Reality

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  Reality From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to:navigation, search  For other uses, seeReality (disambiguation). Reality is the state of things as theyactually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. [1] In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it isobservable or comprehensible.A still more broad definition includes everything that has existed, exists, or will exist.Philosophers,mathematicians,and other ancient and modern thinkers, such as Aristotle, Plato,Frege,Wittgenstein,andRussell, have made a distinction between thought  corresponding to reality, coherent abstractions (thoughts of things that are imaginable butnot real), and that which cannot even berationallythought. By contrast  existence is oftenrestricted solely to that which has physical existenceor has a direct basis in it in the waythat thoughts do in the brain.Reality is often contrasted with what is imaginary,delusional,(only) in the mind, dreams, what isfalse, what isfictional, or what isabstract. At the same time, what is abstract  plays a role both in everyday life and in academicresearch. For instance,causality, virtue,lifeanddistributive justiceare abstract concepts that can be difficult to define, but they are only rarely equalled with pure delusions. Both the existence and reality of abstractions is in dispute: one extreme position regard them as mere words, another  position regard them as higher truths than less abstract concepts. This disagreement is the basis of the philosophicalProblem of universals.Thetruth refers to what is real, whilefalsityrefers to what is not.Fictionsare considered not real. Contents ã 1 Related concepts o 1.1 Reality, world views, and theories of reality ã 2 Western philosophy o 2.1 Being o 2.2 Perception o 2.3 Abstract objects and mathematics o 2.4 Properties o 2.5 Time and space o 2.6 Possible worlds o 2.7 Theories of everything (TOE) and philosophy o 2.8 Phenomenological reality o 2.9 Skeptical hypotheses  ã 3 Physical sciences o 3.1 Scientific realism o 3.2 Realism and locality in physics o 3.3 Role of the observer in quantum mechanics o 3.4 Multiverse o 3.5 Scientific theories of everything ã 4 Technology o 4.1 Virtual reality and cyberspace o 4.2 RL in internet culture ã 5 See also ã 6 References ã 7 External links Related concepts See Also:  TruthandFact. Reality, world views, and theories of reality Further information:World viewA common colloquial usage would have reality mean perceptions, beliefs, and attitudestoward reality, as in My reality is not your reality. This is often used just as acolloquialism indicating that the parties to a conversation agree, or should agree, not toquibble over deeply different conceptions of what is real. For example, in a religiousdiscussion between friends, one might say (attempting humor), You might disagree, butin my reality, everyone goes to heaven. Reality can be defined in a way that links it to world views or parts of them (conceptualframeworks): Reality is the totality of all things, structures (actual and conceptual),events (past and present) and phenomena, whether observable or not. It is what a worldview (whether it be based on individual or shared human experience) ultimately attemptsto describe or map.Certain ideas from physics, philosophy, sociology,literary criticism, and other fieldsshape various theories of reality. One such belief is that there simply and literally is noreality beyond the perceptions or beliefs we each have about reality. Such attitudes aresummarized in the popular statement, Perception is reality or Life is how you perceivereality or reality is what you can get away with (Robert Anton Wilson), and theyindicateanti-realism  – that is, the view that there is no objective reality, whether  acknowledged explicitly or not.Many of the concepts of science and philosophy are often definedculturallyandsocially. This idea was elaborated byThomas Kuhn in his book  The Structure of Scientific   Revolutions (1962). The Social Construction of Reality , a book about thesociology of knowledgewritten byPeter L. Berger  andThomas Luckmann, was published in 1966. Western philosophy Philosophyaddresses two different aspects of the topic of reality: the nature of realityitself, and the relationship between themind(as well as languageandculture) and reality. On the one hand,ontologyis the study of being, and the central topic of the field iscouched, variously, in terms of being, existence, what is , and reality. The task inontology is to describe the most generalcategories of realityand how they areinterrelated. If a philosopher wanted to proffer a positive definition of the concept reality , it would be done under this heading. As explained above, some philosophersdraw a distinction between reality and existence. In fact, many analytic philosopherstoday tend to avoid the term real and reality in discussing ontological issues. But for those who would treat is real the same way they treat exists , one of the leadingquestions of analytic philosophy has been whether existence (or reality) is a property of