Chapter 3 Reality and Being

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Chapter 3: Reality and Being

Chapter Three of the book “A Text with Readings,” discusses “Reality and Being,” it opens up by trying to answer the question regarding what is real. Therefore the discussion fall in the realm of metaphysics. To learn more on what is reality one has to understand metaphysics. Metaphysics is one of the branches of philosophy, and it tends to examine what reality is, as well as being, and also what matters most to individuals. Consequently, there exist some metaphysical outlooks which include analytical philosophy, materialism-idealism besides the reactions of pragmatism. Materialism considers reality as matter. Materialism observes matter as the decisive component of existence. Many individuals reality comprises of only physical objects while excluding nonphysical objects. Also, they regard what is real to be substantial, significant, matters make a difference and have to be attended to. According to Nozick, for something to be real, it must have some value, meaning, weight and also some importance. Horbes who is an early materialist also contended that only physical objects are real. Idealism is also used to explain more about reality in distinguishing whether it is material or nonmaterial. As illustrated, idealism holds that reality is immaterial for example things like one’s idea, spirit and also the mind.

Berkeley who is an absolute idealist challenged the concept whereby most individuals usually contemplate that the world around them is generally made up of solid stuff. He maintained that since individuals’ minds typically perceive their specific ideas, therefore only their minds, as well as their thoughts, can be real. However, his ideas face a lot of criticism from critics who argue that individuals never recognize their ideas or sensations and instead they tend to perceive the things that are around them and not the thoughts and perceptions in their heads. The critics further explain that idealism that Berkeley tends to incline to encourages an extraction from the actual world and is a haven from secular glitches. Therefore they claim that this idealism will result in individuals neglecting real as well as pressing social concerns. The two types of idealism are subjective and objective. Subjective idealism states that reality comprises of one’s mind together with its ideas.

On the other hand, objective idealism claims that reality comprises of an ultimate mind that generates an impartial world of thoughts that never depends on one’s mind although it typically depends on God’s mind. Therefore in general, idealists maintains that reality comprises of minds plus their ideas. All the discussed idealists are referred to as the Western philosophers. However, there exist other philosophers for example from India who believes in Eastern idealism. The Indian philosophy, for instance, has been seen as a home to several philosophers like Vasubandhu. Vasubandhu believed that all the individuals’ experiences of things involve only the sensations in an individual’s minds which disregard the existence of external objects. According to him the ostensible existence of the outer world is only an illusion just the same way as a dream. Also, he argues that when the meditation arouses the individuals, they will realize that the exterior world is an illusion in the similar way they know that a dream is only an illusion when they wake from their sleep. In some instances, Vasubandhu’s opinions regarding idealism are similar to Berkeley’s opinions but differ in other instances.

In the chapter, other issues are well discussed concerning reality and being. They include things like; Reality in pragmatism, reality plus reasonable positivisms and antirealism. Pragmatism seems to reject all the opinions that lack some practical consequences for individuals’ lives. Logical positivists typically base their arguments on the working of the language. They argue that metaphysics is grounded on the linguistic confusions. Moreover, the chapter explains more about reality by answering the questions; are freedom and time real?

Works Cited

Velasquez, Manuel. Philosophy: A text with readings. Cengage Learning, 2016.

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