Reality Fact Or Fiction? Essay

1906 words - 8 pages

The realm of metaphysics attempts to answer some of the most fundamental and basic of questions. These are the types of quests that do not have just one answer, but actually a multitude of plausible answers. Depending on the person - who you are, what you have, and what you believe in - the answers to the fundamental questions can change. The key things here is that nobody can prove to you without a doubt that you are wrong.One topic of metaphysics that there is much discussion over is the topic of reality. How do we know that something truly is "real?" According to the American Heritage College Dictionary, "real" is defined as "being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verifiable ...view middle of the document...

My friend AJ put is so perfectly - "when I perceive something to be real, I perceive it based on my feelings, my beliefs, and my ideas. When you perceive it, you perceive it differently based on your feelings, therefore every single person defines "real" a little differently." In other words, AJ is saying that our feelings at this exact moment will define what we perceive as real. I asked him to provide me with an example. He thought for a moment, and came up with this:"Picture this - imagine that you and I are throwing a chair. You are angry and are throwing the chair to take out some anger. People look at you and know that you are angry because of how you are acting. I am throwing the chair because I am happy - I really enjoy throwing chairs. People look at me and know that I must be angry because I am throwing a chair. They do not know that I am happy. Everybody involved pictures the chair and the person throwing the chair differently, therefore giving it a different form of reality."This is an awesome example of how someone's perception of reality can vary, AJ believes that our perception is based on our feelings, as well as what we see.I changed by definition of "reality" somewhat after I talked to some of my "deep thinker" friends. They persuaded me that something does not have to be tangible to be real. I have manipulated my beliefs somewhat, and now I believe that one's senses will decide what they perceive to be real. Therefore, this belief confirms that the dictionary definition is correct, because each person would be able to verify (using their senses) what is real.To counter my new beliefs, Anaximenes would say that reality must be quantifiable - or countable. Anything that cannot be described using numbers and mathematics (the so-called "language of nature"), would not be considered real. In my original beliefs of what "real" was, I showed everything mathematically - I used numbers to define the dimensions of the book and I provided a numerical value for the amount of pages in the book, for example - which according to Anaximenes, would make it real.My criticisms of Anaximenes' beliefs are very simple - what if something cannot be mathematically described? One cannot describe a scent using numbers. One cannot describe a feeling using numbers, so does that make it not real?Anaximenes also claims that everything real is made of air in different, precise densities that determine what things they are. Thomas I. White, in his textbook Discovering Philosophy, provides a very good example. He says that air gains density and becomes wind, which can gain density and become clouds, which releases water, which starts the whole process over again.Again, my counterexamples involve those things that are intangible. If feelings and thoughts were made of air (which does have a weight), seeing as though our brain contains numerous memories and thoughts and senses, it would weight many more times than it does now.Staying with the Milesians,...

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