Reality is the state of things as they are, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not we can see it and understand it. An even wider definition includes everything that has existed, exists, or will exist.
Reality is often contrasted with what is imaginary, delusional, in the mind, dreams, what is false, what is fictional, or what is abstract. The truth refers to what is real, while falsity refers to what is not. Fictions are not real.
All the same, what is abstract plays a role in everyday life and in academic research. For instance, causality, virtue, life and justice are abstract concepts. They are difficult to define, but they are not pure delusions.
Viewpoints on reality[change | change source]
- Philosophy looks at the nature of reality itself, and the relationship between the mind (as well as language and culture) and reality.
- Science: the view that the world described by science is the real world. The scientists' view of reality depends on evidence, tests and experiments, worked out by specialists. In the end, what ends up in textbooks is what an "invisible college" of scientists has agreed on. Philosophy of science and sociology of science are studies of how scientists think and work.
References[change | change source]
- Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English. Oxford University Press, 2005. Full entry for reality: "reality • noun (pl. realities) 1 the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them. 2 a thing that is actually experienced or seen. 3 the quality of being lifelike. 4 the state or quality of having existence or substance".
- Ziman, John 1968. Public knowledge: essay concerning the social dimension of science. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-06894-9
- Crane, Diana 1972. Invisible colleges: diffusion of knowledge in scientific communities. The University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London. ISBN 0226118576