- (in art and literature) the movement or style of representing familiar things as they actually are. Often contrasted with idealism (sense 1).
While realism in art is often used in the same contexts as naturalism, implying a concern to depict or describe accurately and objectively, it also suggests a deliberate rejection of conventionally beautiful or appropriate subjects in favor of sincerity and a focus on simple and unidealized treatment of contemporary life. Specifically, the term is applied to a late 19th-century movement in French painting and literature represented by Gustave Courbet in the former and Balzac, Stendhal, and Flaubert in the latter
- 3 Philosophy the doctrine that universals or abstract concepts have an objective or absolute existence. The theory that universals have their own reality is sometimes called Platonic realism because it was first outlined by Plato’s doctrine of “forms” or ideas. Often contrasted with nominalism.
- the doctrine that matter as the object of perception has real existence and is neither reducible to universal mind or spirit nor dependent on a perceiving agent. Often contrasted with idealism (sense 2).