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Because while Plato believed that the only authentic existents are ideas, he also believed that these ideas have an independent existence, i. e., are not only contents of the mind as in berkelian idealism, in the realm of the intelligible.

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Q: How was Plato an idealist and a realist at the same time?
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It may not be proper to consider him completely as an idealist, but his views could logically lead one to idealism. He wanted reality to reflect Heaven, thus we have the Mandate of Heaven that causes various dynasties to come and go. This can be likened to Platonic Idealism, in that Plato believed that the world was a reflection of the Realm of Forms. These are viewed to be ideas themselves. Idealist schools of Confucianism did later arise after the time of Confucius.

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