How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Our experience of the world is, for us, the world. To understand people, you must understand their experiences.
Idealism is, to a large extent, an opposite view to scientific and material viewpoints that asserts the importance of internal individual perceptions. Just because we cannot measure thought, this does not mean that it does not exist or is not important. For individual people, thought is everything and perception is filtered to the extent that we are hard-pressed to know what is really 'out there'.
Idealism includes the principles that:
In Idealism, concepts are often viewed as being real. Thus 'mankind' is seen to have a reality beyond being just an idea.
Perhaps the most influential Idealist was Immanuel Kant, who human self, or 'transcendental ego,' constructs knowledge out of sense impressions, upon which are imposed certain universal concepts that he called categories.
After Kant, Hegel concluded that the finite world is a reflection of the mind, which alone is truly real. Truth is just the coherence between thoughts. He also considered the dilemma that as transient beings, this leads to reality also being transient.
Just a few of the types of idealism include:
Three key types of Idealism:
Idealism is opposed to many philosophies that stress material matter, including Empiricism, Positivism, Skepticism, Atheism and Materialism. It is closer to systems that emphasize meaning that is derived from thought, such as Rationalism. Overall, it is used as a container for other philosophies such as Phenomenology and Conventionalism that also oppose purely material viewpoints.
Logical Positivism particularly criticizes Idealism for the lack of verifiability of its ideas and hence questions the usefulness of the whole approach.