Types of materialism

February 2024 Forums General discussion Types of materialism

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 108 total)
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  • #245818
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    I would ask members who view themselves as materialists (all party members will do so) whether they are plenists or vacuist.

    Plenist. Matter is all that exists.

    Vacuist. Matter exists but so does space (nothing), where there is no matter.

    #245827
    ALB
    Keymaster

    Does it matter?

    #245828
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    It matters to me. My dad always told me matter is all that exists. I’d just like to know what others think. Do they accept nothingness?

    Not relevant to socialism, but only those interested need answer.

    #245831
    chelmsford
    Participant

    I logged on to me bank account last night and there was nothing in it. So, yes, I believe in nothingness.

    #245832
    Bijou Drains
    Participant

    Matter is not all that exists, Dark Matter is likely to exist and antimatter also exist.

    The space also matters. The space has an impact on the appearance and behaviour of the substance, for example H2O might be steam, water or ice. The molecules are the same what is different is the space between them in the three different states.

    It’s a bit like music, the notes are important but sometimes it’s the gaps that are more important.

    If you listen to one of Eddie Van Halen’s dreadful and busy guitar solos it is full of notes but not (in my opinion) very interesting, and then compare it with a guitar solo by Paul Kossoff, much slower but full of emotion and beauty, it (to my mind) shows that it is not the notes he plays, but rather the notes that he doesn’t play that are important.

    #245833
    ALB
    Keymaster

    It’s a question of definition, even a tautology. What is meant by “exists”?Whatever exists is “matter”.

    I’d say that only one thing “exists” and that the whole universe as a whole. Don’t fancy being called a “vacuist”, though. That seems a bit medieval like the whole debate.

    #245834
    Lizzie45
    Participant

    #245835
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Dark matter is a hypothetical form of matter thought to account for approximately 85% of the matter in the universe.[1] Dark matter is called “dark” because it does not appear to interact with the electromagnetic field, which means it does not absorb, reflect, or emit electromagnetic radiation and is, therefore, difficult to detect.

    In modern physics, antimatter is defined as matter composed of the antiparticles (or “partners”) of the corresponding particles in “ordinary” matter, and can be thought of as matter with reversed charge, parity, and time, known as CPT reversal.

    (Wikipedia)

    Both are forms of matter.

    #245836
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Space is not empty. A point in outer space is filled with gas, dust, a wind of charged particles from the stars, light from stars, cosmic rays, radiation left over from the Big Bang, gravity, electric and magnetic fields, and neutrinos from nuclear reactions.20 Dec 2012
    https://wtamu.edu › 2012/12/20 › w…

    So nothing does not exist.

    #245837
    Lizzie45
    Participant

    My mentor talking about nothing!

    #245838
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Think it’s very good, and have subscribed.

    I thought the study of nothing was called theology.

    #245839
    DJP
    Participant

    “Whereas philosophers spoke of the essence of things, physicists spoke of matter, the lasting background behind the changing phenomena. Reality, they say, is matter; the world is the totality of matter. This matter consists of atoms, the invariable ultimate building stones of the universe, that by their various combinations impose the impression of endless change. On the model of surrounding hard objects, as an extension of the visible world of stones, grams, and dust, these still smaller particles were assumed to be the constituents of the entire world, of the fluid water as well as of the formless air. The truth of the atomic theory has stood the test of a century of experience, in an endless number of good explanations and successful predictions. Atoms of course are not observed phenomena themselves: they are inferences of our thinking. As such they share the nature of all products of our thinking their sharp limitation and distinction, their precise equality belongs to their abstract character. As abstractions they express what is general and common in the phenomena, what is necessary for predictions.”

    https://www.marxists.org/archive/pannekoe/1938/lenin/ch03.htm

    #245840
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    Predictions?

    Atomism was a philosophical school of the Indian and Greek world.

    If Lucretius is a ready example still in print, he was a vacuist. I don’t know if any of the ancient materialists (atomists) were plenists.

    #245841
    DJP
    Participant

    In that quote, Pannekoek isn’t talking about the ancient atomists, but 19th-century ‘physicists’ i.e scientists using the concepts and theories of the physics of their time.

    This ‘plenist’ and ‘vacuist’ distinction isn’t one that is relevant to us today. Philosophy and science have moved on.

    #245842
    Thomas_More
    Participant

    So what would a modern scientific materialist say space is?
    Not matter?

    Above I’ve listed quotes from Wikipedia which state that antimatter is matter. And Lizzie’s video about the empty box shows that “nothing” is not reached, unless one posits religious beliefs.
    Space is not empty, since emptiness would be nothing.

    If things can be produced out of nothing, then materialism, with its cause and effect law of motion, is wrong, as is historical materialism too, and we are left with effects without causality.

    The names vacuist and plenist may no longer be used, but their definitions are still valid.

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