What is Reality?
State of Things as they Actually Exist

  1. The quality or state of being actual or true.

  2. One, such as a person, an entity, or an event, that is actual: "the weight of history and political realities"

  3. The totality of all things possessing actuality, existence, or essence.

  4. That which exists objectively and in fact: Your observations do not seem to be about reality.

What is Reality?
State of Things as they Actually Exist

In Philosophy, 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, not just in the mind, or even more broadly also including what is only in the mind.

Historically, philosophers have sometimes considered reality to include nonexistent things such as "gold mountains" in a sense referred to as a subsistence, as well.

By contrast existence is often restricted solely to being (compare with nature). Reality is often contrasted with what is imaginary, delusional, in the mind, dreams, what is abstract, what is false, or what is fictional. To reify is to make more real, and to abstract is the opposite. The truth refers to what is real, while falsity refers to what is not. Fictions are not considered real.

The term "truth" has no single definition about which a majority of professional philosophers and scholars agree, and various theories of truth continue to be debated. Metaphysical objectivism holds that truths are independent of our beliefs; except for propositions that are actually about our beliefs or sensations, what is true or false is independent of what we think is true or false.

Total Recall

Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film.

The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, and Ronny Cox.

It is based on the Philip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.”

The plot concerns an apparently unsophisticated construction worker, Doug Quaid (Schwarzenegger), who is either a victim of a failed memory implant procedure or a freedom fighter from Mars relocated to Earth.

He attempts to restore order and reverse the corrupt influence of commercial powers, all while faced with the possibility that none of these events are real and pursuing them could damage his brain.

According to some trends in philosophy, such as postmodernism/post-structuralism, truth is subjective. When two or more individuals agree upon the interpretation and experience of a particular event, a consensus about an event and its experience begins to be formed.

This being common to a few individuals or a larger group, then becomes the "truth" as seen and agreed upon by a certain set of people — the consensus reality. Thus one particular group may have a certain set of agreed-upon truths, while another group might have a different set.

This allows different communities and societies to have very different notions of reality and truth about the external world. The religion and beliefs of people or communities are one example of this level of socially constructed reality.

What is the Real Reality?

Truth cannot simply be considered truth if one speaks and another hears because individual bias and fallibility challenge the idea that certainty or objectivity are easily grasped.

For anti-realists, the inaccessibility of any final, objective truth means that there is no truth beyond the socially accepted consensus. (Although this means there are many truths, not a single truth.)

For realists, the world is a set of definite facts, which exist independently of human perceptions ("The world is all that is the case" — Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus), and these facts are the final arbiter of truth.

Michael Dummett expresses this in terms of the principle of bivalence: Lady Macbeth had three children or she did not; a tree falls or it does not.

A statement will be true if it corresponds to these facts — even if the correspondence cannot be established. Thus the dispute between the realist and anti-realist conception of truth hinges on reactions to the epistemic accessibility (knowability, graspability) of facts.

A "fact" or factual entity, on the other hand, is a phenomenon that is perceived as an elemental principle. It is rarely one that could be subject to personal interpretation. Instead, it is most often an observed phenomenon of the natural world.

The proposition that "viewed from most places on Earth, the Sun rises in the east" is a fact.

It is a fact for people belonging to any group or nationality, regardless of which language they speak or which part of the hemisphere they come from.

The Galilean proposition in support of the Copernican theory, that the sun is the center of the solar system, is one that states the fact of the natural world.

However, during his lifetime Galileo was ridiculed for that factual proposition, because far too few people had a consensus about it in order to accept it as a truth, and at the time the Ptolemaic model was just as accurate a predictor.

Fewer propositions are factual in content in the world, as compared to the many truths shared by various communities, which are also fewer than the innumerable individual world views. Much of scientific exploration, experimentation, interpretation and analysis is done on this level.

This view of reality is expressed in Philip K. Dick's statement that "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

A common colloquial usage would have reality mean "perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes toward reality," as in "My reality is not your reality." This is often used just as a colloquialism indicating that the parties to a conversation agree, or should agree, not to quibble over deeply different conceptions of what is real.

For example, in a religious discussion between friends, one might say (attempting humor), "You might disagree, but in my reality, everyone goes to heaven."

Reality can be defined in a way that links it to world views or parts of them (conceptual frameworks): 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 world view (whether it be based on individual or shared human experience) ultimately attempts to describe or map.

Certain ideas from physics, philosophy, sociology, literary criticism, and other fields shape various theories of reality. One such belief is that there simply and literally is no reality beyond the perceptions or beliefs we each have about reality.

Such attitudes are summarized in the popular statement, "Perception is reality" or "Life is how you perceive reality" or "reality is what you can get away with", and they indicate anti-realism — that is, the view that there is no objective reality, whether acknowledged explicitly or not.