The Philosophical Notion of Idealism

Topics: Realism, Philosophy, Metaphysics Pages: 5 (1747 words) Published: February 24, 2013
This article is about the philosophical notion of idealism. For other uses, see Idealism (disambiguation) In philosophy, idealism is the group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing. In a sociological sense, idealism emphasizes how human ideas — especially beliefs and values — shape society.[1] As an ontological doctrine, idealism goes further, asserting that all entities are composed of mind or spirit.[2] Idealism thus rejects physicalist and dualist theories that fail to ascribe priority to the mind. The corresponding idea in metaphysics is monism. The earliest extant arguments that the world of experience is grounded in the mental derive from India and Greece. The Hindu idealists in India and the Greek Neoplatonists gave pantheistic arguments for an all-pervading consciousness as the ground or true nature of reality.[3] In contrast, the Yogācāra school, which arose within Mahayana Buddhism in India in the 4th century CE,[4] based its "mind-only" idealism to a greater extent on phenomenological analyses of personal experience. This turn toward the subjective anticipated empiricists such as George Berkeley, who revived idealism in 18th-century Europe by employing skeptical arguments against materialism. Beginning with Immanuel Kant, German idealists such as G. W. F. Hegel, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, and Arthur Schopenhauer dominated 19th-century philosophy. This tradition, which emphasized the mental or "ideal" character of all phenomena, birthed idealistic and subjectivist schools ranging from British idealism to phenomenalism to existentialism. The historical influence of this branch of idealism remains central even to the schools that rejected its metaphysical The 20th century British scientist Sir James Jeans wrote that "the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine"

Realism is a philosophy of mind rooted in the "common sense" philosophy of perception known as naive realism, which has been developed as "direct" realism when distinguished from representative realism, the view that we cannot perceive the external world directly. Critical realism is the philosophy of perception concerned with the accuracy of human sense-data. In epistemology realism is accounted a subcategory of objectivism. Hyper-realism or Hyperreality, on the other hand, doubts the inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from fantasy. Transcendental realism is a concept implying that individuals have a perfect understanding of the limitations of their own minds. Realism is not the thought of being actual. In metaphysics Platonic realism describes a philosophy articulated by Plato, positing the existence of universals. Moderate realism is a position holding that there is no realm where universals exist. New realism denotes a school of early 20th-century epistemology rejecting epistemological dualism and Organic realism or the Organism, describes the metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead, now known as process philosophy. Australian realism or Australian materialism is a 20th Century school of philosophy in Australia. Truth-value link realism is a metaphysical concept explaining how to understand parts of the world that are apparently cognitively inaccessible. Quasi-realism is an expressivist meta-ethical theory which asserts that though our moral claims are projectivist we understand them in realist terms. In religious philosophy Christian Realism was advocated by Reinhold Niebuhr and mystical realism, a philosophy concerning the nature of the divine, was advanced by Nikolai Berdyaev. Modal realism is a philosophy propounded by David Lewis which states that possible worlds are as real as the actual world. The Scottish School of Common Sense Realism...
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