Difference between materialism and idealism.

Materialism and idealism in philosophy are opposed to each other. The existence of these directions is based on a different understanding of the relationship between matter and consciousness. We will find out what exactly comes to the fore in each case and how materialism differs from idealism.


Materialism is a direction that proclaims matter as the primary source of all that exists. She is recognized as independent, indestructible, eternal. Ideal phenomena, according to the theory, are considered products of the interaction of material substances.

Idealism is a direction that postulates the supremacy of the spiritual. Material in this case is attributed to a secondary role. It is made dependent on the ideal. Idealism is akin to the dogmas of religion, according to which the world has temporal and spatial boundaries and was created by God.


Let us consider in more detail what is the difference between materialism and idealism. Let's turn to materialistic statements. Their essence boils down to the fact that the world and objects in it are an independent reality that exists according to its own laws. The primacy of the material acts as an immutable truth. At the same time, the human brain is called highly organized matter, and consciousness, in which various ideas arise, is called a derivative of the brain.

The world, according to materialists, is available for its study and development by man. Knowledge about it is reliable, confirmed by practice. Science, from the point of view of materialism, is invaluable. Its achievements have a decisive influence on the success of human activity and life in general.

Idealists are convinced that reality is subordinate to the spiritual. However, adherents of the idealistic direction did not come to a common position regarding what this reality is. Disagreements in resolving the issue led to the formation of two currents of idealism. Representatives of one of them are subjective idealists. They believe that there is no reality independent of the consciousness of the subject. Everyone perceives everything around him in his own way, and, therefore, the appearance of the world is not the same for all people.

Representatives of another trend call themselves objective idealists. They recognize the existence of reality as such, which has its own characteristics and does not depend on the perception of individuals. But these philosophers see the fundamental principle of everything as a higher spiritual principle, a kind of powerful force, a world mind.

If we talk in general about what is the difference between materialism and idealism, then first of all it should be noted that in these directions matter and consciousness are assigned opposite roles. However, there is also a concept according to which it is wrong to call one thing primary. In this case, the equality of spirit and matter is assumed. However, this is a topic for another conversation.