Practical realism is the attitude to take things as they really are in life and to make the best of them. The realist deals with facts and is seldom swayed by high ideals; he tries less to improve the world than to make use of it. Philos. realism is the theory that gen. abstract ideas have real existence, indep. of individual objects; e.g., the idea of a circle exists apart from round things. Psychol. realism holds that things have real existence, indep. of our conscious experience; e.g., the tree I see exists not merely in my consciousness, as a concept of my mind, but there really is a tree in the yard, also when no eyes are looking at it. Common sense is realistic as it assumes that objects we perceive really exist. But in hallucinations we see things that are not real. In literature and art, realism as opposed to romanticism and idealism, pictures life not as it should be, but as it is. See also Critical Realism; Idealism; Nominalism; Philosophy.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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