- the cherishing or pursuit of high or noble principles, purposes, goals, etc.
- the practice of idealizing.
- something idealized; an ideal representation.
- Fine Arts. treatment of subject matter in a work of art in which a mental conception of beauty or form is stressed, characterized usually by the selection of particular features of various models and their combination into a whole according to a standard of perfection.Compare naturalism(def 2), realism(def 3a).
- 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.
- belief in or pursuance of ideals
- the tendency to represent things in their ideal forms, rather than as they are
- 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 ideasCompare materialism (def. 2), dualism (def. 2)
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.
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.