Materialism as a political weapon

How science was led astray?

Many still consider materialism – the view that nothing exists except matter and its movements – the result of years of careful scientific progress stemming from the Enlightenment. But not so argues Bernardo Kastrup. In an exclusive extract of his book, yet to be released, and a result of decades of research, Kastrup charts the historical origins of materialism, why it was a useful fiction and why it is now time to outgrow it


We must face up to the fact that mainstream Physicalism is not only a fiction, but one that isn’t even convenient anymore. In the early days of the Enlightenment, it did serve a socio-political purpose as the tensions between a nascent science and the Church grew. By carving out a metaphysical domain outside ‘spirit’—a translation of the Greek word ‘psyche,’ which also means ‘mind’— early scientists hoped to be able to operate without being burned at the stake, as Giordano Bruno was in 1600. The notion of a physical

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