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Materialism

In philosophy the theory of materialism holds that the only

thing that exists is matter;


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.
The theory or attitude that physical well-being and worldly

possessions constitute the greatest good and highest value in life.

The view is perhaps best understood in its opposition to the doctrines of immaterial

"Father of Modern Philosophy"

substance applied to the mind historically, famously by Ren Descartes. However, by itself materialism says nothing about how material substance should be characterized. In practice it is frequently assimilated to one variety of physicalism or another.

Materialism is often associated with reductionism, according to which the objects or phenomena individuated at one level of description, if they are genuine, must be

American philosopher and cognitiv e scientist

explicable in terms of the objects or phenomena at some other level of description typically, a more general level than the reduced one., according to Jerry Fodor.

History of materialism
Axial Age
In Ancient Indian philosophy, materialism developed around 600 BCE with the works of Ajita

Kesakambali, Payasi, Kanada, and the proponents of the Crvka school of philosophy. Kanada was one of the early proponents of atomism - thought their proofs of God and positing that the consciousness was not material made them not to be materialists. The atomic tradition was carried forward by Buddhist atomism and the Jaina school.

History of materialism
Xun Zi developed a Confucian

doctrine oriented on realism and materialism in Ancient China. Other notable Chinese materialists of this time include Yang Xiong and Wang Chong.

Chinese Confucian philosopher who contributed to one of the Hundred Schools of Thought

History of materialism
Ancient Greek philosophers like

Thales, Parmenides, Anaxagoras, Epicurus and Democritus prefigure later materialists. The poem De Rerum Natura by Lucretius recounts the mechanistic philosophy of Democritus and Epicurus. According to this view, all that exists is matter and void, and all phenomena are the result of different motions and conglomerations of base material particles called "atoms."

History of materialism
De Rerum Natura provides

mechanistic explanations for phenomena such as erosion, evaporation, wind, and sound. Famous principles like "nothing can come from nothing" and "nothing can touch body but body" first appeared in the works of Lucretius

History of materialism
Common Era
Later Indian materialist Jayaraashi Bhatta

8th or 9th century Indian philosopher

(6th century CE) in his work Tattvopaplavasimha ("the Upsetting of all principles") refuted the Nyaya Sutra epistemology. The materialistic Crvka philosophy appears to have died out some time after 1400 CE. In early 12th-century al-Andalus, the Arabian philosopher, Ibn Tufail (Abubacer), wrote discussions on materialism in his philosophical novel, Hayy ibn Yaqdhan (Philosophus Autodidactus), while vaguely foreshadowing the idea of a historical materialism.

History of materialism
European Enlightenment
Schopenhauer wrote that "...materialism is

the philosophy of the subject who forgets to take account of himself."He claimed that an observing subject can only know material objects through the mediation of the brain and its particular organization. The way that the brain knows determines the way that material objects are experienced.

German philosopher known for his atheistic pessimism

History of materialism
Marx's social materialism

For Karl Marx, the base material of the world is social relations (and mainly class relations, e.g, between serfs and lord, or today, between employees and employer). As an expression of these basic social relations, all other ideologies form, including those of science, economics, law, morality, etc. Karl Marx used the term to refer to a theoretical perspective that holds the satisfaction of everyday economic needs is the primary reality in every epoch of history. Materialism takes the position that society and reality originate from a set of simple economic acts which human beings carry out in order to provide the material necessities of food, shelter, and clothing. Materialism takes as its starting point that before anything else, human beings must produce their everyday economic needs through their physical labor and practical productive activity.

This single economic act, Marx believed, gives rise to a system of social relations which include political, legal and religious structures of society

Religious and spiritual objections


According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, materialism

denies the existence of both God and the soul.

It is therefore incompatible with most world religions

including Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism.

Materialism linked to depression and anger- study


"Shaun Saunders, one of the authors of the report from the

University of Newcastle, Australia, said it came as no surprise to discover that money can't buy you love. ...

Saunders explained that one source of depression among dedicated consumers was the fact that the property they acquired tended to lose value quickly. 'If your self-worth is invested in what you own, as can be the case in our market-driven society, then these things may not hold their value for very long', he said."

Philosophical influence to Service


The theory shows what Marx called a "coherence" in human

history, because of the fact that each generation inherits the productive forces developed previously and in turn further develops them before passing them on to the next generation. Further that this coherence increasingly involves more of humanity the more the productive forces develop and expand to bind people together in production and exchange. This understanding counters the notion that human history is simply a series of accidents, either without any underlying cause or caused by supernatural beings or forces exerting their will on society. This posits that history is made as a result of struggle between different social classes rooted in the underlying economic base.

Philosophical influence to Education


The kind of aggressive, unprincipled rat-race of

advertisement techniques the manufacturers adopt not only corrupt minds but also, as several studies have pointed out, a large number of murders, thefts and bank robberies owe their inspiration to the kinds of things that are to be seen in the print and electronic media. TV has become a very important source of generating violent and unhealthy tendencies among people.
Indeed, materialism is an example of an area where nursing

needs to stretch from its focus on the individual and examine the wider impact of the phenomenon.

