Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind
by phil on Tuesday Aug 19, 2003 1:03 PM
Materialism is a general view about what actually exists. Put bluntly, the view is just this: Everything that actually exists is material, or physical. Many philosophers and scientists now use the terms `material' and `physical' interchangeably (for a version of physicalism distinct from materialism, see physicalism). Characterized in this way, as a doctrine about what exists, materialism is an ontological, or a metaphysical, view; it is not just an epistemological view about how we know or just a semantic view about the meaning of terms.