Important Definitions – Philosophy, Idealism, Realism, Naturalism and Pragmatism

philosophy of education

Important Definitions – Philosophy, Idealism, Realism, Naturalism and Pragmatism


“Philosophy is a persistent attempt to give insight into the nature of the world and of ourselves by means of systematic reflection.”

——- R.W. Sellars

“Philosophy like other studies, aims primarily at knowledge.”

——–Bertrand Russell


“Idealistic philosophy takes many and varied forms, but the postulate underlying all this is that mind or spirit is the essential world stuff, that the true reality is of a mental character.”

—— J.S. Ross

“Idealists point out that it is mind that is central in understanding the world. To them nothing gives a greater sense of reality than the activity of mind engaged in trying to comprehence its world. For any thing to give a greater sense of reality would be a contradiction in terms because to know any thing more real than mind would itself be a conception of mind.”




“The doctrine of realism asserts that there is a real world of things behind and corresponding to the objects of our perception.”

—–J.S. Ross

“Realism is the reinforcement of our common acceptance of this world as it appears to us.”




“Naturalism is a system whose silent characteristic is the exclusion of whatever is spiritual or indeed whatever is transcendental of experience from our philosophy of nature and man.”


“Naturalism is not science but an assertion about science. More specifically it is the assertion that scientific knowledge is final, leaving no room for extra-scientific or philosophical knowledge.”

——R.B. Perry


“Pragmatism offers us a theory of meaning, a theory of truth of knowledge and a theory of reality.”

——James B. Prett

“Pragmatism is essentially a humanistic philosophy, maintaining that man creates his own values in the course of activity that reality is still in the making and awaits its part of completion from the future, that to an unascertainable extent our truth are man-made products.”

——J.S. Ross

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