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MATERIALISM

The theory that all reality is only matter, or a function of matter, or ultimately derived from matter. There is no real distinction between matter and spirit; even man's soul is essentially material and not uniquely created by God. In ethical philosophy, materialism holds that material goods and interests, the pleasures of the body and emotional experience, are the only or at least the main reason for human existence. In social philosophy, the view that economics and this-worldly interests are the main functions of society.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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