Why is the issue of correctness of a notion of what materialism really is and what it means, as a prominent part of our modern physical worldview important for Philosophy of Science?
It is because it sets an important, critical division line between overwhelming scientific paradigms that define and distinguish different scientific epochs and their philosophical foundations of materialism. [Shockingly it included material foundation of theology in most part];
In the history of civilization, at least since creation in classical Greek period, systematized human field of inquiry called early science; two distinct scientific epochs can be discerned.
First focused on attempts for discovery existing mechanism of this particular material world that surrounds us [created and/or ruled by theistic “God” or by independent laws of “nature” embraced by agnosticism] whether natural or social or religious/supernatural as was the very subject of inquiry of ancient, medieval as well as XVII/XVIII century philosophers/scientists.
This scientific epoch came to the end with Newton works on gravity that questioned materiality of this particular world that surrounds us as well our innate ability to perfect ourselves enough to even understand it using methods of human reasoning and criteria of intelligibility and by that spurred crisis of science as well as crisis of Philosophy of Materialism that suppose to underlie any modern scientific inquiry.
Newton concluded that the universe, as it is, could not work exactly as he proposed in his universal gravity law [ its mathematical formulation] since it itself invokes existence of immaterial occult forces and entities acting upon material reality. [Spatially extended to infinity gravity force fields as we call them today].
After decades of agonizing Newton realized that his universal law of gravity is just a good guess, an assumption which results happened to fit currently available observations and experiments but could be invalidated in the future as Hume previously posited since Newton’s gravity did not amount to discovery of the mechanism of “this material universe” but provided a “mental” contraption to simulate the observables, as far as they were being available at Newton’s time.
In other words for the fist time as a scientist Newton realized that he created just an intermittent theory [an approximation ] of such a possible or probable mechanism of universal motion [not the mechanism of universal motion itself], simply assumed without any foundational “proof” of its existence [ontology] and instead taking its existence as a scientific paradigm, a dogma or axiom aimed at further development of theories in the future that could even better match the so-far available, highly interpretatively biased, observational/experimental data.
And by that he himself alone introduced a foundation of modern XIX/XX century scientific process we all are taking for granted without realizing all the agonizing and compromise that went into it, especially in the end, painful abandonment of popular scientific realism as well as entire [ancient and modern] philosophy of materialism in modern scientific research.
In the same time millennia old metaphysics of [objective material] reality was abandoned by “science”, not because true nature of matter has been discovered but because metaphysical nature of matter was arbitrarily removed from modern scientific inquiry as scientifically and philosophically indeterminable and unattainable in a form intelligible to our reasoning faculties.
What Materialism Really is? Epochal Chaos.
Of course there are different understandings of materialism coming from ancient Greece [Democritus, Epicurus etc.,] up to modern scientific revolution of renaissance and enlightenment in XV-XVIII centuries [Hobbes, Bacon, Locke etc., and later Newton] which was mainly focusing on debunking ancient and medieval scholasticism and the universe of sympathetic” or “occult” forces of “unknown” or “inconceivable” origin and [mostly immaterial] entities that rule it under “God’s-like” will under immaculate conception of a first cause.
The scientific revolution of renaissance and enlightenment and later centuries was focusing as well on “enhancing “ancient Philosophy of Materialism of mechanistic universe based on motion transfer via immediate contact between material bodies using more modern methods of empiricism and even later naive realism, physicalism and reductionism of early XX century and balancing it with pure rationalism of antiquity.
The concept of Material world of Democritus was encompassing assertion that every observed/perceived substance as well as every observed object including living objects are built from tiny identical elements [atoms]. All the living or not (in classical Greek sense) organisms/objects, considered distinct, separated from perceptional background are assuming certain temporary/intermittent structures and forms, appearances as we perceive them to be later transformed (retaining the same “elemental” atomic composition in classical Greek sense) into other organisms or objects in a material cycle [called life in case of organism] and continuous dynamic change. The materialism of Democritus asserts existence and immutability of the fundamental, identical elements, building blocks of all animate or inanimate objects, as we perceive them on earth as well as in the entire universe beyond our immediate perception and awareness of them.
