Platonic Idealism

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Summary of idealism
From the book:
Craver, S.M, Ozmon, H.A. (2008). Philosophical foundations of education (8th edition) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.

Idealism, the theory that reality is based on absolute truths (or forms) and not materialism, is one of the oldest systematic philosophies in western culture. Chapter 1 discusses the philosophy of several outstanding philosophers associated with idealism. The chapter breaks the philosophers into three areas: Platonic idealism, religious idealism and modern idealism and its characteristics. Chapter 1 also discusses idealism as a philosophy of Education. The basis for platonic idealism is the concept of absolute truth and that knowledge is not created, but discovered. Platonic idealism consists of the philosophical, social and educational ideas of the Greek philosopher Plato. Being a disciple of Socrates, he believed in the Socratic dialectic method. This method can be seen in the Republic and the Laws, two of his famous works. Plato envisioned that since there are universal truths in mathematics, then there must be the same in other fields such as politics, religion and education. Therefore, the search for absolute truth is the quest of the philosopher. He also believed there was a "dividing line" between the unpredictable world of material and the uncharted, abstract world of ideas. Plato saw a society where equal opportunity existed on all levels. Augustine had a big influence on religious idealism. He readily accepted Plato’s notation of the “divined line”. He believed that man inherited the sin of Adam and was between the World of God and the World of Man. However, both philosophers believed that God created knowledge and people discovered it by finding God. Augustine thought that in order to teach an individual the teacher must direct the learner using “signs”. Learning had to come from within. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries idealism began to largely...
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