idealism and realism

Topics: Philosophy, Mind, Metaphysics Pages: 3 (523 words) Published: March 7, 2015
Differences Between Idealism & Realism in the Philosophy of Education By Hobie Anthony, eHow Contributor , last updated April 27, 2014

Realism and Idealism are two competing philosophies in the field of education. Dating back to ancient Greece, these theories influence the philosophy of education to this day.


Idealism is the school of educational thought promoted by Plato in 400 B.C. Plato thought that humans could be improved from within, by correcting their thoughts and discovering knowledge already there since birth. Idealism focuses on reasoning and how a person can bring knowledge up from inside of himself. In this view, the world exists solely in the minds of people and that ultimate truth relies on a consistency of ideas. The more perfect our ideas become, therefore, the better we can serve the world. In Emmanuel Kant's idealism, the world exists, but our minds are separate from it. Realism

Realism is the school of educational thought promoted by Plato's student, Aristotle. Realism holds that the only reality is the material world, that study of the outer world is the only reliable way to find truth; the world is an objective phenomenon that our minds must adhere to. We achieve greater and greater knowledge through proper study of the world. In Realism, a person is an empty vessel for knowledge, which can only come from outside of the self, through observation. This philosophy was the progenitor of the scientific method, a system of inquiry relying on objective facts.

Educational Implications of Idealism
By Douglas Baer, eHow Contributor , last updated May 08, 2014

Metaphysics is one of the branches of philosophy that wrestles with the question of reality in the known and the unknown worlds. An idealist finds reality in the unknown world through ideas in his mind; a realist finds reality in the known world through his senses. You can reach a better understanding of idealism by contrasting idealism with realism.

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