Man has two facts Spiritual and Material. When the emphasis is on the realization of spiritual life, it is called idealism.
Idealism is the oldest theory of philosophy. It reflects in the complete history of philosophy. It is born out of Plato’s ‘Theory of Ideas’. According to this, the ultimate supremacy is of ideas.
The word idealism has been derived from the word idea. It should be taken as that of ideas and not to be confused with philosophy of ideals. Plato and other idealism philosophers believed that only ideas are permanent.
Idealism holds that the essential nature of man is spiritual which is revealed in mental, religious and aesthetic areas. To them spiritual world is more important than material world. This spiritual world is a world of ideas and feelings. To idealists ‘Mind and Soul’ are more important rather than Matter and Body. These ideas art eternal and unchanging
The important definitions regarding idealism are as follows:
According to Dutta, “Idealism holds that ultimate reality is spiritualism.”
According to Ross, “To Idealistic Philosophy spirit is the essential world stuff and true reality is of a mental character.”
Supporters of Idealism-Protagonists of idealism are Plato, Socrates, Kant, Hegal, Green, Gentile, Vivekanand, Mahatma Gandhi and Dayanand.
Idealism and Philosophy
Idealism is concerned with the Nature of Reality. For Idealist Ultimate Reality is of the Nature of Mind. Universe is the idea of the division of reality. The visible universe does not exist of itself; its existence depends upon the real world of mind or spirit.
Spiritual world is the reality and true. Man is different from other creatures due to his spiritual power. Man is the grandest creation of God.
For Idealists truth can exist only in the ‘Real world of Ideas’. To arrive at truth man uses the methods of reasoning and intuition and through his mind transcends his physical impressions and gets some insight into the real world.
Through logic and reason man discovers the pre-existent truths of the physical world and gains some insight into the ultimate truths of the world of ideas.
Idealism believes in Truth, Goodness and Beauty. These values are eternal and permanent. To this philosophy God is truth, beautiful and good. It emphasizes faith in God, character building, social responsibilities and other values.