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Materialism : a historical and philosophical inquiry

Author: Robin Brown; James Ladyman
Publisher: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2019. ©2019
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The doctrine of materialism is one of the perennial and most controversial ideas in the arts and sciences. Throughout history it has aroused strong passions, and in the Sixteenth and Twentieth centuries was a doctrine over which people were persecuted and killed. Yet it has been equally aligned with empirical, enlightened and tolerant thinking. This book explores the fascinating and important philosophy of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Robin Brown; James Ladyman
ISBN: 9780367201333 036720133X 9780367201340 0367201348
OCLC Number: 1082192887
Description: xv, 142 pages ; 20 cm
Contents: The heart of materialism --
Materialist thought in the ancient world --
The triumphs of materialism : the mechanical philosophy, the scientific revolution and the enlightenment --
Materialism in the nineteenth century --
The challenges to materialism from post-Newtonian physics --
Physicalist responses to the problems of materialism --
The heart of physicalism --
Physicalism in the twenty-first century.
Responsibility: Robin Gordon Brown and James Ladyman.

Abstract:

"The doctrine of materialism is one of the perennial and most controversial ideas in the arts and sciences. Throughout history it has aroused strong passions, and in the Sixteenth and Twentieth centuries was a doctrine over which people were persecuted and killed. Yet it has been equally aligned with empirical, enlightened and tolerant thinking. This book explores the fascinating and important philosophy of materialism in an engaging and thought-provoking way. Opening with an overview of the ideas of some of the most important materialists, including Lucretius, Epicurus, Hobbes and Hume up to Darwin and Marx, Brown and Ladyman show how materialism's origins were twofold: it was an early form of scientific explanation but also an intellectual outlook, or belief-system, about the world in general. They then explain how materialism's beginnings as imaginative vision of the true nature of things faced a major challenge from modern physics, in the form of quantum theory and the general theory of relativity. This posed major questions for materialism: how could it be reconciled with unobservable entities and new discoveries about the nature of space and time? As the authors show, out of this challenge materialism did not die but re-emerged - as the new doctrine of physicalism. Drawing on colourful examples throughout - from modern physics, the nature of the mind, and atheism - the authors argue that whilst materialism may not have all the answers, its humanism and staunch belief in observation, evidence and experiment remains our best hope in a fragmented and hyper-specialised world"--

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"Highly recommended for those interested in materialism as a perennial current in the history of philosophy and for those wondering how contemporary physicalism and naturalism connect with older Read more...

 
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