What is idealism? Discuss it as a metaphysical theory.

Idealism is the metaphysical theory that our knowledge of the world depends wholly on our mind's perception of it. The world is not a mirage or dream, it just is impossible to conceive of the world without using our minds to simultaneously create ideas about it. Rather than the world being just as it appears, it is a multilayered collection of ideas and conceptions that different people have and share.

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In very broad terms philosophical idealism holds that our knowledge of the world around us is ultimately dependent on our minds. In simple terms, this means that the world as we know it has no independent existence outside our minds. This doesn't mean that what Kant calls the phenomenal world, the world of space and time, is some kind of mirage. It just means that it only has the kind of structure and regularity it has because of the concepts, or as Kant calls them, categories, that the mind imposes on it.

An earlier idealist Plato argued that ideas were more real than matter. He held that...

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