Essay on the Philosophy of “Realism”
Realism believes that mind has originated in the course of evolution as anything else in the world. It is as much or less real as any other thing in the universe. Realism cannot accept anything unless it can be tested by observation and experiment.
It stands for a scientific outlook of life. Hence it denies transcendentalism. It is satisfied with ‘physical environment and the sense-perceivable conditions of experience.’
Realism is quite conscious of stem facts and realities of actual situations. It gives no place to sentimentalism and the imaginary. The attitude of most scientists closely fits in with the standpoint of realism.
The content of the physical sciences is the reality for the scientist So is the case with the modem realist. The realist believes that in order to reach the level of real knowledge one must analyze and experience down to the level of sensations, and if it is done there can be no difference of opinions.
Realism starts with undeniable certainties and tries to build up a body of systematized knowledge which is certain and objective and agrees with the standpoints of physical sciences. Realism disregards everything subjective personal and emotional, except in the study of psychology from the behaviorist point of view.
Realism tries to see things as they are, and to understand reality in its own colour without any fear or favor. Realism looks at human beings as it would look at any other material object. It tries to explain the mind and its knowledge in terms which may be easily compared to those of a machine.
For nearly a century realism has ousted idealism from psychology, because it has used the methods and principles of the physical sciences. The three realist movements in psychology associations, behaviorism and connectionism are an eloquent testimony to this.
Realism believes that the regularities of the material environment are the chief source of all human experience. So the problem of values should be approached more or less in the same way as we approach knowledge, i.e., by objective understanding of facts and events for which people express desire, admiration, dislike “and disapproval.
Under the pressure of “scientific” investigations some realists will not feel shy in doing away with values entirely regarding it ‘as purely arbitrary.’ We find this attitude in some of university departments of social sciences to-day.
The great contribution of realism is in terms of a world-view which is physical, orderly and which can be understood and examined by men -who themselves are subject to same precisions simply because they are also parts of the same universe.
The great contribution of idealism is in terms of a world-view which is largely spiritual and orderly, and which can be understood by persons who themselves are spiritual and who possess some of the attributes of the cosmic person.