Autumn 1942 • Vol. IV No. 3 Nonfiction |

Non-Materialistic Naturalism

Materialism has as at no time been common among professional philosophers, since Plato and Aristotle became authoritative. Before that time, it was dominant: the Epicureans and early Stoics were materialists, and so were many, if not most, of the pre-Socratics. But in modern times materialism has been almost wholly confined to men of science as opposed to philosophers, and to a minority among them. Idealists and empiricists, among philosophers, have alike opposed it: idealists on the ground that there can be no reality apart from consciousness, empiricists on the ground that "substance" is a useless concept. (I hold the idealist argument invalid, but the empiricist argument valid.) Locke proved "substance” useless, but rejected his own proof; Berkeley accepted it as regards matter but not mind, Hume pressed home the argument as regards both matter and mind. Since his time, it has not been reasonable to regard either "matter” or "mind” as names of any part of the "stuff” of t

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