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This short book is a work of one of the 20th centurys greatest philosophers and historians of philosophy, tienne Gilson. The books title, taken from the first chapter, may sound esoteric but it reflects a common-sense outlook on the world, applied in a methodical way. That approach, known as realism, consists in emphasizing the fact that what is real precedes our concepts about it. In contrast to realism stands idealism, which refers to the philosophical outlook that begins with ideas and tries to move from them to things. ...

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