Theory which originated in Gk. philosophy* and regards matter as the original cause of all, even psychic, phenomena. Asserting that all psychic processes are due to changes of material molecules, it denies the existence of the soul*; developed by Encyclopedists*; became prominent in Ger. in the 19th c. See also Büchner, Friedrich Karl Christian Ludwig; Democritus; Dialectical Materialism; Loofs, Friedrich; Marx, Karl Heinrich; Naturalism; Vogt, Karl.
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