Essay about Materialism versus Non-Materialism in Western Science

914 Words 4 Pages
In regards to ontology and Metaphysics, there has always been the question of whether or not the nature of reality is fundamentally material or phenomenal, or whether or not mental states emerge from material causes thereby making them causally inert in themselves or whether or not material things are subsets of an underlying phenomenal realm where this has given rise to two branches of philosophy – materialism and non-materialism. Materialism was adopted as philosophy ontologically privileged to exhaustively describe everything that is by Western philosophy starting with an axiom put forth by the Stoics; everything that exists is material where there is nothing that exists that is immaterial. Western Science takes that axiom, along with …show more content…
This gives rise to two axioms: an object cannot exit a temporal point in time and reenter another point in time(since under the idea that nothing is outside of time, it is causally closed) everything that exists is physically caused. Together, this constitutes what is called causal closure. Causal closure says that everything that exists has a physical cause where a physical effect can thus not precede its cause, so under those parameters, consciousness would be caused by a physical entity called the brain. This means that for every experience that exists, there is a correlated physical neurophysiological cause where consciousness, beyond its physical interactions, is causally inert and thus cannot cause things to happen outside of itself. With that being said, if one were to be given anesthesia that blocks neurophysiological events, this would mean that, in turn, the ability to form memories and form experiences would also be blocked meaning that there would be no experiences. Non-materialism rejects materialism and physicalism's claims where non-materialistic philosophies tend to be dualistic and phenomenal. Versus stating that everything that exists is physical, non-materialistic philosophies ascribe

Related Documents