Materialism is a philosophical trend that denies the spiritual essence of things, relying primarily on the evolutionary component in the genesis of the external, in relation to man, world. The characteristic features of this approach is the complete denial of the existence of God and other higher substances.
Besides, for materialists, it is important not so much to comprehend the essence of the processes taking place around, but to search for a logical and pseudo-scientific explanation of the origin, the existence of physical space. In this sense, it can be argued that materialism is the doctrine of the corporeality of the world and things in this world. For comparison: idealism, with its concept of the primordial essence of the highest ideal (no matter what form it is in), places its main stake on the self-knowledge of the ideal, the search for God within oneself. In other words, for representatives of materialism the main category is the physical world as an objective reality, for idealists it is the human "I" as a spiritual projection of higher powers.
Human consciousness and physics of the world
denialThe spiritual beginning led to the fact that materialists, starting from the Renaissance, needed to somehow fit human consciousness into the evolutionary physics of everyday reality. And then a problem arose, since the Christian worldview did not allow to completely deny the divine essence of man. A way out was found in the search for a moral and ethical ideal - the humanists went this way, turning materialism in philosophy into a prototype of social and political theory. Later, French thinkers only formalized the developed concepts into proto-modern theories of law and constitutionalism. Materialism is ethics and law. So conditionally it is possible to designate the valuable era of the 15-18th centuries.
The revival of materialism clearly posed the question: what is primary and what is secondary? It turned out that materialism is not only a search for general laws of the development of nature, but also a definition, more precisely, an awareness of the primary source of the world. Vulgar materialism was looking for primordial matter, in essence, it was a continuation of the Greek tradition (Democritus, Empedocles). Consistent materialism proceeded from the mechanical principle of explaining the objective laws that exist outside of human consciousness. However, paradoxical as it may seem, it was consistent materialism, in transit through dialectical materialism, that came to the conclusion about the phenomenological nature of matter. According to this logic, which was finally laid by V. Lenin, it turned out that the surrounding reality is just a representation that exists in ourconsciousness, and consciousness itself is an objective reality. And this, in turn, meant that the outside world could be designed in one's own image and likeness. As a result, the place of God was taken by man, which was especially evident in Soviet Marxism.
Besides, we must not forget that the theory of materialism changed significantly after R. Descartes introduced his principle of doubt. It turned out that all the logical arguments of materialists, however, like other philosophers, do not go beyond the logical circle: if consciousness is recognized as part of the objective world, knowledge of this very objective world is possible only through individual consciousness. To break the circle means to recognize some things not only as objectively existing, but also to believe in them. And this means that the idealistic position of the philosopher himself is the source of any materialistic conception.