It is important to note that Democritus did not assert the immutability of the specific objects we perceive as well as those beyond our ability to perceive them and/or our awareness of them but only immutability of elementary building block from which they were constructed. The existence of the atoms epitomizes metaphysical foundation of Democritus materialism.
Epicurean materialism was based on similar assertions except he used different analogy to atoms namely as elemental units of light/fire or soul, which were aimed to convene a concept of modern immaterial fields rather than material atom understood as small hard balls of martial substance. Between Epicurus and Democritus we have metaphysics of duality of materialism.
In fact entire materialism in classical Greek sense was underlain by a metaphysical assertions that the world is built from immutable fundamental building blocks without stipulation of our immediate perception and awareness of them.
The philosophers of modern scientific revolution of enlightenment however, admitted quite different understanding of materialism of the universe of separated animate objects (organisms) from inanimate objects, which were subject to universal laws of mechanistic motion. They focused of materiality of the objects of perception without considering its fleeting structure forming its current appearance. And hence the modern Philosophy of materialism was based on asserting existence of the material objects beyond our ability to perceive them or awareness of them while ignoring their internal immutability. In other words they posited, as a dogma, that material objects of reality are in continuous change according to universal laws of universe presently acting upon them.
By such assertions [although differing] both classical Greek philosophers and many philosophers of enlightenment posited existence of objective reality removed from any subjectivism of the observer, of said reality, using perceptional abilities. This in itself constituted an ontological foundation of metaphysics of objective reality. And both philosophical positions agreed that perception of such an objective reality is solely epistemological process of understanding of what the sensory synthesized appearances mean as representing objective reality that underlies them or causes them or correlates with them.
In other words Philosophy of Materialism [ancient and modern] was always founded on an ontological idea of “existence” of objective reality even beyond our ability to perceive it or our awareness of it, separated from epistemological issue of its accessibility, and formulability of knowledge about it. Both issues are in the core of metaphysics of objective reality.
Such an attitude has been rejected by XIX/XX century naive realists also called logical positivists or misleadingly “scientific materialists” who simply assert that our sense perceptions directly access objective reality and are able to asess quality and quantity of material reality relying solely of sense perception. But such a philosophical attitude in defense of hard-core materialism of science was later repudiated by the same science for which this ad-hoc philosophy has been concocted.
As many philosophers pointed out, metaphysical existence of objective material reality makes it highly intuitive but improvable axiom of any science based on Philosophy of Materialism and hence rendered as irrelevant by scientific realists of XX century and consequently is ignored and arbitrarily removed from philosophical discourse unaddressed as a part of modern dogma of willful ignorance as an expression of advanced knowledge of material reality that must not be examined in intention in metaphysical terms and instead treated in extention of its qualities i.e. that materiality is what it is, in our perceptional world.
Ironically, it also makes improvable any attempt to extend so-called “materiality” of perceptible world, if such assessment is reached, into objective reality beyond our ability to perceive it or our awareness of it, via methods of induction among others, making any broader claims of naive realism about universe based on human perception a moot point.
Unfortunately, narratives of XX century science especially particle physics and quantum mechanics defy both perceptual naive realism and philosophy of materialism creating huge philosophical confusion which is a major subject of this post.
Does Matter Matters?
This important question of materialism is a part of overall Philosophy of Science that together with science itself, went through series of revolutions with tremendous epistemological consequences such as utter confusion of terminology used over centuries to describe completely different ideas of material existence or just rendering such a question irrelevant to philosophical inquiry as naive realists and logical positivists claim.
Nonetheless, a generally confusing attempts are being made by modern scientific community that subscribe to naive realism to “prove” materiality of objective reality via examining subjective world of sensations and their perceptions or more precisely taking stand of a “naive realists” namely that what really “matters” is what we perceive.
