Idealism
(947 words)

1. Definition

Since the 18th century, the term idealism has been used to characterize philosophical theories that champion the priority of a mental reality vis-à-vis the material external world. But the term has quite different connotations in different languages, which arise from differering understandings of the term idea. In the German-speaking world, idea stands in the Platonic tradition (Platonism), usually in the sense of a general concept of something that exists ou…

Cite this page
Lehmann-Brauns, Sicco, “Idealism”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 23 February 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_021228>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915



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