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NEET 2023
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Which school of Western Philosophy endorses the following metaphysical assertion?

"Since the universe exists independent of us and is governed by laws over which we have little control, it is necessary to know certain definite things about this universe in order to adopt to it"

1. Idealism
2. Pragmatism
3. Existentialism
4. Realism

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Correct Answer - Option 4 : Realism

Schools of philosophy



  • Idealism is a diverse group of metaphysical views that all assert that reality is in some way indistinguishable or inseparable from human perception and/or understanding, that it is in some sense mentally constituted, or that it is otherwise closely connected to ideas. 
  • Idealism is the metaphysical view that associates reality to ideas in the mind rather than to material objects.
  • It lays emphasis on the mental or spiritual components of experience and renounces the notion of material existence.
  • The main focus of idealism is on conscious reasoning in the mind. 
  • The father of idealism, Plato, believed that people should concern themselves in searching for the truth.


  • Realism is the doctrine that is associated with the study of the world we live in. It is a philosophy away from the world of ideas or spiritual things.
  • In Realism the word ‘real’ denotes actual or existing. It indicates those things or events which exist in the world in their own right. It opposes the thing or event which is imaginary or fictitious. 
  • It holds the view that knowledge acquired through senses is true and what we observe and perceives through our own senses is real and the true entity of the world.
  • It believes, reality exists independent of the human mind.
  • The ultimate reality is the physical world.
  • Realism believes that teachers should have full knowledge of the subject matter, the psychology of learners, and the scientific way of delivering education.


  • Existentialism is a form of philosophical inquiry that explores the problem of human existence and centers on the lived experience of the thinking, feeling, acting individual.
  • In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point has been called "the existential angst" (or, variably, existential attitude, dread, etc.), or a sense of disorientation, confusion, or anxiety in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world.
  • A primary virtue in existentialist thought is authenticity
  • Søren Kierkegaard is generally considered to have been the first existentialist philosopher.
  • Existentialism in education is a teaching and learning philosophy that focuses on the student's freedom and agency to choose their future. 
  • Existentialist educators believe there is no god or higher power guiding their students.
  • The teacher must facilitate for the students.
  • Let the students take the first step and the teacher guide them in taking the next.
  • Believe in free individuality.


  • It holds that the first activity and experiment are done and then on the basis of the result, principles and ideas are derived.
  • Pragmatism is an educational philosophy that says that education should be about life and growth. That is, teachers should be teaching students things that are practical for life and encourage them to grow into better people. Many famous educators, including John Dewey, were pragmatists.
  • It offers us the theory of knowledge, the theory of meaning, and a theory of reality.
  • Believes in the principle of utility.
  • Reality is still in the making. It is never complete.
  • Pragmatism means action, from which the words practical and practice have come.
  • Pragmatism is based on the psychology of individual differences. Pragmatists want education according to the aptitudes and abilities of the individual. 
  • According to pragmatism, all education is “learning by doing”. So it must be based on the child’s experiences as well as occupations and activities.


  • pragmatism is not only a practical philosophy but also a progressive one. It conceives education as a dynamic and life-long process.
  • Realism is the notion that the world exists in terms of matter, separate from the world of ideas and independent of it. Realism has probably had the greatest impact on educational philosophy because it is the foundation of scientific reasoning. 
  • Idealistic philosophy is mostly based on the concept of spirituality, knowledge, and ideas. Its main aim is self-realization.
  • According to existentialism “there are no universal standards for a human life: we are what we do, the sum of our actions.”
  • Since realism states that the universe exists beyond the human mind, so option (4) is correct.

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