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  • Materialism

    Christian Fuchs

    Chapter from the book: Fuchs, C. 2020. Communication and Capitalism: A Critical Theory.


    Critical theories are materialist theories. Materialism neither means an approach that stresses determination by the economy nor one that stresses the role of things. Materialism stresses that the world is dynamic, dialectical, a – relation, and a process – a form of contradictions that enable change and development. This chapter covers foundations of materialist philosophy including the concept of matter and the dialectic. Society is considered as the totality of complexes of production, in which the dialectic of human subjects and structural objects manifests itself. Production acts as a model through which society is produced as totality. Materialism stresses that the whole world is a complex of production, in which matter produces and organises itself and thereby develops. Materialism is opposed to idealist, dualist, and religious worldviews. Reductionist forms of materialism reduce the world to single parts and overlook that matter is process-like. The dialectic is opposed to this view. It comprehends matter as process-substance that develops through contradictions and sublations and produces new levels of organisation. The mind and human communication do not exist outside of matter, but are aspects of matter’s human and societal form of organisation, in which humans create, reproduce, and change society’s reality by reflective, self-conscious, social, and communicative action.

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    Fuchs, C. 2020. Materialism. In: Fuchs, C, Communication and Capitalism. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book45.b

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    Published on May 19, 2020