Idealism (new definition)
musides at SPAMadelaide.on.net
Thu Aug 19 08:45:28 MDT 1999
"The great basic question of all philosophy, especially of more
recent philosophy, is that concerning the relation of thinking and
"The answers which the philosophers gave to this question split them
into two great camps. Those who asserted the primacy of spirit to
nature... comprised the camp of idealism. The others, who regarded
nature as primary, belong to the various schools of materialism."
The End of Classical German Philosophy
Chpt. 2: Materialsim
Idealism is the philosophical tradition that believes that ultimately
the non-real (eg. thoughts, feelings) is the basis for all things:
matter is built upon the reality of the ideal world.
This is in contrast to Materialism, the tradition that believes that
ultimately the real (eg. physics, events) is the basis for all
things: ideas are built upon the reality of the material world.
The methods of neither Idealism nor Materialism are able to prove
that they are certainly correct. Using whichever variety of methods,
philosophers have invariably concluded the same answer: humans cannot
be absolutely certain of knowledge, save for the certainty: humans
When most philosophers had reached this point, they gradualy built
'reasons' or 'proofs' for going to one side or the other. The
philosophers conscious of this divergence have either done nothing
(Daoists) or taken as the base ideas or reality. Upon either
foundation they have built philosophical and political systems in
adherance to the rule of ideas; or have built philosophical and
political systems in adherance to the rule of reality.
PS. Thanks for the quote Charles.
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