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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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IDEALISM

In the philosophy of Plato it is the theory that the visible things of this world are merely copies of the perfect realities of another, supersensible world of the spirit. In St. Augustine and the Scholastics it is the doctrine that the ideal of exemplar according to which everything is made is the idea in the mind of God. In modern philosophy idealism is the theory that denies reality to the external, physical world and attributes real existence only to things as they are in the mind. In its extreme form it is pure subjectivism, denying existence to anything outside the mind of the thinking person.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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