Idealism: doctrine according to which the objects of external perception ultimately consist of or express ideas.
In philosophy, not a moral or political category, but one to denote an onto-axiological system which holds ideas to be primary in explaining the world/cosmos, knowledge and value. Idealism is the longest reigning tendency in philosophy, with many philosophical schools from Plato on, normally opposed to Materialism.
A long-dominant tendency of Western and Eastern philosophy of various schools to posit ideas as prior to matter on ontological, epistemological and value planes. Usually contrasted to Materialism.
Source: ‘What is Good? What is Bad? The Value of All Values across Time, Place and Theories’ by John McMurtry, Philosophy and World Problems, Volume I-III, UNESCO in partnership with Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems: Oxford, 2004-11.