But exact understanding, a strict requirement of any rigorous scientific experiment, of what we perceive either with our senses directly or via calibrated instrumentation is subject to massive interpretative pyramid resulting from sophisticated analysis, not a simple task.
An attitude of dismissing all metaphysical [ontological and epistemological] questions of what, we actually perceive, and if it has anything do with any “objective” reality we try to investigate, as long as we can act upon such perceptions and detect expected responses compatible with our own, highly interpretive perceptional world, is quite worrying.
Such and stance is a foundation of any self-reinforcing circular argument while avoiding the fundamental issue of Philosophy of Materialism dealing with a question whether or not what we perceive is objective reality at all, since it is apriori, axiomatically assumed as the truth.
More sophisticated approach to the issue of materialism of the objective reality took early XX Century School of Phenomenology of Husserl and later Heidegger, who rejected straight naive realism and instead advocated approach of careful examination of our perceptional world to filter out perceptions or as they posited representations of genuine “external” objective reality from representations conceived in our mind for certain purpose such as intentionality and/or directionality of a mental state associated with our thought.
In fact such an approach brings only a little to the discourse and as expected deteriorated to analysis of “reality” via language constructs in similar ways Wittgenstein posited that limit language describing reality we may perceive and/or understand.
In other words the above arguments can be summarized for the illustrative purpose of current discussion of intentionality and bracketing of object qualities as follows: when we see a house [a perceived object] it exists because we percepted its intentionality [of what it represents by itself and its associated qualities (color shape, windows ..), a material functionality as realized in a mental state of our awareness] instead of just a pile of bricks and cut logs before they were used to build it. One may imagine an 200 feet in height alien race with x-ray vision never recognizing functionality of human houses treating them as fancy piles of tiny 3D forms of “material” reality of unknown purpose.
Our perceptions are highly intentional, the objects and phenomena we think we sense and “perceive” are those which we already conceived as ideas in our mind whether as a result of aposteriori analysis of perceptions or innate apriori inception of ideas or as purely abstract learning process using our symbolic language capabilities.
In fact this line of thought led to severe problem in Philosophy of [XX century] Science as reported by Richard von Misses in as early as 1930-ties due to extension of a concept of perceptional reality into micro world, where abstract concept of materiality was being used with no matching human sense perception leaving us solely with intentional existence of “mathematically conceived” micro objects generated by our thought process subjected to indirect empiricism under a veil of huge interpretative pyramid of experimental results.
The mind incepted concepts of field-particle dualism and full equivalency of energy and matter or matter anti-matter dichotomy among others destroyed any ability of human perceptions to directly access such a scientific processes or phenomena, destroying applicability of naive scientific realism as a philosophical foundation of science leaving metaphysical argument of materiality unscathed.
Even fundamental axiom of scientific materialism (reincarnation of philosophy of naive realism) namely a claim that object is uniquely and solely defined by it’s attributes or qualities has been smash into pieces by basic canons of statistical physics and its sub-field of quantum mechanics as well as space-time singularities such big bang or black holes, as well as Einstein’s SR and GR.
In other words modern theoretical science [as being based on theories of universe, not necessarily reality of universe] has clearly immaterial foundation [called general field theory] in itself metaphysical concept of space-time continuum.
Such an overly dismissive attitude of many modern philosophers toward issues of objective material reality and hence their refusal of necessitating any metaphysical studies and considerations as well as ignoring associated Cartesian dualism proliferated even more in mid to late XX century by figures like Quine and Putnam or Searle in a face of more and more anti-intuitive, unintelligible scientific results, and technologies based on them, beyond grasp of mostly scientifically/technically illiterate philosophical community and sadly resulted instead of enhancing, dumbing down the philosophical discourse on that subject to WYSIWYG dogma solely determined by membership of scientific community and its vested interests.