objects. It has been widely held by analytic philosophers that it is not  a property at all,though this view has lost some ground in recent decades.On the other hand, particularly in discussions of  objectivitythat have feet in both metaphysics andepistemology,philosophical discussions of reality often concern the ways in which reality is, or is not, in some way dependent upon (or, to use fashionable jargon, constructed out of) mental and cultural factors such as perceptions, beliefs, andother mental states, as well as cultural artifacts, such asreligionsand political movements,on up to the vague notion of a common cultural world view, or  Weltanschauung  .The view that there is a reality independent of any beliefs, perceptions, etc., is calledrealism.More specifically, philosophers are given to speaking about realism about  thisand that, such as realism about universals or realism about the external world. Generally,where one can identify any class of object, the existence or essential characteristics of which is said not to depend on perceptions, beliefs, language, or any other human artifact,one can speak of realism about  that object.One can also speak of  anti -realism about the same objects.  Anti-realism  is the latest in along series of terms for views opposed to realism. Perhaps the first was idealism,so called because reality was said to be in the mind, or a product of our  ideas .Berkeleyanidealismis the view, propounded by the Irish empiricist George Berkeley,that the objects of perception are actually ideas in the mind. In this view, one might be tempted to saythat reality is a mental construct ; this is not quite accurate, however, since in Berkeley'sview perceptual ideas are created and coordinated by God. By the 20th century, viewssimilar to Berkeley's were called phenomenalism. Phenomenalism differs fromBerkeleyan idealism primarily in that Berkeley believed that minds, or souls, are notmerely ideas nor made up of ideas, whereas varieties of phenomenalism, such as thatadvocated byRussell, tended to go farther to say that the mind itself is merely a  collection of perceptions, memories, etc., and that there is no mind or soul over andabove suchmental events. Finally, anti-realism became a fashionable term for  any viewwhich held that the existence of some object depends upon the mind or cultural artifacts.The view that the so-called external world is really merely a social, or cultural, artifact,calledsocial constructionism,is one variety of anti-realism.Cultural relativismis the view thatsocial issuessuch as morality are not absolute, but at least partiallycultural artifact.Acorrespondence theoryof  knowledge about what exists claims that true knowledge of  reality represents accurate correspondence of statements about and images of reality withthe actual reality that the statements or images are attempting to represent. For example,thescientific methodcanverifythat a statement is true based on the observable evidence that a thing exists. Many humans can point to theRocky Mountainsand say that thismountain rangeexists, and continues to exist even if no one is observing it or makingstatements about it. Being The nature of  being is a perennial topic in metaphysics. For, instanceParmenidestaught that reality was a single unchanging Being, whereasHeraclituswrote that all things flow.The 20th century philosopher Heidegger thought previous philosophers have lost sightthe question of Being (qua Being) in favour of the questions of beings (existing things),so that a return to the Parmenidean approach was needed. An ontological catalogueis an attempt to list the fundamental constituents of reality. The question of whether or notexistenceis a predicatehas been discussed since the Early Modern period, not least in relation to theontological argument for the existence of God. Existence, that  somethingis, has been contrasted with essence , the question of  what  something is. Since existencewithout essence seems blank, it associated with nothingnessby philosophers such as Hegel. Nihilismrepresents an extremely negative view of being, theabsolutea positive one. Perception The question of direct or naïve realism, as opposed toindirect or representational realism,arises in the  philosophy of perceptionandof mindout of the debate over the nature of conscious experience; [2][3] the epistemologicalquestion of whether the world we see around us is the real world itself or merely an internal perceptual copy of that worldgenerated byneuralprocesses in our  brain.  Naïve realismis known as direct  realismwhen developed to counter  indirect  or representative realism, also known asepistemologicaldualism, [4] the philosophicalposition that our conscious experience is notof the real world itself but of an internal representation, a miniaturevirtual-reality replica of the world.Timothy Leary coined the influential termReality Tunnel, by which he means a kind of  representative realism. The theory states that, with a subconscious set of mental filtersformed from their beliefs and experiences, every individual interprets the same world
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