Material or Immaterial

RatDog
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Material or Immaterial

It has recently come to my attention that the method by which I classify things as material or immaterial may be abnormal.  I would like to know more about how other people classify things.  I've created a list of things.  Please classify them as material, immaterial, or say that you are not sure.

1. An apple
2. A Hydrogen atom  
3. Mass
4. Energy
5. An object's velocity
6. Time
7. Space
8. Gravity
9. A magnetic field
10. Electromagnetic radiation
11. Love
12. Thoughts
13. Emergent properties
14. Information
15. Mathematics

Also if you have the time please include a definition of immaterial.  Thank you for your helpSmiling .  

 


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I can buy the dictionary definition

Merriam-Webster wrote:

1. not consisting of matter

but that leaves a lot open for interpretation, doesn't it?  Do the gaps between the atoms of an apple make it immaterial?  I don't think so, but I'm sure there will be someone along who will argue so.

On your list, 1,2,7,10,11,12 are material to my way of thinking.  6, 8 and 9 may or may not be depending on the current opinion in QT.  Since I am not a physicist and have to really stretch to understand even basic QT, I'll leave those to people more expert than I.  I'm fine with not knowing.

1,2 and 7 seem to be obvious.  7 because space is material - there may be gaps, but there are gaps in that apple as well.  10 is real particles of matter being thrown out and about.  Since emotions and thoughts are part of a complex feed back loop between your brain and your blood and neuron chemicals, to me they are material.  You will not feel love or have much in the way of thoughts if your biochemistry is screwed badly enough.  That is why I put 11 and 12 as definitely material.

3,5,9,13,14,15 are metadata.  Data we know or can measure about something material.  Information is not matter.

Which leaves 4-energy.  Energy is metadata in the sense that it is a measurable property of matter.  Yet the application of energy has obvious measurable effects on matter as well.  It is not just information.  This is another one for the physicists in the group, I guess.

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immaterial: not consisting

immaterial: not consisting of matter

 

1. An apple -material
2. A Hydrogen atom -material 
3. Mass -immaterial. Mass is a property of matter, not matter itself.
4. Energy -immaterial. Not composed of matter.
5. An object's velocity -immaterial
6. Time -immaterial
7. Space -immaterial
8. Gravity -immaterial
9. A magnetic field -immaterial
10. Electromagnetic radiation -immaterial, wave phenomenon
11. Love - material
12. Thoughts -material 
13. Emergent properties -properties of any kind are immaterial
14. Information -material  
15. Mathematics -the subject itself is immaterial, but specific mathematical information is material. 

 

Note: I think there was a thread that I saw recently in which "immaterial" was used under a different definition, to mean "independent of the material universe". This is different, as none of these immaterial examples exist independently of the material universe.


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If I may use wiki.

If I may use wiki.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism

"In philosophy the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance." 

So....I think.

1) Material.

2) Material.

3) Material.

4) Material.

5) It's not a substance, but it's a property of material things. So, material

6) 7) Meh, I don't really understand these well enough to say....

8 ) Material. It's based on material interactions and acts on mass.

9) Material.

10) Material.

11) Wtf is that?

12) Phenomena based on material interactions or the abstraction of.

13) Emergent properties of material?

14) Same as 12.

15) You can derive it from the natural world, although maybe it's not necessary? Abstractions.

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Physics dictates that energy

Physics dictates that energy is at least as fundamental as matter, and the two are in some way manifestations of a common fundamental physical 'stuff'.

Forces and fields are less obviously material, but physics also envisages them as mediated by yet more particles, such as photons, bosons, gravitons, etc.

So 'immaterial', in the old metaphysical/philosophical/theological sense of 'something' fundamentally beyond our 'physical/natural' universe doesn't really seem to make much sense. Physics has gone way beyond such medieval ideas, which amount to little more than some way to find a place for the supernatural, such as 'God'.

 

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Having given this more

Having given this more thought, I want to change some of my answers:

 

I would argue that matter is the only thing that is material, which is true by definition.

 

immaterial: not consisting of matter

 

1. An apple -see hydrogen atom
2. A Hydrogen atom -the particles are material, the space is immaterial. The subatomic forces are immaterial.  
3. Mass -immaterial
4. Energy -immaterial. Like Einstein, I believe matter and energy have a common elementary makeup, but matter is still not energy, and energy is still not matter, so energy is immaterial. I would still say that energy is physical, being that it relates to physics, just not material.  
5. An object's velocity -immaterial
6. Time -immaterial
7. Space -immaterial
8. Gravity -immaterial. This answer might be different if there are gravitrons, but there would still have to be some immaterial force to cause their action.
9. A magnetic field -immaterial
10. Electromagnetic radiation -immaterial
11. Love - material and immaterial. Love involves both matter and energy.
12. Thoughts -material and immaterial. See love.
13. Emergent properties -immaterial
14. Information -material and/or immaterial. Depends on form of the example.   
15. Mathematics -material and/or immaterial. Depends on the form of the example.  

