What's the difference between naturalism and materialism?
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29-08-2014, 10:52 AM
RE: What's the difference between naturalism and materialism?
(29-08-2014 08:33 AM)Antonis Wrote:  Thank you for your replies!

Materialism is the view that the only matter exists. (matter includes energy and other scientific discoveries).

Naturalism is the idea or belief that nothing exists beyond the natural world.

So after some thinking i came to this conclusion. Naturalism is an assumption about the nature of the universe, and materialism is a way of understand the universe.
I will like to hear your opinions on this!

I think I might see it the other way around.

Eg naturalism is a way of understanding the universe (the natural world contains everything real, so you'll understand the universe through study of the natural world) and materialism is an assumption about the nature of the universe (that matter is the primary reality).

Phil
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30-08-2014, 06:18 AM (This post was last modified: 30-08-2014 06:23 AM by Hafnof.)
RE: What's the difference between naturalism and materialism?
I've wondered for a while about what is meant by something that is not natural, or not material in a philosophical sense. I was watching a Gary Edwards video the other day that maybe sheds some light on this, from Hume. Essentially it seems for something to be considered not natural means that when you break that thing down to its atomic parts that those parts must be "intentional" - aka being about something.



I'm not strictly sure that I'm any the wiser from watching it, but Gary clarifies in the comments that intentionality is this concept:
Quote:Intentionality is the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/intentionality/

I'm not aware of any reason on to believe that unnatural things can exist, in that I don't know of any argument that says this set of things not really made of things is anything but the null set - unless we are going to take this to a trivial level and start going around calling things like data unnatural.

So it seems I am a naturalist until proven otherwise. As for materialism I think this is just a matter of philosophers being disconnected from reality. Materialism is the idea that everything is made of the same fundamental substance, but I'm aware of multiple substances at the deepest level of reality we are able to directly discover. It may be that there is a single substance such as strings or membranes or loops behind it all but I don't know of any compelling argument as to why there must be only a single substance. Materialism seems equivalent to assuming that the theory of everything exists and is going to turn out to be an equation of a similar complexity to our definition of electromagnetism. Either of those things may be incorrect.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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30-08-2014, 10:41 AM
RE: What's the difference between naturalism and materialism?
(30-08-2014 06:18 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  I've wondered for a while about what is meant by something that is not natural, or not material in a philosophical sense. I was watching a Gary Edwards video the other day that maybe sheds some light on this, from Hume. Essentially it seems for something to be considered not natural means that when you break that thing down to its atomic parts that those parts must be "intentional" - aka being about something.



I'm not strictly sure that I'm any the wiser from watching it, but Gary clarifies in the comments that intentionality is this concept:
Quote:Intentionality is the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs.
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/intentionality/

I'm not aware of any reason on to believe that unnatural things can exist, in that I don't know of any argument that says this set of things not really made of things is anything but the null set - unless we are going to take this to a trivial level and start going around calling things like data unnatural.

So it seems I am a naturalist until proven otherwise. As for materialism I think this is just a matter of philosophers being disconnected from reality. Materialism is the idea that everything is made of the same fundamental substance, but I'm aware of multiple substances at the deepest level of reality we are able to directly discover. It may be that there is a single substance such as strings or membranes or loops behind it all but I don't know of any compelling argument as to why there must be only a single substance. Materialism seems equivalent to assuming that the theory of everything exists and is going to turn out to be an equation of a similar complexity to our definition of electromagnetism. Either of those things may be incorrect.

Interesting video. About materialism, if you use the defination of a single substance
then materialism is all but disproven thanks to quantum mechanics, but many people today include energy, dark matter etc. so thats why i think naturalism and materialism is almost the same if you use the second definition.
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30-08-2014, 06:57 PM
RE: What's the difference between naturalism and materialism?
Naturalism is the philosophy that things only exist in this universe. It is self contradictory because it cannot account for knowledge.
Materialism is the philosophy that more = better.

Truth seeker.
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30-08-2014, 11:09 PM
RE: What's the difference between naturalism and materialism?
(30-08-2014 06:57 PM)diddo97 Wrote:  Naturalism is the philosophy that things only exist in this universe. It is self contradictory because it cannot account for knowledge.
Materialism is the philosophy that more = better.

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31-08-2014, 03:54 AM
RE: What's the difference between naturalism and materialism?
(30-08-2014 06:57 PM)diddo97 Wrote:  Naturalism is the philosophy that things only exist in this universe. It is self contradictory because it cannot account for knowledge.
Materialism is the philosophy that more = better.

Naturalism is the philosophy that nothing exists beyond the natural world, and we are talking about the philosophical materialism.
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31-08-2014, 04:21 AM
RE: What's the difference between naturalism and materialism?
(31-08-2014 03:54 AM)Antonis Wrote:  
(30-08-2014 06:57 PM)diddo97 Wrote:  Naturalism is the philosophy that things only exist in this universe. It is self contradictory because it cannot account for knowledge.
Materialism is the philosophy that more = better.

Naturalism is the philosophy that nothing exists beyond the natural world, and we are talking about the philosophical materialism.

Actually - I think those two are directly related!

If my root perspective is that "stuff" is the fundamental reality, then the more of it I have the more real I will feel.

Materialist perspectives tend to be perspectives of quantity. Eg maths is about quantities existing in dimensions.

Maths is not so much about direct description of qualities. A direct knowing of "quality" is more of an emotional knowing than a purely rational knowing.

Phil
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31-08-2014, 05:01 AM
RE: What's the difference between naturalism and materialism?
(31-08-2014 04:21 AM)phil.a Wrote:  
(31-08-2014 03:54 AM)Antonis Wrote:  Naturalism is the philosophy that nothing exists beyond the natural world, and we are talking about the philosophical materialism.

Actually - I think those two are directly related!

If my root perspective is that "stuff" is the fundamental reality, then the more of it I have the more real I will feel.

Materialist perspectives tend to be perspectives of quantity. Eg maths is about quantities existing in dimensions.

Maths is not so much about direct description of qualities. A direct knowing of "quality" is more of an emotional knowing than a purely rational knowing.

Phil


I see your point but i think a materialist don't need necessary more "stuff" to feel more real. He may needs quality or spirituality too. You can see it in Sam Harris books that despite the fact that he doesnt believe in anything supernatural and advocates a materialistim like dawkins and hitchens, he believes that you can still be a spiritual person.
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31-08-2014, 05:10 AM
RE: What's the difference between naturalism and materialism?
(31-08-2014 05:01 AM)Antonis Wrote:  
(31-08-2014 04:21 AM)phil.a Wrote:  Actually - I think those two are directly related!

If my root perspective is that "stuff" is the fundamental reality, then the more of it I have the more real I will feel.

Materialist perspectives tend to be perspectives of quantity. Eg maths is about quantities existing in dimensions.

Maths is not so much about direct description of qualities. A direct knowing of "quality" is more of an emotional knowing than a purely rational knowing.

Phil


I see your point but i think a materialist don't need necessary more "stuff" to feel more real. He may needs quality or spirituality too. You can see it in Sam Harris books that despite the fact that he doesnt believe in anything supernatural and advocates a materialistim like dawkins and hitchens, he believes that you can still be a spiritual person.

Yes well I think reality will always confound simple explanation. I think what I said is generally true, although there are probably all sorts of people who don't really fit neatly inside or outside of the categorisation.

Phil
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