AskDefine | Define realism

Dictionary Definition



1 the attribute of accepting the facts of life and favoring practicality and literal truth [syn: pragmatism]
2 (philosophy) the philosophical doctrine that physical object continue to exist when not perceived [syn: naive realism]
3 the state of being actual or real; "the reality of his situation slowly dawned on him" [syn: reality, realness] [ant: unreality]
4 an artistic movement in 19th century France; artists and writers strove for detailed realistic and factual description [syn: naturalism]
5 (philosophy) the philosophical doctrine that abstract concepts exist independent of their names [syn: Platonism]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A concern for fact or reality and rejection of the impractical and visionary.
  2. An artistic representation of reality as it is
  3. The viewpoint that an external reality exists independent of observation

Related terms




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  1. realism

Extensive Definition

Realism, Realist or Realistic may refer to:

The arts

  • Realism (arts), the depiction of subjects as they appear in everyday life
  • Realism (dramatic arts), a movement towards greater fidelity to real life
  • Realism (visual arts), a style of painting that depicts what the eye can see
  • Classical Realism, an artistic movement in late 20th Century that valued beauty and artistic skill
  • Hyperrealism (painting), a genre of painting that resembles high resolution photography
  • Kitchen sink realism, an English cultural movement in the 1950s and 1960s that concentrated on contemporary social realism
  • Literary realism, a 19th century literary movement
  • Magic realism, an artistic genre in which magical elements appear in an otherwise realistic setting
  • Nazi heroic realism or the art of the third Reich, a style of propaganda art associated with Nazi Germany
  • New Realism, an artistic movement founded in 1960 by Pierre Restany and Yves Klein
  • Poetic realism, a film movement in France in the 1930s that used heightened aestheticism
  • Photorealism, a genre of painting that resembles photography
  • Romantic realism, an aesthetic art term popularized by writer/philosopher Ayn Rand
  • Social realism, an artistic movement which depicts working class activities
  • Socialist realism, a style of propaganda art associated with Communism

International relations

  • Defensive realism, a theory that anarchy on the world stage causes states to increase their security, resulting in greater instability
  • Liberal realism or the "English school of international relations theory", the theory that there exists a 'society of states'
  • Neorealism or structural realism, a theory that international structures act as a constraint on state behavior
  • Offensive realism, a theory that states will exploit opportunities to expand whenever they are presented
  • Political realism, a theory that the primary motivation of states is the desire for power or security, rather than ideals or ethics
  • Subaltern realism, a theory that Third World states are more concerned with short term gains


  • Legal realism, a theory that law is made by human beings and thus subject to human imperfections
  • Left realism, a theory that crime disproportionately affects working class people
  • Right Realism, a theory about the prevention and control of crime


  • Aesthetic Realism, a philosophy founded by the American poet and critic Eli Siegel
  • Australian realism or Australian materialism, a 20th Century school of philosophy in Australia
  • Christian Realism, a philosophy advocated by Reinhold Niebuhr
  • Constructive realism, a philosophy of science
  • Cornell realism, a view in meta-ethics associated with the work of Richard Boyd and others
  • Critical realism, a philosophy of perception concerned with the accuracy of human sense-data
  • Direct realism, a theory of perception
  • Entity realism, a philosophical position within scientific realism
  • Epistemological realism, a subcategory of objectivism
  • Hyper-realism or Hyperreality, the inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from fantasy
  • Mathematical realism, a branch of philosophy of mathematics
  • Moderate realism, a position holding that there is no realm where universals exist
  • Modal realism, a philosophy propounded by David Lewis, that possible worlds are as real as the actual world
  • Moral realism, the view in philosophy that there are objective moral values
  • Mystical realism, a philosophy concerning the nature of the divine, advanced by Nikolai Berdyaev
  • Naive realism, a common sense theory of perception
  • New realism (philosophy), a school of early 20th-century epistemology rejecting epistemological dualism
  • Organic realism or the Philosophy of Oganism, the metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead, now known as process philosophy
  • Philosophical realism, the belief that reality exists independently of observers
  • Platonic realism, a philosophy articulated by Plato, positing the existence of universals
  • Quasi-realism, an expressivist meta-ethical theory which asserts that though our moral claims are projectivist we understand them in realist terms
  • Representative realism, the view that we cannot perceive the external world directly
  • Scientific realism, the view that the world described by science is the real world
  • Transcendental realism, a concept implying that individuals have a perfect understanding of the limitations of their own minds
  • Truth-value link realism, a metaphysical concept explaining how to understand parts of the world that are apparently cognitively inaccessible

Other fields

realism in Bulgarian: Реализъм
realism in Czech: Realismus
realism in Danish: Realisme
realism in German: Realismus
realism in Estonian: Realism
realism in Spanish: Realismo
realism in French: Réalisme
realism in Croatian: Realizam
realism in Italian: Realismo
realism in Hungarian: Realizmus
realism in Dutch: Realisme
realism in Japanese: リアリズム
realism in Norwegian: Realisme
realism in Romanian: Realism (dezambiguizare)
realism in Russian: Реализм
realism in Finnish: Realismi
realism in Turkish: Gerçekçilik

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Marxism, absolute realism, animalism, artlessness, atomism, authenticity, behaviorism, bona fideness, commonsense realism, dialectical materialism, down-to-earthness, earthiness, earthliness, empiricism, epiphenomenalism, freedom from illusion, genuineness, hardheadedness, health, historical materialism, honesty, hylomorphism, hylotheism, hylozoism, inartificiality, lack of feelings, legitimacy, lifelikeness, literalism, literality, literalness, materialism, matter-of-factness, mechanism, natural realism, naturalism, naturalness, naturism, new realism, normalcy, normality, normalness, order, photographic realism, physicalism, physicism, positive philosophy, positivism, practical-mindedness, practicality, practicalness, pragmaticism, pragmatism, propriety, rationality, realness, reasonableness, regularity, representative realism, saneness, scientism, secularism, sensibleness, sincerity, sober-mindedness, substantialism, temporality, true-to-lifeness, truth to nature, unadulteration, unaffectedness, unfictitiousness, unidealism, unromanticalness, unsentimentality, unspeciousness, unspuriousness, unsyntheticness, verisimilitude, wholesomeness, worldliness
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