Spirit as a Property of Matter



It has been traditional to consider spirit and matter as opposed. The opponents of the older materialism argued that matter as understood by the philosophers from Democritus to Feuerbach was too simple and irreducible to support the properties for which the collective term “spirit” had been variously employed. In particular, matter was strongly condemned in the Middle Ages when under the influence of Neo-platonism it was held responsible for everything bad, from evil to non-being. Matter was natural, spirit supernatural; therefore, it was concluded, nothing spiritual could ever issue from matter. In particular, man was said to owe his humanity to the fact that he could rise above the merely material and to the level of the spirit. That nothing spiritual could be actual without a material base was either denied or considered a fact of no importance to the spirit.


Material Object Human Individual Material Thing Sacred Grove Spiritual Property 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1970

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tulane UniversityUSA

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