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PsychologicalUnit723 t1_jcxzotk wrote

I think there's several materialists you would be interested in reading about, Heraclitus being one, whose birthdate is placed somewhere in the 6th century BCE. His writings only survive in fragments (like Socrates) quoted by his contemporaries but you still get the general gist. The idea that our systems of thought are often imperfect reflections of the material world is touched on by a vast amount of people, and certainly we've had a few epistemic shifts since animism (paganism, Christianity and Islam, the Enlightenment etc.) Some fun quotes about the constant flux (or fire translated from Greek) of the world:

"This world, which is the same for all, no one of gods or men has made. But it always was, is, and will be an ever-living Fire, with measures of it kindling, and measures going out."

"We must know that war is common to all and strife is justice, and that all things come into being through strife necessarily."

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.” (The things we categorize are always in states of change.)


As a modern person, you might be surprised how close Heraclitus gets to a modern understanding - materialism has always existed on an intuitive level, just not the tools to confirm it definitively!


CardboardDreams OP t1_jczif9e wrote

I'm familiar with Hericlitus, and have studied the pre-Socratics, at least what's left of them. The article notes that materialism started to form piecemeal in the "last three millennia", which includes Hericlitus. When I say ancient, on the other hand, I mean really ancient, like 5000-10000 years; as well as what remnants of it exist in written record, what anthropologists studied in tribal cultures, and what has carried over into modern religions. The last 3000 years are a transitional phase.