 

 


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RatDog wrote:It has recently

RatDog wrote:

It has recently come to my attention that the method by which I classify things as material or immaterial may be abnormal.  I would like to know more about how other people classify things.  I've created a list of things.  Please classify them as material, immaterial, or say that you are not sure.

1. An apple
2. A Hydrogen atom  
3. Mass
4. Energy
5. An object's velocity
6. Time
7. Space
8. Gravity
9. A magnetic field
10. Electromagnetic radiation
11. Love
12. Thoughts
13. Emergent properties
14. Information
15. Mathematics

Also if you have the time please include a definition of immaterial.  Thank you for your helpSmiling .  

 

A definition of immaterial is the negation of material. And material means composed of matter.

Matter is identifiable as an event in nature which is characterised by the function of a electromagnetic shell under pauli exclusion ie it cannot simultaneously occupy the space already occupied by another electromagnetic event. This is the contemporary understanding of the traditional notion of materialism, as I have it.

Thus:

1. An apple - material
2. A Hydrogen atom  - material
3. Mass - not material
4. Energy - not material (however electromagnetic energy is a characterising feature of materialness)
5. An object's velocity - not material
6. Time - not material
7. Space - material (insofar as the visible space between material objects is actually composed of tiny material phenom) but in any other sense not-material
8. Gravity - not material
9. A magnetic field - not material (but see 4)
10. Electromagnetic radiation - not material (but see 4)
11. Love - not material
12. Thoughts - undetermined
13. Emergent properties - some, maybe (if they exist at all)
14. Information - not material
15. Mathematics -not material

This is not to say that the non-material things in this list are fundamentally different from the material things in the list (IMHO they are most definitely not). They simply do not conform to the root concept of materialism that I was working from.

 

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Eloise wrote:RatDog

Eloise wrote:

RatDog wrote:


Also if you have the time please include a definition of immaterial.  Thank you for your helpSmiling .  

A definition of immaterial is the negation of material. And material means composed of matter.

Matter is identifiable as an event in nature which is characterised by the function of a electromagnetic shell under pauli exclusion ie it cannot simultaneously occupy the space already occupied by another electromagnetic event. This is the contemporary understanding of the traditional notion of materialism, as I have it.

Seems a strange definition of matter to me. Dark matter does not interact with electromagnetism. The defining characteristics of matter as far as I can tell are that it has non-zero mass and a sub-c velocity. However, 'material' does not necessarily mean strictly 'composed of matter', especially when considering the philosophical position of materialism, and even moreso scientific materialism.

I'm sticking with the tried and true: Material, from the philosophy of scientific materialism, is the essential 'stuff' in the universe, which includes both matter and energy. Material, therefore describes matter/energy as opposed to spacetime, force/interaction, information, etc.

I'll use these categories: Material - strictly matter/energy and not anything else. Immaterial - strictly non-matter/energy. Structural - a combination of material and immaterial, i.e. an informational structure of matter/energy within spacetime.

Thus:

1. An apple - structural (a particular kind of structure, composed of bits of matter, arranged within spacetime, with a specific information content)
2. A Hydrogen atom  - structural (matter arranged in an informational structure)
3. Mass - material, assuming mass here is a noun and not an adjective, such that mass = matter
4. Energy - material
5. An object's velocity - immaterial
6. Time - immaterial
7. Space - immaterial (as far as I know there is no direct equivalence from m or m^3 to kg or Joules)
8. Gravity - immaterial
9. A magnetic field - immaterial unless you're referring also to the force-carrier photons, in which case, structural
10. Electromagnetic radiation - structural (a particular kind of matter/energy with a particular informational content, e.g. wavelength)
11. Love - structural (in this case, referring not just to a static structure, but a dynamic informational process)
12. Thoughts - structural (also a process)
13. Emergent properties - immaterial (they are all necessarily forms of information; matter/energy is conserved, therefore anything that 'exists' which didn't 'exist' before cannot be material
14. Information - immaterial
15. Mathematics - the human cultural invention? Structural

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1. An apple - material2. A


1. An apple - material
2. A Hydrogen atom  - material
3. Mass - immaterial
4. Energy - immaterial
5. An object's velocity - immaterial
6. Time = immaterial
7. Space = immaterial
8. Gravity = immaterial
9. A magnetic field = immaterial
10. Electromagnetic radiation = immaterial
11. Love = does not compute
12. Thoughts = immaterial
13. Emergent properties = to lazy to google & refresh my memory (most likely immaterial)
14. Information = immaterial
15. Mathematics = immaterial
 

immaterial in this case would be anything that is not a physical object &/or properties "Energy" and "Mass" are unspecific concepts, therefore... immaterial

 

 

that took me all of... 3minutes, did i fail?

