Metaphysics is the study of the most fundamental aspects of life, including nature, time, objects and their properties, wholes and pieces, events, processes, and causation, and the mind-body relationship. Cosmology, or the study of the entire universe, and ontology, or the study of being, are two branches of metaphysics. The primary argument is between realism, which asserts that entities exist independently of their mental perceptions, and idealism, which asserts that reality is constructed or otherwise immaterial.
Idealism is a philosophical perspective that holds that thoughts are the only true reality and the only thing worth knowing. The emphasis is on conscious reasoning in the mind in the quest for enduring and everlasting reality, beauty, and justice. Plato, the father of Idealism, espoused this viewpoint in his popular book, The Republic, around 400 BC. Plato believed in the existence of two worlds. The spiritual or mental universe, which is eternal, permanent, ordered, normal, and universal, is the first world. There is also the changing, imperfect, and chaotic world of appearance, which is experienced by sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound. The duality of mind and body is a phrase used to refer this division.
In response to what he saw as an excessive emphasis on the immediacy of the physical and sensory environment, Plato envisioned a utopian society in which “education to body and soul all the beauty and perfection of which they are worthy” was the ideal. The sensory world’s shadows must be overcome by the light of reason or universal truth, according to his Allegory of the cave. To comprehend reality, one must seek knowledge and align oneself with the Absolute Mind. This philosophy is considered to be one of the oldest educational philosophies. Plato also claimed that the soul is completely created prior to birth and is perfect and at one with the Universal Being. The birth process tests for perfection, so education requires the birth of fully developed concepts to consciousness.
The aim of education, according to idealism, is to discover and improve each individual’s abilities as well as maximum moral excellence so that they can better serve society. The emphasis of the curriculum is subject matter of mind: literature, history, philosophy, and religion. The use of lecture and discussion as teaching methods focuses on the handling of ideas. Introspection, intuition, perception, and whole-part logic are all used to bring unconscious mental ideas to consciousness. A character is formed by imitating role models and heroes.
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Realism means that reality exists outside of the consciousness of man(meaning the reality is independent of the human mind). The universe of physical objects is the true reality. The body/objects are the center of focus. The objective definition of truth(reality) is what can be seen. Aristotle is known as the founder of both realism and the scientific method. He was a student of Plato who disagreed with his mentor’s idealist philosophy.
The aim of this metaphysical viewpoint is to comprehend objective reality by “diligent and unwavering analysis of all observable data.” Aristotle believed that in order to comprehend an object, one must first understand its ultimate form, which does not change. In order to be able to think about physical events and aspects, Aristotle was the first to teach logic as a formal discipline. The exercise of logical thinking is regarded as humanity’s ultimate goal. The subject matter of the physical world, especially science and mathematics, is emphasized in the Realist curriculum. The teacher organizes and presents information in a discipline in a structured manner, showing the use of criteria in decision-making. To learn facts and basic skills teaching methods include demonstration and recitation. Students must also show logical and scientific thinking skills through observation and experimentation. Curriculum should be based on distinct disciplines, structured, and scientifically approached. Training helps to improve a character. Pragmatism: According to pragmatists, only those things that are experienced or observed are real.
Example of Realism: A mango tree exists in concrete reality and is not just an abstract concept produced by the mind as the idealists would have us believe. Therefore, the fact the mango free exists in reality and has its own properties like hardness and thickness, that mango tree is independent of anyone’s perception. It is therefore “real”.