Philosophy of WYSIWYG: More Critique of Naive Scientific Realism.
As we know now, perceived “images” of visual phenomena are reconstructed/matched in our brain’s visual cortex (or other sense organs) as best match to 3D objects already pre-defined in our mind via hugely interpretative sophisticated conceptual pyramid.
If we “see” something resembling/approximating what is not already predefined, in our worldview, we are confused of what we “see”, unable to focus on it, unable perceive it as separated from the background or to readily discern it and instead we’re actually making wrong matches to the objects or ideas already present in our mind, making a cognition process of the perceptions notoriously unreliable and difficult until they are pre-embedded, predetermined within our worldview.
[Numerous software algorithms/methods trying to discern “material” reality, (here: objects we perceive), from the massive image databases using a so-called AI or “machine learning” based on neural network algorithm and other methods utterly failed, unable to discern or even separate, 3D objects from the background, we people do routinely as children. Only when scalable 3D models of an objects are hard-coded into the software [no AI used], such a discernment and identification is possible in same cases, as multimillion dollar face recognition software proved, although only to some limited degree, while again exposed naivety and “gullibility” of such a trivial approach [i.e. inadequacy of 3D object model used] since it could be easily defeated by 1$ costing measures, as many participants in demonstrations proved repeatedly];
An abstract learning [instead of direct experiencing, direct perceiving or in addition to it] may provide pre-conceived ideas that are created to match certain otherwise indiscernible perceptions but that requires “metadata” for perceptions called metaphysical understanding [episteme], a notion that a naive realist, completely rejects [preferring doxa and techne], saying perceptions alone are sufficient for understanding external material reality [which might be true in case of animals, but in fact might be of secondary importance for development of human specie and its civilization].
And hence Bacon argument of subjecting the data furnished by the senses to a rational method of investigation is questionable when our senses are not able to reliably discern “outside” physical reality [beyond critical subjective intentionality problem] with adequate certainty and instead are fed with artifacts or repeatable illusions seemingly genuine and misleading, fully able to be subjected to any rational analysis that as incepted by wrong [misunderstood] data produces spurious and/or unreliable even false knowledge, as entire age of “rational” scholasticism proved.
This is not to say that perceptions alone do not provide us [after basic concepts of “reality” are embedded in our mind and share among our species] with a “picture” of “a” reality, an immediate perceptional reality, however, it has no ability to provide us with whole “picture” of “the” reality without any metaphysical consideration about its nature.
In other words, perceptional reality is based on trying to match our pre-conceptualized objects of intentionality with perceptible features within raging chaos and overwhelming background noise in a process affine to filtering of sense perceptions, leaving only what’s “important” for immediate achieving an intentional/directional objectives and/or just for survival.
For example a process of searching for and effect of recognizing externally suggestive objects [faces or other features] among depicted shapes in an image [or painting], objects that have not been depicted there at all such as it was demonstrated in expressionists’ paintings.
The same is in case of animal intentional perceptions of a predator, pray or presence of any food/water, disregarding perceptions or conceptualization of anything else not serving primarily objective of survival and proliferation of species, leaving the “objective” reality shrouded in the unexamined background as it is the case of pure human perceptions. This animal inability to conceptualize what’s perceived as background noise is a base of most common defense tactics of animal camouflage, relying on lack of conceptualization of the background or recognition of broader objective reality of animal environment. Over all we have an issue of intentional poverty of perceptual reality [foundation of animal worldview] vs. extensional richness of objective reality if realized and conceptualized [foundation of human worldview].
Notion of existence of “the” objective, material reality [outside ourselves] is a foundation of Philosophy of Materialism while it’s often confused among realists who claim that innate subjectivity of perceptual reality could be objective i.e. able to discern “objective” reality, common in perceptual worlds of humans or even animals.
