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Sociology : The Differences Between Realist And Materialism

Decent Essays
The difference between idealist and materialist epistemologies are that idealism is knowledge can only come from what is in our minds, and materialism is knowledge that is in the thing (Schaffer, Week 4). The differences between idealism and materialism are important because it gives sociologists different perspectives in which to analyze theories and the social world around them. Idealism is dealing with an idea. Materialism is exploring the object beforehand; like culture (Schaffer, Week 4). Materialism focuses more on structures. Marx was an idealist, while Weber was both an idealist and a materialist. Both idealism and materialism are epistemologies. It is very important for a sociologist to understand the differences between idealist and materialist epistemologies because it provides a proper analysis and theory of sociological actions.
Kant argued that to have an idealist sociology, the natural world and the social world must be separated (Walsh, 180). Idealism is built based on reality. We only know something because we were taught that and were told it was true. Kant believed that all knowledge is universal. He believed that if one culture or society believed something, all the rest believed it as well. Kant had a very objective view of reality and idealism (Schaffer, 2017). Kant believed that humans have a unique source of knowledge and insight into knowing. He argued that each human was born with the ability to be rational. No matter if the individual chose to be
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