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Back to Top Idealism is the metaphysical and epistemological doctrine that ideas or thoughts make up fundamental reality. Essentially, it is any philosophy which argues that the only thing actually knowable is consciousness or the contents of consciousnesswhereas we never can be sure that matter or anything in the outside world really exists.
Thus, the only real things are mental entities, not physical things which exist only in the sense that they are perceived. Idealism is a form of Monism as opposed to Dualism or Pluralismand stands in direct contrast to other Monist beliefs such as Physicalism and Materialism which hold that the only thing that can be truly proven to exist is physical matter.
It is also contrasted with Realism which holds that things have an absolute existence prior to, and independent of, our knowledge or perceptions. A broad enough definition of Idealism could include many religious viewpoints, although an Idealistic viewpoint need not necessarily include God, supernatural beings, or an existence after death.
It is a major tenet in the early Yogacara school of Buddhism, which developed into the mainstream Mahayana school. Some Hindu denominations are idealistic in outlook, although some have favored a form of Dualismas with Christianity.
The word "ideal" is also commonly used as an adjective to designate qualities of perfection, desirability and excellence, which is totally foreign to the epistemological use of the word "idealism", which pertains to internal mental representations.
Idealism is a label which covers a number of philosophical positions with quite different tendencies and implications, including Subjective IdealismObjective IdealismTranscendental Idealism and Absolute Idealismas well as several more minor variants or related concepts see the section on Other Types of Idealism below.
Other labels which are essentially equivalent to Idealism include Mentalism and Immaterialism. History of Idealism Back to Top Plato is one of the first philosophers to discuss what might be termed Idealism, although his Platonic Idealism is, confusingly, usually referred to as Platonic Realism.
This is because, although his doctrine described Forms or universals which are certainly non-material "ideals" in a broad sensePlato maintained that these Forms had their own independent existence, which is not an idealist stance, but a realist one.
However, it has been argued that Plato believed that "full reality" as distinct from mere existence is achieved only through thought, and so he could be described as a non-subjective, "transcendental" idealist, somewhat like Kant.
The Neo-Platonist Plotinus came close to an early exposition of Idealism in the contentions in his "Enneads" that "the only space or place of the world is the soul", and that "time must not be assumed to exist outside the soul". However, his doctrine was not fully-realized, and he made no attempt to discover how we can get beyond our ideas in order to know external objects.
Thus, Descartes can be considered an early epistemological idealist. This kind of Idealism led to the Pantheism of Spinoza. Gottfried Leibniz expressed a form of Idealism known as Panpsychism. He believed that the true atoms of the universe are monads, individual, non-interacting "substantial forms of being", having perception.
For Leibnizthe external world is ideal in that it is a spiritual phenomenon whose motion is the result of a dynamic force dependent on these simple and immaterial monads.
Bishop George Berkeley is sometimes known as the "Father of Idealism", and he formulated one of the purest forms of Idealism in the early 18th Century.The JCP philosophy encourages people to have a strong sense of personal ownership of their Jewish identity, and the organization offers the tools to design and explore one’s own personal or .
The Education Empowerment Project is primarily volunteer run, and has a robust volunteer program that offers people of all different skill and education background the opportunity to participate in a supportive yet challenging work environment, that forwards their personal and professional growth.
The idealist standpoint on which the distinctive form of non-reductivism explored by this project is based interprets the old idealist mantra “the real is rational” as advancing a claim concerning the explanatory priority of the mind and is thus best identified by a metaphilosophical commitment concerning the relation between philosophy and.
In this project, the contributors succeed marvelously. The material presented here is wide ranging, highly engaging, and likely to be of interest to philosophers and students working on any of a number of ongoing debates in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology, and philosophy of language, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of science.
The word philosophy is of Ancient Greek origin (philosophía), meaning "love of wisdom." A teaching philosophy is a statement of a systematic and critical rationale that focuses on the important components defining teaching and learning in a particular discipline or content.
Idealists, as a temperament, are passionately concerned with personal growth and development.
Idealists strive to discover who they are and how they can become their best possible self -- always this quest for self-knowledge and self-improvement drives their imagination.