Is it theoretically possible to prove materialism?

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Hedge90
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Is it theoretically possible to prove materialism?

Post by Hedge90 »

I've been thinking about that one, if not the most, important argument for idealism is the impossibility of explaining how qualia emerges from lifeless matter. So my question is, suppose there IS a world "out there", that exists and would exist without any consciousness being present in it. If that were the case, would there be any possible way to confirm this, or is idealism completely unfalsifiable, similarly to the problem of other minds?
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Eugene I
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Re: Is it theoretically possible to prove materialism?

Post by Eugene I »

Most ontologies in their most minimalistic formulations are unfalsifiable. But when more specific assumptions or schemes are added to them, they may become falsifiable if these assumptions lead to conclusions that contradict experiential facts. For example, when an assumption of a single material world obeying locality and causality is added to materialist ontology, it becomes falsifiable (in fact, it is already falsified). So, the minimalistic materialist formulation "there is a world "out there" that exists and would exist without any consciousness being present in it" is unfalsifiable, as well as unverifiable. The "hard problem" can not refute materialism, it only points to a serious explanatory gap in it.
but of course I may be wrong
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AshvinP
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Re: Is it theoretically possible to prove materialism?

Post by AshvinP »

Hedge90 wrote: Sat Sep 04, 2021 10:42 pm I've been thinking about that one, if not the most, important argument for idealism is the impossibility of explaining how qualia emerges from lifeless matter. So my question is, suppose there IS a world "out there", that exists and would exist without any consciousness being present in it. If that were the case, would there be any possible way to confirm this, or is idealism completely unfalsifiable, similarly to the problem of other minds?

I like to think idealism is unfalsifiable in the same way the existence of "something rather than nothing" is unfalsifiable. It's the most basic tautology we can have. Positing the existence of consciousness is itself the manifestation of consciousness. Or as Fichte put it, "the ‘I’ posits itself, and it is by virtue of this mere positing of itself; and conversely: The ‘I’ is, and posits its existence, by virtue of its mere existence". Now that does not necessarily prove how idealism is superior ontology to dualism or pluralism, but there are many other reasons to rule out the latter as being even remotely plausible.

By "problem of other minds", I suppose you mean the fact that there seem to be perspectives of Mind we do not have direct and complete access to. That's a somewhat more involved question, and requires a disciplined phenomenological approach, starting with the givens of experience and no added assumptions, to unravel the threads on that tangled ball of yarn. My intellectual conclusion from following that path of inquiry (as first traveled by others), though, is that there is nothing, in principle, which limits direct and complete access to the One Mind.
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
lorenzop
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Re: Is it theoretically possible to prove materialism?

Post by lorenzop »

to prove Materialism/Physicalism we'd have to find 'matter', we'd have to discover (be aware of) something outside of what we are aware of.
Herger The Joyous
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Re: Is it theoretically possible to prove materialism?

Post by Herger The Joyous »

The only arguments for physicalism that I know of are abductive in nature. As such physicalism can be probable but not "proven" in the sense of a proof in formal logic or mathematics.
AnduinBYM
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Re: Is it theoretically possible to prove materialism?

Post by AnduinBYM »

The saying "give me one free miracle and I will explain the rest" comes to mind. At their foundation, both materialism and idealism are founded in unfalsifiable metaphysical speculation. It's not possible to prove materialism through the observation and testing of the world around us. So, a "proof" for materialism would require somebody to logically show that materialism is the only tenable position. I don't think that is possible...
Dojo Mojo
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Re: Is it theoretically possible to prove materialism?

Post by Dojo Mojo »

Greetings everybody,

This is my first post. From what I’ve been able to glean so far, it seems that materialists “one free miracle” is to immediately deny the reality of their own mind. They blame idealists for things like “bad language mode,” which are really just materialist’s rationalizations, equivocations, and protestations or what the materialist’s mind looks like, from across an idealists dissociative boundary, when the materialist’s mind is on vacation.

In other words, materialism, physicalism are simply futile attempts to recapture the very thing their “one free miracle” excised to begin with, no?
Hans-Werner Hammen
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Re: Is it theoretically possible to prove materialism?

Post by Hans-Werner Hammen »

"to prove materialism"
Honestly, what is this text string even symbolizing?
What is it intended to be symbolizing?
My understanding of the assertion is
"to prove that the assertion OF Materialism IS true"
Why is that?
Simple as this:
Any worldview, be it Materialism, Realism, Idealism
it is - per se = as such, it-self, on its own, in its own right
no-thing, it is imaginary-non-causal, it does not exist,
is merely being uttered = asserted.
Now, can we prove that an assertion (for an example of Materialism) IS true?
No, I do not think so:
Someone will DEEM the assertion of Materialism TO BE true
Someone else will deem the assertion of Materialism to be false.
I adopted this way of thinking and asserting,
when I learned that you cannot even prove
that the aequation = an assertion, namely "1=1" IS true.
Nope, you can merely deem it to be true, bcz it is deemed to be useful.
Properties of the visible are invisible, they are only IN the eye of the observer.
bcz everyone has their own brain ("eye").
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