Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What Is Idealism?

Working on my paper on Berkeley, I have come up with the following list of different meanings with which the word "idealism" has been used:

• A focus on ideals as opposed to pragmatic interests. It is used this way in common speech, but also sometimes by political theorists: noble idealism. (Harrington)
• The belief that in history, the ideas of agents are the true driving force: personal historical idealism. (Weber, Protestant Ethic)
• The belief that in history, ideas writ-large are the true driving force: impersonal historical idealism. (Hegel: the cunning of reason)
• The notion that the world is entirely made up of thinking / experiencing entities: pan-psychism. (Peirce, Whitehead)
• The idea that the structure of our reality is determined by our (human) minds: transcendental idealism. (Kant)
• The notion that the physical world is, in some sense, an illusion. (Vasubandhu: Yogacara)
• The belief that what we think we know about the physical world is really only our own ideas. (Rorty)
• The belief that the physical world is, in fact, made up of ideas. (Berkeley)

Does anyone know of any other uses

UPDATE: Found one more already:

• Ideal values have a real existence as archetypes. (Plato)

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