Language and Linguistics

Difference between Idealism and Materialism with divisions and definitions

There is a difference between idealism and materialism, two philosophical systems that have intersected throughout history. For this reason, these philosophies were represented by Plato, who made the postulation of the existence of ideas and Democrats who affirmed the unique existence of matter, thus reducing everything else to it. Therefore, these philosophies have passed through the Ancient Ages, the Middle Ages and the Modern Ages. 


It was used to characterize Plato’s philosophy, which stated that reality consists of ideas . Therefore, it is a way of idealizing reality, affirming that this idea comes from the mind of man or of supernatural beings. As a result, Fichte said that idealism sees reality as derived from ideas, spirit, and consciousness . Furthermore, today idealism has advanced at the same rate as the advancement of science and technology .

Representatives of Idealism

  • – Plato
  • -Renato Descartes
  • -Godofredo Leibniz
  • -Jhoann Fichte
  • -Georg Freidich
  • -Inmanuel Kant

Idealism Division 

  1. – Absolute : affirmed that for the thinking subject to know its object there must be an identity of being and thought.
  2. – Subjective : reduce all things to the subject.
  3. – Objective : must solve the problem of the existence of the world.
  4. – Transcendental : establishes that knowledge requires that there be two elements, the subject and its own subject.
  5. In the conflict that exists between Idea-matter, it can be said that:
  6. -In Epistemology there is explanation to the being of the ideas and to the being of the essential combination of matter.
  7. -The conflict that exists between idea-matter is fought in the field of epistemology.


It is a current or philosophical school that affirms that everything is matter and that living beings are subject to the same physical and chemical laws that govern atoms . Therefore, it was given the name of materialism, since it recognizes only material substances and that deny spirituality and ideas.

Next, Fichte said that materialism sees that ideas, consciousness and spirit derive from matter , it does not exist or is simply reduced to matter. Therefore, this current is opposed to idealism; This is supported by postulating that matter comes first and that consciousness and thought are consequences of it. Therefore, the material world is the priority in the materialistic current.

Representatives of Materialism

Karl Marx, Frederick Angels and Ludwing Fenerboach.

Materialism Division (5 classes)

  1. – Dialectic : His way of studying and conceiving phenomena is dialectical.
  2. – Historical : Investigate the society of the human being.
  3. – Philosophical : Denies spiritualism.
  4. – Scientific : Look for the relationship between a mental phenomenon and a physical process.
  5. – Metaphysical : It is the theory that there is no substance in matter.

Finally, at present , materialism has a relevant role and acceptance in different fields of science and knowledge.

Difference between Idealism and Materialism

It cannot be measured, touched, or palpated. It refers to everything that physically occupies a place.
It is abstract. Is concrete
It refers to the soul, angels and god. It refers clearly to the human being.
For the theory the first thing is the idea or spirit. The first thing for theory is matter.


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