Realism Re"al*ism (r[=e]"al*[i^]z'm), n. [Cf. F. r['e]alisme.] 1. (Philos.) (a) As opposed to nominalism, the doctrine that genera and species are real things or entities, existing independently of our conceptions. According to realism the Universal exists ante rem (Plato), or in re (Aristotle). (b) As opposed to idealism, the doctrine that in sense perception there is an immediate cognition of the external object, and our knowledge of it is not mediate and representative. [1913 Webster]

2. (Art & Lit.) Fidelity to nature or to real life; representation without idealization, and making no appeal to the imagination; adherence to the actual fact. [1913 Webster]

3. the practise of assessing facts and the probabilities of the consequences of actions in an objective manner; avoidance of unrealistic or impractical beliefs or efforts. Contrasted to {idealism}, {self-deception}, {overoptimism}, {overimaginativeness}, or {visionariness}. [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • realism — (n.) 1817, from REAL (Cf. real) (adj.) + ISM (Cf. ism); after Fr. réalisme or Ger. Realismus; from L.L. realis real. Opposed to idealism in philosophy, art, etc. In reference to scholastic doctrine of Thomas Aquinas (opposed to nominalism) it is… …   Etymology dictionary

  • realism — ► NOUN 1) the practice of accepting a situation as it is and dealing with it accordingly. 2) (in art or literature) the representation of things in a way that is accurate and true to life. 3) Philosophy the doctrine that universals or abstract… …   English terms dictionary

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