Wednesday, December 28, 2011


"Materialism" is defined by an online dictionary this way:
-- the belief that money and possessions are the most important aspects of human existence
-- the philosophical belief that only the physical world that people experience directly exists
The latter definition precedes the former historically, if I am not mistaken. It is/was a philosophical reference rather than a social observation. The latter-day, free-wheeling use of the word in order to indicate "acquisitiveness" is a fairly new and considerably sloppier usage.

Reading a Buddhist discussion elsewhere made me think that this might be worth reiterating. Language is a sloppy enough vehicle without adding to that sloppiness.

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