Reality - Fact or Fiction?

Essay by TK-TrianumetzuCollege, UndergraduateA-, May 2009

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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 existence." The first question that came to my mind was "how can I verify that something is real?" Does something have to be tangible to have a verifiable existence, or are intangible things - such as, say, thoughts and feelings - "real" as well? In other words, do I have to be able to see something for it to be real? In other words, is what I am not able to see right at this exact moment "not real?" Another question also arises - just because I see that something is there, does that necessarily mean that it is real?I believe that something can be real if I am able to describe it.

For example, I can describe my philosophy book that is used for this class - it is a white book with pictures of lightbulbs and a bunch of writing, it has a yellow "used" sticker on the binding, it has 463 pages usually filled to the brim with black and white text and pictures, and it is about an inch thick, 9¼" inches long...