Ideal (philosophy)

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Ideal (from ancient Greek idéa 'shape', 'archetype' ) is a term used in philosophical aesthetics , ethics and philosophy of science : it is the epitome of a pattern of perfection .

For Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Schiller , an ideal is an individual idea . Both use the term in the sense of aesthetics and practical ethical reason (Kant's Critique of Judgment and Critique of Practical Reason ).

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel narrowed the term ideal to art : Its task was the sensual representation of the absolute idea as an ideal.

For Paul Lorenzen , “ideal” is an ascription of behavior that strives for a norm that it cannot fully satisfy ( operationalism ). The “ideal” is a comparison model that daily practice should follow as a guideline, but which it does not have to fulfill.


  • Ideal. In: Jürgen Mittelstraß (Hrsg.): Encyclopedia Philosophy and Philosophy of Science. Volume 3: G - Inn. 2nd, revised and significantly expanded edition. Metzler, Stuttgart et al. 2008, ISBN 978-3-476-02102-1 .
  • Ideal. In: Hans Jörg Sandkühler (Ed.): European encyclopedia on philosophy and sciences. Volume 2: F - K. Meiner, Hamburg 1990, ISBN 3-7873-0983-7 .
  • Richard Livingstone: Greek Ideals and Modern Life. Oxford 1935.

Web links

Wikiquote: Ideal  - Quotes
Wiktionary: Ideal  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations