Reality  

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The Great Sphinx is part of reality.
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The Great Sphinx is part of reality.

"Imaginary gardens with real toads in them [...]." --Marianne Moore


"The mind of man can imagine nothing which has not really existed [...]." --Edgar Allan Poe


"What is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms. --Friedrich Nietzsche in "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense"

Ancient Rome (1757) by Giovanni Paolo Panini, a real painting filled with imaginary paintings of actual Roman antiquities.
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Ancient Rome (1757) by Giovanni Paolo Panini, a real painting filled with imaginary paintings of actual Roman antiquities.
Everyday life is part of reality. Illustration: The Smoker (ca. 1654 - 1662) by Joos van Craesbeeck
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Everyday life is part of reality. Illustration: The Smoker (ca. 1654 - 1662) by Joos van Craesbeeck
 Literary works also pose issues concerning reality. It is commonly reputed as true that Sherlock Holmes lived in London. Yet Sherlock Holmes never lived anywhere at all; he is a fictional character.  Is he as such part of reality? Illustration: Sherlock Holmes (right) and Dr. Watson, by Sidney Paget
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Literary works also pose issues concerning reality. It is commonly reputed as true that Sherlock Holmes lived in London. Yet Sherlock Holmes never lived anywhere at all; he is a fictional character. Is he as such part of reality?
Illustration: Sherlock Holmes (right) and Dr. Watson, by Sidney Paget
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Reality is the state of things as they actually exist, 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 it is observable 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, and Russell, have made a distinction between thought corresponding to reality, coherent abstractions (thoughts of things that are imaginable but not real), and that which cannot even be rationally thought. By contrast existence is often restricted solely to that which has physical existence or has a direct basis in it in the way that thoughts do in the brain.

Reality is often contrasted with what is imaginary, delusional, (only) in the mind, dreams, what is false, what is fictional, or what is abstract. At the same time, what is abstract plays a role both in everyday life and in academic research. For instance, causality, virtue, life and distributive justice are 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 philosophical Problem of universals.

The truth refers to what is real, while falsity refers to what is not. Fictions are considered not real.

Etymology

From the Classical rēs (“thing”) +‎ -ālis (suffix forming adjectives of relationship).

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Reality" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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