From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
German idealism was a philosophical movement in Germany in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It developed out of the work of Immanuel Kant in the 1780s and 1790s, and was closely linked both with German romanticism and the revolutionary politics of the Enlightenment. The best-known thinkers in the movement were Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel.
Meaning of idealism
The word "idealism" has more than one meaning. The philosophical meaning of idealism here is that the properties we discover in objects depend on the way that those objects appear to us as perceiving subjects, and not something they possess "in themselves," apart from our experience of them. The very notion of a "thing in itself" should be understood as an option of a set of functions for an operating mind, such that we consider something that appears without respect to the specific manner in which it appears. The question of what properties a thing might have "independently of the mind" is thus incoherent for Idealism .