Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Dictionary of philosophy and psychology including many of the principal conceptions of ethics, logics, aesthetics ... and giving a terminology in English, French, German and Italian, vol. 1 [a-laws]
Baldwin, James Mark
a concept as well as a value, and is tlius akin 
to the mathematical and physical use of the 
term ; e. g. an ideal solid is one that is per¬ 
fectly rigid). (5) Existing merely in idea, 
opposed to real. This use seems to be derived 
from both (1) and (3 c). (6) Arising from 
an idea and having the unity character¬ 
istic of an idea, in the phrase ‘ ideal motion ’ 
used by Gurney to describe the process of 
perceiving musical form (Power of Sound, 
chap. viii). 
For the discussion as to the nature of the 
ideal see Ideal, Beauty, IY, and Akt, III, 
and cf. Characteristic, and Expression. 
For the process of forming ideals, see Imagina¬ 
tion, and Idealization. 
Literature : see the general histories of 
aesthetics, given under Art, and Beauty; 
for the present usage, the works under Aes¬ 
thetics, and especially those under Idealiza¬ 
tion and Bealism. See also Bibliog. D, 
a, d. (j.h.t.) 
Ideal (moral). (1) That which we suppose 
would satisfy our moral nature if we were 
able to attain it. Cf. Ideal (2). 
As contrasted with moral End (q.v.), the 
ideal is a state of attainment reached by the 
pursuit of the end. It is, therefore, rather an 
Intent (q. v.) than an end. It is important 
that this distinction should be made, since the 
question of the ideal is often made the same 
as that of the end ; that is, it is sought to 
determine the ideal in terms of the indi¬ 
vidual’s end. (j.m.b.) 
(2) The conception by reference to which 
man’s conduct should be regulated, or to which 
his character should be assimilated. 
Wherever independent ethical reflection has 
arisen, a rule or standard has been sought for 
the discrimination of right from wrong; and 
this rule or standard is either itself the ideal 
for man’s conduct and character or results 
from that ideal. The term arose from the 
Platonic use of ‘idea’for the true nature or 
essence of a thing. The moral ideal is thus 
the essence of goodness ; and, in modern 
usage, the employment of the term ‘ideal’ 
instead of ‘ idea ’ indicates that this essential 
goodness is not actually realized, but in need 
of realization. 
Different conceptions of the ideal of man 
fix the differences of ethical schools. Thus 
the various hedonist and utilitarian schools 
maintain that the realization of pleasure, in 
some form or other, is the ideal ; while other 
schools hold it to be the perfection of the in¬ 
dividual and social nature or the performance 
of the moral rules laid down by each man’s 
conscience. Cf. Ethical Theories, (w.r.s.) 
Ideal Realism : see Real Idealism. 
Idealism [Gr. Idea, idea] : Ger. Idealismus ; 
¥ y. idéalisme) Ital. idealismo. (1) In meta¬ 
physics : any theory which maintains the 
universe to be throughout the work or the 
embodiment of reason or mind. 
(2) In epistemology : the view which holds, 
in opposition to Realism (q.v.), that the reality 
of the external world is its perceptibility. 
(1) In this reference, the so-called absolute 
idealism of Hegel, with its thesis of the conver¬ 
tibility of the real and the rational, is a con¬ 
sistent and ultimate formulation of the position. 
But any theory which seeks the explanation,or 
ultimate raison d’etre, of the cosmic evolution 
in the realization, of reason, self-consciousness, 
or spirit, may fairly claim to be included under 
this designation. For the end in such a system 
is not only the result, but, as the determining 
prius of the whole process, is also the true 
world-building power. 
The diametrical opposite of idealism in this 
sense is materialism or, as it has sometimes 
been styled, Naturalism (q.v., 2). According 
to this view, consistently formulated, the uni¬ 
verse is simply a brute fact, or collocation of 
brute facts, under the sway of mechanical law. 
‘Verily, not by design,’ as Lucretius puts it, 
‘did the first beginnings of things station 
themselves each in its right place guided by 
keen intelligence, but because, many in number 
and shifting about in many ways throughout 
the universe, they are driven and tormented 
by blows during infinite time past ; after trying 
motions and unions of every kind, at length 
they fall into arrangements such as those out 
of which this our sum of things has been 
formed, and by which it is preserved through 
many great years when once it has been 
thrown into the appropriate motions ’ (De Rerum 
Natura, i. 1020). In other words, the appa¬ 
rently rational system of the present cosmos 
is represented as a happy accident, resulting 
from one of the infinite casts of nature’s dice. 
This system might be fitly called the Demo- 
critic, as the idealistic might be styled the 
Platonico-Aristotelian. The principle of the 
one is avdyier], blind necessity or fate ; the prin¬ 
ciple of the other is purposive reason. 
The first historical system to which the 
name of idealism is applied by common con¬ 
sent is that of Plato. In Plato’s system reality 
does not belong to the ever-changing world 
of sense; true being is found in the incor¬ 
poreal essences or ideas, which communicate


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