belief that only things of a single kind exist. In its most extreme form, monism may lead to Spinoza's conviction that only a single being is real or the idealist's supposition that everything is comprised by the Absolute. Contemporary philosophers more commonly suppose that many distinct things exist, each of them exhibiting both mental and physical properties. Recommended Reading: Errol E. Harris, Spinoza's Philosophy: An Outline (Humanity, 1992); German Idealist Philosophy, ed. by Rudiger Bubner (Penguin, 1997); and Mafizuddin Ahmed, Bertrand Russell's Neutral Monism.

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

<metaphysics> answer offered to philosophical dualism by adherents of idealism and of materialism. Monism holds that reality is made up of only one type of substance, historically either spirit/mind (according to idealists Berkeley) or matter.

See also materialism, idealism, neutral monism, anomalous monism, dualism


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Nearby terms: molecule « monad « monadic predicate logic « monism » monoid » monotheism » monotonic