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Some people think that the physical things define what's within... Hand me the world on a silver platter, and what good would it be, with no one to share, with no one who truly cares for me? ~ Alicia Keys

In philosophy, materialism holds that all things are composed of material, and that intangible phenomena, such as consciousness, are the result of material properties and interactions.  The term materialism can also refer to a concern over material possessions and wealth, a regard for worldly concerns.




  • He was troubled by materialism.


This great, though disastrous, culture can only change as we begin to stand off and see... the inveterate materialism which has become the model for cultures around the world. ~ Arthur Charles Erickson
  • There is a very special sense in which materialism has more restrictions than spiritualism. Mr. McCabe thinks me a slave because I am not allowed to believe in determinism. I think Mr. McCabe a slave because he is not allowed to believe in fairies. But if we examine the two vetoes we shall see that his is really much more of a pure veto than mine. The Christian is quite free to believe that there is a considerable amount of settled order and inevitable development in the universe. But the materialist is not allowed to admit into his spotless machine the slightest speck of spiritualism or miracle. Poor Mr. McCabe is not allowed to retain even the tiniest imp, though it might be hiding in a pimpernel.
  • But the materialist's world is quite simple and solid, just as the madman is quite sure he is sane. The materialist is sure that history has been simply and solely a chain of causation, just as the interesting person before mentioned is quite sure that he is simply and solely a chicken. Materialists and madmen never have doubts.


  • From our vantage, materialism is not a neutral, value-free, minimalist position from which to pursue inquiry. Rather, it is itself an ideology with an agenda. What’s more, it requires an evolutionary creation story to keep it afloat. On scientific grounds, we regard that creation story to be false. What’s more, we regard the ideological agenda that has flowed from it to be destructive to rational discourse. Our concerns are therefore entirely parallel to the evolutionists’. Indeed, all the evolutionists’ worst fears about what the world would be like if we succeed have, in our view, already been realized through the success of materialism and evolution. Hence, as a strategy for unseating materialism and evolution, the term "Wedge" has come to denote an intellectual and cultural movement that many find congenial.
    • William A. Dembski (ed.) (2006). Darwin's nemesis: Phillip Johnson and the intelligent design movement.


  • Materialism in its literal sense is long since dead. ...It is ...belief in the universal dominance of scientific law which is nowadays generally meant by materialism.
  • The horseman serves the horse,
    The neatherd serves the neat,
    The merchant serves the purse,
    The eater serves his meat;
    'T is the day of the chattel,
    Web to weave, and corn to grind;
    Things are in the saddle,
    And ride mankind.


To what faults do you feel most indulgent? To the ones that arise from urgent material needs. ~ Christopher Hitchens


...a great reformer of the Hebrew code of religion, it is not to be understood that I am with him [Jesus] in all his doctrines. I am a Materialist, he takes the side of spiritualism; he preaches the efficacy of repentance toward forgiveness of sin. I require a counterpoise of good works to redeem it... Among the sayings & discourses imputed to him by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence... ~ Thomas Jefferson


Some people want it all, but I don't want nothing at all, if it ain't you... Some people want diamond rings; some just want everything. But everything means nothing, if I ain't got you. ~ Alicia Keys
Some people need three dozen roses, and that's the only way to prove you love them. ~ Alicia Keys
  • Some people think that the physical things define what's within... Hand me the world on a silver platter, and what good would it be, with no one to share, with no one who truly cares for me?
  • Some people want it all, but I don't want nothing at all, if it ain't you, baby. If I ain't got you, baby. Some people want diamond rings. Some just want everything, but everything means nothing if I ain't got you.
  • I understand that you have an economic system in America known as Capitalism. Through this economic system you have been able to do wonders. You have become the richest nation in the world, and you have built up the greatest system of production that history has ever known. All of this is marvelous, but Americans, there is the danger that you will misuse your Capitalism. I still contend that money can be the root of all evil. It can cause one to live a life of gross materialism. I am afraid that many among you are more concerned about making a living than making a life.


  • The sole "property" of matter with whose recognition philosophical materialism is bound up is the property of being an objective reality, of existing outside the mind.
George Saunders: You don't want to be that parent - the one who dresses his kid in a cloth sack when all the other kids are in Armani cloth sacks - especially in a time like ours, when materialism is not only rampant and ascendant but is fast becoming the only game in town.
E.F. Schumacher:An attitude to life which seeks fulfilment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth - in short, materialism - does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.
  • Materialism is the recognition of "objects in themselves", or outside the mind; ideas and sensations are copies of images of those objects.
  • The natural scientist must be a modern materialist, a conscious adherent of the materialism represented by Marx, i.e., he must be a dialectical materialist.
    • Vladimir Lenin, Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 33, pp. 227-236.


  • Sex is the mysticism of materialism and the only possible religion in a materialistic society.
    • Malcolm Muggeridge, BBC1 TV broadcast (21 October 1963), as quoted in "The American Way of Sex", in Muggeridge Through the Microphone (1967).



  • Materialism ends up denying the existence of any irreducible subjective qualitative states of sentience or awareness.
  • Dualism makes the problem insoluble; materialism denies the existence of any phenomenon to study, and hence of any problem.
  • In the course of the 19th Century there was a great upsurge of natural-scientific thinking and all its attendant results. One of the first results was theoretical materialism accompanied by atheism. It can be said that the materialists of the 19th Century positively revelled in atheism.

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