Idealism is a term in philosophy that refers to the rejection of a physical reality. Instead, proponents of idealism suggest that everything in the universe is either constructed by human minds, or that it is without material substance.
Examples of the Philosophy of Idealism
The philosophy of idealism takes many forms. Here are some examples:
- Monistic idealism - asserts that matter is not the makeup of everything that exists, but rather everything that exists does so within and because of consciousness. In other words, the only type of thing in the universe is consciousness.
- Christian Science idealism - refers to the belief that the only thing that exists is the Christian God and His ideas - everything known to man is simply a result of the ideas that spring forth from the mind of their God.
- Absolute idealism - a philosophy that can be attributed to Hegel, suggests that in order for the mind to interact with the world, thought and being must have their own sense of identity. We relate to the world not because it is different from the mind, but because it is of the same substance.
- Platonic idealism - otherwise known as Platonism, Platonic idealism is the form of idealism that believes certain ideal forms such as the absolutes of morality and justice do not exist as dependents of the world around us, but function as overarching ideals independent of all other existence.
- Subjective idealism - a philosophical concept also known as immaterialism or empirical idealism. This philosophy suggests that only minds exist. It is the opposite of materialism, the philosophy that the only thing that truly exists is material.
- Objective idealism - believes that there is only one perceiver. That individual is the one who is perceiving things. This form of idealism does accept that actual things exist (which is a concept in Realism), but rejects that the mind is a result of material objects or the physical world.
- Epistemological idealism - a philosophy that what an individual assumes to know about the world around him or her is not reality per se, but exists only in the individual's mind. This particular position is opposed to a philosophy known as epistemological realism.
- Actual idealism - a belief that actually perceiving the world around us is what truly defines reality, not the acts of the mind that do not perceive, such as creativity and thought experiments conducted within the imagination.
- Transcendental idealism - suggests that the mind shapes the world around it, and not the opposite. Human experience, in other words, is similar to the appearance of things, rather than observation being a way of seeing things as they simply are.
- Biological idealism - a philosophy that was developed by the philosopher and thinker Schopenhauer. This form of idealism believes that what is useful for an organism to believe might differ greatly from the way things actually are; that is, the way an organism understands its environment is what is most important to living things.
Each of these are somewhat common examples of idealism. Now you have a better idea of what idealism is and you can create your own examples.