Idealization

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Idealization'

Idealization Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    idealization n
  1. a portrayal of something as ideal; "the idealization of rural life was very misleading" [syn: idealisation, glorification]
  2. (psychiatry) a defense mechanism that splits something you are ambivalent about into two representations--one good and one bad [syn: idealisation]
  3. something that exists only as an idea [syn: idealisation]
Idealization Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Idealization \I*de`al*i*za"tion\, n.
  1. The act or process of idealizing.
  2. (Fine Arts) The representation of natural objects, scenes, etc., in such a way as to show their most important characteristics; the study of the ideal.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Idealization'


Idealization is the process by which scientific models assume facts about the phenomenon being modeled that are strictly false. Often these assumptions are used to make models easier to understand or solve. Many times idealizations do not harm the predictive accuracy of the model for one reason or another. Most debates surrounding the usefulness of a particular model often are about the appropriateness of different idealizations.

Galileo utilized the concept of idealization in order to formulate the law of free fall. Galileo, in his study of bodies in motion, set up experiments that assumed frictionless surfaces and spheres of perfect roundness. The crudity of ordinary objects has the potential to obscure their mathematical essence, and idealization is used to combat this tendency.

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