Material monism

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Material monism is a Presocratic belief which provides an explanation of the physical world by saying that all of the world's objects are composed of a single element. Among the material monists were the three Milesian philosophers: Thales, who believed that everything was composed of water; Anaximander, who believed it was apeiron; and Anaximenes, who believed it was air.[1]

Although their theories were primitive, these philosophers were the first to give an explanation of the physical world without referencing the supernatural; this opened the way for much of modern science (and philosophy), which has the same goal of explaining the world without dependence on the supernatural.[2]

Notes

  1. Curd, Patricia, A Presocratics Reader: Selected Fragments and Testimonia (Hackett Publishing, 1996), pp. 9, 11 & 14.
  2. Lindberg, David C., The Beginnings of Western Science (University of Chicago Press, 2010), pp. 28–9.

See also