The world is only material, only physical stuff - has for a century been the dominant view. Yet science has seemingly eradicated the physical in favour of fields and energy, mathematics and information. More radically quantum physics makes material reality itself unreachable. Meanwhile the intractable problem of how to generate consciousness from material alone is no closer to being solved.
Should we as a result embrace the immaterial, as a welcome end to the reductive dogmas of materialist philosophy? Offering an exciting future with the potential for other forms of being and understanding? Or is the immaterial, however understood, necessarily innaccessible, and of no value to our theories and our actions?
Philosopher of science Nancy Cartwright, chemist and naturalist Peter Atkins, and metaphysician Bernardo Kastrup investigate what the world’s made of.