Moreover, what modern scientific community [of naive realists] failed to address are arguments of Berkeley and Hume who argued inherent inability to access objective reality [generating sense stimuli] via sense perception. Instead, as Berkley and Hume posit, we may access a kind of perceptional simulation of reality strewn with wrecks of artifacts and deceptive illusions among objects and phenomena all immersed in an ocean of unacknowledged, undetected background stimuli with some possible but unknown relations to objects or phenomena of objective reality if such one to one relations even exist.
Furthermore, such a “perception à reality connection/relation” would not likely be always “one to one” but one to many or many to one or many to many or not at all, and hence it is making any type of determinism/causality indiscernible from the data but rather serving as a highly interpretative fit to our already preconceived objects, phenomena, ideas or notions.
In other words more likely we are not “matching“ perceptions to objective material reality but instead we may just be filtering sensory inputs to fit our already established perceptions of reality, or preconceived notions of reality we acquired elsewhere, while ignoring those sensory inputs that do not fit those notions.
In fact such an analysis based on fragmented, poor, unreliable, discontinuous epistemologically “unaddressed” input data from our sensory system treated as an “objective” reality, a fundamental position of a naive realists, was a foundation of ancient and medieval scholasticism that became, as a false knowledge, serious impediment to modern scientific revolution.
Alchemy, astrology, bible studies, mysticism etc., were all scholastic “sciences” with their readily observed sympathetic and antipathetic forces, heavily anchored into vulgar realism, that played off common world of simple naive perception of reality [so organized religions were based on that notion] which interpretation has been purposefully directed toward certain political/social/religious needs.
As a result, experiencing the same or similar perceptional world as we do, people of middle ages believed in [what we call mythology now] heavenly bodies in dark skies, sun going to sleep at night, while moon being mostly nocturnal in nature, and angels in clouds bowling during thunderstorms, or crying for people’s sins when raining, all treated in utmost seriousness as a “rock solid” part of perceptional material world as much as trees or mountains, all-encompassing ideas of “spiritualism” broadly accepted among native people all over the globe over millennia.
Even as Professor E. Weber from UCLA posited, ghosts, ghastly appearances, or religious encounters with God/Satan and visions of saints all became common “persistent” perceptional reality in medieval times of proliferated famines and prolonged sicknesses and high fever suffered by peasants, massively disturbing human senses on prolonged or permanent basis, embedded deeply and continuously in a perceptual world.
Even today, Asian societies consider, a world of their ancestor ghosts that act upon material reality, they talk to them and are given answers, to be the reality they exist in, as well as mystic entities of pantheism permeating material world [a “soul” of things], a not as much sensory based but culturally based perceptual world upon which they act as compatible with their worldview.
While today’s scientific realists would dismiss it as none-material effects, criteria of materiality of perceptual world they use themselves, namely that people act upon their perceptions and obtain expected results, holds good for phantoms as well, as long as their “existence” has been embedded into people’s minds distorting perceptions of material reality via its cultural intentionality.
Ptolemaic astronomy was dominating for over millennium only because of consistent repeatable observations of the “heavenly” phenomena of our perceptual world.
Who would have denied perception of Sun [a bright light or fire] moving over the heavenly sky, so was moon and traveling stars (planets) at night. In fact Copernican astronomy was taken only as alternative mathematical foundation of the same perceptual “real” universe, nobody, even Copernicus, dared to question, not wanting to contradict “rock solid” observational facts [and Church teachings that supported such wrong notions for theological and political reasons].
That case, in particular, showed dramatic weakness of relaying on sensory-based perceptual world without truly solving metaphysical question of what it is exactly we perceive, the very question naive realist refuse to even address by rejecting metaphysics, even of material reality he/she believes in, satisfied with perceptual world called material only because they perceive it as such by assumption not proof.
In other words realist defines materiality as that of perceived world with utter luck of further curiosity and inquisitiveness into what it is, but only perhaps how this perceptual world of shadows on Plato’s cave, works.
