Sacramentum Mundi Online

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The term “materialist” first appears in Robert Boyle for the older “Epicurean”. While some historians of philosophy regard the existence of “materialism” as being as old as philosophy itself (so, for instance, the Marxists), and find it clearly propounded by the ancient Greek philosophies of nature, as in Democritus and Epicure, others date materialism, in the strict sense, only since the concept was “clearly demarcated by Decartes” (R. Eucken). The older philosophies of nature contained so much…

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Marcel Reding, “Materialism”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 21 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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