a term with broad application: in philosophy it generally refers to the belief that there is anobjective world about which we can have objective knowledge. More commonly, it is a term used for an approach which accepts the world or situations as they are and judges the merits of ideas, plans, and actions on the extent to which they fit this viewpoint. Positively, this can be seen as a counter to the unfeasible and the idealistic but negatively it can be seen as being too resigned to things as they are and lacking the will to effect change or improvement.