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lopezpor's avatar

What is idealism?

Asked by lopezpor (241points) June 10th, 2010

What have the philosophers said? What have the psychologists said? What do you think?

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21 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

What the philosophers and psychologists have said is irrelevant because idealism is a fluid concept, to me and it rises up and dies down given each new generation’s concerns and issues. Besides, each of us (in my opinion, anyway) can only define in terms of how we think of our own idealism (assuming we have any) so (as with all your questions) I will define it as it pertains to me: an idealist is someone who is passionately involved in dreaming up/making happen a kind of reality that doesn’t (and may never) exist because that reality seems, to them, to be an answer to some of the ailments they observe in society.

marinelife's avatar

It is someone who believes in an ideal world that can come to pass.

MissA's avatar

In practical terms, I think an idealist is a ‘hopeless’ optimist…believing that good will ultimately reign in all cases.

We all probably have our ‘idealism moments’...but, a true idealist is smiling on the inside all the time.

tadpole's avatar

believing in what should happen not what does or will happen….

YARNLADY's avatar

A person who believes that it is useful to strive for the most ideal solution to every issue, rather than just accepting “good enough” as a result.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Not being a philosopher or psychiatrist, this is only one person’s humble opinion, and one open for change as I continue to learn.

An Idealist is someone who has a vision of an end result that could bring about better changes for Earth. They can either be ostracized or create a following. And often both.

Some Idealists are so far off base that they get the most publication and tend to stick in our minds, such as Hitler and Jim Jones. Then there are those that came up with creating fire on demand, automobiles, flight, etc. Surely these people had their own set of skeptics.

Fortunately, some of the skeptics are Realists…people who can strategically envision the path to the potential success of an idea. They provide feedback on where the vision could potentially fail in order to adjust the tasks involved to get to the end result.

Then there are the nay-sayers who shoot down any new idea that might rock their world. But that is a whole other conversation.

tadpole's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer interesting answer..i always thought of idealists as people who believed in good things as understood and accepted by most people, but more than most to the point of being unrealistic or naive…i therefore would never have considered Hitler to be idealistic…but i suppose to him his ideals were based on what was good or to be aimed for…but if you think like that doesn’t idealism become so generalized that it applies to anyone with an ideal? or then do you define it in how they deal with the ideal, do they pursue whole heartedly, if they don’t it’s not much of great importance? or can you just keep it in your head all the time….thinking aloud now really :-)

Scooby's avatar

Life is but a garment of illusion!! That’s all!! :-/

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@tadpole I’m still thinking about it as well. Here’s a link different definitions, as well as specific types of Idealism.

mattbrowne's avatar

Here’s a psychologist:

Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.—Carl Jung

I don’t agree with him though in this particular case.

tadpole's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer no mention of Hitler then :-)

@mattbrowne i don’t know that is such a bad statement…idealism is probably a hindrance in many ways? jung is better than freud in any case…

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@lopezpor Have you read the Wikipedia post on Idealism? It might help answer your question. (I started to nod off about ⅓ of the way through it.)

@tadpole I just watched an interesting video on YouTube called, “Hitler – Lunatic or Idealist?” Just more food for thought when it comes to Idealism and Hitler. I have no idea if the content is accurate and/or selective.

mattbrowne's avatar

@tadpole – Yes, I like Jung too.

tadpole's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer thanks for the link will look it up….

@mattbrowne would you agree he is “better than” freud…i am no psychology expert, but i think students have to choose one or the other when studying? and from what little i have come across Jung’s outlook seemed to make more sense…

mattbrowne's avatar

@tadpole – Yes, he’s far better than Freud. Many claims by Freud have been disproved by more recent researchers including some of the leading neurobiologists.

tadpole's avatar

are they not both rather old now in terms of ideas, like 100 years ago both…..i wonder if psychology students now start elsewhere?

tadpole's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer checked out your link….6–7 minutes of music and photos including 6 quotations about hitler, of those one from hess and one from some dodgy chap at war’s end….plus some very dodgy comments below about his greatness…not really my thing! i know he did take people in at the time, but i wouldn’t say the video contained a huge amount of evidence of this…not that you were promoting one view or the other of course…i did notice no mention of chamberlain, which is the one i associate with this, the return from germany with the white piece of paper in his hand…anyway thanks for the link, if slightly unsettling…

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@tadpole – Thanks for looking at it and commenting. I value your insight more than the creator of the video and didn’t bother to read any posts by other viewers which, of course, should have been done before mentioning it. I haven’t changed my mind yet if Hitler was an Idealist or not though.

tadpole's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer yes, different ideals do not not make them ideals….?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@tadpole How about ‘different ideas do not make them idealistic?’ Some should just be discarded.

tadpole's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer are we talking about idealistic because of which ideas, or idealistic because of how they apply their belief in their ideas….can you discard an idea from being an ideal if you believe fervently in it…idealism being in part about the passion behind the idea that translates it into an ideal to or for the person in question…

what were you thinking of discarding? you did mean ideas not ideals, btw? cause that took me into a slightly different area of expression….!

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