Materialists deny the reality of anything existing that does not have mass (matter) or that cannot be expressed or applied as an energy. Thus the exhibited energy of mind, presently only partly measured by brain activity, is believed, in the materialist faith, to result from complicated chemical, electro-chemical, or electro-magnetic processes. There is no soul beyond energy and matter. There cannot be any purpose that invisibly guides history, as history is only the result of interactions of masses of men and masses of material things. There cannot be free will, as human thoughts and wishes can only operate within the material conditions and limitations of life. Materialism vigorously opposes religious philosophies, institutions, and influences.
Recent influential materialist philosophies have included C Lloyd Morgan's theory of emergent evolution, Karl Marx's dialectical materialism, and J. B. Watson's behaviourism.