The dominating modern science of XX/XXI century realists refuse to acknowledge that for human being there is no escape from some kind of metaphysics while trying to deal with sense-perceptions and even apparent rejection of metaphysics is a form of primitive metaphysics of ignorance and forced reductionism of meaning of knowledge into that of other high order animals.
Facing fallibility of perceptions being highly interpretative and biased, Hume argued that relying on induction is deceptive in itself because we cannot observe laws directly, any laws, and that includes laws of induction or causality, since what we really observe are only a very limited sample of sequences and events and from that we attempt to infer the universal laws and law of causality itself while there is no guarantee that our future observations would confirm inferences from those laws.
And it is a refutation of basic argument of scientific realists, namely of being able to deal with our immediate environment, whatever it may be as “objective” reality, via “understanding” of a perceptual world alone which is true until one can’t deal with it anymore, facing unpredictable [contrary to perceptual understanding] sense-perceptual responses called [new] experiences.
In fact the Descartes mind and body problem was in the core of Newton agonizing and finally abandoning Philosophy of Materialism and science all together since he realized impossibility of so-called material objectivism.
In fact XX century philosophers like Putnam while declaratively rejecting Descartes dualism, under the guise of treating “ghost” not as distinct entity but a function/program of the machine itself, unwittingly fell for old Descartes proposal of the solution to his conundrum namely a thinking machine or thinking matter i.e. a scholastic notion of thinking as a property of matter by which, among others, its existence is defined and judged.
What scientific realists are maintaining as testing or validation of perceptional reality via act or deed is nothing but common mechanism for building of individual worldview in our mind i.e. innate formation of a perceptual knowledge, a behavioral, descriptive knowledge without any objective episteme necessarily stemming from it. It seems to be just a simple, common for all higher animals, process of learning from perceptions and how to deal with perceptions themselves than any reliable inference or proof of any universal materiality of the objectively existent world or its correspondence to perceptional world.
In fact for over 200k years genetically identical to us human beings had a chance to investigate their perceptions, find the causes and mitigate them, try and err as many times as they wished and the result of all of it was intermittent, meandering, directionless development of understanding of nature and human being itself.
Practically there was no, what we could call, civilizational progress for 200k years, [50k years after acquiring a human speaking language allowing for abstract learning beyond genetically endowed inborn capabilities of perceptional learning only], while almost entire development of human civilization extends merely for ten millennia and majority of modern industrial and technological progress happened within last 350 years. Why?
It is perhaps because our primitive “scientific” ancestors, practicing analyzing of their perceptions often became victims of misperception due to defective reasoning but in 99% of cases such a tragic event like mistaking venomous snake from not-venomous one, ended up with death of “scientific” inquisitor and instead of doubling the effort to reach a near perfect match between perceptions and “reality”, no more experiments were conducted for a long time and it was not an enticement but huge discouragement of other fellow ancestral “scientists” from following path of deceased and instead of correcting wrong perceptions when encountered such similar situation they just fled from the scene, as survival instinct kicked in.
As scientific realists insist the scientific processes to perfect understanding of perceptional reality not a methodical search for objective material reality but he simply animal perception process of learning experience by deed and by example of a deed and not by abstract conceptual learning, and thinking, developing models of reality with predictive capabilities that made us humans, as Schopenhauer posited, “metaphysical animals”.
Is there one unified objective material reality or only the intentional “subjective reality” per specie [or individuals] that perceives it and is able to share their experience?
Unfortunately, neither scientific realists nor other than human, species are interested in such a question doing well without it while in contrast to human realists we do not see animals sending their young to animal academy and starting to teach them how to match perceptions with material reality that supposedly underlies those perceptions without having to experience them but rather abstractly learn about material reality, and more comprehend it than understand it, trying to limit or avoid any unnecessary physical and mental harm associated with trial and error.
