Platonic Idealism

Philosophically speaking, the world defines idealism as "any system of thought or philosophy in which the objects of knowledge or perception are held to be in some way dependent on the activity of mind." Following are various schools of thought within the idealist framework:

Subjective Idealism, which holds that the objects of knowledge consist of the ideas of, or are dependent on the cognitive activity of the individual knower, is the so-called "idealism" practiced by atheists, hedonists and secular humanists.

Transcendental Idealism, according to Immannuel Kant, "the human self, or transcendental ego, constructs knowledge out of sense impressions and from universal concepts called categories that it imposes upon them."it imposes upon them."

Objective Idealism, in the work of Friedrich Schelling (1775–1854), holds that the objects of knowledge are constituted not by the individual knower but by a universal, absolute, or transcendent mind.

Absolute Idealism, in the opinion of German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel (1770–1831), the object of external perception consists of ideas, not only as known to us, but in itself, not however ours, but those of the universal mind. Hegel held the position that "the Absolute became that being which is progressively manifested in the progress of human history"; he also "insists on holism, implying that a mind capable of knowing any truth must have the capacity to know all truth, since partial and divided truth is dead or non-existent."

After Hegel, British philosopher F. H. Bradley (1846–1924), and American philosopher Josiah Royce (1855–1916) were firm proponents of Absolute Idealism. "Both men taught a monistic Idealism and helped raise the intellectual standards for philosophical treatment of human problems." Also a firm adherent to absolutist Idealism was British philosopher A. E. Taylor (1869–1945), who was also a leading Platonist scholar.

The term idealism is also "applied more generally to other forms of idealism which do not suppose an independent reality underlying our ideas of external objects," a view to which we do not subscribe. Idealism is also defined as "the practice of idealizing or the tendency to idealize; the habit of representing things in an ideal form or they might be; aspiration after or pursuit of an ideal."

On the Via Christa, an idealist is one who holds a doctrine of idealism, beginning with Plato's doctrine of Ideas, which appears as the Allegory of the Cave in his Republic, 7.514a-c to 521a-d. Those who walk the Via Christa are, thus, Platonic Idealists, Pioneering Mystics who step out in faith, constantly alert and on watch for the mystical marks that blaze the way through the wilderness of earth's sophists and sophistries, and their materialistic intellectualism. Diametrically opposed to the screed of secular humanism, we know that man is not the measure of all things; only God can be and is the measure of the multiverse, eternal and infinite.

Plato's Allegory of the Cave

Plato's Republic 7.514a-c to 521a-d
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Plato's Heritage: The Idealists

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George W. F. Hegel
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Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
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Francis Herbert Bradley
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Alfred Edward Taylor
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Josiah Royce
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Plato of Athens
Greek philosopher and the
Father of Idealism

Edna Lister


"Absolute Idealism." Oxford Reference. January 1, 2006 [retrieved December 6, 2017].

"F. H. Bradley." Encyclopædia Britannica. March 5, 2012 [retrieved December 6, 2017].

"G. W. F. Hegel." Encyclopædia Britannica. June 16, 2017 [retrieved December 6, 2017].

"Idealism." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Paul Guyer and Rolf-Peter Horstmann. (Fall 2015 edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), [retrieved December 4, 2017].

"Josiah Royce." Encyclopædia Britannica. May 23, 2013 [retrieved December 6, 2017].

"Transcendental Idealism." Encyclopædia Britannica. November 03, 2016 [retrieved December 6, 2017].

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

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