An idealist focuses on things as they should be, whereas a realist focuses on things as they are. While an idealist is not satisfied until he sees reality achieve its optimal state, a realist is content with the most approximate results. These two philosophies are informed by distinct metaphysics that originated in ancient Greece.Know More
Idealism is a focus on the ideal, that which is perfect and uncorrupted. For the idealist, ideas are the true reality. This way of thinking in large part comes from Plato, who conceived of a special plane of existence in which every idea has a pure and perfect form. For Plato, true wisdom and enlightenment comes when one consciously experiences these ideals. Thus, idealists are unsatisfied with the imperfections of the mundane. They are generally confident in their ability to implement their conception of "the good" despite considerable practical obstructions.
Realists look at things the way they are. Unlike idealists, they are more prone to accept obstacles and settle for "good enough." Aristotle, a student of Plato, espoused an early form of realism. He rejected the notion of a plane of perfect forms. Instead of conceiving of the best possible social order, he studied existing systems of government and analyzed their strengths and weaknesses to determine what works in reality.Learn more about Philosophy
In addition to being considered one of the founders of Western philosophy, Socrates is remembered for his iconic trial and execution for irreverence by the Athenian democracy, his development of what came to be known as the Socratic Method and for the almost religious admiration accorded him. Socrates also led a lifestyle that was somewhat contrary to what represented the norm for citizens of Athens during the 5th century B.C. and he gained a reputation as an often irritating social and moral critic of Athenian collective notions. Rigorous self-examination was strongly advocated by Socrates, and one of his most well-known quotes is "the unexamined life is not worth living," which he famously stated at his trial.Full Answer >
Humanism is best described by its emphasis on the ability and responsibility of mankind to make cultural, technological and scientific progress without the help of any outside forces. Humanism is generally associated with progress based on empiricism and the lack of belief in a god or gods.Full Answer >
Developed by French philosopher Auguste Comte, the theory of positivism asserts that all justifiable claims may be verified by scientific proofs involving the physical senses. This method of thought contrasts with interpretivism's emphasis on the metaphysical elements of social interaction through which people may make adjustments around one another.Full Answer >
Aristotle proposes using the mind in accordance with virtue to live a happy life. Kant proposes practical reason, not impulses or desires, to achieve the proper state of human existence.Full Answer >