For one and one reason alone there are no animal academies. They all either are genetically preprogrammed [genetic endowment] and/or they acquire certain interpretation of their perceptions by deed, by following others’ deed [parents, group] exactly like realists advocate people do to performing “infallible test of reality” to simply orient themselves in the “real” environment as ancient human beings did.
As I pointed out realists, often dodge the question about nature of reality while insisting that it can be controlled via controlling perceptions of it.
The criticism of naive realism is not that perceptional “reality” is not useful or particularly grossly misleading in simple interactions with environment, it is not.
In fact, it is helpful, as animals adopted it, but humanity brought in our human understanding of the material reality, not via analyzing trivial animal-like perceptions alone but via human, heavily metaphysical conceptualization of what sense perception data brought into human mental analysis performed by our oversize brain.
Well, in XX century it would be utterly silly to claim that were are not living in material world, the dogma of materialism has been embedded in our mind so deep, especially in minds of scientifically/technically educated people and was relegated beyond the realm of any serious inquiry, treated instead as a long settled issue.
Materiality of the universe seems to no longer be the end of any intelligent discourse but the very beginning of any institutional scientific pursuit treated seriously.
However, as I showed in my short post the term “materialism” has been used abused and abandoned, fell in and out of favor or fashion over centuries by many even those claiming it as scientific and philosophical foundation of their own understanding of the objective reality.
What’s ironic that the very materialism introduced as scientific counterpoint to scholasticism, agnosticism and/or religious dogmas about the universe, via promoting atheism and concept of the world as a machine run by “nature” with no supernatural/superhuman capabilities, fell in a dogmatic slumber itself by expunging metaphysics of material reality from all the relevant discourse as a condition of any endeavor being considered as serious hard-core science.
And hence as in old good days of church “science” there was neither serious flaw nor even utter nonsense in teachings of recognized church authorities that could not be explained by using a master-key of God, His mysterious ways beyond mortal human understanding/perception or massive over interpretation of Bible.
So today there are no so-called scientific claims or theories about microcosm as well as cosmology/multidimensionality which existence cannot readily explained in terms of supposed material reality of elementary particles, themselves unobservable directly, purely mathematical constructs often devoid of common sense of existence and its qualities such as identity, rest mass, finite spatial temporal extent.
Instead more and more are introduced into scientific vocabulary even stranger qualities of matter like strangeness, color, spin, etc., all those characteristics of suppose reality accessible only by learned minds of those privy to $20 billion dollar equipment that spills, after humongous interpretative pyramid such “scientific” revelation like discovery of “god” particle to the public mostly to justify such as enormous taxpayer expenditures.
In fact all those scientists working on quantum mechanics and elementary particle physics (micro and macro cosmic scales) all truly abandoned concept of materiality and use for example a concept of electron or proton or zoo of other “particles” only as mental shortcuts knowing well that “aggregated variably localized unified force fields” much better describe what those entities are all about, admitting abandonment of the “materialism” as a foundation of the models of universe they consider plausible accepting foundations of mysterious spacetime continuum.
Also concept of Big Bang smells of deism and not atheism, an event of beginning of time and space when no known physical laws hold and universe supposedly is being developed in mysterious ways, unlikely to be discovered by humans since it is not directly observable.
So what is that but a total confusion idealists acknowledge material reality while materialist believe in immaterial entities as long as they fit their particular arguments.
Are we condemned to be tied down to animalistic perceptual world of materiality, or do we continue to insist on metaphysics of reality based on ideas incepted in our mind as a result of rational analysis of our perceptions and synthesis of our understanding that lead us to modern science and engineering despite opposite claims of naive realists?
Are we reaching our biological limit of understanding of concept of materialism?
This post aims for rekindling philosophical discourse but most of all invoking a little bit of humility in hearts and minds of those ecstatic and consumed in a media proliferated hype of science as a panacea to all human ills shortly to be discovered by man as soon as he perfects himself, and reminding them of fragility and confusion that underlies the very foundation of XXI science, many attribute so much hope for the future.