Basic Postulates of Realism

Basic Postulates of Realism:

(1) Phenomenal World is True- Realists believe in the truth and reality of the matter. According to them, the physical world has an appearance of phenomenal existence. To them, there is no world beyond this. Unlike idealists who believe in another world, the Realists have no faith in other world beyond this life. Ros has rightly said, “Realism simply affirms the existence of an external world and is therefore the antithesis of subjective idealism.”

(2) Senses are the Doors of Knowledge- Realism believes that senses are the doors or gateways of knowledge. The knowledge is real and can be assimilated by human beings. The impressions and sensations that result from our contact with the external world through our senses result in knowledge that is true and real. Rusell and Whitehead have also propounded that the source of knowledge is the feeling.

(3) Theory of Organism- Realists are of the view that conscious and unconscious things form an organism. Thus Whitehead writes “The universe is a vibrating organism in the process of evolution. Change is the fundamental feature of this vibrating universe. The very essence of real actuality is process. Mind must be regarded as the function of the organism.

(4) Opposition of Idealism- There is no place at all for imagination in Realism. The realists deny the existence of any such entities as God, Soul, or the other world. They are mere figments of human imagination. Hence, having no faith in the existence of God, Soul, and their interrelationship, Realist asserts that the scientific realities of matter and its attributes are true and real.

(5) A Philosophy of Common Sense and of Science- Realism is a philosophy of common sense and also the philosophy of science. Realists do not believe in idealists’ unreal theory, which has no relation to present life. They opine that the truth of life and the aim of life is the development, from the present systematic life. Ruskin holds that “the aim of new realism is to expound a philosophy which is not inconsistent with the facts of common life and with the development in physical science.”

(6) Man is a part of the Material World- According to Realists, man is a part of the material world. He is endowed with sense organs and the mind through which he attains knowledge of the real external world.

(7) Emphasis on Experiment- Realism lays emphasis on observation and experimentation. According to the philosophy of realism, no experience can be accepted as true unless it is analyzed and classified in totality.

(8) Mind- Realism is not prepared to accept the existence of an Infinite or absolute mind as idealism does. According to “realists mind has been in the course of evolution and is also a part of the universe.”

(9) Importance of Present Applied Life- According to Realism, the spiritual world cannot be understood by means of senses. Hence the existence of God, soul, and spiritual values are mere creations of man’s imagination. They cannot be real and realizable. Nobody should bother about heaven or hell but emphasize and believe in the physical and material existence. Realists lay emphasis upon the molding and directing of human behavior as conditioned by the physical and material facts and objects of the present human life. This only promotes human welfare and happiness.

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