Metaphysical materialism is the view that everything known is body or matter; but while according to ancient materialists soul is only another body, according to modern materialists mind without soul is only an attribute or function of body.
Objections to the belief in immortality have been advanced from the standpoints of materialism, naturalism, pessimism and pantheism.
They are also the direct antitheses to the scepticism of Montaigne and Pascal, to the materialism of Gassendi and Hobbes, and to the superstitious anthropomorphism which defaced the reawakening sciences of nature.
But Leibnitz's conception of the priority of spirit had too little foundation, and the different elements he sought to combine were too loosely related to one another to stand the strain of the two forces of empiricism and materialism that were opposed to his idealism.
This narrow materialism was the true cause of his fatal influence both in church and state.