Materialism And Idealism

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Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that involves the study of what is. Idealism and materialism are two different theories of reality that fall under the category of metaphysics. Both theories are quite different in their approach to what can be considered reality. This document observes the differences between idealism and materialism and considers why one might be preferred over the other. The idealism theory was developed by Plato. This theory consists of the belief that reality is made up of non-physical ideas. The implication is that there is something more important to reality than what humans can sense. Justice, reason, spirit, appetite, and the form of something are examples of some of these abstract ideas. Plato expresses some…show more content…
Ideology is preferable in that humans do not rely too much on physical and material things. In the Republic books, it is shown that moderation is required in the “Tripartite Soul” to avoid injustice, which in turn leads to civil war. In a city, for example, injustice takes over whenever consumption and money-making become excessive. In other words, the city becomes overly addicted to physical or material things. As shown in the Republic Book II, ideas like justice and reason are powerful. The pursuit of knowledge and the act of attempting to understand ideas such as justice can help humans get closer to the truth even if we will never fully understand the idea of justice itself. Another advantage of ideology is it does not share the same trap of instant gratification as…show more content…
Categories shows us that one cannot always explain/name a thing and come closer to the essence than if we have visually seen the thing. Categories also shows an example of physical subjects that cannot exist without the things that make it what it is. In this sense, even an idea of a subject cannot exist without the thing itself existing first. Humans often rely on their experiences and senses to give them a better understanding of the reality or substance of a thing. Humans are very much in tune with their senses and often use them for the pursuit of knowledge. Another advantage of this theory is that one can show physical evidence to support one’s belief. I personally prefer idealism over materialism, but I believe that both theories have distinct advantages. I also think that it would be advantageous for humans to keep both theories in mind when pursuing reality. However, one must be careful not to fall into the trap of becoming addicted to physical or material things. In addition, as the Republic books show using the “Tripartite Soul” metaphor, one must maintain a balance in the soul, have moderation in material things, and use reason above all others to achieve good decision
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