Differences Between Idealism and Realism

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Philosophers say the key to understanding human life is answering the really philosophical questions such as why are we here? Where did we come from? Where will we go? And so on and so forth. This has truly been a debate for the ages in philosophy, one that has stimulated thinkers, philosophers, theologists and scientists for thousands of years, hence led emergence of idealism and realism as two major traditional philosophical schools of thought in the realm of philosophy. So this paper projects the meaning of idealism and meaning of realism then discusses in detail the basic assumptions of idealism and those of realism and how these two traditional schools of thought differ and their implications within the educational setting. Meaning…show more content…
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. Aristotle is an exponent of realism. He asserts that matter has an objective reality and that matter is the underlying principle of all things. Philosophers like Herbert Spencer and John Locke postulated that matter is the ultimate reality. They say that things we experience with our senses such as hills, trees, animals, sand, water and man are simply not ideas in the mind of the observing individuals or even in the mind of an external observer. Rather they exist in themselves independent of the mind. Realism categorized in Religious realism, Aristotle Realism and Scientific realism Religious realism represented by Thomas Aquinas asserts that mind and matter form the composite. Man is a composite of body and soul. The spirit is more important and higher than the body. He argues that this is proved through revelation and reasoning. Seetharamu (1989) argues that Aristotle Realism was proposed by Aristotle who was Plato’s student where by Aristotle believed that the world could be understood at a fundamental level through the detailed observation and cataloguing of phenomenon. That is knowledge, which is what the word
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