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According to the SLAC* site,

According to the SLAC* site, there  are three categories of fundamental particles, quarks, which make up neutrons and protons and other hadrons, leptons, which includes electrons, and 'force carriers", ie  photons, gluons and bosons.

Hadrons and leptons are matter particles.

Anything composed of atoms (hadrons + leptons) is definitely 'matter', therefore material.

From there on, it seems to be up for debate.

Mass is an attribute of matter, but also of energy.

Matter can be converted into energy - does that make energy 'material'? It is not matter, but still may be considered material, IMHO.

Just some thought and observations....

*Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

 

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RatDog wrote:It has recently

RatDog wrote:

It has recently come to my attention that the method by which I classify things as material or immaterial may be abnormal.

The physical is objective; the nonphysical is subjective.

 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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But what is

 

Non-physical, Pais? How would you explain repeatable thought-related brain waves and things of that nature? Don't you think that at the base level everything must have some material element, even if at the particle level? Otherwise wouldn't our heads be empty to make room for our immaterial souls and minds?

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

Non-physical, Pais? How would you explain repeatable thought-related brain waves and things of that nature? Don't you think that at the base level everything must have some material element, even if at the particle level? Otherwise wouldn't our heads be empty to make room for our immaterial souls and minds?

I said the objective is physical; the subjective nonphysical. What exactly are you not grasping here?

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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I know what you said

 

I'm simply wondering if you think subjective things like thoughts are entirely non-physical when it appears they have an impact on objective things like a physical brain. So do you think that things that can't be seen like human feelings and memories are ethereal rather than the result of chemical and electrical operations in the brain? Does a thought have a physical presence inside the brain? At the particle level?

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Paisley

Paisley wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

Non-physical, Pais? How would you explain repeatable thought-related brain waves and things of that nature? Don't you think that at the base level everything must have some material element, even if at the particle level? Otherwise wouldn't our heads be empty to make room for our immaterial souls and minds?

I said the objective is physical; the subjective nonphysical. What exactly are you not grasping here?

God is non-physical. 

Are you claiming that he only exists in the mind of a subject?

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The Doomed Soul wrote:1. An

The Doomed Soul wrote:


1. An apple - material
2. A Hydrogen atom  - material
3. Mass - immaterial
4. Energy - immaterial
5. An object's velocity - immaterial
6. Time = immaterial
7. Space = immaterial
8. Gravity = immaterial
9. A magnetic field = immaterial
10. Electromagnetic radiation = immaterial
11. Love = does not compute
12. Thoughts = immaterial
13. Emergent properties = to lazy to google & refresh my memory (most likely immaterial)
14. Information = immaterial
15. Mathematics = immaterial

I thought electromagnetic radiation was material.

For example, the cosmic microwave background radiation which permeates our universe came to be through photons which separated from plasma as the universe cooled down and expanded. 

Or are photons not material?  I'm not really good in physics.

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 After Reading everything

 After Reading everything in this thread I'm sill not really sure of the distinction between material and immaterial.  Another question I would like answered is what does it matter.  If material is matter and immaterial is energy then why do we need the terms material and immaterial.  Why can't we just use matter an energy.  It seems that the scientific term for varies thing are good enough.  Why is the distinction between material and immaterial needed?  


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RatDog wrote:It has recently

RatDog wrote:

It has recently come to my attention that the method by which I classify things as material or immaterial may be abnormal.  I would like to know more about how other people classify things.  I've created a list of things.  Please classify them as material, immaterial, or say that you are not sure.



Material:

1. An apple

2. A Hydrogen atom  

3. Mass (assuming you are talking about matter rather than the measurement of such)

4. Energy

6. Time

7. Space

8. Gravity

9. A magnetic field

10. Electromagnetic radiation

 

I wouldn't call these "immaterial" or "material", but rather ideas....their status as material or immaterial is contingent upon how one grounds ideas.

5. An object's velocity (a relationship between two material objects really...velocity is contingent upon a frame of reference)

11. Love

12. Thoughts

13. Emergent properties

14. Information

15. Mathematics

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