etymological problem in epistemology (and an immodest solution)

In philosophy of mind, there are two bedrock episto-ontological theories:

Idealism (which posits that the material universe cannot be distinguished from, and therefore cannot be proven to exist separate from mental qualia–al la Bishop Berkeley)



and it’s opposite philosophical theory of knowledge: Materialism (which argues that mental phenomenon such as mind/consciousness are in fact reducible to matter and hence explainable through the laws of biology, chemistry and ultimately physics–a la David Hume.)


As it turns out, both of these terms have long been entirely misappropriated by the lay public.  In the common parlance, the word idealism has come to mean a wishful, utopian aspiration. While materialism is now broadly associated with its related but distinct Marxian critique and theory, further popularized and debased as a type of all consuming, well–consumerism.




As a solution, I suggest that the philosophical profession disambiguate the meanings of these seminal theories of knowledge from their near universally accepted popular corruptions– by renaming both.

My modest proposal:

Idealism to Ideaism and

Materialism to Matterism.

A. Darius Kamali


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