The ideas of monism are actively covered on the pages of peer-reviewed scientific and philosophical journals and religious press published on all five continents. The idealistic picture of the world is considered within the framework of television programs, documentaries and videos shown on scientific and educational channels.
The theory according to which different types of being or substances, which seem different, eventually come down to a single source. For a mind unable to reflect, substances such as salt, glass, stone and wood seem completely different, but from the point of view of monism, everything in the universe is a manifestation of a single primary substance or principle.
The concept of monism has existed since ancient Greece, although the term “monism” was first used in the 18th century.
The first Greek philosophers worked hard to reduce the number of substances by finding their identity at deeper levels. According to Empedocles, there are only four primary substances: water, fire, air and earth. Thales went even further and ventured to suggest that there is only one substance – water, since it can be in a solid, liquid, and gaseous state.
Monism seeks to reduce the entire abundance of the world to a single origin. Such an aspiration appears as a result of reflecting on the regularity that manifests itself when moving from the whole to the parts. The number of discovered objects increases with such distribution, and their diversity decreases. For example, there are more cells than living organisms, but there are fewer types of them. There are fewer molecules than atoms, but they are more diverse. By way of a marginal transition, it can be concluded that the result of a decrease in diversity when moving inside the object will be a completely homogeneous first substrate. This is the fundamental principle of monism.
For most people, matter (which has a shape, size, hardness, and is in motion) and consciousness (which has none of these properties) are profoundly different. The systems of philosophical monism in their development proceeded from this ordinary dualism, emphasizing one or another component of this idea of a dualistic world order.
For most people, matter (having a shape, size, being solid, and in motion) and consciousness (having none of these properties) are profoundly different. The systems of philosophical monism in their development proceeded from this ordinary dualism, emphasizing one or another component of this idea of a dual world order.
Biography of creators
Empedocles (490 -430 BC). Ancient Greek philosopher, poet, doctor, politician. Leader of the Democratic Party. According to legend, he committed suicide by throwing himself into the mouth of Mount Etna. According to another version, he died during a research trip to the crater of Etna.
Thales (625 – 525 BC). Ancient Greek philosopher of the pre-Socratic period, mathematician, astronomer, founder of the Ionian school of natural philosophy, merchant and politician. Refers to the so-called Seven Wise Men. Many, in particular Aristotle, point to him as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition. The historical tradition considers Thales to be the “father of science” because he is the first truly known figure in the history of science.
Thales broke the mythical tradition, which then served as the generally accepted description of the world, and proposed a number of naturalistic theories and hypotheses that became the forerunners of modern science.
Democritus (460-370 BC) was an ancient Greek materialist philosopher, the founder of the atomistic hypothesis of explaining the world, who considered the possibility of the existence of an infinite number of unique worlds.
Plato (427-347 BC). Ancient Greek thinker, founder of the philosophical school known as the Academy of Plato. One of the founders of European philosophy along with Pythagoras, Parmenides and Socrates.
Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679). English philosopher. He belonged to the school of social contract in the tradition of realism. Hobbes’ main interests were political philosophy, history, ethics and geometry. Plato and Aristotle had a great influence on the formation of his ideas. All further Western political philosophy inherits Hobbes’ ideas.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 – 1831). German philosopher. He is considered one of the most important figures in German idealism and one of the founders of Western philosophy, whose influence extends to the entire spectrum of modern philosophical problems, from aesthetics to ontology and politics, both in the analytical and continental tradition.
Hegel’s achievement was to develop a distinctive formulation of idealism, sometimes called absolute idealism, in which the dualism of mind and nature, subject and object is overcome. Unlike Immanuel Kant, who believed that the subject imposes a priori pure concepts of reason on sensory data, Hegel believes that pure concepts are deployed in reality itself. Pure concepts are not applied subjectively to perceptions, but things exist for their own concept. The unity of concept and reality is an idea. The idea itself is self-defining, self-moving and purposeful. In life, the parts of the body are combined for the ultimate goal – the actualization of a living organism. Inorganic nature is also based on the concept, but only “hidden” and not completely self-determined. Spirit is the highest form of life and ideas. Spirit is a collective goal–setting and a kind of person, equally a substance and a subject, that is, spirit is not only a living organic substance, but also a subject involved in complex normative and social spaces. Hegel is also known for his dialectical logic, which is mainly contained in his “Science of Logic”. In this book, Hegel begins with the unity and opposition of being and nothingness and the removal of their contradiction in the contradiction of existence and infinity. Logic moves forward through contradictions and their removal until there are no more contradictions that can be removed. This is the absolute according to Hegel.
Donald Davidson is an American philosopher, a proponent of the theory that all thought processes are anomalous.
Monism is opposed by dualism and pluralism, the main difference between which is that according to monism all objects have a single beginning, while in dualism and pluralism there is inherent diversity.