chapter  2
Philosophical materialism
ByChristopher W. Haley
Pages 64

Chapter two, “Philosophical materialism,” provides the philosophical underpinnings for all subsequent chapters. It develops dialectical critical realist arguments for ontological realism, based on a “causal power criterion” for reality; the nature of synchronic and diachronic forms of emergence; a depth ontology of the real, actual, and empirical levels of reality; and the essential distinction between the intransitive world of things, processes, causal mechanisms, and causal structures and the transitive domain of human beliefs, theories, models, etc. related to intransitive features of the world. The chapter also introduces key arguments for a dialectical approach to ontology that is sensitive to change, negation, and the relational nature of being at all levels of reality.