There's a joke in philosophy that goes like this:
The First Law of Philosophy: For every philosopher, there exists an equal and opposite philosopher.
The Second Law of Philosophy: They're both wrong.
Take idealism vs. pragmatism. There are many different perspectives on what idealism and pragmatism are. Let's define idealism as a rigid belief system in which you live your life based upon a morality as it is "supposed to be" or "should be," and let's define pragmatism as doing what is practical, regardless of how you things are supposed to be or should be.
Using those definitions, we can make some logical generalizations on how each is likely to act: idealists are more likely to make decisions with the longer-term in mind, while a pragmatist will be more focused on the short-term. An idealist will more likely fight for what he considers the "best" solution based on a fixed standard, even if he is unlikely to achieve it, while a pragmatist will more likely compromise his position in order to be more "accommodating." An idealist will more likely have an "all-or-nothing," "extremist" attitude, while a pragmatist will look to keep all options open, having a more "moderate" attitude. An idealist is more likely to stand-up to the status quo, while a pragmatist is more likely to "go along to get along."
Should idealism be "tempered?" Without idealism, would we lose sight of what "could be?" Does it have to be either-or when it comes to idealism vs. pragmatism?
Idealism is the belief that we should adopt moral principles, even if they have negative effects on our lives. The idealist is willing to suffer in order to do what he thinks is right... Pragmatism is a rejection of Idealism. If the Idealists principles get in the way, the Pragmatist solves it by rejecting moral principles. They do whatever is deemed as practical, with no concerns for morality... The problem is that principles are generalized knowledge that allow you to predict the outcome of certain kinds of actions. By rejecting principles, you have no means of determining what might be practical.
These two positions form a false dichotomy. The Idealist rejects practicality for the sake of moral principles. The Pragmatist rejects moral principles for practicality. But that all hinges on the view that moral principles are in conflict with what's practical, instead of means to being practical. It assumes that they're mutually exclusive. But if you adopt a morality of rational self-interest, where your morality seeks to enhance your life, your moral principles become your means of determining what kind of actions will be practical.