Religion Past and Present

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(1,690 words)

[German Version]

I. Philosophy – II. Ethics

I. Philosophy

The term ideal derives from Lat. idealis, idealiter, first used by Martianus Capella (ad ideam pertinens); from the 13th century on, it was used in two senses: (1) as existing in the Platonic “idea” or “archetypally” in the divine spirit (esse exemplariter), and (2) as existing only as a model in the mind (esse in intellectu).

Systematically, the ideal lies between the poles of ideas and empirical reality. The ideal differs from the universality of ideas inasmuch as…

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Mirbach, Dagmar and Herms, Eilert, “Ideal”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 06 August 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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