Idealism and realism

Idealism and Realism are terms that are used a lot to describe people, political ideas or groups, but a lot of people that use these words don’t really know what they mean. My last post is a good example of what idealism is, a notion that the world and reality are not as constant as they appear to be, that existing structures can be overthrown or changed by ideas or at least depend on how they are interpreted. On the other hand you have realism a notion that the reality or the world does not depend on how we interpret it, that our beliefs and ideas do not affect reality. These two opposites can of course be applied to different things, for example it is a lot easier to have an idealistic notion of society since it is clearly influenced by ideas and beliefs, while it requires a little bit more effort to construct an idealistic notion about the laws of physics. There are lots of other terms like these two that philosophers use to categorise ideas and beliefs, if you want to know more I would suggest starting with searching terms like Determinism and empiricism on either wikipedia or the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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