- any system or theory that maintains that the real is of the nature of thought or that the object of external perception consists of ideas.
- the tendency to represent things in an ideal form, or as they might or should be rather than as they are, with emphasis on values.
Examples from the Web for idealism
Both followed wars; people were tired of idealism and self-sacrifice and were determined to enjoy a self- indulgent materialism.
TR reinvigorated the office after a succession of grey presidents with his unself-conscious energy, idealism and determination.From The Square Deal to The New Deal: The Overlapping Political Identities of TR and FDR|John Avlon|September 9, 2014|DAILY BEAST
For Moses, the idealism of Freedom Summer was inseparable from the practical task of making it work.The 1964 Miss. Freedom Summer Protests Won Progress At a Bloody Price|Nicolaus Mills|June 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Today, we still believe that wisdom in politics above all counsels realism as to means and idealism as to ends.
When you confuse it with ethics or idealism, then you get into murky territory.Beau Willimon on Most Shocking Twists in ‘House of Cards’ Season 2|Andrew Romano|February 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But the foundation for this kind of idealism we have already destroyed in the transcendental aesthetic.The Critique of Pure Reason|Immanuel Kant
No book on this subject has reached a higher plane of idealism.The Social Emergency|Various
The sense of solidarity and the idealism which the German has found in his military discipline we must express in some other way.The Psychology of Nations|G.E. Partridge
Less fallible than Idealism, but less practically potent, from its ignorance of the human heart.Zanoni|Edward Bulwer Lytton
Years ago, I recall your surrounding a certain young man with an aureole of idealism.A Woman of the World|Ella Wheeler Wilcox
British Dictionary definitions for idealism
Word Origin and History for idealism
1796, in the abstract sense, originally "belief that reality is made up only of ideas," from ideal (adj.) + -ism; on model of French idéalisme. Meaning "representing things in an ideal form" is from 1829.
Culture definitions for idealism
An approach to philosophy that regards mind, spirit, or ideas as the most fundamental kinds of reality, or at least as governing our experience of the ordinary objects in the world. Idealism is opposed to materialism, naturalism, and realism. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was an idealist; so was Immanuel Kant.