What is realism?
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What is realism?

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Quick Answer

In philosophy, realism is the belief that reality lies outside of the human mind; it is the focus on things that can be observed as well as things that exist independently of what the human mind believes to be true. An example of realism in philosophy is that a tree will exist in nature whether a human is able to recognize the tree.

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Realism has nearly nothing to do with the human mind, but has everything to do with the way the world functions outside of the mind. Realists believe in rational thought and will only perceive things the way that they are truly seen, without any type of interpretation. Aristotle is referred to as the father of realism because of his break off from the philosophical teachings of Plato.

When realism is being taught to students, it is mostly based around real facts and scientific methods that are known to be true. Students are expected to think scientifically and to use mathematical procedures to get the end result of their thinking. Realist students need to be able to gather criteria and reach a solution using methodical thinking through the criteria. Realism is focused around the use of mathematics and science.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the difference between naturalism and realism?

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    According to Professor Paul Brians of Washington State University, realism in literature was a movement that, in reaction to Romanticism, focused on the real world and familiar kinds of characters as opposed to the fantastical or supernatural. Naturalism was a later extension of realism marked by a pessimistic attitude towards humanity and an attempt to apply the scientific method to the writing of fiction.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between appearance and reality?

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    The difference between appearance and reality is studied extensively in the field of metaphysics. According to the University of Oregon, appearances are deceptive and derivative, whereas reality is genuine. For instance, the appearance of the size of the sun from an observer on the ground is not the reality of the actual size of the sun but rather a derivative formed by the observer.

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  • Q:

    How do transcendentalists define truth?

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    Transcendentalists define truth as an ultimate reality that goes beyond, or transcends, what people can know by means of the five senses. In the transcendentalist view, people gain knowledge of the ultimate reality through intuition rather than through mental training or education.

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  • Q:

    What did Plato believe?

    A:

    Plato believed that the world we see around us is only a shadow of reality, which he referred to as the world of the forms. From this belief, he developed the Parable of the Cave, the philosophical theory for which he is best known, according to a website hosted by St. Anselm College.

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