He has often been called the Voltaire of the East, and cried down as materialist and atheist.
As regards the first of these two main contentions, it must suffice here to point out the main difficulties in which a determinist and especially materialist account of the relation between consciousness and the organic processes which accompany it appears to be involved.
Science, says the materialist, proves that all known things are material phenomena.
So Avenarius (q.v.) was no materialist, but only an empiricist anxious to reclaim man's natural view of the world from philosophic incrustations; yet when his Empiriokriticismus ends in nothing but environment, nervous system, and statements dependent on them, without soul, though within experience, he comes near to materialism, as Wundt has remarked.
Empedocles, Plato and Aristotle; Telesio, Bruno and Campanella; Leibnitz; the idealists, Schopenhauer and Hartmann, Fechner and Paulsen; and the materialist, Haeckel - all have agreed in according some sort of appetition to Nature.