01. INTRODUCTION Idealism is the oldest theory of philosophy. Its origin goes back to ancient India in the East and to Plato in the West. Generally, Idealists believe that ideas are the true reality. According to them, the human spirit is the most important element in life. Matter is not real. It attaches great significance to the study of man and his mind. It maintains that the material and physical universe is subordinate to a higher type of reality, a spiritual universe. CHIEF EXPONENTS OF IDEALISM (I) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) (viii) The Videc Rishis of India Plato – (427-347 B.C) Kant (1724- 1804 A.D) Hegal (1770-1831 A.D) Froebel (1772 – 1852 A.D) Swami Dyananda (1825 – 1883 A.D) R.N. Tagore (1861-1941 A.D) Aurobindo Ghosh (1872 – 1950 A.D)
02. MEANING OF IDEALISM The word „Idealism‟ signifies two terms: „Idea‟ and „ideal‟. In other words Idealism is born out of Plato‟s “Theory of Ideas”. According to this doctrine, the ultimate supremacy is of ideas. In this way, the real word is „ideaism‟, but adding the letter „I‟ for pronunciation facility it is known as idealism. 03. DEFINITION OF IDEALISM (i) (ii) Views of D.M. Dutta: “Idealism holds that ultimate reality is spiritual”. Views of J.S. Ross: “Mind or spirit is the essential world stuff that the true reality is of a mental character”. (iii) Harold B. Titus: “Idealism asserts that reality consists of ideas, thoughts, minds, or selves rather than material objects and force”. (iv) R.N. Tagore: “Idealism is that school of philosophy which Iays great emphasis on ideas as well as on moral and spiritual values”.
Oxford dictionary: “Idealism means representation of things in an ideal form, imaginative treatment, system of thought in which the object of external perception is hold to consist of ideas”.
04. MAIN FEATURES / CHARACTERISTICS OF IDEALISM (i) (ii) True reality consists in ideas; spirit and mind constitute reality. Material world is the expression of spiritual world. This world is not real. Man is the best creation of God. That is spiritual power in him. God is source of all knowledge. Value are absolute and unchanging Man is not the creator of values. The source of attaining true knowledge is our wisdom or intellectual enlightenment. The Philosophy believes in unity in diversity.
(iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii)
05. PRINCIPLES OF IDEALISM The fundamental principles of Idealism are as under: (i) Two forms of the Whole World: Idealism believes in two forms of the
world: (1) Spiritual world and (2) Material world, Idealists give more importance to spiritual world in comparison to the material world. They believe that spiritual world is real and the ultimate truth whereas the material world is transitory and mortal. To know the reality of the spiritual world is to know the reality of mind and soul. It is a sort of self - realization - the main aim of human life. (ii) Ideas are more important than objects: Knowledge of mind and soul
can be obtained through ideas only according to Idealist. Therefore, they have given more importance to ideas over the objects and material things. To them, ideas are the ultimate Reality whereas objects die out sooner or later. In the Ideas are
embedded all the realities and ultimate entities of the material world.
(iii) Importance of Man over Nature: Man is more important than material nature as per the philosophy of idealist, it is because man can think and experience about material objects and material phenomena. Hence, the thinker or the one who experiences is more important than the object or the phenomena experienced. Man is endowed with intelligence and a sense of discrimination. Thus, he is not a slave of the environment as animals are, but he moulds and transforms the environment for his own good and welfare of the society. In a nutshell, man creates his own world of virtue and higher levels of art in different areas are achieved through his...