thoughts as physical events in the brains of humans.  The Neurosciences have made considerable progress in establishing such entities as physical.

To explain human behavior there is evolutionary biology and sociobiology, which attempt to explain all behavior in physical terms.  Humans are conditioned to respond to stimuli.  They have basic physical drives and they have the evolutionary drive to continue their species.  This explains mating behavior and even the actions of some humans to save the lives of other humans, even at their own expense.  It is all about continue the genetic inheritance, the chromosomal patterns. (More on this in the chapter on the MIND BODY Problem.)

NATURALISM: For John Dewey, an American Pragmatist, his version of materialism was empirical naturalism

For an overview of a variety of four Metaphysical positions that are Naturalism:

  • Ancient Naturalism

  • Modern Scientific Naturalism

  • Humanism

  • Dialectical materialism

 none of these accept as real anything that is beyond nature, READ: Dallas  Roark

Proceed to the next section.

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Introduction to Philosophy by Philip A. Pecorino is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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