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Publication Details

Old and New Materialism

(Original title: Starý a nový materializmus)
Filozofia, 25 (1970), 2, 105-118.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
The article presents an outline of some aspects of the nature of new materialism in comparison with old materialism, and that in the traditional field of classical materialism, e. i., in ontology and with it connected problematic of the philosophical image of the world, epistemology, the question of the philosophical basis and meaning of science. There is emphasized the moment of the continuity between old and new materialism that cannot be overlooked despite of their qualitative difference. Besides the positive aspects this continuity has also the negative consequence that facilitates the contingent decay of some philosophers in their dialecticomaterialisticthought to the level of previous materialism. Though new materialism has focused its main attention on the problem of practice, human activity, significance of subject, and so forth, at the same time it has not resigned — and as the Lenin's work shows neither could resign — to the above mentioned traditional problematic of materialism. New materialism has surpassed not only mechanism but every reduction and comprehends itself as the philosophical theory of the material world and of its knowledge, and does not identify the materialness with the ,,massivness“, and the like, but starts from the understanding of the exigency to explore real relations and structures as the foundation of the intelectual reconstruction of reality. In this sense new materialism is „refined“ or „sublimated“. This, after all, is closely connected with the accentuation of the practice and activity of subject at all, in contradistinction to old materialism. Concerning the problem of the basis of science, new materialism, particularly in Lenin's work, has joined the search for new metaphysical ways of the coiistruction of knowledge and of science, and showed, in the view of the author of the article, that it is built on nonspeculative pressuppositions. However, it does not imply that science itself is materialistic or that the argument of materialism with idealism over the explanation of science is anachronism. Through analysis philosophy has to reveal the philosophical meaning of science and the import of its knowledge that are immanent, but never on surface.
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