Philosophical influence to Research


materialism started from a fundamental underlying

reality of human existence: that in order for human beings to survive and continue existence from generation to generation, it is necessary for them to produce and reproduce the material requirements of life, where productive forces refer to the means of production such as the tools, instruments, technology, land, raw materials, and human knowledge and abilities in terms of using these means of production.

Consumerism
Consumerism is the equation of

personal happiness with consumption and the purchase of material possessions.


"The movement seeking to protect and inform consumers

by requiring such practices as honest packaging and advertising, product guarantees, and improved safety standards.
or alternately "The theory that a progressively greater

consumption of goods is economically beneficial.".

A great turn in consumerism arrived just

before the Industrial Revolution. While before the norm had been the scarcity of resources, The Industrial Revolution created an unusual situation. available in outstanding quantities, at outstandingly low prices, being thus available to virtually everyone. And so began the era of mass consumption, the only era where the concept of consumerism is applicable.

for the first time in history products were

Since consumerism began, various

individuals and groups have consciously sought an alternative lifestyle, such as the "simple living", "eco-conscious", and "localvore"/"buy local movements.

Consumerism has strong links with

the Western world, but is in fact an international phenomenon. People purchasing goods and consuming materials in excess of their basic needs is as old as the first civilizations. to emulate those who are above them in the social hierarchy. The poor strive to imitate the wealthy and the wealthy imitate celebrities and other icons. The celebrity endorsement of products can be seen as evidence of the desire of modern consumers to purchase products partly or solely to emulate people of higher social status. the mind of a consumer with an image of oneself as being an individualist

As a general trend, regular consumers seek

This purchasing behavior may co-exist in

Consumerism in the 21st century


Businesses have realized that wealthy

The default Home screen of the iPhone 3GS shows most of the applications provided by Apple.

consumers are the most attractive targets for marketing their products. The upper class' tastes, lifestyles, and preferences trickle down to become the standard which all consumers seek to emulate. The not so wealthy consumers can purchase something new that will speak of their place in the tradition of affluence. A consumer can have the instant gratification of purchasing an expensive item that will help improve their social status.

Consumerism in the 21st century


As a general trend, regular consumers seek to emulate those who are above them in the social hierarchy. The poor strive to imitate the wealthy and the wealthy imitate celebrities and other icons.
The celebrity endorsement of products can be seen as evidence of the desire of modern consumers to purchase products partly or solely to emulate

people of higher social status. This purchasing behavior may co-exist in the mind of a consumer with an image of oneself as being an individualist.

Philosophical influence to Education and Service


Beginning in the 1990s, the most frequent reason given

for attending college had changed to making a lot of money, outranking reasons such as becoming an authority in a field or helping others in difficulty. This statement directly correlates with the rise of consumerism, specifically the technological aspect. At this time compact disc players, digital media, personal computers, and cellular telephones all began to integrate into the affluent moedern everyday lifestyle a shift away from values of community, spirituality, and integrity, and toward competition, materialism and disconnection.

Philosophical influence to Research


Given that we all experience the same consumeristic culture, why

do some of us develop strongly materialistic values and others don't? A line of research suggests that insecurity--both financial and emotional--lies at the heart of consumeristic cravings. Indeed, it's not money per se, but the striving for it, that's linked to unhappiness. social situations--where they're not treated very nicely by their parents or when they experience poverty or even the threat of death,", "they become more materialistic as a way to adapt."

"Research suggests that when people grow up in unfortunate

Indeed, consumerism is an example of an area where nursing

needs to stretch from its focus on the individual and examine the wider impact of the phenomenon.

consumerism in the sense of "the theory that a progressively greater consumption of goods is economically beneficial", "attachment to materialistic values or possessions", and materialism as "the theory or doctrine that physical well-being and worldly possessions constitute the greatest good and highest value in life" "the movement that seeks to protect and inform consumers by requiring such practices as honest packaging and advertising, product guarantees, and improved safety standards" * and "the theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of physical phenomena"

References/Credits: Mary Midgley The Myths We Live By. Dominique Urvoy, "The Rationality of Everyday Life: The Andalusian Tradition? (Aropos of Hayy's First Experiences)", in Lawrence I. Conrad (1996), The World of Ibn Tufayl: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on ayy Ibn Yaqn, pp. 38-46, Brill Publishers, ISBN 9004093001. The World as Will and Representation, II, Ch. 1) Jonathan Wolff, Ph.D., ed. "Karl Marx". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford. Retrieved 2009-09-17. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism ^ Veblen, Thorstein (1899): The Theory of the Leisure Class: an economic study of institutions, Dover Publications, Mineola, N.Y., 1994, ISBN 0-486-28062-4. (also available: Project Gutenberg e-text) ^ "Consumerism". Britannica Concise Encyclopedia Online. 2008. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumerism