Topics: Idealism, Philosophy, Existentialism Pages: 19 (6121 words) Published: July 3, 2013

Realists believe that reality exists independent of the human mind. The ultimate reality is the world of physical objects. The focus is on the body/objects. Truth is objective-what can be observed. Aristotle, a student of Plato who broke with his mentor's idealist philosophy, is called the father of both Realism and the scientific method. In this metaphysical view, the aim is to understand objective reality through "the diligent and unsparing scrutiny of all observable data." Aristotle believed that to understand an object, its ultimate form had to be understood, which does not change. For example, a rose exists whether or not a person is aware of it. A rose can exist in the mind without being physically present, but ultimately, the rose shares properties with all other roses and flowers (its form), although one rose may be red and another peach colored. Aristotle also was the first to teach logic as a formal discipline in order to be able to reason about physical events and aspects. The exercise of rational thought is viewed as the ultimate purpose for humankind. The Realist curriculum emphasizes the subject matter of the physical world, particularly science and mathematics. The teacher organizes and presents content systematically within a discipline, demonstrating use of criteria in making decisions. Teaching methods focus on mastery of facts and basic skills through demonstration and recitation. Students must also demonstrate the ability to think critically and scientifically, using observation and experimentation. Curriculum should be scientifically approached, standardized, and distinct-discipline based. Character is developed through training in the rules of conduct.

Realism, at it simplest and most general, is the view that entities of a certain type have an objective reality, a reality that is completely ontologically independent of our conceptual schemes, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc. Thus, entities (including abstract concepts and universals as well as more concrete objects) have an existence independent of the act of perception, and independent of their names.

The doctrine had its beginnings with Pre-Socratic philosophers like Thales, Heraclitus and Parmenides, but its definitive formulation was that of Plato and his theory of Forms (see the section on Platonic Realism below).

There are many different types and degrees of Realism, some of which are described in detail in the sections below, and other which are touched on in brief in the Other Types of Realism

Platonic RealismBack to Top
Platonic Realism is the view, articulated by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, that universals exist. A universal is a property of an object, which can exist in more than one place at the same time (e.g. the ---- naturalism - pragmatism ----- perspective existentialism -- humanism

Idealism is a philosophy that espouses the refined wisdom of men and women. Reality is seen as a world within a person's mind. Truth is to be found in the consistency of ideas. Goodness is an ideal state, something to be strived for. Idealism would favor schools teaching subjects of the mind, such as is found in most public school classrooms. Teachers, for the idealist, would be models of ideal behavior.  For idealists, the schools' function is to sharpen intellectual processes, to present the wisdom of the ages, and to...
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