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english  Materialism

Michael Weber, 15.09.2003, 20:03
Original: multilingual  EL MATERIALISMO / MATERIALISM (ARIOCH), 24.07.2003, 12:10

Dear Arioch,

Please don't empty the baby out with the bath!
I agree widely to your criticism of the characteristics of traditional 18th century mechanistic materialism, but I have to criticize your support of a unilateral spiritualism as metaphysical realism as well.

I think both mechanistic materialism and metaphysical realism commit the same error: They reduce reality to certain concepts, material or metaphysical ones, and believe in an identity of reality and concept. A good example is your speech of "superstition" in contrast to "spiritual faith". You seem to believe that there can be clearly distinguished between both. In my opinion, obviously it cannot. It's only a matter of ideological use of truth criteria (which ones?) to name one position "superstition" and the other one "spiritual faith". In reality both are subjective.

The critical point is that you can only do so because you are reducing reality to particular concepts ("soul", "divine values", "religion", "mente cósmica" etc.): "Facts never quarrel with real spiritual faith". However, in my opinion, reality never can be reduced to concepts. Reality is always more than the relations understood by the use of concepts of this reality. There remains a non-identity between reality and concept. Concepts only approach reality. And there are many approaches.

I think that this insight has to consequences for philosophy:
First, philosophy is always hermeneutic, thus pluralistic.
Second, philosophy is modest. Most things we don't know.

Michael Weber