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Related to Idealist philosophy: idealism, Philosophical idealism


1. The act or practice of envisioning things in an ideal and often impractical form.
2. Pursuit of one's ideals, often without regard to practical ends.
3. Idealized treatment of a subject in literature or art.
4. Philosophy The theory that the object of external perception, in itself or as perceived, consists of ideas.


1. belief in or pursuance of ideals
2. the tendency to represent things in their ideal forms, rather than as they are
3. (Philosophy) any of a group of philosophical doctrines that share the monistic view that material objects and the external world do not exist in reality independently of the human mind but are variously creations of the mind or constructs of ideas. Compare materialism2, dualism2
iˈdealist n
iˌdealˈistic adj
iˌdealˈistically adv


(aɪˈdi əˌlɪz əm)

1. the cherishing or pursuit of high or noble principles, purposes, or goals.
2. the practice of idealizing.
3. something idealized; an ideal representation.
4. treatment of subject matter, as in art, in which a mental conception of beauty or form is stressed.
5. any philosophical system or theory that maintains that the real is of the nature of thought or that the object of external perception consists of ideas.


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. Cf. realism.idealist, n.idealistic, adj.
See also: Philosophy



bullish Optimistic, hopeful, confident. In the world of finance, a “bull” is an investor who speculates in stocks or commodities in anticipation of a profit to be realized when the market prices increase. Thus, the “bull” believes that the general business climate is or will soon be favorable. Bullish is used in other, non-monetary contexts as well.

A related term, bearish, also derived from stock market jargon, describes a pessimistic outlook. Since a “bear” believes financial conditions are worsening, he may try to sell short, hoping to repurchase the stocks or securities at a lower price at some future date. Since both “bulls” and “bears” often buy the rights to trade stocks on margin, i.e., at a percentage of their true market value, the “bear” may, in effect, sell what he has not yet purchased. It has therefore been conjectured that the origin of bear may lie in the proverb to sell the bearskin before one has caught the bear. As early as 1721, Nathan Bailey’s Universal Etymological English Dictionary included the following: “to sell a bear: to sell what one hath not.”

hitch one’s wagon to a star To aim high, to have high ideals, to be idealistic. Ralph Waldo Emerson apparently coined this metaphor which appeared in his Society and Solitude (1870):

Now that is the wisdom of a man
… to hitch his wagon to a star.

look through rose-colored glasses To be cheerfully optimistic; to see things in a bright, rosy, favorable light. The color of a rose has long connoted optimism, cheerfulness, and promise.

Oxford was a sort of Utopia to the Captain…. He continued … to behold towers, and quadrangles, and chapels, … through rose-coloured spectacles. (Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown at Oxford, 1861)

Implicit in this expression is the suggestion that a rosy view is unwarranted, perhaps even detrimental.

Pollyanna An incurable optimist. This expression comes from Eleanor Porter’s book Pollyanna, in which the title character was a cheery little girl whose blitheness and buoyancy raised the spirits of all whom she met. In contemporary usage, however, this term is often applied disparagingly to one who exists in a fool’s paradise.


The notion that the objects of reality do not have independent existence but are constructs of the mind, or made up of ideas.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.idealism - (philosophy) the philosophical theory that ideas are the only reality
philosophy - the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
philosophical doctrine, philosophical theory - a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy
2.idealism - impracticality by virtue of thinking of things in their ideal form rather than as they really are
impracticality - concerned with theoretical possibilities rather than actual use
romanticism - impractical romantic ideals and attitudes
knight errantry, quixotism - quixotic (romantic and impractical) behavior
3.idealism - elevated ideals or conduct; the quality of believing that ideals should be pursued
magnanimousness, nobleness, grandeur, nobility - the quality of elevation of mind and exaltation of character or ideals or conduct


noun romanticism, Utopianism, quixotism She never lost her respect for the idealism of the 1960s.
"Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power" [Aldous Huxley]
hugsjónastefna; hughyggja


[aɪˈdɪəlɪzəm] Nidealismo m


[aɪˈdɪəlɪzəm] nidéalisme m


nIdealismus m


[aɪˈdɪəˌlɪzm] nidealismo


(aiˈdiəl) adjective
perfect. This tool is ideal for the job I have in mind.
1. a person, thing etc that is looked on as being perfect. She was clever and beautiful – in fact she was his ideal of what a wife should be.
2. a person's standard of behaviour etc. a man of high ideals.
iˈdealist noun
a person having (too) high ideals of behaviour etc.
iˈdealism noun
ˌideaˈlistic (aidiə-) adjective
iˈdealize, iˈdealise verb
to regard as perfect. Children tend to idealize their parents.
iˌdealiˈzation, iˌdealiˈsation noun
iˈdeally adverb
1. perfectly. He is ideally suited to this job.
2. under perfect conditions. Ideally, we should check this again, but we haven't enough time.
References in periodicals archive ?
Borges was a voracious reader of Schopenhauer (1) but, according to an interview with Jean de Milleret, he was not so much subscribing to Schopenhauer's Idealist philosophy as looking for ways to use his ideas in his own literary work:
The panels were well-attended and the presentations generated a fruitful discussion which demonstrated the value and continuing relevance of British Idealist philosophy and of British political thought.
And then, his critique of idealist philosophy, Romanticism, and literature follows:
It also analyses the history of how Hegel has been interpreted, seeing the separation of Hegel's political and metaphysical philosophy as characteristic of the positivist revolt against idealist philosophy rather than as a quality of Hegel's own ideas and intentions.
If the first issue is anything to go by, the Schelling Studien should be a valuable addition to the periodicals focusing on German idealist philosophy.
143) Using Royce's idealist philosophy as a foil, he examines Santayana's views on immediate experience or "the specious present" (145); eternity and truth (148); and the "ontological isolation of the individual" (155).
The premise of The Foundation of the Unconscious is, on the surface, straightforward: a genealogy of the idea of the unconscious from its germination in Friedrich Schelling's idealist philosophy to the expression of its early nineteenth-century origins in Freud and a number of other twentieth-century analysts, and the political baggage that comes with it.
The first seven chapters outline his theory of the psychology of politics, which draws heavily on the idealist philosophy of Immanuel Kant and Georg Hegel.
Before discussing Peirce, philosophical cosmology and the philosophy of nature, I would like to outline some general conceptions concerning the Idea and the character of Idealist philosophy to which the earlier part of your question alludes.
Aristotle was a student of Plato who broke with his mentor's idealist philosophy, to become the father of both Materialistic Realism and the scientific method.
This is not to say that idealist philosophy should resign, only that dialectics should as much as possible avoid congealing, should continuously negate itself and its conceptions.
Intently aware that movements and changes in philosophical and intellectual currents were merely the by-product of some broader process of natural selection unfolding throughout the nineteenth century, Marshall set about welding together elements from a variegated philosophical fabric consisting of Adam Smith's naturalistic account of moral evolution, Coleridgean metaphysics, William Whewell's idealist philosophy, Alexander Bain's and John Stuart Mill's associationist psychology, John Grote's liberal Anglican philosophy, Hegel's philosophy of history, and much more besides, all coalescing in one of the most singular economic minds of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.