In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance. To many philosophers, not only is 'physicalism' synonymous with 'materialism', but they use both words to describe a position that supports ideas from physics which may not be matter in the traditional sense (like anti-matter or gravity). Therefore much of the generally philosophical discussion below on materialism may be relevant to physicalism. Also related are the ideas of methodological naturalism (i.e. "let's at least do science as though physicalism is true") and metaphysical naturalism (i.e. "philosophy and science should operate according to the physical world, and that's all that exists"). The philosophical alternatives to materialism are some forms of monism (besides the materialistic monism), dualism and idealism.
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